Dining Out, People of Joburg

Chef of the Month: Beatrix Thornhill

Jun 4, 2019, Author: Candice May

Tapas: small in size, but – when done well – enormous on flavour. And Joburg’s hooked on the stuff – just ask chef Beatrix Thornhill. Spanish-style eating has never been more popular in the City of Gold, with sharing plates of kataifi-wrapped halloumi, herbed tempura artichoke hearts and deep-fried squid fast becoming the new three-course meal at EB Social Kitchen & Bar. 


Growing up on a farm shaped me as a chef. My dad was the farmer and there was nothing better than picking a vegetable from a plant and cooking it that evening. It really teaches you to appreciate every product you handle. After finishing school, I completed a Diploma with merit and a Wine Academy Certificate at Prue Leith College of Food and Wine in Centurion. Today, my motto is, ‘the fresher, the better!’  

The menu at EB Social Kitchen & Bar is a mix of cuisines. Each dish delivers a universal undertone with a South African twist – think homemade fish cakes served as tacos on toasted tortillas and rooibos crème brûlée with a lavender shortbread finger. Because our kitchen has a classic Josper oven, patrons can also look forward to a variety of smokey, fire-flavoured ingredients. But what really gives the restaurant an X-factor is the spectacular view! 


I’m happiest when I’m alone in the kitchen at 05h00. It’s during this time that I get creative planning dishes with the ingredients on hand. I enjoy listening to gospel while doing this – it inspires me to start the day with new ideas and fresh creations. That said, I’m super-thankful for my amazing team who helps me create extraordinary dishes. 

If there’s a chef I admire the most, it’s Chantel Dartnall. The award-winning chef of Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient isn’t just fun to work with, but also truly inspirational. Beautful, talented and committed to her profession, she’s shown me that women can be just as successful as men in the kitchen! 


While everyone else is having a Sunday snooze, you’ll find me making crumpets. I believe that cooking and creating things is an integral part of me. I got it from my mom, who has loads of love and passion for every single meal she makes – even scrambled eggs on toast, which was always my favourite as a child! 

Hyde Park Corner, corner of Jan Smuts Avenue & William Nicol Drive, Hyde Park 

011 268 6039 

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