Q&A with Zimbabwe-born private chef Neill Anthony


What’s ‘Neill Anthony The Private Chef’ about?

It showcases some people I cook for privately, plus Cape Town’s scenery and suppliers.

It was pretty much shot in real time; I can count on one hand the retakes of dishes.

Why private cheffing?

I like football, and came back in 2010 for the World Cup. Then I thought: private cheffing, why not?

Do you work alone?

I have an assistant sometimes. But for six or eight people, I do it all, from prep to knives, forks, plates and dishes. I like to leave the kitchen cleaner than I found it.

Which London chef was worse to work under: Gordon Ramsay or Marcus Wareing?

Gordon was there, but in and out. Marcus was Gordon’s golden boy, so always pushing for the third Michelin star. He was grinding us down all the time. The days of physical abuse in the kitchen are gone – then, if you burst a ravioli they’d stick it down your apron and press it to your chest.

Do you always wear a pencil behind your ear?

Yes, I’m always crossing things off, making mental notes, phoning suppliers. It became a thing when I worked in restaurant kitchens.

What don’t people know about you?

My private chef T-shirt has sunflowers printed on the shoulders. Underneath I have a shoulder tattoo – it’s an orange and red sunflower.

Anything you don’t like?

I’ll eat most things: veal brains and ducks’ tongues. I hate Nutella.

  • ‘Neill Anthony The Private Chef’. Weekly on SABC3, from March 15 at 4.30pm.