Chef Tanja Kruger
Tanja was born in the Kalahari and grew up in Plettenberg Bay. After high school she studied at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenboch. After finishing her studies she worked at Lanzerac in Stellenboch.
Tanja then travelled to the UK and worked there to gain international experience. Back in SA she did private cheffing for a while before moving to the Radisson Hotel in Cape Town, working under chef Jeffrey Siew. After the Radisson she worked at Five Flies in Cape Town and then moved back to the Garden Route to join Hunter’s Country House under chef Carmen Trutter. At Hunter’s she worked her way through the ranks from chef de partie to jnr sous to snr sous and finally to head chef. Whilst there she became interested in culinary competitions and took part in her first in 2007 at Gastronomica, taking first place. She also went on to win the regional and national competitions of the chaine des rotisseurs young chef of the year (or jeunne commis) and in 2008 represented SA in the international competition in Paris, where Tanja achieved 4th place. In 2009 she was also chosen for Culinary Team SA’s training squad and, along with the 17 other chefs in the team and represented South Africa as part of the national team at the Culinary World Cup in Luxemburg in 2010 where the team brought home two silver medals.
In May of 2011 Tanja decided to spread her wings and move to Stellenbosch where she was executive chef of DeHuguenot Estate, but after the sad closure of this property moved to Majeka House in November 2011 to head up the team of Makaron restaurant.
Makaron, the French-inspired restaurant at five-star Majeka House in the Stellenbosch winelands, has reopened in a brand new space within the hotel.
Sophisticated interiors and exquisite design details draw guests into a contemporary dining environment in which to appreciate modern cuisine grounded in classic French cooking techniques.
Complementing the new restaurant is M, a bar and lounge with the ambience of a plush Parisian salon. In this space, guests may linger over drinks or order a light meal. Immaculately upholstered sofas, a library of intriguing books and a grand piano set the tone for total relaxation.
For the new-look Makaron, potter David Walters in Franschhoek was commissioned to produce an exclusive collection of bespoke crockery for the restaurant. The result is beautiful plates and bowls in various sizes, each one slightly irregular in shape, either embossed with an M or a colourful swirl to complement the restaurant’s stylish interior. Makaron also won the Bochendal Style Award at the 2011 Eat Out awards.
In the evenings, there is a multi-course tasting menu featuring signature dishes paired to local wines or the la carte menu of heartier dishes inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients. A carefully chosen wine list makes wine and food pairing a pleasure here.