Hentie Van Der Merwe – Head Chef

About the Chef

Kossie Sikelela, named after Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout’s famous cookbooks, was founded at Evita se Perron in early 2021 by entrepreneur duo Hentie van der Merwe and Frits van Ryneveld who, having recently acquired the Perron, decided to add a fine dining restaurant to the Perron’s offerings.

Chef and artist Hentie van der Merwe is the creative mind behind the dishes served at Kossie Sikelela. From the start Hentie’s vision for the restaurant was to serve food that embodies a modern interpretation of traditional local flavours and cuisine, paying homage to those who have helped shape South African cooking; Faldela Williams, C. Louis Leipoldt, Hildagonda Duckitt, S.J.A de Villiers, Dine van Zyl, and so forth.

Besides art, food is the other of Hentie’s life-long passions, and it has always been his desire to cook at his own fine dining restaurant, which has now become a reality, thanks to Kossie Sikelela. Hentie is largely a self-taught chef, apart from taking a few courses in the evenings at a Le Cordon Bleu institute in Antwerp while he was living and working there as an artist in the early 2000’s. Having studied fine arts at the University of the Witwatersrand and various institutions in Europe and the USA Hentie spent the largest part of his professional career working as an artist and lecturing in Fine Arts at Stellenbosch University.