The Big Easy

Winebar & Grill

The Big Easy Grill is an extension of what Ernie’s career and passion for great food and wine represents. A commitment to excellence and quality; executed to perfection with the right partner.

The Big Easy does not pretend to be anything it isn’t. You should not feel guilty having a burger with an award winning wine as your main course. We are friendly and serve up the classics that way you wish, but we also have something more around the corner if you want to explore. Being at the Big Easy is like going to Ernie’s place; one can eat at the kitchen counter, in the casual family room or the slightly more formal dining room.

We support and are considerate of local environments, flavors and suppliers with the same kind of care and sustainable approach we look after our wine farm in Stellenbosch.

You feel at home here…

Comfort food with a South African edge

The culinary program of the Big Easy has been developed in close cooperation with South Africa’s Chef of the Year 2010, David Higgs. His creativity and talent catapulted his restaurant in Stellenbosch not just to #1 in the TimeOut awards, but also on the 98th place in San Pellegrino’s Top 100 Restaurants in the World and three stars from Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide.

Higgs’ personal titles include Young Chef of the Year from the Chaine des Rotisseurs, which he won as young chef. When asked when he received his greatest award, the reply is “In 2009 when I was able to persuade Ferran Adrià of the existence of South African haute cuisine” The exceptional Spanish chef was bowled over by the high quality and creativity in David’s kitchen.

Ernie Els Wines

Since its launch more than a decade ago Ernie Els Wines has grown and matured into a successful and multi-award winning enterprise with a magnificent portfolio of six South African red wines.
In 2011, Big Easy wines were added to the portfolio – as everyday affordable excellence.
Ernie himself is passionate about wine and is very much involved in the tasting process. In partnership with experienced winemaker Louis Strydom their shared passion for wine is reflected in the quality of the product right across the price ranges.

David Higgs
Culinary Director
The culinary program of the Big Easy has been developed in close cooperation with South Africa’s Chef of the Year 2010, David Higgs and The Els Club’s own Andre John. Higgs’ creativity and talent catapulted his career from the wine regions in Cape Town and Stellenbosch to currently one of the world’s leading hotels at the Saxon in Johannesburg. Inspired with farm fresh products available while launching one of the top 5 restaurants in the country neighboring Ernie Els’ own wine farm, Higg’s has lead the movement of “fresh to table” cuisine since. He has represented his country on the South Africa National Culinary team for a decade and continues to relish to opportunity to introduce the best of South African products and cuisines to the world as our culinary consultant for The Big Easy Winebar & Grill.

Andre John
Executive Director of Food & Beverage for The Els Club Dubai
Andre John leads our first international restaurant location as Executive Director of Food & Beverage for The Els Club Dubai; A flagship property featuring award winning golf, luxurious clubhouse and The Big Easy Bar & Grill. John’s culinary career has taken him around the world with some of the world’s leading hotel & restaurant groups such as The Ritz Carlton, Kempinski, Leela and Jumeirah Hotels. His practical expertise from complex hotel operations to stand alone destination restaurants along with his menu design provides Chef Higg’s and our team a valuable contribution for our hotel development partners.

Therese Virserius
Interior Designer
Born in Sweden, educated in China, and working in New York and Paris, the founder and principal of her namesake design firm draws on her varied cultural experiences to create compelling and diverse hospitality environments. Therese is a true renaissance woman. Starting her career with Ikea in Business and Logistics Management in Shanghai before landing in New York creating renowned hospitality spaces with Jeffrey Beers International, she is a rare combination of business acumen and creative expression. A graduate from the New York School of Interior Design, she continues to create hospitality experiences throughout the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia, and Russia.

Tobias F Mattstedt
Restaurant and Brand Development
Tobias is a seasoned hospitality professional that combines experience ranging from senior executive roles of both luxury hotel operations – from boutique to some of the largest properties in the world - to corporate roles in both hospitality development and operations. Following studies at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, he took on senior leadership positions with Ritz-Carlton in the US and the Peninsula Group in Hong Kong. His career shifted from the world of luxury hotels and joined the 6800 room MGM Grand in Las Vegas as Vice President, Food & Beverage. Managing 55 profit centers, 2,500 employees with an annual F&B revenue of US$275m he led growth by partnering with the world’s finest chefs, restaurateurs & designers and creating more than 20 new venues. He later continued by leading MGM MIRAGE worldwide developments as Sr. Vice President with the launch of non-gaming hospitality hotel projects throughout the world. In 2009, Tobias founded BEYONDHOSPITALITY; specializing in Hotel Development as well as F&B Master-planning, Concept Creation and providing management services for some of the biggest names in the culinary & restaurant world.