This Women’s Month we celebrate three women in leadership roles at The Marine. Up first, we interview our head chef, Tronette Dippenaar.
“I’ve worked for the Collection by Liz McGrath since 2008,” says Tronette.
“I started out at The Marine, and worked there for three years before getting transferred to our sister hotel, The Plettenberg where I spent another three years.”
“I also had the opportunity to work at The Cellars Hohenort. Finally going full circle, I find myself back at The Marine.”
Any inspirational words to share?
Be the type of person that no matter where you are, you always add value to the lives of those around you.
Your thoughts on women in head chef roles in South Africa?
Luckily, today’s generation of female chefs are encountering less discrimination from their male colleagues than before.
Their challenges I’ve found are more an inner struggle with themselves in juggling the tasks of being a chef, a mum and feeling the need to do better and work harder for recognition.
Yet 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.
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. Without it, one needs to seriously consider which is more important, a demanding career or being a mum.
Do you have any advice for young women wanting to become chefs?
- Believe in yourself. Only you determine your success
- Don’t doubt your abilities
- Don’t take everything personally
- Deal with criticism in a positive way
- Don’t develop an ego
- Work with passion
- Do not give up
- Have the ability to work under pressure
- Be dedicated and love the job
- Stay calm to cope with the challenges.
Your favourite things to do in Hermanus…
I love the fauna and flora found around the coast and in Fernkloof Nature Reserve, which I often enjoy while walking along the Cliff Path. Other than that the Southern Right Whales sightings are a big highlight, not to mention a day spent on the beach.
>Your favourite area at The Marine is…
The kitchen of course! This is where I live out my dream.