Since starting the restaurant on Rust en Vrede Wine Estate in 2007 with proprietor Jean Engelbrecht, Higgs and his team have developed the restaurant into one of South Africa’s leading restaurants, garnering various accolades in the process.
Higgs will be running the restaurant until the winter break commences on 18 June. John Shuttleworth, currently sous chef at Rust en Vrede, will replace Higgs as head-chef when the restaurant reopens on 19 July.
“David will always be known as the chef who established one of the winelands’ finest restaurants as well giving the Rust en Vrede brand an added dimension of excellence,” says Engelbrecht.
“I would like to thank him for his invaluable contribution and wish him well on his new career path where I am sure he will achieve the same degree of success he did at Rust en Vrede.
“Together with David, I have decided to appoint John as the new head-chef as his experience will ensure that our innovative and original cuisine, commitment to service excellence and sourcing of the finest produce will continue to remain at the heart of the Rust en Vrede offering.”
Higgs said his tenure at Rust en Vrede offered him the opportunity to realise his full potential as a restaurant chef.
“As part of a fantastic team, I am proud to say that Rust en Vrede helped push winelands dining to a new level, and I have no doubt that Jean, John and the rest of the team will continue doing so,” he says.
“Moving to Johannesburg from this environment is not an easy decision. However, the opportunity of being involved on a greater strategic business level within the food industry is one I feel compelled to pursue.”