Born in Bloemfontein and raised in Italy, Gemelli’s Alessandro Khojane has a passion for people, family and food.
Starting out in an Italian kitchen in Durban, Khojane’s first serving of Pasta Arrabiata was less than average, but he’s mastered the traditional favourite. If you’ve had the pleasure of dining at Gemelli in Sandton, you’ll agree that it is contemporary Italian at its’ finest, with a feeling of family.
Khojane’s greatest reward as a restaurateur is a full space, as well as seeing his team grow, in both their personal and professional lives. His philosophy is all about growing his greatest asset – his team – as well as business partner, Paulo Santo – a Portuguese chef with an Italian spirit.
Another man of spirit who influenced Khojane is his father and mentor, who taught him what he knows and loves about entertaining and entrepreneurship. Most of Khojane’s team has been with him for over 10 years, proving that his sense of family is contagious. Gemelli, meaning ‘twin’ in Italian, is the perfect representation of ‘family first’ in the running of his business.
Khojane would pay almost anything for a great experience. When asked about the Chef’s table he would most like to sit at, he revealed that every dish his own Chef Santo prepares has blown his mind. So when he’s not dining at Gemelli, you can find him at his best breakfast spot – Old Town Italy or keeping it simple at Koi.
He believes the key to a good meal is a great team. When a team doesn’t get along, he promises you can taste it in the food. It just goes to show that his close-knit Gemelli family love what they do, and who they do it with.
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!