A collection of restaurant related news from all over South Africa

Meet Jacques Swart – Head Chef at De Hoek Country Hotel

21 February 2019

Article by Jenn Hambric in South Africa, Hotelitarian Highlight Company Culture

Our team at Valor Hosptitality believes in the power of individual commitment to a group effort. This commitment is what makes us, as a global company, continue to thrive.

Whether it’s at a Valor-managed hotel or in our corporate office, each of our “Hotelitarians” go above and beyond to contribute to the success of our organization.

Today, we’re proud to recognize a Hotelitarian that’s excelling professionally and giving food lovers on social media serious food FOMO!

Read on to learn more about Jacques Swart, Head Chef at De Hoek Country Hotel in South Africa.

How many years have you been working in hospitality?
I’ve been working in the hospitality industry for 12 years.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
There are two parts of my job that I find equally rewarding.

The first thing is seeing my team gain the knowledge, confidence and skills through the everyday graft. The second thing, of course, is the satisfaction and enjoyment our guests experience when dining with us. These factors make the long hours quite rewarding.

What are three words you’d use to describe your job, and why?
Passion: One definitely needs to be passionate about the industry in order to push through and still put up a warming and meaningful smile when in the guest area.
Selfless: The role of a Head chef respectively is an extremely selfless role, you have to be willing to put your own needs aside to satisfy guests, to be that support to your staff and other colleagues within the operation. One does not always have someone patting you on the back to thank you for all the good you do.
Effort: At the end of every day you have to be able to reflect and confidently know within yourself that you are one step closer to fulfilling the company’s, as well as your personal goals. That feeling can only be positive if enough effort was put in.

What’s your favourite thing about working in hospitality, and why?
Creativity is one of my favourite things about working in this industry. It is a form of expression, whereby there is no right or wrong. Hospitality should always promote individuality but with guided training. The employees should be ethically equipped and be trusted to touch the guests on a personal and creative level.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
When I’m not working, I love getting to know my 9-month-old daughter and spending time with my gorgeous wife. I definitely enjoy watching every rugby match I can, too.

What’s your favourite quote, and why?
“The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief” – William Shakespeare
I like this quote because it is easy to get cross and be disheartened when we’re mistreated, or when things don’t go your way. However, smiling only make the inevitable perseverance easier.

Check out a gallery of some of Jacques Swart’s Instagram-worthy dishes HERE



De Hoek Country Hotel

De Hoek Country Hotel

Magaliesburg, Gauteng Bistro, Fine Dining, French, Picnics, Tapas

The cuisine and 5 star service at De Hoek is internationally acclaimed. The style of food served is French continental and a new 5 course menu is designed every day, according to the freshest produ...