Tyrow Power – the new head chef at The Cradle Boutique Hotel in the Cradle of Humankind – has an impressive international culinary pedigree.

The Durban-born chef worked with food trendsetter Richard Carstens at KZN’s acclaimed Lynton Hall in Pennington and later took over the reigns as executive chef. His impressive résumé includes stints working in Ghana and in the US where he was head chef at Laurel Links Country Club in Long Island and senior sous chef at Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Largo Country Club in Palm Beach Florida.

Power is delighted to be in charge of the kitchens at the Cradle, a unique ecotourism destination and the only hotel in the world situated on an active anthropological site unearthing hominid fossils. However, there’s nothing antiquated about what’s happening in the kitchen of the modern 220-seater restaurant with its unparalleled views of a breath-taking Highveld landscape.

“The Cradle Boutique Hotel endorses a cradle (farm) to table philosophy. We know where our ingredients come from and value our suppliers – most of whom are in the vicinity – and their stories. Sustainability is the cornerstone of what we do and is based on creating food production on the land, from the land via the principle of non-invasive and organic methodology,” he explains.

Trout and tilapia are bred in the reserve’s impressive aquaponics tunnel which also produces some of the restaurants vegetables, fruit and herbs. Honey comes from the reserve’s hives and organic pork from a neighbouring farm.

Dinner at the Cradle Boutique Hotel, he says, is a fine dining experience with more informal breakfast and lunchtime meals, served with the same panache and style you’d get at night.

“Since I’ve been here we’ve introduced a bigger dinner menu as well as more vegetarian and vegan offerings to all our menus,” he says. “For example, we’ve developed a vegetarian charcuterie board with cheese made from nuts, beetroot hummus, olive tapenade and mushroom puree. We made a vegan chocolate mousse the other day and felt it was better than a regular chocolate mousse thanks to the avocado we used. It was rich and creamy. On the other side of the spectrum we’ve introduced more venison and game meat alongside our regular meat offering.”

Lunch starters include biltong salad served with goats’ cheese and compressed watermelon with a coriander and walnut dressing; a spicy fishcake with mango salsa; fish ceviche and smoked trout terrine on fennel and apple slaw. For mains there is a selection of burgers and an open brisket sandwich; pastas; steaks and chops from the grill (including an impressive venison selection); the signature roasted chicken and mushroom pie and grilled trout or line fish.

Dinner starters include beetroot or springbok carpaccio; grilled octopus with chimichurri sauce and snail croquettes in a garlic and white wine sauce with a parmesan souffle. For mains there are venison bobotie meatballs served on a chilli and coconut polenta cake with a Cape Malay sauce; jerk spiced rub pork fillet on corn puree with baby beetroot cloud and baby carrots and an almond risotto cake with broccoli sauce and roasted beetroot.

Every cent spent at the Cradle Boutique Hotel is poured back into conservation, education and the protection of the Malapa Motsetse Foundation. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday to Sunday. Bookings on +27 87 353 9599