It’s a South African chef for La Colombe

Unwrapping Cape Town with you.
Also engage with our other channels
to find something you don't want to miss.

It’s a South African chef for La Colombe

Scot Kirton will be the first South African head chef at, arguably, Cape Town’s most famous restaurant

A smiling Jennifer Whittle greets us at La Colombe's front door. It's a wet day and walking into La Colombe's homely country-style interior is welcoming. Jennifer has worked at La Colombe for eight years. She started as a waiter and was gradually promoted to general manger. French-born, her accent fits in snugly with this Provence-inspired restaurant.

This is the first time I've been to La Colombe since Scot Kirton became head chef. He was ex-head chef, Luke Dale-Roberts's sous chef as well as his protégé. The pair worked closely on dishes together.

"Luke taught me a lot," he says. "But we also collaborated on the menu. We all had input."

Jennifer seats us at the very same table I sat at when I first ate at La Colombe. I think back over the four years since, at the time I was in my first job as a writer; I'm now in my third. Much like my path, La Colombe now also has its third head chef.

Frenchman Franck Dangereux was the first. Under his firm guidance, using only local ingredients, a classic French menu grew. The bouillabaisse was legendary as was the fillet with Bordelaise sauce.

Then in swept British chef, Luke Dale-Roberts, whose French dishes with an Asian twist not only got people talking, but had them streaming through the door.

South African Scot joined the La Colombe team just six months after Luke did. The pair created many dishes together, and worked hard to secure La Colombe's twelfth place on the S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list.

"My style is slightly more classic than Luke's," says Scot. "There's more of a French influence. My food is wholesome, tasty, warming."

Our waiter brings an amuse bouche to the table. Set on a wooden block, there are three bites. At the centre is an egg shell with the top sawn off; inside is a truffle-scented celeriac velouté with a brioche baton balancing on top to soak it up. In a word: more-ish.

There's also marinated beef tataki wrapped around pickled enoki mushrooms, dressed with orange and rosemary, and the third is a puff pastry beetroot tart. All delicious.

Scot's first job as a chef was at Haute Cabriere in Franschhoek. He worked there for five years, after that, it was off to London for a stint at Gordon Ramsay's Savoy Grill. Back on home soil, it was straight to La Colombe's kitchen, where he's been ever since.

Our meal is faultless, the dishes flow like water and the wine, well, flows like wine. Some highlights include the Alaskan king crab with truffle mousse, soft-boiled quail eggs and horseradish foam. And, my eyes practically roll back in my head when I tuck into springbok medallions with pan-fried foie gras and fig puree.

All of the plates are beautiful. Plating here is a precise art; balanced and harmonious.

Scot's food has me hooked. It's still quite similar to La Colombe’s old menu, but as he says, 'my focus at the moment is to bring more and more of my own dishes onto the menu. We have some exciting plans for the future; one dish I'm working on is with veal and langoustines—a kind of 'surf 'n turf'."

Other plans include, basing an entire tasting menu around a single ingredient such as shellfish. (Sign me up.)

La Colombe is the kind of restaurant where you sit back and let the more than accomplished staff take the reins of your afternoon (or night for that matter). A quick meal here could never do it justice. A long, indulgent tasting menu is the only way to go.

By Malu Lambert

Note: La Colombe has since relocated to Silvermist Wine Estate on Main Road at Constantia Nek.

Read aboutLuke Dale-Roberts's No.1 restaurant The Test Kitchen and visit our eating out section for more fine dining restaurants in Cape Town.

For your monthly update on what’s happening in and around Cape Town, be sure to subscribe to our popular newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Cape Town Events Calendar
December 2017
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Reconciliation Day: MCQPThings to do for the Day of Reconciliation in Cape Town

Recognise the past, celebrate the future and make the most of the Day on Reconciliation this year

Oude 2Enjoy a night of entertainment with the family under the stars at Oude Libertas Amphitheatre

Picturesque views form the backdrop to this open-air Oude Libertas theatre. It’s just waiting to host you and your family for a night of delight

Dinos Alive 2017 1DinosAlive Dinosaur Exhibition and Play Park

Grab the kids and jump back to the Jurassic period at this awesome interactive edutainment activity

Darling Brew - 2The Darling Summer Beer Festival is Back

Because beer festivals this time of the year just make sense…

Runstacle 4Run, Jump, Crawl and Walk all With Runstacle the Obstacle Course Fun Run

Enjoy a trail run with obstacles suitable for all ages, with Runstacle

Corne and TwakkieCorne and Twakkie are Back with The Most Amazing Show

The once-popular The Most Amazing Show, featuring Corne and Twakkie, is back and it promises to be an evening of laugh-a-minute fun!

