A warm welcome to Rudolph Blaauw, who joins our team as Ellerman House’s new Executive Chef. However, not new at all to Relais & Châteaux, Rudolph hails from Delaire Graff Estate, a fellow Relais & Châteaux property in Stellenbosch, where he worked with Chef Virgil Kahn at Indochine Restaurant.

Just over a month in and Rudolph says, “I feel so at home already. I have inherited the most incredible team and am fortunate to work under the guidance of local legend Peter Tempelhoff, who encourages creativity and the freedom of expression”. Peter Tempelhoff, our Culinary Director, is a celebrated member of Relais & Châteaux’s World Culinary Council and a chef with over 20 years of experience in Michelin-starred Relais & Châteaux restaurants across the culinary capitals of the world.

Rudolph immediately resonated with Peter’s food philosophy which treasures, preserves and continually revives South Africa’s local heritage with international flair at Ellerman House. “I thoroughly enjoy working with seasonal menus and excellent local produce. We are spoilt in Cape Town, we get to work with quality suppliers and we’re able to make the most of our abundant environment. I’ve just picked a bunch of Ice Lettuce off the rocks at Scarborough beach, which pairs perfectly with the fresh mussels currently on our menu”.

Our philosophy at Ellerman House is to share the very best of South Africa, but at the same time Rudi always looks to and learns from the rest of the world. “I am passionate about Asian cuisine. So much so, that last year I spent 6 months tasting my way across Asia while working in kitchens in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines”. In the earlier years of Rudolphs’s career, he also travelled the world while private cheffing, which not only gave him the opportunity to sample flavours across the globe, but also first-hand experience of high-end service in an kitchen environment that sits very close to the guest”.

“The human factor in the kitchen means a great deal to me. It’s important to nurture a healthy, positive environment in an industry which can often be tough on employees,” says Rudolph. “There is a wonderful energy in the Ellerman House kitchen, and its passion can be tasted”.