The vibrant chocolate and sweets infused magical world of the musical film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, came alive in Southern Sun Cape Sun’s kitchen a few days ago when Executive Chef and former chocolatier Alfred Henry hosted a brunch of five courses of chocolate decadence to a select group of media, bloggers and influencers.
The aim of the chocoholic’s dream come true was to celebrate the upcoming chocolate-centred Easter weekend and to showcase the skills of Chef Alfred, a former pastry chef and chocolatier, and other chefs from Tsogo Sun properties in Cape Town.
In the movie, which is based on the Roald Dahl classic, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, the chocolate factory owner, Willy Wonka, announces that he has hidden five ‘golden tickets’ in chocolate Wonka bars and that the finders of these tickets will be given a factory tour and a lifetime supply of chocolate. The fantastical chocolate factory magic begins when the winners enter the doors.
Within the ‘Chocolate Factory’ in the suitably bedecked expansive Southern Sun Cape Sun kitchen was a Chef’s Table for the lucky ‘golden ticket’ holder guests, where the exquisite dishes were presented, perfectly paired with a selection of beverages.
The menu started with chocolate Mayan yoghurt, cinnabun melba toast, chocolate & hazelnut crumble, and fresh raspberries, presented by Chef Alfred; which was followed by toasted dark chocolate scone eggs benedict with white chocolate and orange Hollandaise, presented by Executive Chef of Southern Sun The Cullinan Henrico Grobbelaar; and then chocolate seed loaf, orange and dill cured salmon, cream cheese and pickled radishes, presented by Juan Neethling of Southern Sun The Waterfront.
After that came slow cooked beef cheek, bitter chocolate, orange and pear, presented by Jessica Sutcliffe of SunSquare Cape Town Gardens; and rounding up the decadent brunch was yoghurt and cinnamon panna cotta egg, also presented by Chef Alfred.
Keeping the excitement levels high, Chef Alfred also presented a lesson in tempering chocolate for chocoholics to create the dishes in their own homes for Easter.
Born and raised in Cape Town, Alfred Henry followed his passion for all things culinary after school and completed a cordon bleu diploma with distinction. He then travelled to Britain to study further and perfect his craft. On his return to South Africa, he began his career as an assistant pastry chef at the Mount Nelson Hotel, and then as executive sous chef at the Twelve Apostles Hotel.
He has worked in some of the best kitchens in South Africa, including as head chocolatier for Lindt & Sprüngli in 2008. His culinary career has also embraced the educational sector of the industry and he worked with a national culinary school as corporate executive chef for several years, before returning to mainstream hotel kitchens – and the Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel.
Says Henry, “Growing up in a family that was involved in food was my inspiration. I have a passion for turning raw ingredients into a gastronomic sensation. I avoid complicating my food too much but try to get the best from the raw produce, maximising the natural flavours to their best potential. I enjoy mixing classic preparation with a modern flair and flavour. I also believe people eat with their eyes before they taste – food must always be well presented and then have an amazing flavour to follow through.”
“Our chefs are a source of pride and joy to Tsogo Sun,” says Priya Naidoo, Tsogo Sun’s GM – Group Communication “They’re always up to the challenge to present creative and delicious meal experiences for special events such as our Chocolate Factory fantasy brunch, as well as for every guest who eats at any of our restaurants.”
Tsogo Sun’s portfolio includes over 100 hotels and 14 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa, the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi.
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