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.

Marc Proenca.

Sous Chef.



Marc is focused and precise. He does not accept mediocrity and always strives to be the best. This sentiment is evident in all the restaurants in which he’s worked.


Marc worked his way from chopping ingredients and slinging pans in the hot trenches to become second in charge. His handiwork and creativity played a huge role in forming culinary experiences at his past restaurants.


Tasting menus and pairings are Marc’s forte.  All of his concepts are centered on a love for sustainability and developing new and unique dishes.


Marc is best described as an innate cook with a natural philosophy and a zero-waste footprint.

Brandon Ray.

Pastry Chef.


Brandon is a modest guy from the heart of Joburg. But even though he is quiet and calm, his desserts are in your face and full of flavour.


Brandon grew up baking bread in his grandmother’s bakery. This formative experience sowed a seed that blossomed into a feverish passion for all things food-related.


Brandon studied at Silwood School of Cookery and trained at The Test Kitchen under Luke Dale Roberts. He flourished in the Pastry section at Urbanologi before moving on to the well-known Grei Restaurant at The Saxon.


This exceptional young chef has a brilliant understanding of the fine balance between flavour and beauty in everything he serves.

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