Malika van Reenen, Executive Chef at Signal Restaurant, has been cooking for as long as she can remember. Inspired by both her mother and grandmother, she creates dishes with sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients and is always on the lookout for new and innovative ideas.
In her role as Executive Chef, Malika oversees the food and beverage outlets at Cape Grace; Signal Restaurant, Bascule Bar and In-Room Dining. During her 4 years at the hotel, Malika has ensured that Signal is always a front runner for awards and accolades. From Restaurant of The Year in 2009 to appearances on Expresso morning show, she’s certainly putting Signal and herself on the culinary map!
Malika’s Cape-inspired flair and food knowledge was also recognised in “A Touch of Rooibos”, the Rooibos Ltd’s cookbook which was voted 3rd best cookbook in the world at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris in 2010.
In May last year, Malika rubbed shoulders alongside top celebrity chefs, Heston Blumenthal and James Martin in the 2011 Good Food & Wine Show hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. She also cooked in several demos alongside world-renowned Indian chef, Atul Kocchar.
Her passion for food has not been limited to Cape Grace but has also found its way around the world. She was invited to Les Trois Rois Grand Hotel in Basel, Switzerland to work alongside their Executive Chef in their 2 Michelin Star restaurant. She helped design a proudly South African menu which was served in their Brasserie Restaurant for the Soccer World Cup period.
She also designed a menu for a South African food promotion at Meikles Hotel (Zimbabwe’s premier hotel) in Harare and then flew to New York where she entertained 30 top US media representatives with a South African inspired interactive cooking class. It was a huge success and she received glowing reviews from the journalists. Her year ended with a trip to Dubai where she hosted a South Africa Week at Le Meridien’s Café Chic – one can only wonder what 2012 has in store for this ‘Chef on The Move’!