David Higgs to open first live fire cooking restaurant in Joburg
David Higgs’ fans need wait no longer, as one of South Africa’s most awarded and internationally acclaimed chefs has finally unveiled his plans for what lies ahead for him in 2016. Higgs will be bringing the international trend of live fire cooking to Johannesburg’s dining scene for the first time. Marble, a celebration of quintessential South African fare and cooking on fire, will open its doors in the Rosebank Art Mile (Roam) in May 2016.
Higgs will open the restaurant in partnership with local businessman and entrepreneur, Gary Kyriacou.
With a central location in the bustling Rosebank Art Mile (Roam), Marble will be a celebration of South African food and what makes it so special – fire.
“Marble will embody South Africans’ love of cooking with fire, a quality that makes our food culture different from the rest of the world,” explains Higgs. “I’ve long been fascinated by what makes South African fare unique, and I believe it’s down to us being meat and flame enthusiasts – the timeworn ritual of cooking on wood fires, and gathering with friends. That’s what Marble will celebrate – and not just meat, but all types of ingredients cooked on coals – including fish, poultry, vegetables and breads.”
South Africa’s restaurant culture is well-recognised as vibrant with its patrons growing savvier and demanding better food, great service and a dining experience with personality. Although Cape Town has a higher number of fine-dining restaurants and celebrity chefs, Joburg’s cosmopolitan diners have a lust for an experience beyond a plate of food. Joburgers are looking for a night out somewhere sophisticated, unintimidating and affordable
Higgs has been in Johannesburg since 2011, and with The Saxon since 2012, “It’s been an incredible journey,” says Higgs. “I was open to a new adventure and a chance meeting with Gary proved to be exactly the opportunity I was looking for. The timing couldn’t have been better.”
His partner, Gary Kyriacou is no stranger to restaurant industry or business start-ups. Over his 20-year career, the serial entrepreneur has owned several retail properties, Spar Supermarkets and was involved in the hospitality program for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“I have wanted to open something like Marble for a long time. However, I needed someone with a real passion for food to bring it to life. Once David was on board that the idea really started to take shape,” Kyriacou explains.
Marble combines two international trends – the first of live fire cooking and the second, of a rooftop bar experience. Situated in Roam; the growing art, food and culture hub of Rosebank, Marble will seat 250 dining scene enthusiasts and provide a roof-top terrace with a view that stretches over Johannesburg’s urban forest towards the Magaliesburg. Downstairs, there will be a butchery which will allow patrons to take home the same cuts of meat from the Marble menu, and more.
Future plans for the venture include openings of Marble in Dubai, London or New York. “We really believe the concept of Marble has international appeal, but we want to get it right here first,” says Kyriacou.
“Joburg is hungry for something different, and we look forward to providing this in May 2016,” Higgs concludes.