Chef Charné Sampson is one of the youngest 2021 Top 10 Women Chefs, and heads up the kitchen at Epice at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek. She wins a bottle of Adhara Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I was unable to meet her as she was ill on Sunday, when I delivered her prize.
Chef Charné graduated from Silwood in 2016. She did her internship at Myoga, Woolworths, Waterkloof, The Test Kitchen, and at La Colombe. She stayed on at La Colombe, until 2019, when she was given the opportunity to head up Epice.
Epice is one of a number of restaurants in the La Colombo restaurant group. Chef Charné took the restaurant to Best New Restaurant in Africa in the inaugural World Culinary Awards. Epice is a fine dining restaurant, its dishes flavour-filled with spices.
#. What has been the best thing about Lockdown for your restaurant and your cooking ?
‘Time for staff to reflect on being a chef and cooking. Everyone has come back with more of an eagerness to cook and create amazing experiences for guests.’
‘Having to constantly close and reopen, not knowing when restrictions will change, has been the biggest challenge. Many staff members moved back to stay with family in lockdown and not being able to reassure them when we would be able to reopen was most frustrating’.
#. Are you planning to change anything in your restaurant/cooking in the year ahead?
‘Since the initial Lockdown we’ve moved the restaurant to Le Quartier Francais, a lot more spacious venue.’
Congratulations Chef Charné.
Epice, Le Quartier Francais, Huguenot Road, Franschhoek. Tel 021 492-4044. www.epice.restaurant Instagram: @epice_franschhoek
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide