Women of Wonder

How chef Chantel Dartnall is enriching the local food scene

27 August 2020 - 00:00 By Toni Jaye Singer
Chantel Dartnall is officially one of the best chefs on the planet. File photo.
Chantel Dartnall is officially one of the best chefs on the planet. File photo.
Image: Supplied

This Women's Month, we’re shining the spotlight on some of the SA women who are stars in their field of work and areas of influence. Today’s inspirational "Woman of Wonder" is chef Chantel Dartnall. Click here to see some of the other women to whom we’ve previously paid tribute.

WHO IS DARTNALL?

She is the innovative chef patron of the multi award-winning Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, a boutique hotel in Elandsfontein, Pretoria.

CLAIM TO FAME

Dartnall, who is known for her beautiful, botanical-inspired dishes, is possibly SA’s most acclaimed female chef. She’s also officially one of the best chefs on the planet.

One of chef Chantel Darnall's culinary masterpieces.
One of chef Chantel Darnall's culinary masterpieces.
Image: Supplied

In 2017, Dartnall was named Best Lady Chef at the international Best Chef Awards, and Chef of the Year for Africa and the Middle East at the Luxury Travel Guide Awards. She’s twice been named Chef of the Year at the local Eat Out Restaurant Awards.

She made the prestigious Best Chef Awards list of the world’s Top 100 Chefs in 2017 and 2018,  and has been shortlisted for the 2020 ranking.

WHAT MAKES HER INSPIRING?

Dartnall is proof that women can compete in the largely male-dominated restaurant industry and kick butt, as evidenced by her many awards.

She’s determined not to hog the spotlight and wants to make room for “the new generation of chefs and restaurants to shine on the culinary stage”, which would benefit the local food scene.

That's why, after Restaurant Mosaic made Eat Out's annual list of SA's Top 10 restaurants for the 10th time last year, Dartnall announced she was taking it out of the running in future.

Dartnall is also enriching the local food industry through empowerment.

On its website, Restaurant Mosaic says it is “focused on uplifting the local community by employing them and developing their skill sets and confidence”.

Moses Magwaza is an example of this philosophy in action: he started his career as a gardener and is now a world-class and award-wining sommelier.

FUN FACT

Dartnall grew up on the farm in Elandsfontein on which Restaurant Mosaic is based.