Five Minutes With Chef Tamzyn Ehlers

What makes a professional chef tick? We chatted to the head chef at Durbanville Hills, Tamzyn Ehlers, about all things culinary.



Tamzyn Ehlers | House and Leisure

As part of its celebrations for its 21st harvest this year, Durbanville Hills, a contemporary wine estate and cellar, announced the appointment of its new head chef, Tamzyn Ehlers.

‘I love the creativity of it all, starting from the creation of a dish right down to the plating,’ says Ehlers about what she most loves about her job. 

Here, the 29 year-old Ehlers shares a few of her personal insights into the food industry – and what she herself would be if she were a recipe.

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Five minutes with chef Tamzyn Ehlers

Did you always want to be a chef? If not, what did you want to be when you were growing up?

Growing up I had a lot of careers in mind ranging from IT to Beauty, but food was always my passion. Before I studied at Capsicum (in Cape Town), I was a nail technician for a few years.

If you were a food – or a dish/recipe – what would it be?

I would be a triple chocolate brownie.

What's the oddest dish you've ever tasted?

A bacon crème brulee with honeycomb. It was something different and quite interesting.

What was your first job?

My first job was as a nail technician on a cruise ship. My first job as a chef was at Jason’s Bakery after my six-month internship with them.

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What has been the biggest achievement in your career thus far, and how did it made you feel?

Being appointed as the head chef at Durbanville Hills is my biggest achievement. I felt excited and nervous at the same time. I saw it as a big challenge and with the amazing kitchen team I was excited to take it on.

Which part of the world should every serious food-lover visit?

South Africa. We have so many diverse cultures and different flavour combinations to choose from.

What is the most ‘South African’ meal to you?

Definitely bobotie.

What would your last meal – and last drink – be?

My last meal would be a buttermilk fried chicken burger with lots of mayonnaise and thin-cut fries. And my last drink would be a double Jack Daniels with ice and a splash of still water.

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