Getting to know: Stefan Danz

Stefan is the head chef at 30 Euston Square, has extensive experience in both South Africa and London. His dish, created for the fish course was cured and marinated salmon, strawberries and Keta, radish salad. Its appearance wowed our judges and its interesting flavours gave them food for thought.  Stefan tells us about his background and influences. 

What made you become a chef and what is your previous experience in kitchens?

I have had an interest in food and the kitchen since I was young.

I helped both my parents cooking whilst growing up, so it was the obvious choice for me. I have 15 years of experience in the professional kitchen and have worked in some of the top restaurants in South Africa and London.

These include Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek and being part of the opening team for the award winning Babylonstoren. In London I have worked at Petrus, Maze and Pollen Street to name a few. I also completed a pastry stint at Yauatcha in Soho.

How would you describe your cooking and what are your influences?

Adventurous thanks to my South African roots and upbringing. Being brought up in a country with a lot of culture; the cooking styles and flavors often differed and came together in interesting ways.

My old head chef at Le Quartier Francais was, and still is a big inspiration to me. He taught me most of what I know and still use on a daily basis.

What does a mid-week meal look like for you?
Grilled chicken wraps, done on the braai of course (any excuse to light a fire), but mostly simple dishes that are quick and fresh.

Who would your dream dinner guests be and what would you cook for them?

My family and friends. My best and fondest memories were made with food, cooked on the braai next to the swimming pool in sunny South Africa.

What would you like to get out of the Great City Chefs Competition?

I am looking forward to meeting the chefs that work in our company and seeing how our creative juices flow together!