When Keshan Rambarun started as the Executive Sous Chef at The Table Bay Hotel at the beginning of March (2017) he felt like it was coming home.
He hadn’t been in the magnificent Mother City in 17 years, not since he was at cooking school.
Chef Keshan, 35, says that while he is happy to be back in Cape Town, he’s delighted to be at The Table Bay, nestled as it is in prime position in Cape Town’s Waterfront, looking out to the Atlantic from one end and onto a working harbour at the other. “Then there’s Table Mountain that casts a beautiful shadow over us at all times as we go about making our visitors happy with our five star service, delicious food and a refined air of elegance,” Chef Keshan says.
He has had a varied career, including a residency as Executive Sous and Executive Chef at Safari specialist AndBeyond’s flagship resorts. Chef Keshan names as one of the highlights of his career the fact that he cooked at the second prestigious Table of Unity meal in 2001.
The Chef says his love of food and cooking comes from his mother whose table was always laid to accommodate whoever wanted a hot meal. “It was my parents hospitality and mum’s love of good food that inspired me. I wanted to be able to cook as well as her, only with a wider range of cooking styles. That is why I trained to be a chef.”
Being the Executive Sous Chef at the Table Bay is particularly pleasing to Chef Keshanbecause, he says, Cape Town has some of the country’s finest fresh produce – and locally made wines. “The Cape has a wide range of seafood to choose from, and there are also excellent foraging possibilities with the native fynbos. “Mix all that with a host of cross cultural nationalities … and you will find me interacting with people and food, my two favourite things to do.”
He says his best dish is a Harissa ostrich fillet served with a nutty Madumbi mash and a fresh passion fruit and palm date relish. Garlic, the chef says, is his best single ingredient.