Ideally located in Chintsa East in Eastern Cape is Prana Lodge Private Beach Estate and Spa, a luxury estate spanning over 17-acres of private beach within an indigenous dune forest. Luxury travellers, families, honeymooners, and gourmet foodies alike can enjoy Prana Lodge, who was named the 2016 Luxury Beachfront Boutique Hotel of the Year. And, at the helm of this award-winning hotel’s kitchen is an award-winning Head Chef, Chef Jaycee Ferreira.
Inspired by Chef François Ferreira, Chef Jaycee began his culinary career 20 years ago and has worked on the luxurious Rovos Rail, at a number of reputable restaurants and hotels, including 97 on Nicolson, Talk of the Town Restaurant, Lombardis estate and Etali Safari Lodge. He’s also whipped up dishes for the rich and famous, including Presidents of the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, USA and South Africa; Richard Branson; Tokyo Sexwale; Marilyn Albright, to name a few. Get to know Chef Jaycee Ferreira in this More Than Food Interview.
Chef Jaycee on being a world renowned chef
Was there anything you thought you wanted to do before you started cooking?
I always thought I would become a graphic designer or even a vet.
When did you realize you were willing to accept the sacrifices to become a world renowned chef?
From day one, I knew my life wouldn’t be normal. The days are long and being a chef consumes every aspect of your life, but I love it!
Prana Lodge places an emphasis on health and wellness, offering its guests treatments, yoga and meditation. This is also evident in Prana’s food, as the culinary team prepares wholesome dishes with bold, delightful dishes including creative and fresh seafood dishes from sustainable fish suppliers, prime cuts of succulent meat and poultry prepared in many different ways. We know your culinary style is based on classical French food combined with modern techniques, how has living by the ocean, changed your style, tastes and cuisines?
I definitely approach food with a healthier eye.
What is your go to comfort food at home?
A simple roast chicken and cauliflower with garlic and olive oil (and pasta, of course).
We all know Chefs don’t have any spare time, which passion apart from cooking would you like to spend more time on?
I would love to travel more and see the world.
Chef Jaycee on his team at Prana & what inspires him
Prana is a unique hotel, with five chefs and only eight suites, it’s clear that the emphasis is on the guests and ensuring that they have the most exquisite culinary and dining experience. What do you appreciate the most about your team at Prana Lodge?
Their eagerness to learn and please our guests.
Kitchens can become hot, in both temper and temperature. What do you and your five chefs do to avoid serving each other on a plate?
We constantly communicate to avoid any grey areas and also respect each other.
How do you manage to stay creative and deliver fresh ideas week in week out?
I eat out a lot in order to stay up to date with trends and new concepts. My team also inspires me every day.