The Chef

Chef Johannes Richter

2023 Chef of the year

Chef Johannes Richter is executive chef at the award-winning The LivingRoom at Summerhill Guest Estate. Named as the 2022 Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant of the Year, it is proudly one of the countries best dining destinations.

The menu showcases the province’s culinary diversity from garden to plate, expressed through the chef’s fine French training and passion for Asian techniques. Together with his wife Johanna and mother Christine, the team deliver a fine-dining experience combining exceptional food with premium wines and top-notch hospitality.

Food has always been a passion for Johannes. One which, through childhood was nurtured by his mother – who often took Johannes and his three siblings travelling into Africa – exploring the plantations and markets in order to understand the local produce and food cultures of each region. South Africa – their home base – reflected its own cultural diversity, and so explorative travel was vital for the business here, too. This would come to instil a deep respect and love for local cuisines within the aspirant chef.

In 2010, while studying for a statistics degree, Johannes decided to pursue his real passion and took up an apprenticeship in the Black Forest region in Germany. It was there, where he was classically trained in French cuisine and exposed to Japanese cooking techniques to Michelin Star standards, where his career as a chef would really begin.

Summerhill-Guest-Estate | The LivingRoom - Chef Johannes Richter

Johannes returned to South Africa in 2017 – married to Johanna, whom he’d met while working in a top Berlin restaurant. Now with two young children – the couple set about joining the family business, Summerhill Guest Estate and opened The LivingRoom in 2017.

A proud and fervent champion of KwaZulu-Natal produce, Chef Johannes combines the ingredients of the province with his French training and love for Asian cuisine to create a unique and exceptional culinary experience. The menu is constantly evolving, completely changing every two months in line with seasonality and the produce from Summerhill’s own kitchen gardens and carefully sourced local suppliers.

When not in the kitchen, Johannes can be found outdoors, whether it be tending to the gardens, spearfishing, foraging or running. He recently competed in his first Comrades Marathon.