Q&A with Chef Peter Tempelhoff
Greenhouse’s executive chef Peter Tempelhoff is not only one of the best chefs in the country, but one of the best in the world. He is one of three South African chefs who made The Best Chef Awards 2018 top 300. What sets Tempelhoff apart is his passion and inspiration derived from the abundant and diverse resources offered by the local landscape, along with the rich food history and heritage of South Africa. His meticulously designed menus centre around a holistic sensory epicurean experience and are a culinary inspiration to anyone with a passion for food and a love for fine dining. Under Tempelhoff's guidance, Greenhouse had continued its legacy of excellence as one of the top eateries in the country.
He took time out to tell us about his favourite spots, most memorable flavours and secret talent.
Did you always want to be a chef? If not, what did you want to be when you were growing up?
No, when I was young I wanted to be an astronaut, pilot and rock star. At age six, 10 and 14, respectively.
If you were a food, what would you be?
Strange question, but I suppose I'd be an apple. Unassuming, but packed full of flavour.
What's the oddest (or most memorable) dish you've ever tasted?
Maggot cheese; it is a Sardinian specialty. It was so strong that it felt like it burnt my mouth with acidity.
ALSO READ: recipe: chef peter tempelhoff's baked cheesecake
What tastes remind you of your childhood?
Cherries, apricot jam, tuna casserole, slow-cooked lamb with beans.
Do you have a secret talent?
I'm an aspiring carpenter.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
It's a rewarding profession. I love making people happy with food.
And if you could change one aspect of your job, what would that be?
What's your current favourite drink, and why?
Single malt whiskey. The flavour is so varied between producers and is extremely layered.
Which part of the world should every serious food-lover visit?
What is your current favourite restaurant?
2-Michelin-star restaurant Zeniya in Kanazawa, Japan. It has fantastic kaiseki.
What would your last meal and last drink be?
Dinner at Jiro’s Ono's sushi restaurant and a bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926.