Gugulethu Seven Monument Reconciliation Day RaceRCS Gugulethu Reconciliation Day Race

Trot through the streets of one of Cape Town’s largest townships this 16 December

Corona bungalowCorona SunSets Festival Returns to Cape Town for the Ultimate Beach Party

Jonas Blue, Klingande, Mi Casa, TIMO ODV and more to perform at the Corona SunSets Festival returning to Cape Town on Saturday, 16 December

Tea 5Stompers Unite for the 13-Hour Multi-Genre Tea in the Tree Music Festival

Sister festival to Into the Wild, Tea in the Tree is a music extravaganza consisting of acoustic, electronic, disco, house, techno and melodic electronica

King Kong MusicalKing Kong is back in Cape Town for its Final Run

Celebrate the comeback of this historic musical. WATCH: Video footage of the original King Kong Musical

saflag1Day of Reconciliation (Public Holiday)

Different racial groups stand together for the sake of the future of South Africa

Galileo - BlaauwklippenA Weekend Spent with The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Start your weekend with a little inner-city or wineland movie screening

Ratanga Junction Cape TownRatanga Junction Open for the Summer Season

The home of the Cobra offers thrill seekers one last ride.

Queen in Exile 2Athi-Patra Ruga's Queens in Exile at WHATIFTHEWORLD

The renowned artist’s latest body of work is about telling better stories, ultimately creating a world where the exiled can reign again (watch trailer)

MCQO - 1It’s MCQP Party Time Cape Town… Is Your Outfit Ready?

Get your suit of armour ready people, it’s all about the Dungeons and Dragons at Africa’s biggest and longest-running costume party

Palm Black TattooHand Poke Tattoo Techniques in the City

If it was good enough for the Romans, it’ll be good enough for you

Bay Harbour MarketSoothe Your Soul with Live Music at Bay Harbour Market Every Saturday

Celebrate our unique South African spirit with live music at one of Cape Town’s most vibrant markets every Saturday

Kirstenbosch Summer ConcertsThe Annual Carols By Candlelight at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Sing along to popular Christmas songs at Cape Town’s historic gardens this December

Kaapse Stories at The Rockwell TheatreDinner and a Show with Rockwell Theatre

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens in Cape Town gets told to your mom, dad, tannie, ouma, second cousin and neighbour down the street

Wine FliesWine Flies Give You an Experience Like No Other

Take the road less travelled with this boutique touring company

Bay Harbour MarketYoung Saturdays at Bay Harbour Market

The new Young Saturdays programme at the Bay Harbour Market promises hours of creative fun for their youngest visitors

MAReSOLSatisfying Specials at MAReSOL Restaurant

Food that will make your palate and pocket happy

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownKids’ Party Special with Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag

Treat your little one to the ultimate military-style birthday bash and save R500

kiff kombi toursCraft Beer Safari with Kiff Kombi Tours

Get a 15% discount on a Kiff Kombi Craft Beer Safari Tour when booking for five people or more

The Backyard Grill Lounge RibsBBQ Ribs Special at The Backyard Grill Lounge

Savour succulent, sticky ribs for just R150 per kilogram on Wed, Sat and Sun

The Queen and PeasantThe Queen and Peasant Weekend Meet and Greets

Treat yourself to a tasting of fine wines, beers and spirits this weekend

HintHuntHave a Happy Birthday at HintHunt

Trade Table Dancing and Bottle Service for a Birthday You’re Sure to Remember

Radisson-Blu-Waterfront-Nov-2014-139.jpgSaturday Seafood Grill at Radisson Blu’s Flagship Restaurant

This three-course seafood buffet is Saturday night done the right way

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.