Chantel Dartnall has been named as the Worlds Best Female Chef, owner and head chef of Mosaic; she says the title has not sunk in yet.
Pretoria, South Africa – Chantel Dartnall is the owner and head chef of Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient Boutique Hotel outside Pretoria. Recently she has added another accolade to her list of achievements. She was already voted as the South African Chef of the Year in 2014, and now she also has the title as the World’s Best Female Chef for 2017.
“Chantel trained in Michelin three-star restaurants under top chefs such as Nico Ladenis of Chez Nico at 90 Park Lane in London and Michael Caines of Gidleigh Park in Devon. She draws her inspiration from fresh, seasonal produce to create dishes which taste as wonderful as they look.”
Chantel has been dedicated to her work, and her efforts have paid off! She has run her restaurant for over 11 years, and it is still one of the top places to be in South Africa.
In an interview with the Saturday Star, Chantel discussed her thoughts on winning and what is happening now that she has won.
“To win exceeded all my wildest dreams. It’s a great honour.”
“I made the decision to fly across the world for one night to attend the awards ceremony in Warsaw (Poland) because it was such a great honour to be included with these giants who I admire so much.
“I’ve spent time with them before and was just excited to meet with them again – they are my food heroes and to be in the same room as them, was a reward in itself.”
Since arriving home after the award ceremony, she feels there has been a shift in the way people see the South African food culture and hopes more people will take the country seriously.
“I certainly think people who would not generally have taken South Africa too seriously at an awards function of this calibre, will sit up and notice and become aware of the talent that we have in South Africa.
“Ever since winning the award, I have received a number of calls from international chefs whose restaurants I’ve eaten in, as well as foreign guests planning a visit to South Africa.”
Chantel says cooking is in her blood, and the kitchen is her happy place. She has kept feminity but remained tough in a male-orientated industry. She credits her family for her success and as a massive inspiration in her career.
“My mother was one of my biggest influences growing up. Even now the smell of a roast chicken brings back wonderful childhood memories. I can still smell it roasting.
“My family has always supported me and encouraged me to do what I enjoy and they have exposed me and provided me with the opportunities to explore the culinary world.”