Neill Anthony Vaughn, the chef with three first names, seems to know EVRYONE by theirs. Gordon (Ramsay), Giorgio (Locatelli), Heston (Blumenthal) and a host of other chefs, restaurateurs and food-related muso’s that us, mere mortals, have never heard of because instead of touring the BBC Lifestyle channel, these people are tucked away in kitchens all over Europe bedding Michelin Stars.
Neill Anthony, personal chef to 2 Oceans Vibe Radio
Born in our neighbouring Zim, Neill – “with two L’s, darling” – was named after Neill Diamond, his mum’s heartthrob to this very day. Growing up, his dad was an environmental consultant and a committed vegan who took young Neill to abattoirs and farms, which gave him a subconscious grounding in the world of food. Besides being a die-hard fan of The Diamond Geezer, his mum was a fantastic cook and it sounds as though she took pride and precision in whatever she provided for her family.
Having just recently got back from what sounds like 11 years of heated kitchens, sleepless nights and Michelin Stars for all the eye to see, Neill has returned to the Southern tip of Africa with some gloat-worthy experience. His claim to fame has got to be the fact that he was the påtissier at Gordon Ramsay’s Hospital Road in London.
Since February 2010, Neill has done a few Supper Clubs at 3 Fig, some personal cheffing, private functions with the Camps Bay Apartments and my favourite in his bag of tricks – his market day experiences in which willing participants get strapped to the back of Neill’s scooter and trouped off to the Tokai Food Market where they both choose and purchase the ingredients for the meal that Neill will prepare that evening.
I do love to ask foodies what their last meal would be and even though his official answer is “anything that my mum cooked” he does have a slightly less biased answer. Neill’s last supper would be eaten at Richard Corrigan’s Mayfair. Be prepared to wait up to 2 months for a treasured seat at one of Corrigan’s tables but Neill being Neill, knew the head chef and managed to wangle a seat at the bar to have his pièce de résistance – an Oyster poached in its own juices, plated with discs of Mayfair’s secret sausage, topped with a crispy duck’s tongue.