Tronette Dippenaar, Head Chef at The Marine in Hermanus, oversees the popular Origins restaurant as well as breakfast venue The Pavilion.
Her charismatic and energetic approach to food and service, and her leadership skills have been an asset to the hotel’s culinary offering since she joined the group in 2008. In her 10 years with The Liz McGrath Collection, she’s worked at all three of the hotels, and has now returned to where she started at a Chef de Partie in 2008. She later transferred to The Plettenberg hotel on the Garden Route, where she was promoted to Head Chef, and then on to her third hotel in the group, Cellars-Hohenort. Her next venture was overseeing the culinary offering of the Lord Milner hotel in the tiny historic town of Matjiesfontein. She was there for three years before coming full circle back to Hermanus and to The Marine as Head Chef in 2017.
Tronette grew up on a farm in Robertson and attended Tygerberg Hotel School before embarking on her culinary career at The Aghulas Country Lodge. Later gaining international experience in Scotland in a Relais and Chateaux environment, she fell in love with the 5-star hotel industry.
Her long association with the group and extensive experience placed her perfectly to strengthen Origin’s reputation for vibrant, soulful cuisine with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. ‘To return to this wonderful property and be able to make my mark, as well as have the opportunity to continue working under Group Chef Peter Tempelhoff, is an honour,’ says Tronette. ‘At Origins we serve the type of food I love to cook. Nothing is over-complicated and guests can easily distinguish the flavours and natural ingredients reflective of the surrounding area.’
As a woman in an industry traditionally dominated by men – women remain a tiny minority in the often macho and highly competitive world of haute cuisine, holding less than five per cent of Michelin stars globally – Tronette has however found that her primary challenges have been juggling the tasks of being a chef and feeling the need to do better and work harder for recognition. ‘I think one of the biggest challenges for female chefs, especially those who are moms, is juggling family responsibilities with their restaurant career. Every successful woman needs a good support system at home.’
Tronette’s advice to young women with chef aspirations is to add value to the lives of those around them, work with passion and try not to take things personally. ‘Only you determine your success, and dedication and persistence is the best way to succeed at something you want to do well at,’ she adds.
For more information visit www.themarinehotel.co.za