Chef de Partie Robin Wessels was born in Cape Town, but raised in Atlantis- a part of the Mother City that he says has an unfair stigma attached to it, as he believes the positives of the area far outweigh the negative.
Despite his current occupation as a Damhuis Restaurant chef, Robin’s first love was sports. After showing significant potential in volleyball during primary school and winning many accolades for his athletic achievement, Robin was scouted by the Western Cape Sports School and would eventually represent South Africa in volleyball.
After high school, the avid sportsman went from the court to the kitchen as he enrolled at Boland College to study hospitality. And so his calling as a chef came to be.
Getting to Know Chef de Partie Robin Wessels a little better…
1. Can you remember your first inspirational encounter with food?
Family gatherings and, most of all, Sunday afternoon lunches after church really served as inspiration for me. I loved the sense of everyone coming together.
2. What inspired you to become a chef?
My inspiration came from watching my mother bake cakes and preparing delicious meals for the family.
3. What’s your philosophy when it comes to food?
Food is life, but good food separates ordinary people from chefs. Being a chef makes me feel like I can brighten up anybody’s day with the delicious food I prepare.
4. What are your guilty pleasures when it comes to food and why?
My guilty pleasures are sweets cakes and pastries. I think I have grown fond of having something sweet every day because my mom usually prepares cakes, tarts and pastries, so it’s always in the kitchen at home.
5. What characteristics should a good chef have?
It’s all about passion, love and respect for the food you are working with. You have to be a dedicated team player and role model for younger chefs. Finally, perseverance is really crucial because working in a kitchen can get rough, but it’s how you move on and improve on previous mistakes.
6. What do you love about Melkbosstrand?
I love the ocean, so I like the beautiful beachfront and the rich history. The people of Melkbos are also amiable, and it’s the perfect place to relax.
7.What do you appreciate the most about Damhuis restaurant?
I appreciate being given the opportunity to work at such a top- class establishment, and the people are always helpful when I have a problem. Damhuis Restaurant is my family away from family.
8. Happiness is …..
…following your heart and not your mind because your mind can play tricks on you. So, follow your heart, and you will find peace and happiness.
Enjoying getting to know Damhuis Restaurant and our brilliant team? Read more about our Sous Chef Jacques du Toit.