Last week, South Africa’s Chantel Dartnall emerged the winner of the Best Chef Lady Awards which took place in Warsaw Poland.
While this is not the first time, the locally prominent chef is recognized for her cooking expertise, winning the prestigious international award creates a new height in her cooking/catering career.
It is really groundbreaking that from efforts made in the local society, Dartnall championed an international contest in Poland.
For the Best Chef Awards Top 100 list for 2017, Elandsfontein-born Dartnall was placed at the 32nd position. This makes her the leading and one of only three female chefs to make the top 50.
The competition which has about 1.5 million followers on its digital platform selects chefs in six categories by 300 voters comprising chefs, food writers and culinary experts across the globe.
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Chantel Dartnall a two-time South Africa Chef of the Year. Her expertise with gourmet has taken South Africa up to the international culinary map.
The award-winning chef finds the win “pretty insane” and considers it an honor to be nominated alongside renowned chefs.
“It’s a major award when you look at the other chefs who were nominated, such as Elena Arzak and Sophie Pic, who both have three Michelin stars. I’ve always admired them,”
“I made the decision to fly across the world for one night to attend the awards ceremony in Warsaw 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.”
Last year’s winner of the international chef award was Elena Arzak, a Spanish chef.
Elena and her father, Juan Mari Arzak are joint head chef of three Michelin starred restaurant. She was named best Female Chef in the World in 2012.
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Other top world chefs beaten in the competition include Swedish Emma Bengtsson, France’s Anne-Sophie Pic and Maison Pic. SA’s Dartnall also beat Clare Smyth, the first and so far the only female chef to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the UK with her establishment, Core.
Funny enough the South African chef did not expect to win. She accepted to travel to Poland to meet her culinary idols.
Chantel Dartnall is the owner and head chef of Mosaic Restaurant in Elandsfontein near Pretoria. She trained under top chefs such as Nico Ladenis of Chez Nico at 90 Park Lane in London and Michael Caines of Gidleigh Park in Devon.
Dartnall is exceptionally known for her meticulous and exquisite approach to modern fine dining. The Best Chef Awards looks out for world’s top chefs for culinary artistry and visual presentation. For this year, 37-year-old Chantel beat the rest with her culinary designs.
According to her she draws inspiration from fresh, seasonal produce to create dishes. But above all, Dartnall credits her mom as her inspiration.
“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.”
Chantel Dartnall is the only South African chef listed in the top 100.
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