Tjaart Walraven is A friendly and vibrant individual on the celebrity chef circuit. He is best known as one of the judges on the top-rated The Great South African Bake-Off on BBC Lifestyle with 3 seasons under his belt. His TV success has included his hugely popular cooking segment on the Expresso Show, as well as Afternoon Express, both on on SABC3.
Tjaart is a Brand Ambassador for WEBER and Wusthof South Africa and has set up a travelling cooking academy. He hosts like-minded individuals with a love for food and wine. He shares his passion for outdoor entertainment through a fun and interactive medium. Guests get to experience a hands on cooking experience, creating a gourmet extravaganza all on the Weber, then carve and plate their food with Wusthof precision.
How has this young man, who bases himself out of Africa’s food capital, Cape Town, wound up cooking 5-star dinners on Icey glaciers?
Tjaart Walraven was born and educated in Zimbabwe. His early exposure to wide open spaces coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit lead him to growing herbs on a commercial level at the tender age of 16. That interest in herbs and spices has led him to a life of cooking.
Through his travels he landed a post with the world-renowned French chef, Raymond Blanc (OBE) at Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons in Oxford, UK. It boasts a 2-starred Michelin kitchen – it’s dedicated pastry kitchen and cookery school helped open a world of love and understanding of food for Tjaart.
Tjaart’s successful business creates bespoke dining experiences for his international jet-setting clientele: from lunch on a glacier in Switzerland to dinners under the stars of an historic Cape wine estate. With the onset of the pandemic, life has been spun the other way around, with more clients travelling to him in the Cape. Exclusive homes and villas are booked out and Tjaart tends to general private chef needs, with an emphasis on guests celebrating their heroic vacation. In more recent times, Tjaart has opened up his home to entertain his jet setting and local clientele in one off experiences.
He further consults on skills development to top-end hotels and restaurants, hosts a cooking course to leaners in the Vaal region and has a philanthropic interest in the distribution of basic learning syllabus books throughout South Africa.