South Africa’s 2015 Chef of the Year – Mosaic’s Chantel Dartnall – leaves this week for Italy to cook with some of the world’s top culinary artists.

Dartnall was named Chef of the Year at the 2015 annual Eat Out Restaurant Awards, a title she first won in 2009. The Eat Out Awards, which celebrate the best of the South African restaurant industry, also placed Mosaic in the Top 5 best eating establishments in the country.

As part of her prize and sponsored by S.Pellegrino, Dartnall is taking part in the Audi Chef’s Cup Südtirol from January 18 to 23. This annual event held in Alta Badia brings together 70 renowned chefs from Italy and the world’s best restaurants to cook, share ideas and compete in various events.

On January 19, Dartnall will cook dinner together with a number of Michelin starred chefs (stars in brackets) including:

• Alfio Ghezzi * – Locanda Margon, Trento
• André Jaeger * – Ristorante Die Fischerzunft, Schaffhausen (Switzerland)
• Claudio Sadler ** – Ristorante Sadler, Milano (Milan)
• Enrico Cerea *** – Ristorante Da Vittorio, Brusaporto (Bergamo)
• Gennaro Esposito ** – Ristorante Torre del Saracino, Vico Equense (Naples)
• Martin Dalsass * – Ristorante Talvo by Dalsass, St. Moritz (Switzerland)
• Nino Graziano * – Ristorante Semifreddo – Mulinazzo, Moscow (Russia)
• Tomaz Kavcic – Ristorante Pri Lojzetu, Vipava (Slovenia)

The dish that she will be preparing for the event is called Treasures on the Beach which includes scampi tails and rooibos in a tomato risotto.

Says Dartnall: “I am looking forward to meeting top chefs and exchanging ideas while also showing them what we do in South Africa. As a chef it is important for me to know what is happening in my industry across the globe and I enjoy meeting other chefs, sometimes working with them, and experiencing their creativity. It inspires me to work harder at what I do to ensure that our quality at Mosaic is parallel to what you would encounter in the best restaurants in the world!”

Mosaic reopens on January 24 with Dartnall having been hard at work devising the restaurant’s new summer menu.

One of the new dishes is the Millionaire’s Nest Egg which consists of quail eggs, black truffle paste, courgette and truffle.

Says Dartnall: “The inspiration for this dish came from a variety of sources: My focus on the spirit of Mother Nature, the fact that black truffles are now in season and our individual aspirations and desires to one day have our own modest nest egg grow into a treasure chest. Although weaver birds’ nests in the garden seem fragile, they provide all the necessary protection to keep the delicate little eggs within safe. With the design of this dish I visualised what it should look like, and wanted it to closely resemble a true “birds nest”. I have created the nest with a delicate courgette tagliatelle, garnished with “twigs and leaves”. Within the nest, you will find three miniature quail eggs, each with a decadent liquid centre and topped with thin slices of truffle infused Paris mushrooms or black truffle slices.”

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