Featured, People of Joburg

Candice Philip: The female chef of the moment

Aug 12, 2019, Author: Candice May

At Grei, head chef Candice Philip brings elements of the unusual to your dining experience. Whether you’re looking for one of the best tasting menus in Joburg or simply a high-class spot to celebrate a special occasion, she has you covered for a candlelit dinner à deux.


Where did you grow up and how did it shape you as a chef?

I grew up in Northcliff, Johannesburg. Johannesburg is such a great melting pot of people and this has brought so many different influences in my life, allowing me to be exposed to different ways of thinking and looking at things. I’m now based between Fourways and Sandton.

Tell us a little about your career journey up until now.

I’ve had an amazing journey over the last 13 years. I’ve done many competitions and was part of the SA Culinary Team for a couple of years. I’ve wanted to own my own restuarant from as young as four or five, but after finishing school I actually wanted to study interior design. Instead, I got an internship at Gallagher Convention Centre (in those days it was called Gallagher Convention Estate) and then I joined The Saxon Hotel in 2005. Since then, I’ve been privileged enough to work alongside some of the country’s best chefs, including David Higgs, Luke Dale-Roberts and Rudi Liebenberg.

What’s the concept behind Grei?

Grei means a ‘society of people’ and as a colour, grey is a colour without colour. This has been a huge inspiration in developing the look and feel of the space, and menu. It’s calm, neutral space which allows the smell, sight, colour and the detail of the food to really ‘pop’. We’re showcasing a subtle herbaceous angle and celebrating these flavours in the form of a six-course culinary journey.

How would you describe the newly launched Hibernal menu?

Hibernal showcases a variety of flavours and textures that capture the essence of our highveld winter: I love the winter and the bold flavours we are using throughout this menu. I feel that if winter had a taste, it has been perfectly emulated in Hibernal. Some of the star ingredients are Jerusalem artichoke, veal sweetbreads, short rib, nasturtiums, liquorice and rooibos.


Tell us about some of the wines included in the wine pairing option.

Some of the favourites are the Castiglion Del Bosco Chardonnay 2018 from Toscanna, Italy paired with the Springbok starter and a classic Cape blend, Meinert Synchronicity 2015, from Devon Valley, Stellenbosch paired with the short rib main course. There’s a non-alcoholic juice pairing available as well. These juices are all prepared in-house, keeping with the concept of herbaceous flavours by including herbs that talk to the specific dish that the juice is paired with.

How does you relationship with Sought After Seedlings influence your dishes?

I work very closely with Linda Galvad from Sought After Seedlings and together we plot the way forward for each season in terms of what I would like to have in the garden and what new things might be available.

What’s your number-one guilty pleasure?

Dad’s braai, mom’s version of bobootie and hummus.

What are your top tips for up-and-coming female chefs?

Word hard, stay strong and don’t take everything to heart. Also, don’t be afraid to be different!

Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, 26 Saxon Road Sandhurst

011 292 6000

Email: [email protected]

Instagram: @grei_restaurant @candicephilip


Spread the love