This week we’re hearing from one of our Hurst Graduates, Chef Halima Ferreira. Halima will be coming back to Cape Town soon after years of exciting work and travel abroad. We are very proud of our graduates, and all that they go on to accomplish after leaving Hurst.
Since graduating from the Culinary Academy in Cape Town, South Africa (now known as The Hurst Campus) back in 2003 I’ve been on a whirlwind adventure. My lifelong passion for food has taken me all around the world and I feel very blessed that my chosen career path has enabled me to cook for so many people across so many varied environments.
After my graduation, I headed for the UK where I worked at the Hilton Park Lane, the first Hilton hotel to open in the UK. I then went on to work at The Savoy Hotel, the only five-star hotel on the River Thames and well known for Auguste Escoffier, a French culinary artist who earned a worldwide reputation as director of the kitchens at this iconic hotel. At the forefront of the luxury hotel scene for almost 130 years, it was a fantastic experience. Thereafter, I went on to work at The Orrey, a French restaurant in the heart of London’s Marylebone which held a 1 Michelin-star.
Next, I took to the ocean as I began to work on luxury cruise ships, including the Millennium (Celebrity Cruises). Here, I was responsible for delivering the highest possible quality of culinary services on board in various restaurants. I was also privileged enough to work with Michel Roux Senior in his restaurant onboard (The Olympic). Silverseas and The Yachts of Seabourn were two other fantastic career opportunities. With this part of my working career, I was lucky enough to travel all around the globe for over five years. It was at this time that I worked hard to climb my way up through the ranks on board the ships.
An opportunity then arose in Portugal which was too good to miss. I worked a summer season, running a villa in the Algarve. Working tirelessly undertaking my private chef work, this enabled me to gain invaluable yacht and jet experience. It was from this point on that I made a commitment to the private service sector. I spent the next three years in Bahrain working for an UHNWI, a member of The Royal Court.
Armed with a wealth of experience and a hunger to develop my career, I then returned to the UK where I launched my business Tailored Taste. From bespoke private dining in people’s homes to corporate events and intimate dinners, I feel I’ve reinvented the definition of a private chef to bring gourmet dining to everyone.
From here I’ve cooked for some of the world’s richest and famous. Moreover, I’ve also branched into food development and manufacturing, focusing on vegetarian and vegan savoury and sweet products.
However, it wasn’t long before I was headhunted for a project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After a highly successful trip, I began to focus on a real passion of mine; plant based diets and nutrition.
From this venture, I have begun working alongside the Chenot Group, an UHNW and privately held company operating internationally and based in Switzerland. For almost 50 years, Chenot has been specialising in the health wellness and hospitality sector providing and developing medical spa programmes, treatments, cosmetic products and food supplements that promote healthy living, wellness and successful ageing.
With its corporate position, I am delighted to be part of a team opening Chenot Palace Health Wellness Hotel in Weggis, Switzerland in Spring 2020. Located at the foot of the Swiss Alps on Lake Lucerne, Chenot Palace Health Wellness Hotel will offer a 5,000 sq. metre, state-of-the-art medical, diagnostics, spa and fitness centre along with 97 lakeview rooms. Once open, I’ll be working as a Sous Chef and with Switzerland being the ultimate for hospitality, Chenot, in my humble opinion, will be the ‘creme de la creme’ of my career to date.
As a side note, I am currently working on a book with a focus on Chenot methods and its unique and specialised method of cooking. My vision for the future is to relocate to the United States of America and open my own successful practice alongside a boutique style cafe.
So there you have it; I may have graduated over 16 years ago but my love of food hasn’t waived. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed an exciting and varied career and I am optimistic about what the future holds for me, wherever it may take me!
We’re so incredibly proud of Chef Ferreira and all she had accomplished, and all we know she will go on to accomplish. In our humble opinion, Chef Ferreira is an excellent example of what Hurst Graduates can go onto accomplish, and we are so honored to have been a part of her culinary journey.