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27 March, 2023

Taking our Royal Tea to the next level

The Silo Hotel

Leaving you wanting more

The Royal Tea experience at The Silo has always been a culinary highpoint, but with André Steyn as our new pastry chef, the bar has been raised even higher. An alumnus of both La Colombe and Delaire-Graff, André is without doubt one of SA’s finest pastry chefs, and we’re honoured to have him on our team.
Chef André cites some of the world’s best chefs as his gastronomic heroes, but it’s no exaggeration to say that he very much belongs in the company of such luminaries as René Redzepi of Noma, Ferran Adrià of El Bulli restaurant and Jordi Roca of El Celler de Can Roca.

Fit for a king or a queen

Royal Tea at The Silo is deservedly a Cape Town institution, with a daily selection of six sweet and six hot or cold savoury items, all accompanied by scones. Looking to add modern flair to classic high tea staples, Chef André enjoys bringing in different textures and flavours. He also looks to include the special Silo Tea Blend in at least one item each day.

For André, dessert is never an afterthought. Rather, he believes that as the final course in any meal, it should ‘knock your socks off’ and leave you with wonderful, lasting impressions. With that goal as his starting point, it’s no wonder Chef André’s creations are so divine.

He originally intended to be an architect rather than a chef, so we’re fortunate that he turned his back on building design to become a towering figure on the SA culinary map.

In the kitchen from a young age

As with many of the best chefs, Chef André found inspiration in the family kitchen from an early age. His mom was clearly a multi-tasker; he has fond memories of her reading a book while cooking up a storm, and his sister was also a skilled maker of sweet treats.
Chef André’s sweet tooth tempted him away from architecture and towards becoming a pastry chef in particular; he admits that he was fascinated by the intricacies of pastry, and the opportunity to create desserts that beguiled the eye as well as the taste buds.
A stint on a cruise liner contributed to Chef André’s growing skills and experience, but ultimately, it was working in some of South Africa’s finest restaurants and hotels that really floated his boat. While he’s absolutely dedicated to his craft, he tries not to take his work home with him, although he is currently working on a revamp of the entire Royal Tea menu. Expect more deliciousness soon!

The pleasure of contrasts

Despite his sweet tooth, Chef André enjoys bringing savoury elements into his desserts. You might be surprised to learn that he regularly uses such non-traditional elements as white onion, olive oil or miso, while he’s particularly proud of his offering for vegan guests at The Silo: porcini mushroom paired with dark chocolate, caramel and praline. He also admits to having a weakness for the texture of freshly churned ice cream.
Born on the Garden Route, Chef André regularly incorporates iconic South African flavours into his classic modern creations, with rooibos tea and wild herbs being among his favourites. While using local ingredients comes as second nature, he also enjoys figuring out how to build on and around the flavours of unfamiliar ingredients.

The perfect ending

Chef André believes that there should always be room for dessert, and that this can be made possible by ensuring that the menu is well-balanced. A dessert offering that ticks all the boxes – something fruity, something chocolatey, a more savoury option and an all-time classic – will be sure to inspire guests, perhaps with a little gentle convincing from their waiter or waitress.

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