MASTER baker and passionate pastry chef, Kyle Hickman has been appointed Head Pâtissier at One&Only Cape Town. Twenty-seven-year-old Kyle has been at the 5-Star resort since 2013, working under renowned pastry chef and chocolatier René Simatos as her sous chef. His promotion reflects the brand’s passion for growing its people and promoting from within as well as Kyle’s outstanding abilities in what is arguably one of the busiest departments in the resort.
At any given moment, Kyle and his 16-strong team’s work can be seen in the resort. From the groaning sweet and savoury Afternoon Tea buffet table that takes centre stage in the Vista Lounge & Bar every afternoon to the selection of pastries and breads on display at the morning breakfast buffet and the a la carte Cape-centric dessert offerings at Reuben’s One&Only, there’s no denying the variety of skills needed to keep a resort of this calibre’s pastry department on the right course. “We touch virtually every element of the hotel. Our ovens run 24-7 – whether it’s the late night shift baking fresh baguettes, pastries and granola bars for our breakfast or the morning brigade preparing desserts for the Reuben’s One&Only menu and our Afternoon Tea and of course the evening crew preparing the banqueting spoils and in-room fancies, we’re on-the-go round the clock”, says Kyle.
A stickler for quality, Kyle is grateful that the One&Only brand is all about wowing the guest, “we bake absolutely everything from scratch, you won’t find a pre- mix in our pantry stores and we’re lucky that we have the very best equipment too”, he says while overseeing a team member’s latest creation in the temperature-controlled, glass-walled pastry prep space that can be seen in a corner of Reuben’s. It’s here that the likes of perfectly piped bush peach macaroons, subtly fragranced paw paw cake and roasted white chocolate parfaits are created – each destined for a different menu in the resort.
Kyle studied at the South African Chef’s Academy and although he acknowledges a love for cooking, says that he always had becoming a pastry chef as a goal, with his mother and grandmother playing a major role in cementing this passion. “As far back as I remember I’ve always loved baking. Both my Mom and grandmother are classic South African bakers – I used to go to my granny every holiday and we’d make Hertzoggies and intricately iced Christmas biscuits”, he says. And when he bakes for family and friends? “Although I love working on combining my love for French classic desserts, pastries and fancies with more modern twists at work, at home I love to bake more traditional offerings like lemon meringue pie”, he says.
Aside from the challenges of his new position, Kyle has plenty more on the go. Travels abroad to visit other One&Only resorts are on the cards and he is excited about expanding his department’s focus and repertoire. “We’re lucky in that we’re given scope to be innovative so long as we blow our guests away”, he says. And judging by the pastry department’s creations that are as beautiful as they are delicious, this is certainly the case at One&Only Cape Town.
Catering for up to 100 guests in the Vista Lounge, Afternoon Tea at One&Only Cape Town is served from 2.30pm – 5.30pm daily and is priced at R215 per person. Children between the ages of 4 – 12 years old pay half price.
To experience Cape Town’s One&Only Afternoon Tea, call (27) (21) 431 4511 or email to [email protected]
For further information about One&Only Cape Town visit www.oneandonlycapetown.com