Q&A : Neill Anthony, the Private Chef
15 February 2017
Neill Anthony is one of Cape Town’s very few private chefs. He spent 10 years in Europe, honing his skills in the professional kitchens of Gordon Ramsay, Alyn Williams, Jerome Henry and Marcus Waering. Neill’s claim to fame has got to be the fact that he was the påtissier at Gordon Ramsay’s Hospital Road in London.
After 10 years of heated kitchens and sleepless nights he returned to Cape Town where he became a personal chef, cooking restaurant quality food for his clients in the comfort of their own homes, hosting Supper Clubs and even taking clients on market day experiences where willing participants are trouped off to Food Markets where they both choose and purchase the ingredients for the meal that Neill will prepare that evening.
And now he is ready to share his adventures with the world in his television series, Neill Anthony – The Private Chef. The series provides a glimpse into the secret, day-to-day life as a private chef. On call 24/7 to cater to the demands of his exclusive clientele, the location may be an ocean-side villa, a game farm or even a tiny galley kitchen on a yacht. The nature and size of the request doesn’t matter. What does is the dining extravaganza that he is expected to deliver to satisfy the most demanding of clients. And in true Neill Anthony style, he delivers with flair!
We sat down for a quick interview the South African Chef.
What made you decide to become a Private Chef?
I wanted to become a private chef, because I saw a gap for it in the market. It’s also great to be able to do my own thing, in my own way and create food memories in the private intimate spaces of my guests homes.
Who are your biggest influences?
The chefs who inspire me the most are Alyn Williams, Anthony Dimetri and Gordon Ramsay. The biggest influence of all is mother nature, without amazing produce I wouldn’t be able to create great dishes.
Do you always wear a pencil behind your ear?
Yes. I’m always crossing things off, making mental notes, phoning suppliers. It became a thing when I worked in restaurant kitchens.
What are your favourite ingredients?
At the moment my favourite ingredients are fresh asparagus and wild mushrooms.
Do you work alone?
I have a few assistants that form part of my team.
You have been in Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen, what is the most important lesson you took away from that experience?
To work in a clean and organised manner and always strive for perfection in every single task you do.
What is the most unusual /memorable dish you’ve ever been asked to cooked for a client?
I had to cook a Bull testical Ravioli once, it was actually very tasty.
What is your favourite dessert?
My mother’s Hungarian tart with homemade custard
Have you been to Asia?
I have not visited Asia yet, I would love to explore Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Tokyo.
What is the one Asian dish that you would never say no to?
Bao, I could eat this any time of the day, every meal of the day too.
Images : @neillanthony on Instagram
Watch Neill Anthony Private Chef, Sunday 10.30PM MY/SIN/HK