Giles Edward, chef at the award winning, top 20 restaurant, La Tête in Cape Town.
La Tete restaurant in the space of two years has become known for its fabulous food and commitment to sustainability.
Chef Giles Edwards returned to Cape Town 2 years ago following a 10 year cooking stint in London, with 5 years under Fergus Henderson at the iconic St. John.
It was at St John that Giles found his passion for sustainable cooking and a nose to tail approach to food.
His long held ambition was to work with Fergus Henderson in the St. John in Smithfield, an establishment widely acknowledged as having kickstarted the British food renaissance.
“Fergus became my mentor” says Giles. “Up until then I never really thought about food principles, or even what my own ideas were. At St. John I encountered a food philosophy that centered on simple ingredient based concepts. The food had to be seasonal. You served what was fresh and available that day. The menu changed often, sometimes twice a day. There was a reason behind everything. I developed an ideology about food. And you had to be happy to enjoy it, Fergus didn’t want any miserable overworked chefs in his kitchen. You had to want to be there.”
In 2015, Giles returned to Cape Town to see what was going on in the restaurant world. He was amazed with the evolution of the industry here. But he didn’t see anything that reflected the style of cooking that he had become accustomed to. He saw a gap and opened La Tete.
“It’s perfect for what I wanted to do” says Giles. “I wanted a simple space, without distraction. The focus has to be on the food”.
“I decided to name it La Tête because it symbolizes what we will do. I use the entire animal. The head has a brain, tongue and cheek and I suppose I am giving a nod to the French, who are masters at offal.”
Giles creates food from the whole carcass, with nothing wasted. Beef, lamb, goat and seafood all feature. He only uses sustainably caught local fish.
“Direct relationships with producers is what is so important to me. Provenance is key.”
La Tête. 17 Bree St., Cape Town. Tel: 021 418 1299.