Chefs Greg Czarnecki and Asher Abramowitz to launch Cape Grace Hotel’s new Heirloom

Cape Town’s esteemed Cape Grace Hotel, now a Fairmont-managed property, has emerged from a transformative seven-month revamp, which includes an overhaul of its dining offerings. What was Signal Restaurant has now been reimagined as Heirloom. The space has taken on a new look and feel but still retains that same classic Cape Grace energy.

heirloom at cape grace hotel in cape town
Leading the food and beverage programme is chef Greg Czarnecki whom Eat Out readers will know from his time at The Restaurant at Waterkloof (named Restaurant of the Year in 2018). Working closely with head chef Asher Abramowitz, Greg spearheads the culinary vision not only for Heirloom but also for the hotel’s other venues, including the famous Bascule Bar (which is soon to reopen).

greg czarnecki

Chef Greg Czarnecki

“I came onto the project in October last year,” says Greg. “When Leon Meyer, the GM, asked me to collaborate with the Cape Grace, it was to be involved with the luxury that they hope to offer. They wanted to revamp the whole F&B to have more of a restaurant mindset. Since it’s a hotel, there are so many regulars who love the homey feel here and have been coming for decades. So, we want to push boundaries to see how far we can go but still keeping guests comfortable. Back in the day, luxury was all about abundance and now, if you want to be a sustainable business, it’s about getting the right things to the right guests at the right time at a level that’s required. It’s more about service and experience.”

One can’t write about The Cape Grace without mentioning its incredible location – on the west quay, which is quite secluded from the hustle and bustle of the waterfront itself. “It’s quite idyllic,” says Greg. “If you look at where we are, we’re in the hub of Cape Town. We have some of the best views in a quiet space in the middle of town.”

The 90-seater restaurant space will transition seamlessly from hotel breakfast service to Heirloom for lunch and dinner, offering a menu inspired by the surrounding natural elements – mountain, land, and sea. For lunch, guests can enjoy an à la carte menu, while dinner presents a choice between a four- or seven-course tasting menu, with plant-based options available.

heirloom at cape grace hotel in cape town

The food will showcase Greg’s philosophy, characterised by minimalist elegance and a focus on quality ingredients. “We aim to showcase the purity of flavours by highlighting just a handful of ingredients on each plate,” he explains. While details of specific dishes remain under wraps, Asher hints at surprises awaiting diners, particularly his personal favourite off the plant-based menu which features celeriac as the star ingredient.

Chef Asher Abramowitz. Image credit: Claire Gunn

When it comes to the chefs collaborating on the launch project, this is the first time that they’ve worked together, and evidently, it’s a great fit, according to them both. “I think we have the same mentality and the same vision,” says Greg. “And when you work in a restaurant kitchen you share the same experience. Asher is well travelled, and he’s been exposed to a lot and he’s quite strict on certain things, which I actually enjoy. Putting things in place is one thing, but keeping it consistent is going to be Asher’s role.”

heirloom at cape grace hotel in cape town

The name Heirloom ties back to the heritage of the hotel. Despite all the newness, the name acts as a way of reminding people that at its heart it’s still the essence of The Cape Grace, but passed on to the next generation.

Bookings for Heirloom are already open and can be made online.

Hotel images: supplied


Leave a comment

Promoted Restaurants