Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg
- 67 Jan Smuts Avenue, Westcliff Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa , South Africa
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2014
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Current
- Auberge de l'Ill, Illhaeusern, France; Reserve de Beaulieu, Beaulieu France; Le Negresco, Nice, France; Le Cirque, New York, USA; Intercontinental Resort Tahiti; Auberge de l'Ill, Illhaeusern, France; Rebstockstube, Denzlingen, Germany
- Aachen, Germany
- Apprenticeship under Uwe Quitter and Maurice de Boer at the former Michelin one-star Restaurant Gala in Aachen, Germany
- German, French, English
Cooking for Dirk Gieselmann was once just a hobby. The talented Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg recalls his eureka moment halfway through university. “I wanted to impress my girlfriend by serving her lobster. But I wasn’t sure if the frozen one I had purchased was already cooked. Needless to say I cooked it just in case – and the result was awful! I realized then that I really wanted to learn how to cook professionally.”
Determined to learn the ropes in one of the best restaurants in his home city, Gieselmann ditched his engineering studies, and began an apprenticeship under Uwe Quitter and Maurice de Boer at the former Michelin one-star Restaurant Gala in Aachen, Germany. His hard work paid off, taking him to kitchens all over the world, from La Réserve de Beaulieu and Le Negresco in Nice to the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort in Papeete and New York City’s Le Cirque.
Prior to joining Four Seasons, he spent seven years as chef de cuisine alongside owner Marc Haeberlin at the famed Michelin three-star Auberge de l’Ill restaurant in Illhauesern in France’s Alsace region.
While travel and mentoring by great chefs has played an important role in shaping Gieselmann’s career, he believes that reading about the rich culinary traditions of different countries has been essential to developing as a chef. “You must soak up as much as possible. My whole life revolves around food,” he says with a chuckle.
The move to Joburg opened an exciting new chapter for Gieselmann. “This is an incredibly vibey, bustling city,” he says. “I’m really excited about creating dining experiences here that embrace Joburg’s energy and showcase the exceptional local produce and wines, offering its residents and visitors something exceptional.”
Committed to using seasonal ingredients sourced from trusted local suppliers, Gieselmann’s passion for French cuisine, twinned with his experience in kitchens all over the world, makes him uniquely placed to bring contemporary yet classic cuisine to the restaurants at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg. Diners at Flames will experience Gieselmann’s refined take on informal eating, with a menu of snacks and classics made using the very best ingredients in an outdoor braai kitchen. View, Gieselmann’s signature restaurant, showcases his unpretentious yet exquisite cuisine – “An expression of myself, my own take on food,” he says.