Q&A: Kamarl John, Executive Head Chef

What made you want to join The Homestead team?

It’s such an exciting project and to be able to come on board from the beginning. To be able to define what our cuisines will be and our menu offerings is just really exciting. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to really push myself, get out of my comfort zone and try something different.


What is your vision for the food offering at The Homestead?

The vision will be really high end and different, we don’t want to be doing what everyone else is doing at other restaurants and hotels, we really want to push the boundaries in the industry we’re in. We have various outlets at The Homestead. We have the bistro which will be more pastry focused and then The Captain's Table which will be very high end fine dining.

What interesting and different ingredients will you be able to get at The Homestead?

We’re going to be using koji a lot, it is a spore but a friendly spore don’t worry. We’re going to be using it for a lot of fermentation, using it in our bread, for curing and charcuterie. Not a lot of places right now are currently using this product so it’s just one of the things that makes us stand out from the crowd.


How are you sourcing your ingredients?

Sourcing is very important to us because we want to make sure we are sustainable. We are spending a lot of time, nearly 5 months, visiting suppliers and finding the best produce. We’ve been to farms to see how poultry has been raised, checked on the beef products and more. Luckily South Africa is very diverse and has a very good offering when it comes to amazing ingredients.

How would you like the guest to feel when they leave The Homestead?

I want the guest to feel relaxed and feel that they’ve had an amazing experience. An experience that you can’t replicate or get anywhere else so you have to come back to The Homestead to get that same feeling. We want to really challenge the guests in terms of their preconceived notions of food, we’re all about good food, tasty flavors and interesting combinations. It’s all about the experience, we want the guests are happy and they enjoy their time at The Homestead.


What is your favorite animal and why?

I really do like a Giraffe. They’re tall and quite serene in the way they strut around the reserve. I like a rhino and obviously lions, all the Big Five really, but if I had to pick one I would always pick a Giraffe.