Chef Dustin stirs things up at Mmabatho Palms
14 June 2011
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Fine dining and culinary proficiency is on top of Executive Chef Dustin Hardy’s list of expertise and he knows how to use his gastronomic skills to arouse his diners from a bland slumber. He does his best work from the kitchen of the culturally-inspired Mmabatho Palms Hotel Casino and Convention Resort in Mafikeng where he often surprises his guests with delectable treats.
Chef Hardy swopped his sports management career choice for something more close to his heart when he first stepped into a restaurant kitchen. He grew up in the Natal Midlands and Johannesburg where during school holidays he helped out at Emperors Palace, East of Johannesburg. “I had no real interest in becoming a chef until I worked in the kitchen for a few months in between my school exams and the start of my university year. I decided to stay within the kitchens and become a chef as the experience I gained in that short time was phenomenal,” says Hardy.
He studied at HTA School of Culinary Art in Randburg for three years where he was equipped with skills to become the remarkable chef he is now. After graduating from his training he returned to Emperors Palace where he worked for nine years. “I left Emperors Palace to join a catering company in Midrand, where I catered for the Blue Bulls rugby team, A1 Grand Prix, Super Bikes, the Lions Rugby tour, Indian Premier League cricket teams and many more,” says Hardy.
After his stint with the catering company, Hardy returned to another Peermont kitchen at Mmabatho Palms where he heads up the kitchen as the Executive Chef. His philosophy in the kitchen is simple; “Good tried and tested dishes and ingredients plus a good cook equals great food. I always say, don’t complicate things just keep it tasty, simple and looking good,” he advises. Although he cannot pinpoint a specific dish that he loves cooking, he likes playing around with pasta and sauces.
His ambition in the kitchen is to make people happy by serving them delicious dishes which they will not easily forget. “Nine times out of ten, people enter a restaurant in a good mood and that’s the way I want them to leave. That way they will soon come back for more,” he says.
He has a bevy of sumptuous ideas for Mmabatho Palms which he cannot wait to get to materialize as soon as he has explored the different tastes of the local BaTswana people. When his exploration is complete, Hardy will prepare a menu with a large variety of items and influences and different courses. “The menu would be a little taste of home, so every course would have a different cultural theme and experience for the diner and from the first bite, they will know that they have come to the right place,” says Hardy.
Chef Hardy is serving his delectable cuisines at the Motswedi Terrace at Mmabatho Palms. For a taste of his delicious dishes call (018) 389 1181 to secure a reservation.