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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

‘Fun Dining’ at Punchinellos as Chef Froneman Rejoins Tsogo Sun

Chef Nicholas Froneman has rejoined Tsogo Sun as Southern Sun Montecasino’s Executive Chef, bringing plans and ideas to introduce fantasy and fun with a contemporary twist and melt-in-your-mouth flavour to the popular Punchinello’s new ‘Food Theatre’ menu.

At Southern Sun Montecasino, his aim is ensure that the hotel’s food offering steps up to the next level, delivering five-star cuisine in line with Tsogo Sun’s strengthening food-centric focus across the group.

The signature dish on the new Punchinello’s menu is a ‘Secret Garden’, with a Smoked Beef Tenderloin Log, in spiced pancetta and popcorn dust, pea puree gel, and beetroot Turkish Delight.

Other tantalising items on the ‘Food Theatre’ menu include Cannelloni of Duck Confit, with peppered strawberry bon bons, peanut saté, mango and shallot flavours; Olive Oil Baked Salmon Trout, with sweet potato scales, pea textures, and basil caviar; Mediterranean Squid, with ring soufflé, braised tentacles, braised ink risotto, pork airbags, and balsamic truffle pearls; Lamb and Rolled Neck ‘Salami’ and Crusted Loin, with Venetian textures of peas and tomatoes, celeriac potato puree-Sambuca drops; Chilled Oysters and Prawns – butter-poached jumbo tails, roasted corn puree, oyster in Curaçao and seawater en gelée.

Chef Nicholas’s love of the funky and contemporary ‘fun-dining’ approach to his cuisine has seen many influences in his wide-ranging experiences as a chef around the world.

As a child growing up in East London, Nicholas’s interest in ‘doing things differently’ with food stemmed in part from the purely traditional fare prepared by his mother and grandmother.

He started as a trainee chef with Holiday Inn in East London in the early 90s, achieving his Diploma in Professional Cookery from Technikon Witwatersrand.

His training took him to the Elangeni and the Cape Sun, and then his career started as a chef de partie back at the Elangeni. It was there, in the original Punchinellos restaurant at the Elangeni, that Froneman had what he describes as “his biggest kitchen success”.

He continued moving around within the Southern Sun group including Southern Sun Grayston in Sandton, V&A Hotel, Fancourt, Sun International’s GrandWest Casino.

International experience has also took him to Singapore, Dubai, Egypt, Tanzania, Botswana, and elsewhere, holding the position of Executive Chef in many of the leading hotels.

Chef Nicholas returned in early 2018 to Tsogo Sun and Southern Sun Montecasino.

Tsogo Sun has a portfolio of over 100 hotels and 13 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa and the Seychelles. For more details, visit

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