history
  • Marble Restaurant
    2016
    Marble Restaurant

    David Higgs launched Marble Restaurant, Johannesburg’s ‘live-fire’ restaurant in Rosebank’s art district with his business partner, Gary Kyriacou, in 2016. The restaurant has been described as “… a little bit cowboy and wonderfully theatrical, and for Higgs it’s a chance to show South Africans the kinds of marvels you can create with – to put it plainly – a really big braai”.

    See the Marble gallery.

  • MTN Qubeka
    2015
    MTN Qubeka

    David traveled with the then MTN Qubeka team to the Tour de France in 2015, where he cooked for them.

  • Food Cycle
    2014
    Food Cycle

    David Higgs launched the Food Cycle, an initiative to encourage healthy eating and lifestyle in poorer communities. He did this with a project that merges two of his greatest passions – food and cycling.

    “I was told stories of young, talented kids who rode with the professionals but were unable to reach their potential due to lack of energy and “hitting the wall” far too early in races. The bigger picture became far clearer when they were informed that the kids hadn’t eaten breakfast and drank only water in their bottles. We are trying to alleviate this problem through the Food Cycle Project,” says David Higgs.

    See more on the Food Cycle Project.

  • The Saxon
    2012
    The Saxon

    David took over at the Saxon Hotel and Spa as the executive chef where he was tasked with reconfiguring the restaurant as well as restyling the food and beverage operations.

    The award winning Five Hundred, was ranked as the second best restaurant in Eat Out’s 2014’s Best Restaurant Awards.

    David was awarded South Africa’s chef of the year.

  • Radisson Blu
    2011
    Radisson Blu

    David left Rust en Vrede in 2011 to join Herman Coertze again at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel.
    “It was a great opportunity for me to see what the industry in Johannesburg is like.”
    Central One restaurant at the Hotel underwent a few changes and proved that the Jozi market is open to all sorts of eating experiences even in hotels – as long as its personal and of a high standard.

  • Hanger 7 - Ikarus
    2010
    Hanger 7 - Ikarus

    In 2010, David Higgs was one of the chefs selected to present his menu at Hanger 7’s Ikarus Restaurant in Salzburg, Austria. The restaurant is a world first, where guest chefs from all over the world are invited to prepare their menu, which will be served for a month. A team of chefs was invited out to learn David’s menu and returned to Ikarus to serve the fair at Hanger 7. Hanger 7 hosts a fair of art and food – a combination close to David’s heart. See the project.  Watch the video here.

  • Rust en Vrede
    2007
    Rust en Vrede

    In 2007, after selling his shares in all the businesses, David Higgs left Meerendal to open a fine dining restaurant with Jean Engelbrecht in the old cellar on the historical wine estate, Rust en Vrede, outside Stellenbosch. “It was the perfect opportunity to really get back to serving top end food and developing personal relations with all my guests. And I could get back into the kitchen and start cooking again.”
    Since the opening of the restaurant in 2008, they achieved significant local and international success, which include:
    2008
    Diners Club Wine List Awards (Platinum)
    Conde Naste Hot Tables of 2008

    2009
    Rossouw’s Restaurant Awards 2009 (3 Stars)
    Eatout Magazine Top 10 Restaurants in South Africa (6th)
    San Pellegrino Top 100 Restaurants in the World (98th)
    Wine Spectator Award of Excellence
    Diners Club Wine List Awards (Platinum)
    American Express Fine Dining Award

    2010
    Eatout Magazine Top 10 Restaurants in South Africa (3rd)
    Eatout Magazine Best Service Award
    San Pellegrino Top 100 Restaurants in the World (74th)
    Great Wine Capitals of the World Best Global Restaurant
    Rossouw’s Restaurant Awards 2010 (3 Stars)
    Wine Spectator Award of Excellence
    American Express Fine Dining Award

    2011
    Eatout Magazine Best Restaurant in South Africa
    Eatout Magazine David Higgs Best Chef in South Africa
    Eatout Magazine Best Service Award
    San Pellegrino Top 100 Restaurants in the World (61st)
    Rossouw’s Restaurant Awards 2011 (3 Stars)
    Rossouw’s Platinium Restaurant Award for best overall restaurant 2011
    Great Wine Capitals of the World Best National Restaurant
    Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence

