Liberty’s, DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town Upper Eastside Hotel’s on-site restaurant, has welcomed a new Executive Sous Chef. Warren King joins the team, headed up by Executive Chef Simon Kemp, and is excited about what’s on the cards. “I can’t wait to learn from Simon and better my skills,” he says. “I’m also very passionate about teaching; sharing my expertise and mentoring the junior chefs is an important part of my culinary journey; being a chef is not just about being a great cook but also passing on skills to the next generation. Respect in the kitchen is a priority to me.”
Liberty’s, which is based in Woodstock, is well-known for its all-round delicious cuisine – tapas, gourmet burgers, fine dining, decadent desserts and cocktails are all on the menu. With so many options, which is Warren’s favourite dish on the menu? “Definitely the Szechuan Stir Fry; I love the umami concept of the dish – it really tickles my taste buds in just the right way.”
“I am really fond of French Cuisine beyond anything else, but my cooking comes from the heart so my menus are always an expression of me, through my food. I also love Asian cuisine, and being able to infuse flavours from different cuisines together,” says Warren.
When discussing his love of food, Warren’s journey began where many chefs’ began. “I guess it all started at home with my mom and granny’s cooking, but I only recognised my passion and absolute love for food at 24, when I received an opportunity to work overseas with a few great chefs – they taught me everything I know today! Being a chef requires a lot of commitment and long hours spent in the kitchen, but more than that, if you are passionate about food and treat every single ingredient with respect, you’re bound to succeed,” says Warren.
There are many chefs that inspire Warren, many of whom he’s been able to work with. “Internationally, Sean Key from Miami Florida. What an awesome dude! He not only taught me about cooking, but also how to manage staff with the utmost respect; in this industry you have to work harder than your peers to gain recognition – the higher you are ranked, the harder you have to work. Marco Pierre White is another one, I don’t think I need to clarify why – he is incredible. Locally, Christo Pretorius, from the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa, who takes fine dining to another level. I spent two wonderful years as his Sous Chef; we had the best and the worst of times in the kitchen together – he showed me pressure like I’ve never known before and I’m thankful for that. I also learnt how to execute a dish and plate like a pro. I also worked with Chef Michael McIntyre at the 12 Apostles, and his personality and calmness, taught me to not let the stress get the better of me. And then, of course, my new Executive Chef, Simon Kemp; he is such a great guy. I have only been working at Liberty’s for a few months and I already feel like he’s taught me so much. It’s extremely fortunate to work with a chef who allows you to experiment with dishes and put your own stamp on the food.”