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Our Team

Freddie Dias.

Head Chef.

 

 

Born and raised in Johannesburg, Freddie grew up in a Portuguese family with a deep passion for food and sharing meals with loved ones.

 

According to Freddie, his favourite memories were spending time in the kitchen as a young boy, learning from his maternal mentors.

He hasn’t lost his child-like wonder and curiosity when it comes to new flavours and food experiences. Freddie began his career at Prue Leith Culinary Institute and apprenticing at a family friend’s bakery in Lisbon. Here he mastered the skills of baking traditional Portuguese bread and pastries such as Pastéis de Nata

After graduating, Freddie worked for Michel Morand at Joburg’s original French fine-dining restaurant – Auberge Michel. Then, he took the opportunity to relocate to the South of France to work at a one Michelin-star restaurant, Auberge des Fontaines d’Aragon. This is where his classic techniques were taken to the next level and later celebrated by chefs and diners from all over Europe.

 

During the 2010 Soccer World Cup, Freddie returned to South Africa to cook for the Brazilian soccer team.

 

Afterwards, his flair for cooking Portuguese food was firmly established by his move to UK-based Michelin-star restaurant Pollen Street Social and later, Viajante. In 2014 Freddie moved back to South Africa and based himself in Cape Town, joining the Luke Dale Roberts group as Head Chef at the acclaimed Pot Luck Club for four years.

After his time at Pot Luck Club, he moved over to Quintonil in Mexico City — one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

 

In 2019, Freddie moved back to Jo’burg to be closer to his family and joined forces with James Peech as Head Chef of Basalt at The Peech Hotel in Melrose.

 

Today, Freddie is the visionary of a new endeavour at The Houghton Hotel - Séjour.  His menu and cooking style is an ode to his deep and varied culinary journey.

 

Chef Freddie and his team look forward to welcoming your stay at Séjour.

Brandon Ray.

Sous Chef.

 

Brandon is a modest chef from the heart of Joburg, growing up baking bread in his grandmother's bakery run from home sowing a seed which would later grow into a feverish passion for all things food. From studying at Silwood and training at The Test Kitchen with Luke Dale Roberts, to flourishing in the Pastry section at Urbanologi Brandon ventured on to present beautiful plates at Grei Restaurant at The Saxon.

The understanding and execution of the perfect balance between flavour and beauty is not lost on this exceptional young cook.

Bheki Sibanda.

Sommelier.

 

A force to be reckoned with on the restaurant floor, a perfectly fitted suit, a man with a secret. Bheki’s stellar knowledge of wine and flavour comes from pure experience; leaving no bottle of wine left unexplored. From mastering the perfect pour at Pigalle to building up the team and gaining expert knowledge at The Saxon & Marble.

Bheki holds qualifications for Hospitality management from a plethora of institutes such as Florida Atlantic University, Cape Town University and The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.

Boasting local and international wine courses from Cape Wine Academy and The Wine & Spirit Education Trust, it’s no wonder he’s curated the extensive wine list at Séjour.

 

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