Rudi Liebenberg - Mount Nelson Hotel
“The foundation of our process starts with respect, respect for the ingredient, respect for the process, respect for the end product and respect for the diner,” says Chef Rudi Liebenberg - respectfully.
In 2009 Rudi took up the challenging position of Executive Chef at one of South Africa’s oldest and finest hotels, Orient-Express’s Mount Nelson Hotel, which has a long-held reputation both locally and internationally for its exceptional cuisine. A little more than a year later he opened the spectacular new Planet Restaurant at the Mount Nelson which has already garnered a galaxy of awards.
Just some of Rudi’s recent career highlights include:
2010 Recipient of the Golden Circle Alumni Award in recognition of his contribution to industry by the School of Tourism and Hospitality (University of Johannesburg)
2011 Winner of the Great Grapes Cuisine Cook-off
2011 Fleur du Cape Top Ten Places to eat in Cape Town
2011 & 2012 Listed in Eat Out’s Top 20 favourite places to eat in South Africa
2011 & 2012 American Express Platinum Fine Dining Award
2012 Trip Advisor Travel Choice Award
2012 Planet listed as one of the Ten Great Hotel Restaurants in the World by Hotels magazine (USA)
2012 Recipient of the highly respected Sunday Times Chef of the Year award
2013 Invited to join the inaugural SASSI Seafood Circle which celebrates South Africa’s top chefs and restaurants who are making sustainable seafood dishes a priority
Rudi’s style of food is a combination of local and international flavours and trends. The food in the kitchen is fresh, interesting, thought-provoking, and controversial. His style of food has changed over the last ten years to become more relaxed, quite unpretentious and very honest. In the Mount Nelson Hotel’s flagship restaurant, Planet, the style has been very simple: respect, waste as little as possible, source the best local ingredients responsibly, utilise secondary cuts, get in touch with the origins of all the produce and be transparent from supplier to plate.
Rudi is an ardent supporter of sustainable farming and the farm-to-fork method of sourcing and serving the produce for his restaurant and he only buys ‘green dot fish’ which are caught by line, and are sustainably sourced.
A plate of food from Rudi Liebenberg’s kitchen is more than just something to eat. It is a creation, an invention. Each plate is infused with knowledge, curiosity and passion of an exceptional executive chef.
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