South Africa: As Restaurants Founder, One Takes a Calculated Risk and Appoints Top Chef


La Mouette in Sea Point reached a 10-year milestone this May. With it, a splitting of business interests for the partners involved. And news that private chef Neill Anthony has stepped into the kitchen.

The obvious question is: who hires a chef during a pandemic, when restaurants everywhere are teetering from one month to the next? It could be about a mindset change and a business owner bungee jumping into financial risk, or merely one determined that a loyal customer base will support good modern cooking. After questioning La Mouette's new sole owner Gerrit Bruwer, it seems it's a little of all of that.

Numerous cafés, bistros and franchise restaurants that survived lockdown are closing their doors for good. Without customers stopping in for coffee, lunchtime salads or smart wining and dining experiences, no neighbourhood favourite is immune.

"Fortune favours the bold," Bruwer laughs. "People are still going to eat out." La Mouette has been closed for the past few months; its staff are living off UIF payouts. Bruwer is obviously cognisant that with ever-changing government regulations, restaurants remain in a precarious position.

Team La Mouette: Gerrit Bruwer, left, and Neill Anthony. (Photo: Supplied)

La Mouette dining tables are located...

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