Meet the Team
HEAD CHEF | Janine Fourie
Big Easy Durban Restaurant Executive Chef Janine Fourie was born in South Africa. She completed her in-service training, as well as professional chef diploma at the Granger Bay Hotel School in Cape Town and has spent the last 17 years gaining valuable local and international culinary experience, front and back of house. She joined Protea Hotels International in 1998.
At the end of 2002 Janine travelled to the UK. Inspired and eager to learn she was overwhelmed by the vast variety of fresh ingredients available. As Jnr Sous Chef at the Ramada Hotel in Docklands, she worked side by side with internationally acclaimed Michelin star Belgian Chef, Steve Van Remoortel, enriching her culinary knowledge.
Two years later she returned to South Africa as Executive Chef at Stonehill Restaurant. During her first year the restaurant was awarded Top 100 Restaurants in South Africa, and an American Express Fine Dining award. In 2009 she travelled to Nigeria, where she says she found, “working on the African continent, a very challenging experience logistically.”
In 2010 she moved to the award-winning, five-star Diva Maldives (renamed LUX* Maldives) as Executive Sous Chef, after which she joined the prestigious luxury cruise line, Silversea. She completed three consecutive contracts between 2012-2014, travelling extensively from Asia and South America, to Europe and Antarctica, leading a brigade of 45 chefs and managing five outlets. With Silversea’s affiliation with Relais &Chateaux, food standards were always to the highest level of service.
Her most recent position was as Executive Chef for two restaurants at the Knai Bang Chatt Hotel, an 18-room, boutique hotel in Kep, Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand.
Janine says, “Good quality food inspires me. Only by appreciating your ingredients and gathering knowledge about them, can you produce a truly divine culinary experience.”
SOUS CHEF | Sbu Nhleko
Sbu received his formal training in Food Preparation and Culinary Arts at the Chantecler Hotel School of Food and Wine in KwaZulu-Natal in 2005. He has worked his way up through the ranks of the kitchen brigade holding Sous Chef and Head Chef positions at a number of leading Durban establishments and hotel properties within the province. His most recent position position as Executive Sous Chef at beachside eatery, California Dreaming, earned him accolades from his superiors for his ‘flair for putting ingredients together to come up with a tasty new recipe or an interesting twist on an old one.’
RESTAURANT MANAGER | Scott Morgan
Big Easy Durban Restaurant Manager, Scott Morgan, is proudly South African and matriculated in Durban North. His initial experience in the hospitality industry began in various pubs and restaurants in Durban’s Outer West area (Kloof and Hillcrest). Scott then spent several years in the Midlands and Drakensberg at various boutique hotels and resorts in Operations, Food & Beverage management and finally as Assistant General Manager at Hartford House.
One of his first employers – the owner of a small restaurant – was the inspiration in his career. “This was where I discovered what great service, food and wine could do to lift the spirit of the guests,” says Scott.
“I truly believe The Big Easy’s homely, comfortable atmosphere is what makes it special and embodies the ethos that founder, Ernie Els, set out to create – providing great hospitality in a fun, relaxed environment where diners can enjoy good food and wine served by friendly staff. It’s a beautiful venue.”
Scott uses one word to describe a day in the life of a restaurant manager at The Big Easy.
“Busy! The restaurant is an exciting, energetic environment. As manager I need to maintain this pace as well as take care of any issues which arise. Restaurant managers – and the rest of the team – have to have physical, emotional and mental stamina and be resilient. Every day is different as we strive to provide an exceptional dining experience for our guests.
“I am used to the long hours of the hospitality industry though, having worked in restaurants and hotels in and around Kwazulu Natal ever since I left school.”
When Scott does have some spare time he likes to spend it with family or unwind by playing golf or squash or go scuba diving, fishing or mountain-biking.