Embracing new culinary challenges is something Chef Chad Bosman is passionate about, and as the Executive Sous Chef at InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers, he is living his passion. How do you ask? That’s simple: by making changes to the food and beverage offering at this luxury hotel which are designed to increase the appeal to what are traditionally business-centric guests.
He joined the InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers hotel in October last year, having spent just over two years at another Tsogo Sun property. The hotel’s Atrium restaurant now has one menu featuring a range of international styles and flavours to impress the most discerning and well-travelled palate. “Adjusting the food and beverage offering has taken a mindset change in the hotel – it’s completely new, and our aim is to deliver a world-class food service that will encourage patronage of our offering throughout the day and into the evening,” says Chef Chad.
Bosman, who grew up in Port Elizabeth and moved to Pretoria at the age of 13, began studying law after completing his matric before deciding, midway through the first year, that it was not for him. He quickly applied and was accepted at the Prue Leith Chefs Academy where a whole new world of culinary excellence opened up to him. He says: “I developed a love of food as a child, but it wasn’t just the appeal of experiencing wonderful meal times with family, friends and delicious food – to me it was and continues to be, about so much more than just eating.” He concedes that his childhood exposure to different cuisines was limited as family meals were primarily traditional Afrikaans dishes, but every dish produced by his mother and grandmother were always packed with flavour.
He embraced his new culinary experiences with enthusiasm, always open to new learning opportunities. From Prue Leith he went on to spend 10 months at La Colombe restaurant in Cape Town under Chef Luke Dale-Roberts as his Commis Chef. “My time at La Colombe was during the 2010 Soccer World Cup when the restaurant was ranked 13th in the San Pellegrino World’s best top 50 restaurants list and number one in South Africa. It was a high-pressure environment and I thoroughly enjoyed that.”
Bosman moved on to Aurelius Restaurant as Chef de Partie and it was here he met Executive Chef Willem Lubbe, who then left to start The Foundry restaurant in Parktown, taking Bosman with him as a Junior Sous Chef where he thrived as part of the opening team.
His international experience kicked off in the Maldives at the Centara Resort in 2013, followed by a year at The Setai Resort in Miami Beach, USA – a dream come true for Bosman. Here he proved his mettle as a Junior Sous Chef, working under intense pressure and honing his skills in a wide variety of international cuisines.
In March 2015 he returned to South Africa and joined the Palazzo hotel as Senior Sous Chef followed by a promotion to Executive Sous Chef in October 2016. “Working at the Palazzo was an exciting experience as it transformed into one of the most profitable Tsogo Sun hotels in terms of food and beverage income. The focus was on quality – the high teas, dinners, the wine tasting events, all became extremely popular events for.”
Bosman is excited about the changing food and beverage offering at the InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers. “This hotel is an excellent international brand and standards are exceptionally high and stringent in F&B, which I thoroughly appreciate. However, we are also given creative freedom in our menu development – we can bring in our own styles, our own dishes, based on our acquired skills and our understanding of our market. It’s been a great process getting the team and the kitchen to the point where we are ready to launch our new menu for the whole hotel.”
The new menu includes a range of exotic salad starters, soups, pastas, main dishes – Sriracha sous vide chicken, braised lamb shank, pork belly, grilled salmon, pan seared sole, and fish and chips – and premium steaks – fillet, rib-eye, and rump – served with rosemary polenta croquettes and onion puree; as well as sandwiches, wraps and pregos, burgers, sides, desserts, and a cheese platter.
Bosman says his culinary experience has taught him that carrots are the most under-rated ingredient – they’re readily available, versatile and tasty; that cloves are the most over-rated; that garlic is the ingredient he cannot do without; and that his favourite meal to prepare is miso apple pork belly – for his family – or making ravioli from scratch.