One of South Africa’s most awarded and internationally acclaimed chefs, David Higgs has brought the trend of live fire cooking to Johannesburg’s dining scene for the first time. Marble is a celebration of quintessential South African fare encompassing roaring flames, crackling embers and the unmistakable sizzle of something cooking on an open flame.

‘I’ve long been fascinated by what makes South African fare unique, and I believe it’s down to us being meat and flame enthusiasts – through the timeworn ritual of cooking on wood fires, and gathering with friends. That’s what Marble celebrates – and not just meat, but all types of ingredients cooked on coals – including fish, poultry, vegetables and breads,’ says Higgs.

Passionate about developing young talent in the hospitality industry and educating the youth on healthy eating, Higgs is one of the founders of Food Cycle, a programme that aims to educate South African children as to the benefits of short- and long-term healthy eating habits and proper nutrition. The programme also serves to introduce these youngsters to the hospitality industry.

In 2007 David Higgs and Jean Engelbrecht established a fine dining restaurant in the old cellar on the historical wine estate, Rust en Vrede, outside Stellenbosch. Four years and many awards later, Higgs made the move to Johannesburg to introduce diners to a whole host of new eating experiences at the Central One Restaurant at Radisson Blu Gautrain. Soon after The Saxon Hotel snapped him up to revamp the menu and establish an award-winning fine dining restaurant, Five Hundred.

His current partner, the serial entrepreneur Gary Kyriacou, has owned several retail properties, Spar Supermarkets and was involved in the hospitality programme for the 2010 FIFA World Cup during his 20-year career.

Marble combines two international trends – the first live fire cooking and the second, a rooftop bar experience. Situated in Roam – the growing art, food and culture hub of Rosebank – Marble seats 250 dining scene enthusiasts and also a rooftop terrace with a view that stretches over Johannesburg’s urban forest towards the Magaliesburg. The Bar / Tapas Menu includes the Marble Plate serving ashed olives, pork crackling, biltong and curried popcorn; while on the Main menu the Blackened Octopus combines grilled octopus, chorizo, olive and salsa verde.

Downstairs is a butchery that allows patrons to take home cuts of meat from the Marble menu, and more. Future plans for the venture include openings of Marble in Dubai, London and / or New York.

address: Trumpet on Keyes, Corner Keyes & Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank | For reservations and enquiries email: [email protected] | tel: 010 594 5550 | Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 12:00 – 22:00