Master baker and passionate pastry chef, Kyle Hickman has been appointed Head Pâtissier at One&Only Cape Town. 27-year-old Kyle has been at the ultra-luxury resort since 2013, working under renowned pastry chef and chocolatier René Simatos as her sous chef. His promotion reflects the brand’s passion for developing its people and promoting from within, as well as Kyle’s outstanding abilities in what is arguably one of the busiest departments in the resort.
At any given moment, Kyle and his 16-strong team’s work can be seen (and enjoyed) throughout the resort. From the sumptuous sweet and savoury Afternoon Tea buffet table that takes centre stage in the Vista Bar & Lounge every afternoon, to the selection of pastries and breads on display at the morning breakfast buffet and the a la carte Cape-centric dessert offerings at Reuben’s One&OnlyCape Town, there’s no denying the variety of skills needed to keep a resort of this calibre’s pastry department on the right course.
“We touch virtually every element of the resort. Our ovens run 24-7 – whether it’s the late night shift baking fresh baguettes, pastries and healthy granola bars for breakfast, or the morning team preparing desserts for the Reuben’s menu and Vista’s Afternoon Tea,” says Kyle. “Of course the evening team prepare the banqueting spoils and in-room fancies – we are on-the-go round the clock.”
As a perfectionist, Kyle is grateful that One&Only is all about wowing the guest. “We bake absolutely everything from scratch, you won’t find a pre- mix in our pantry stores and we’re lucky that we have the very best equipment too,” he says while overseeing one of his team’s latest creations in the temperature-controlled, glass-walled pastry prep space that can be seen in Reuben’s. It’s here that the perfectly piped bush peach macaroons, subtly fragranced paw paw cake and roasted white chocolate parfaits are created – each destined for a different menu in the resort.
Kyle studied at the South African Chef’s Academy, and although he acknowledges a love for cooking, says that he always had becoming a pastry chef as a goal, with his mother and grandmother playing a major role in cementing this passion. “As far back as I remember I’ve always loved baking. Both my Mom and Grandmother are classic South African bakers – I used to go to my granny every holiday and we’d make Hertzoggies and intricately iced Christmas biscuits,” he says. And when he bakes for family and friends? “Although I love working on combining my love for French classic desserts, pastries and fancies with more modern twists at work, at home I love to bake more traditional offerings like lemon meringue pie,” he says.
Kyle has a lot to look forward to in his new role. Travels abroad to visit other One&Only resorts are on the cards and he is excited about expanding his department’s focus and repertoire. “We’re lucky in that we’re given scope to be innovative so long as we blow our guests away,” he says. And judging by the pastry department’s creations that are as beautiful as they are delicious, this is certainly the case at One&Only Cape Town.
Catering for up to 100 guests in the Vista Lounge, Afternoon Tea at One&Only Cape Town is served from 2.30pm –5.30pm daily and is priced at R215 per person. Children between the ages of 4 – 12 years old pay half price.
To experience One&Only Cape Town’s Afternoon Tea, call +27 21 431 4511
or email: Restaurant.Reservations@oneandonlycapetown.com