Culinary Master Jean Delport Heads to the UK

Friday, 22 December, 2017
Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate
Executive Chef, Jean Delport, who has wowed Somerset West Diners at Benguela on Main with his Michelin worthy cuisine, has taken up the challenge to build and create a spectacular garden inspired fine dining experience at the recently purchased Leonardslee House & Gardens.

Delport, who is passionate about a natural environment and the sourcing of foods directly from nature hopes to create an outstanding experience with an aim of securing a Michelin star or two. He will be leaving Cape Town to continue his passion in the UK early in the New Year.

Executive Chef, Jean Delport says “I am really excited about this new phase in my life and have always hoped for the opportunity to open a restaurant in the UK. The new restaurant will give me the perfect platform to cook the type of menu I have worked towards over the last twelve years”.

Leonardslee House & Gardens will re-open to the public in April 2018; the massive botanical garden has visitors from all over England waiting eagerly to visit and experience the restored features of the estate. The fine dining restaurant is scheduled to open in July and will be locally driven with design elements to incorporate the look and feel of the historic gardens. Guests can expect a touch of South African flare with a menu that will include modern and classical cooking.

South African entrepreneur and owner of Benguela Cove, Penny Streeter says “whilst Jean will be greatly missed in Cape Town, the challenge to compete against the super chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Sat Bains means that we have exciting times ahead”.

Apart from Jean preparing for his big move, Benguela on Main will be going through a rebranding and a new eatery will excite Somerset West residents. The aim is to create a more relaxed and casual space which caters for the local clientele, the new establishment will be open seven days a week.

“The opportunity will no doubt have its challenges however, this is what makes me perform at my best. Working with a well-established brand like Leonardslee House & Gardens will have a positive impact on my future”, ends Delport.

About Leonardslee House & Gardens:

Leonardslee House & Gardens was built in 1801 with breathtaking views of the English countryside and blooming displays of Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias, Magnolias and Bluebells. A 19th-century Italianate style house is featured on the 240 acre estate, which also includes a series of seven man-made ponds, two alpine glasshouses and an impressive rock garden which was built 1890 by the well-known Victorian landscaping company James Pulham and Son. The rich flora in the garden was planted by Sir Edmund Loder, a Victorian plant collector. His plantation included a collection of Rhododendrons and Azaleas and many species of trees giving the garden its renowned reputation.

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