“After I completed my studies at The Swiss Hotel School, I got a job as a kitchen manager around the corner at the bridge wedding venue, it was a pretty tough job, but a job none the less. I worked with 6 ladies and we did buffets and roasts. It was an entry level cookery job and to be honest I cannot say I was too proud.
From there I went to the moved to the UAE and lived in Abu Dhabi. I got a job at the La Meridian Hotel as chef de Partie in the French bistro called La Bistro.
I was moved after about 6 months to main kitchen, where I spent just short of 18 months working under a strict French Chef Pascal Divadier.
From there I came back to South Africa, I got a job at the Mount Nelson Cape Colony as a Chef de Partie, working the fish line under Chef Steve Tempelton. I stayed at the Mount Nelson Cape Colony for about 6 months and then went to a restaurant called Forty Ate on Hout. This was a highly exclusive restaurant, where I temped on a Sous Chef level working busy nights, while I started working on my own business, Chefs Recruit and Chefs at Home. After Forty Ate on Hout, I worked at a restaurant called The Show Room on a temp Sous Chef level. The Show Room was the number one restaurant in South Africa at the time and I worked under the late Chef Bruce Robertson.
I was also doing some consulting work for various restaurants, mainly focusing on cooking trends, menu development, skill development and plating.
From here I opened Chefs Recruit, and started working on it full time around 2008
In 2010 Chefs Recruit was given the opportunity to head the hospitality recruitment for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Unfortunately I turned this down.
Chefs Recruit, now recruits for very high end restaurants including a few of our top 10 restaurants and many of our top hotels. Currently our brand is well known in Africa and the Middle East and looking at expanding into Asian market. We are also looking at opening a branch in the USA in late 2020/2021.
We also operate within the private chef sector, supplying chefs to high-end executives and politicians even the occasion prince or sheik, and on occasion I, myself cook for private chef functions, which allows me a chance to get the cooking juices flowing again. My passion has always been cooking, however I have needed to adapt to multiple levels of business.
In 2017, I opened up a restaurant called Mangata, this was a contemporary bistro based in Simon’s Town in Cape Town, and unfortunately we closed after 11 months due to an issue with the liquor license.
Studying at the Swiss Hotel School gave me a strong foundation to build a career, and a good basic understanding of the hotel and restaurant fundamentals. That being said, SHS also showed me basics such as professional conduct and respect, time keeping and some other fundamentals that have benefitted me greatly throughout the years.
I have nothing but respect for the great work they do at The Swiss Hotel School, when I was there the cooking techniques where extremely old school, but I believe that it essential to have a good classical understanding of cooking to be a good chef, modern techniques and trends can be taught after one has a strong foundation to build on. The Swiss Hotel School did not only give me a foundation to be a chef, but helped me open my mind to become an entrepreneur.” - William Sharp