The Table Bay’s new Executive Chef is approaching three decades in the hospitality industry and still passionate about creating delicious cuisine for guests.


Cape Town born Lindsay Venn started cooking as a child, when he took sympathy on his mother’s long workdays and decided to help out in the kitchen. “The rest is a journey I’m still on, and enjoying,” said the 49-year-old chef and father of two boys. He returns to Cape Town’s best address after a hiatus of 13 years, having departed as Executive Sous Chef, and brings his wealth of experience cooking around the world including Japan and France, and at various hotels including Sun International’s The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City.


“It’s good to be back at The Table Bay and to part of the new era, rebuilding the hospitality industry after the pandemic. Not everyone is able to say they survived a pandemic and went back to doing what they love the most,” Venn said. “We are planning new menus and bringing sexy back to The Table Bay hotel.”


After completing school in Mitchells Plain, he attended the Western Cape Training College for pastry and Western College for Chefs.  “I started my career at a well-known fast-paced restaurant in Claremont called Scoozi. Here, I had a baptism of fire, working with French and German chefs that taught me early on about kitchen discipline.”  Today his signature dish is a grilled beef Rossini, served with exotic mushrooms, truffled fat fries, bearnaise and jus. “For a perfect wine pairing, I’d suggest a glass of Meerlust Rubicon 2018.”


Diners today are leaning towards less complicated meals, he said. “People are more health conscious and penny wise. The vegan army is growing and needs new, innovative dishes and not the boring vegetarian pasta of yester years. Going back to basics with some classics has made a return, with some twists as new health concepts are integrated.” With an ever-widening range of no-and-low alcohol options abounding, cocktails remain trendy but also in reach of those looking to live a healthy lifestyle. “When it comes to conferencing, which we do a lot of at The Table Bay, food is easy to eat, fun, light, healthy and quick. The stiff collar and tie environment has changed to open collar, with food look and feel style concepts that follow suit.”


Venn aims to develop the next generation of chefs – a challenge with a gap in skills. “I love seeing the spark and excitement in chefs’ eyes when they learn something new and just want to do it every day till they have mastered it.” He advised young, up-and-coming chefs to show commitment, discipline while having fun. “Don’t be scared to ask for advice. When you are wrong, own up to it, apologise and move on. Be humble, nurture, share ideas, be kind but stand your ground on consistency.”


When he is off duty, Venn enjoys watching movies, reading, taking long beach walks, swimming in the ocean, along with great company and a meal. “As long as someone who enjoys making good food is at the helm, I’m eating.”