Peter Tempelhoff, Executive Chef of Greenhouse in Constantia, chose an OmniBlend blender for his restaurant kitchen, and we chatted to him to hear what makes it the right blender for him as a chef, and about how he keeps his team motivated to run a world-class kitchen.
Having been in the forefront of fine dining in South Africa for many years, Peter Tempelhoff hardly needs any further introduction. Peter’s career started 20 years ago, and since has earned many accolades and has worked in some of the best kitchens in the world. He is currently the Executive Chef for The Collection by Liz McGrath, comprising a trio of 5-star Relais and Châteaux hotels (The Marine, The Cellars Hohenort Hotel and The Plettenberg), with four restaurants across these properties. The most acclaimed of these is Greenhouse at The Cellars Hohenort, which has just been nominated again as South Africa’s top restaurant as part of the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.
Peter has been using his OmniBlend I – 1.5ltr blender for a year, and shares what he thinks sets OmniBlend blenders apart: “I love the OmniBlend, as it does exactly what I need. It allows me to fully control the speed, where some other brands have all kinds of programs that I don’t want to use, or 1 single speed. It’s much better value too: jugs of other brands come at the same price as the OmniBlend blender, and with the OmniBlend you don’t have to replace the full jug if only the bearing goes. I’ve been using them for a year now and I won’t go back - they blend bloody well, and that’s all you need in a blender.”
If you’ve been lucky to visit Greenhouse, you’ll know that the menu is ingenious, and Peter tells us that he and his team are drawing their inspiration from nature, nurture, culture, and contemporaries. As simple as that may sound, each of the dishes of the tasting menu showcase talent, dedication and effort to present the most beautiful plates with an array of flavours and textures. We were blown away by the Mozambican Prawn that is steamed at your table while you’re watching, and served with a Dill Mayonnaise, Fresh Coconut, Lime & Crispy Chicken Skin. It’s the components of dishes that Peter is using the blender for, such as a puree or a pesto, and even for grinding fish or chicken for a smooth sausage.
When you opt for the wine pairing with the tasting menu, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy top class wines from some of the less obvious wineries in the Western Cape, all carefully paired with each dish. One creative sidestep is made with the bread platter (a mielie bread with popcorn butter and bacon brioche with banana cream) that is paired with a Devil’s Peak Brewery craft beer.
The team is what completes the dining experience at Greenhouse, being incredibly knowledgeable and professional, yet warm and welcoming. Observing Peter Tempelhoff on the job, you notice how respectful and constructive he is in leading the team. So what’s his secret in leading a team? “I find that I get better results and that I have a lower staff turnover when the kitchens are calm learning environments,” Peter explains. “If you want great staff you have to continually train, inspire and encourage - it is just the way it goes as not everyone sees your company the way you do, it’s up to you to show them. Once your team sees you are willing to teach them, and give them the personal time, they will make an effort.”
As one would expect, a restaurant at this level is always striving for perfection, and the menu is constantly evolving. The current menu can be found on their website.