Chef Franck Dangereux was born in Cannes and his early years were surrounded by flavour. “My earliest memories are strongly connected to food… My gran who lived in Nice cooked delicious food for us – rabbit with red wine, cep mushrooms and prunes. Asparagus with a vinegary, creamy sauce, strawberries with homemade custard.”
At 15 he started at the Nice Hotel School and then trained with Roger Verge of Moulin de Mougins. After stints at two Michelin 3-star restaurants in Paris, Franck travelled to St Bart in the Caribbean where he started a laid back restaurant at the top of a hill. Further travels lured him to Cape Town where after working with Franck Swainston at Uitsig, he started La Colombe where he was placed 28th on the list of the world’s 50 best restaurants. Quite an achievement, yet his approach is philosophical… “It is not about the winning of awards, but the enjoyment of cooking. The award should really go to the patrons who walk through the door” he says.
For Franck, The Foodbarn is an incredibly exciting challenge at a new stage in his life… “Pete and I own this place; it is our hard earned cash that is invested here. At the same time, we are also motivated by spending time with our families. This is quite something to juggle but there is less pressure and more fun. I want to train my team to become passionate about food… they are keen to learn”.
Pete de Bruin
Pete de Bruin has always had a passion for people, food and restaurants. While studying and to make extra money, he worked at a number of Cape Town eateries where the experience gained and the people he worked with would prove to be a catalyst for returning to the industry he loves many years later.
It was after a hectic evening service at his first restaurant in Hout Bay that Pete and Franck met... "I could not speak French and his English was really bad …. but after a couple of tots of Jose Cuervo Gold and some delicious calamari, we were communicating. By the end of the evening, we had decided to open a restaurant!"
Pete was offered a job with an international IT consulting firm where his career took off, but after 15 years, he was sick of travel and corporate life - it was time to get out.
They saw the site where The Foodbarn is currently located on the Wednesday, an offer was made on the Friday and on the Monday, it was accepted by the previous owners.
A born networker, and a passionate ideas man, his re-inception into the hospitality sector has been a phenomenal experience. "Walking through The Foodbarn, enjoying my guests company, and being a great host is when I am happiest".
Sadly, Pete passed away in July 2020 after a short battle with cancer.