Hailing from King Williams Town, Chef Gregory Henderson (39) has many restaurant openings under his belt. With two decades of experience in running fast pace, high volume, professional kitchens, he also held the title of Group Executive Chef for two leading Hotel Management Companies. Through his career Gregory has led some of the finest restaurants and food operations in the country.
Having received several recognition awards and medals, including a respectable Silver Medal for his Salon Culinaire presentation at the Hostex Salon Culinaire Competition in 2006, his most recent “Best Head Chef in Africa” was awarded in 2018, a title that he is immensely proud of.
He honed his skills from some of the best chefs in the country where he has moulded them into his own style and unique technique. Gregory has always been a purist and has always believed in the ethos of sustainable living and resources. Naturally, this is followed through in all his projects, across the continent, with various sustainable projects implemented at the hotels and lodges where he has been.
Wild Foods is his biggest passion, he says, "We live in a country that is bountiful with wild foods and indigenous ingredients. Our ancestors survived on these foods and edibles for generations. We have a rich culture and history; our ecosystems and biomes are diverse. I consider myself custodian of wild foods and I intent to preserve the wild foods and the heritage of our indigenous ingredients.” It is this philosophy that has attained him the title of “Most sustainable Dining Experience, Global Winner” also in 2018.
Chef Gregory has been fortunate to have travelled throughout Africa and through his journey had the opportunity to understand and learn various African culinary cultures and heritage foods, which has inspired him to showcase a proudly South African product.
Henderson believes in employing local community staff to develop and transfer skills to elevate the competency level of mostly unskilled labour, he says " a skilled work force is vital to the success of any business and certainly make running operations easier, but it is by far more rewarding to develop that skill in a passionate and willing individual that does not have the funds or resources to obtain formal training. I enjoy going on this journey with them."
Chef Gregory currently resides in the Western Cape, within the largest and most diverse floral kingdoms in the world, where he continues to forage and scout for indigenous and wild ingredients.
I am a regenerative culinary minded professional - Looking back to look forward sustainably.