What makes us special
- CHEF NEO MKWANAZI, prior to joining Clico, has worked across a diverse range of hospitality leaders from the Liz MacGrath Collection in Hermanus, to the five-star kitchens of luxury bush lodges across the And Beyond and Shamwari portfolios. Neo’s family and their passion for cooking was instrumental to building his career as a chef. From an early age, their celebration of ingredients that come straight from the land,has since been translated into his desire for sustainable produce sourced from smaller suppliers and farms.
- “I believe in food that is true, in a sense that it doesn’t destroy or take away. At Clico, we do locally sourced, sustainable, flavour-packed food – always identifiable in its simplicity.We consistently strive to keep our guests coming back by giving them a holistic, silver-service experience, paired with a taste sensation of classic dishes done with a local twist,” says Neo.
- CLICO RESTAURANT, opened in 2015, has become renowned as an intimate establishment with a unique architectural design – a metal structure, triple volume ceilings and a flooding of natural light through the glass stack doors. This refined food restaurant has in a short space of time become a refreshing and welcome addition to the Johannesburg dining scene.Comfortable upholstered chairs lead to relaxing visits, and large sliding doors allow for a semi alfresco atmosphere. The glass stack doors allow the flexibility to divide the restaurant into two sections of differing sizes in order to accommodate private meetings, functions and occasions.
- Clico Restaurant is open to the public who, with hotel guests, can enjoy our European-style cooking which is reflected in our tasting menus that change seasonally.
- Clico is proud to be a member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an International Association of Gastronomy that brings together enthusiasts who share the same values of quality, refined dining, the encouragement of the culinary arts and the pleasures of the table in the appreciation of fine cuisine.
- Chef Neo believes in food that is true, in a sense that it doesn’t destroy or take away. 'Mass production is killing food that is real, where it used to be okay to have a deformed product, on your plate.We have become so obsessed with things that look pretty! The reality is that a lot of food is being thrown out because it just doesn’t look right. I feel as a Chef, we should be able to produce so of the finest cuisine with the odd looking produce. We have a responsibility to make our kitchens, waste free, using the whole product, being sustainable'.
- 'My focus is to produce food that is seasonal, and if it’s out of season, we just don’t cook it. We have to ask ourselves where it has come from, just so it can be on my plate'.
- 'I love to cook everything from scratch and believe that how you get to a no waste kitchen and using everything. Making our own, jams, breads, preserves, sour dough, fermentation, pickling (for out of season)'.
- Chef Neo is big supporter of the slow food movement and also support small suppliers.
- We support local and we really passionate about the small scale, farmer and suppliers, and not suppliers that are followed by trends, 'I spend a good amount of my time finding them. Some I use from my own hometown, people that seen me grow as a Chef'.
- 'Just to mention, a Lady by Venessa (Blue Orange Farm), all she does is chickens and ducks, that what she is good at and you can feel the love in her produce. When you at her farm, you feel at home'.
- 'There is also Sue (Wayfere) who does my trout, what I love about her, she supplies a great product at an affordable price. Like for the last 6 weeks, she hasn’t been able to send me trout because of there being no rain. That for me is honest food and we not supplying food because you as a consumer wants it, nothing in nature should be readily available. It rained and now I have trout coming in tomorrow '.
- These are some of my suppliers, that have become family, people that have your best intentions at heart. Suppliers that you can call on at any time. I believe all chefs should be able to tell their guests, what was the lambs last meal, or when your vegs where grown. We need to be plugged in.