Neill Anthony is one Cape Town’s very few private chefs. He spent 10 years in Europe, honing his skills in the professional kitchens of Gordon Ramsay, Alyn Williams, Jerome Henry and Marcus Wareing. Neill’s claim to fame has got to be the fact that he was the påtissier at Gordon Ramsay’s Hospital Road in London. After 10 years of heated kitchens and sleepless nights he returned to Cape Town where he became a personal chef, cooking restaurant quality food for his clients in the comfort of their own homes, hosting Supper Clubs and even taking clients on market day experiences where willing participants are trouped off to food markets where they both choose and purchase the ingredients for the meal that Neill will prepare that evening.
And now he is ready to share his adventures with the world in his new television series, Neill Anthony – The Private Chef. Broadcasting internationally on Food Network, the 13-part series provides a glimpse into the secret, day-to-day life of a personal chef in SA. On call 24/7 to cater to the demands of his exclusive clientele, the location may be an ocean-side villa, a game farm or even a tiny galley kitchen on a yacht. The nature and size of the request doesn’t matter. What does is the dining extravaganza that he is expected to deliver to satisfy the most demanding of clients. And in true Neill Anthony style, he delivers with flair!
Q&A with Neill Anthony
You trained with Gordon Ramsay, what is the most important lesson you took away from that experience?
My time spent in the Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants involved long hours of work and being a sponge for knowledge from the best. The most important lesson learned was working neatly, cleanly and in an organised way.
What made you decide to become a Private Chef?
This idea stemmed from being invited to dinner parties in friends homes, where I ended up in the kitchen assisting with the meal, sharing my knowledge with my friends and then enjoying the meal together. I then thought this might be a good idea for me to do professionally, where I can cook great food, in an intimate environment and experience first-hand the joy and excitement my clients get out of it. Potential clients usually enquire to have a meal in their home for an occasion. Based on the clients request, I put together a seasonal 4/5 course menu for my client to approve. After the approval, I arrive at my clients home with 80% of the meal preparation complete. This usually leaves me little to do once I have arrived.
What are the three most important rules of cooking, in your opinion?
1. Keep it local and seasonal
2. Keep it clean and organised
3. Keep flavours simple and true
What is the most unusual dish you have ever cooked?
I once cooked Bull's Testical Ravioli - it was hit!
Thursdays from 26 January at 20:00
South African Neil Anthony is a chef to the stars, creating amazing meals for the most discerning appetites. In this brand new series, Neil is invited to cook in the homes of his prestigious friends and clients, helping them to host unforgettable events. Neil’s food always pushes the envelope, so in the menu you’ll find anything from ostrich and cheeseburgers to rice milk ice cream, plus death-by- chocolate brownies. Join Neill for a glimpse of how superstars live – and eat.