Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient Hotel in Pretoria is closing its doors after 15 years, owner Chantel Dartnall announced on social media this week.
When the award-winning chef and restaurateur, Dartnall opened the restaurant, she had the vision to introduce South Africa’s culinary landscape to the finesse, flavour, and artistry that is unique to her style of botanical cuisine.
Her creativity and innovation were widely admired by gourmets.
She is one of South Africa’s most celebrated chefs: named TBC Best Female Chef in the World in 2017 and Chef of the Year by the Hospitality Counsel, the Restaurant Association of SA, the Haute Grandeur Global Restaurant Awards and the Eat Out Awards.
Restaurant Mosaic has also been listed among the top 100 restaurants in the world for some time and is also acclaimed for its expansive but carefully curated wine cellar, having won numerous awards as one of the best wine cellars in the world.
Dartnall said she was proud that she has been able to pioneer botanical cuisine locally, and it has been gratifying to see that a variety of chefs and restaurants have incorporated some aspects of this style into their own repertoires.
“My team and I have achieved all that we could have hoped for.
“We now leave behind a proud legacy as one of the top fine dining restaurants in South Africa, has also established a solid international presence.
“Many patrons have arrived as strangers and have hugged me at the end of the evening as personal friends, confessing that they were emotionally touched by their experience at Restaurant Mosaic.
“I will miss the incredible guests and the support we have received from the start.
“All I can say is that it is time for me to close this book and take a different volume from the shelf – or better yet, to start writing another one.
“The wonderful wide world beckons and my next journey will determine what the new story will be for me to write.
“Maybe, in time to come and on my return, when I cannot resist the urge, the doors will be flung open again to share my new creations during a festive feast with a select few of our guests,” she said.
For now, Dartnall will divide her time between the Southern Cape splendour at her secret hideaway and La Ville Lumière, Paris, where new projects and further studies await her.
She will be focusing on her upcoming cookbook, which she describes as a literary-artistic labour of love that has been three years in the making.
It will be crammed with recipes and insights she wants to share with the world (for those who have dined at Mosaic as much as those who have not) and also with her culinary peers.
Dartnall will also be furthering her knowledge of European cuisine, focusing on her French language studies and enhancing her technical skills.
Restaurant Mosaic’s final service will be dinner next year on March 26, and reservations for the 2021 season will be open from December 4 at 8am.