As a professional chef, could there be any better setting to prepare a meal than in a kitchen just meters away from the ocean, with the azure blue of the Atlantic shimmering in the distance, while you fry up the latest linefish to be caught from the Hout Bay fishing market?
Guy Clark gets to do this every day of his life. As the head chef at Tintswalo Atlantic, he is working and living his passion, cooking up some of the best seafood dishes in one of the most spectacular locations in Cape Town.
“Working so close to the ocean is incredibly inspiring,” said Clark, an ex-Masterchef South Africa contestant. “It soothes the mind and allows creativity to flow.”
Tintswalo Atlantic is perched on the coast of the Table Mountain National Park, a Marine Protected Area, with a dramatic restaurant deck thrust out above the waves as they roll in from Hout Bay and crash on the rocks below. Guy and the Tintswalo kitchen team source their seafood mainly from local fishermen and producers in Cape Town. “We utilize as much African coastline produce as possible. This way we bring our continents flavors to the plate,” said Guy. “I am obsessed with cooking the perfect langoustine, I feel that it is such an art form in itself. One must maintain the perfect density, not over cook, nor under cook, balance the flesh with subtle ingredients whilst still maintaining the original flavour profile.”
Guy started cooking for fun when he was 14 years old, but it wasn’t until he became a contestant on Masterchef South Africa that he realised his true passion for cooking—and made the spot decision to become a full time chef.
After this realisation, Guy felt the need to throw himself into the deep end and learn as much as possible about the art of cooking. And so he sold everything he owned and packed up to see the world through the lense of food. He worked with Heston Blumenthal’s sous chef in India, made street food in Miami, joined Miami’s Sea Salt & Pepper—a heaving celebrity hot spot along the water’s edge; joined a local bakery, and had a brief stint in LA, where he went on to win the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen.
Feeling the call for home, Guy arrived back in Cape Town with more passion and experience that when he left. Tintswalo Atlantic was looking for a head chef of the new restaurant after it was damaged in the Cape Fires, and the timing was perfect. Shortly after joining the team, he created a new menu called “Ocean and Ash,” which signified the phoenix-like rise of Tintswalo out of the ashes, and the incredible ocean environment in which it is situation. Ocean & Ash’s menu consists of eight courses and serves up to 10 guests at a time.
Just this week, guy has created a new item on the seafood menu, which he has dubbed the Seafood Tower.
Seabass from Mauritius
Kabeljou from South Africa
Linefish from Houtbay fisherman
Langoustines from Mozambique
Tiger prawns from Mozambique
Black mussels from Saldanha Bay
Oysters from Saldanha Bay
Squid from South Africa
“I thoroughly enjoy cooking seafood at Tintswalo,” said Guy. Each ingredient has infinite methods and flavors that can be worked with. We are constantly evolving and improving the experience.” He also loves to forage from some of the more sustainable foods from the tidal rock-pools in front of the lodge, such as seaweed, which he transform into powder to flavour the various dishes.
Really, the best and only way to understand Guy’s passion for cooking is to visit Tintswalo and eat the food. But it’s not just the food itself that makes the taste so magical. It’s the roar of the sea, the call of the gulls, the smell of the salt, and the wonderful shimmering blue beyond your plate that makes Guy’s masterful cooking come into its own.