Catharina's welcomes new Manager

Friday, 31 May, 2013
Steenberg Vineyards
34-Year old Ronel Smidt has taken over the reins at Catharina’s, where her special brand of management has already breathed new life into the dining experience here.
A born and bred Capetonian, she is au fait with the little nuances that make all the difference to our guests’ dining experience, and her keen sense of humour is a hit with guests and staff.

She first joined the Steenberg team in August 2012, working at Gorgeous, the bubbly bar that shared space with Catharina’s. Her potential was noticed by the Steenberg management team who promptly offered her a Front of House Manager position, and shortly afterwards promoted her to Manager of Catharina’s – a position she embraces more as a lifestyle than a job.

She brings a wealth of experience to the Catharina’s table, having worked in the hospitality industry since 1994 at restaurants here and abroad. Over the years she has worked with great mentors like Chef-Patron Mike Bassett at Myoga restaurant and Malika van Reenen (now Executive Chef at Signal at the Cape Grace Hotel) at Ginja and Shoga restaurants. She attributes much of her love for the industry to Harald Bresselschmidt of Aubergine Restaurant, for showing her the ‘wonderful world of food and wine pairing’ and how to achieve true professionalism.

Her stint at Gaucho Grill in Piccadilly Circus in London in 2007 opened up a whole new world of tastes to her, and she learned a great deal about Argentine wines and meats from the chefs and sommelier here. She also spent time working on projects promoting the use of sustainable and bio-dynamic produce, at Dear Me Restaurant and Tjing Tjing Cocktail and Tapas Bar in the Cape Town CBD, instilling in her a deep commitment to promoting a ‘greener’ way of cooking – a passion she shares with both of Steenberg’s chefs.

During her ‘downtime’ she loves nothing more than joining family and friends for a gourmet meal and a glass of bubbly at one of the great restaurants in and around the city. She also dons her work ‘hat’ while out on the town, and often uses the occasion to pick up on the latest restaurant and service trends.