Photograph by Matt Mason


Chef extraordinaire and creator of One Ingredient and Private Kitchen Matt Manning was one of African Independent’s Top 40 Under 40 innovators. We touched base with Matt regarding his exciting new venture – The Chef’s Studio – opening up in Cape Town in December.

The Chef’s Studio, located at 103 Bree Street, encourages people to connect with each other through experiences which let them explore and interact with extraordinary ingredients. It features a number of sleek cooking stations equipped with the latest technology from brand partner Siemens, a communal dining table as well as a private dining room, where Manning and his team will host interactive & experiential dining events open to the public for booking, cooking demos, corporate and private functions.
 
The Chef’s Studio also offers a smaller, more informal everyday eatery also owned by Manning and located in the same building; ‘Grub & Vine’will serve relaxed yet refined fare, and will be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Friday, Saturday dinner, and Sunday lunch from December.
 
Manning, who cut his teeth in London’s Michelin-starred kitchens, is known locally for ‘One Ingredient’; a pop-up dinner featuring a single ingredient across multiple courses. The experience includes a cooking demo from Manning, with guests required to recreate his dishes. He explains that the concept for the Chef’s Studio first came about when the space where he used to host his popular dinners, closed. 
 
“What made One Ingredient successful was the interactive element; the previous venue featured a working kitchen, and guests loved rolling up their sleeves, prepping and plating their dishes, before enjoying their meal surrounded by a table of strangers – who often went on to become friends. 
 
“I wanted to recreate this hyper-social style of dining through offering different, interactive exoperiences, in a more permanent, contemporary space.”
 
Housed in a Bree Street loft and with real wood work benches, steel features and plush leather finishes, the Chef’s Studio is both industrial and elegant at the same time. 
 
“The design and layout not only allows guests to harness their cooking talents; but to do so in a uniquely Capetonian space right in the heart of the Mother City’s most famous foodie district."
 
Manning says that the Chef’s Studio was inspired by the growing desire for more experiential dining.
 
“People are now infatuated with food; we want to know how it is made, where it comes from, how to make it taste – and more importantly look – spectacular. Chefs have become celebrities. Farmers and butchers are heroes. Food styling is a sought-after career. People want to really immerse themselves in the experience of dining.
 
“The Chef’s Studio is designed with those in mind who are as excited about what goes in to creating a beautiful meal, as they are about eating it.”
 
The Chef’s Studio is now open for corporate and private bookings in December 2018, January & February 2019. Visit www.thechefsstudio.co.za for more info.