Cape Town Meets California: The President Hotel Gala Dinner

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Craig Paterson, Executive Chef at The President Hotel. Photo supplied.

This Freedom Day, The President is dialing up the heat for Cape Town diners with a big surprise. No, not that president, The President Hotel in Cape Town, with a lavish 6-course fine-dining gastronomic blowout featuring two top chefs: one from The President itself, and one all the way from sunny California.

Craig Paterson is one of my favourite local chefs and I love every innovation he brings at The President Hotel. This man has serious chops behind the stove.

So news about the upcoming Gala Dinner on Freedom Day that chef Craig is hosting at The President alongside masterchef Bernard Guillas from California is fantastic! Cherry on top is a peerless wine-pairing by The President’s stellar sommelier Job Jovo. Having experienced the duo in tandem, I can only say: book your tickets NOW.

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Chef Bernard Guillas from California, who joins chef Craig on Freedom Day for a unique Gala Dinner at The President Hotel. Photo supplied.

Chef Guillas is a Maitre Cuisinier de France and executive chef of three top Californian restaurants: the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, the Shores Restaurant, and the landmark AAA 4-diamond Marine Room restaurant in California.

This lavish affair will be  a one-night only, 6-course collaboration dinner at the President Hotel on Freedom Day, 27 April 2017. Book now to avoid disappointment, Cape Town foodies!

“From one coast to another, the event will feature decades of fine dining experience from all over the world,” says Jeremy Clayton, GM and Director of Turnkey Hospitality. “With modernised interpretations of the flavours they were raised on, these chefs will fondly share their culture, heritage and food.”

Guillas, whose journey starts in the picturesque region of Brittany, France, is no stranger to classic tradition and insists, “A good cook is a sorcerer who dispenses happiness on a plate.” For this chef, it is the magic of adding unusual seasonings to titillate the palate.

His credits include apprenticing with the legendary Georges Paineau, chef de cuisine at Le Dolmen in French Guyana, the Maison Blanche restaurant in Washington DC, chef tournant, chef saucier, and sous chef under Pierre Chambrin, former White House executive chef. Since making San Diego home Guillas has spent five years as chef de cuisine at the Grant Grill, Executive Chef of La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, and the award-winning Marine Room,

As the author of two cookbooks, and guest on several TV and radio shows, he has used his credits in the culinary world to give back to various philanthropic pursuits including Slow Food, The Beard House Foundation, and more, and now, with Chef Paterson. The President Hotel in association with Chef Works (an industry leader in the design, development and management of uniform and culinary apparel programs across the globe) will be visiting the Eziko Cooking and Catering School in the Langa Township  to select one lucky student to shadow  Chef Bernard on 27 April  at the dinner. Together, They have also set-up a generous fuowering the cause and a once in a lifetime opportunity. at at his award-winning Marine Room in California.

As the author of two cookbooks, and guest on several TV and radio shows, chef Guillas has used his credits in the culinary world to give back to various philanthropic pursuits including Slow Food, The Beard House Foundation, and more. Now, with local hottie Chef Paterson, they’ll be adding Chef Works as they will be partnering with the company to select a young culinary student from the Eziko Cooking and catering school to go to California, where the chosen young star will learn under Chef Bernard.

“Developing people is a lot like pruning a tree – it often takes a long time but the end result is amazing. The greatest achievements are often when you are able to develop someone who, for example, starts out as a kitchen porter and see them ultimately succeed as a chef,” adds Paterson.

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Shrimp dish, The Marine Room, Chef Bernard Guillas
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Dessert by Chef Craig Paterson, Executive Chef at The President Hotel

This six-course dinner costs R1195 pp with wine pairing, or R895 pp without. The event kicks off at 18:00 and will include an amuse by Guillas; a first course by Paterson; a second course by Guillas; a palate cleanser by Paterson; a main course by Guillas; and dessert by Paterson.

This spectacular night of fine dining, to the backdrop of live jazz, will showcase culinary wizardry by both chefs matched with some of South Africa’s best wines by the President’s new Sommelier, Job Jovo.

Limited seats are available so, to ensure you don’t miss out on this culinary experience, reserve your seat by emailing or call 021 434 8111.

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Celebrating life with food, wine, friends & happiness! Writer, cook and blogger. Author of four cookbooks. Passionately South African, proudly Capetonian.