  • Meerendal
    2004
    Meerendal

    In October 2004 David Higgs joined the new owners of Meerendal, a wine farm on the ouskirts of Durbanville and became part of this milestone development. He moved the school to the farm and started up two restaurants in order to give the students practical experience in addition to theoretical training. They were trained to cook for the Bistro, as well as for the fine dining restaurant, Wheatfields. One of his first priorities on the farm was the layout of an extensive herb and vegetable garden from which he provided for the kitchens. “It is always an absolute treat to be able to use fresh herbs from the garden, and when you are on a farm it just does not make sense not to have this luxury”

  • Gourmet Minute
    2003 - 2017
    Gourmet Minute

    Celebrity and hosting Chef for “Gourmet Minute” on kfm 94.5 Radio Station

  • Leinster Hall
    2003
    Leinster Hall

    David Higgs took over the running of Leinster Hall, a restaurant on the slopes of Table Mountain, in conjunction with his teaching role. Leinster Hall was voted as one of Top Ten Restaurants in Cape Town.

  • Extreem Kwizeen
    2000
    Extreem Kwizeen

    It had an adjacent catering company called, Extreem Kwizeen. During this time they cooked for many well-known celebrities.
    “One of my personal highlights however was co…king for Mr Nelson Mandela at Tuynhuis and Vergelegen on numerous occasions. To listen to that man speak is always a humbling experience.”

  • School of Cooking
    2000
    School of Cooking

    In 2000 he started his own cooking school – The Higgs School of Good Cooking. “It was another fundamental step in my personal development,” says David Higgs.

  • SA Culinary Team
    1997 - 2004
    SA Culinary Team

    From 1997 to 2004 David was a member of the South African National Culinary Team. He represented South Africa at both the Culinary World Cup in Switzerland and the Culinary Olympics in Germany.
    1998 – Awarded Diplome d’ Honneur at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg.
    1999 – Awarded Le Diplôme d’Honneur et la Distinction Suivante at the Culinary World Cup in Igeho, Switzerland.
    2000 – Awarded 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal in the Culinary Olympics in Ertfurt, Germany.

  • Young Chefs Award
    1993
    Young Chefs Award

    It was at this stage that David started competing in culinary competitions and in 1993 he won the title of Young Chef of South Africa from Chaine de Rottisseurs – an international society devoted to choice dining and the camaraderie of the table.
    As a result of this much sought after title he went on to represent South Africa in Brisbane, Australia in the Chaine de Rotisseurs: International Young Chefs Competition.

  • Staffords
    1993
    Staffords

    After graduating from the Technikon, he joined Bill Stafford again and started a company called Staffords Quality Foods. It was large scale industrial catering for airlines, retail, restaurant chains. “I gained a lot of practical experience as I learnt about working with staff and costing, as well as all the practicalities of food production on a mass scale.”

    Western Province Junior Chef of the Year and Winner.

  • A Defining Moment
    1991
    A Defining Moment

    After a year of cooking breakfasts he realised that he has found his calling and he joined Bill Stafford at Peers restaurant, situated on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town. The restaurant was part of a group called Cuisine International including Peers, Choices, Piers Edge and Selections Bakery.
    During that time Peers and Choices were rated under the top 10 restaurants in the country.

  • Starting School
    1991
    Starting School

    In 1991 he enrolled at the Cape Town Technikon for the 3 year Diploma in Professional Cookery while still working at Peers and Choices and receiving in-service training.

    Won Top Student Award for Professional Cookery.

  • The Beginning
    1990
    The Beginning

    David started his career as a chef in 1990 at The Tulbagh, a 3-star Protea hotel in Cape Town.

The history of
David Higgs

David Higgs’s career has stretched over nearly 3 decades, starting in 1990 as a chef in a small Cape hotel.

Projects
David Higgs is involved in a multitude of projects, restaurants, media initiatives and corporate events.
Mentors
Various people have had a significant influence on David Higgs's life and he believes without support, success is illusive.
Press
A selection of articles and press coverage on David Higgs.