After being seduced by the Manors devotion to using the finest, fresh local ingredients -Discover South African born and raised Chef Patron Hylton Espey. Now two years into his journey at Rastella, he talks openly about his passion for food, love of his family and memories of childhood inspiration in his fascinating blog. Following on in the path of his Irish ancestry, Hylton moved to Falmouth In 2016 having being charmed by the unique setting of Merchants Manor, where his story continues to grow.
“My Mother, Juliana, is a fantastic cook. I have great food memories from South Africa of eating freshly dived oysters in Arniston, pulling crayfish at Longbeach, diving alikreukel and braaing (BBQ-ing) fresh fish bought straight off the boat at Kalk Bay Harbour. I grew up in Cape Town surfing, diving, fishing and exploring the mountains of False Bay. My family are all exceptional cooks, except for my dad, he is an exceptional eater.
Great family friends of ours, the Mintons, would take me out to restaurants and I really appreciated what the chef’s were producing in the kitchen. The stand out for me was tasting sweetbreads in an amuse bouche at Grande Roche when I was ten or so. I had no idea that one day I would train under Chef Harold Bresselschmidt who created our meal.
We had a local restaurant with a deli and bakery which we used to frequent when I grew up and in December 2002 I walked into Olympia Cafe as a commis chef under the guidance of Brad Ball and owner Kenneth McClarty. The time spent at Olympia is still one of the most influential of my career. The restaurant was packed every day, we made everything fresh and the ingredients were the best you could find – I was hooked”
Personally and professionally I’ve always wanted to live by the coast. What’s not to like about surfing and diving? I want my kids to grow up near the sea, living a healthy lifestyle – escaping the big city and experiencing all that nature has to offer