• Manage my Reservation

OUR TEAM

In charge of the
running of all aspects
of hotel operations.

MJ Birch

GENERAL MANAGER gm@plettenberg.co.za

About MJ

Describing himself as driven, passionate and energetic, hotelier veteran MJ Birch brings with him over 20 years of hospitality experience. He started his career as a trainee in Cape Town in 1997, before heading to the UK, where he spent three years working his way up to Assistant F&B Manager. Returning back home in 2002, he joined Londolozi Private Game Reserve as Camp Manager, and in 2004 was appointed Assistant GM at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat in the Cederberg. Before joining The Plettenberg in 2016, he spent eight years in Cape Town as Senior Manager, F&B and Operations Manager for Ellerman House. As GM for The Plettenberg, MJ ensure that the highest possible standards are met in terms of guest experience and service delivery: “I continuously push myself and my team to be better, so that we can offer our guests a truly unique and tailor-made stay.”

Group Executive Chef
of The Collection by
Liz McGrath’s four restaurants.

Peter Templehoff

EXECUTIVE CHEF

About Peter

Trained in South Africa and the kitchens of Quo Vadis, Zafferano and Hambleton Hall in the UK, Peter Tempelhoff brings with him a vast amount of culinary expertise. Upon his return to the Cape, Peter guided The Restaurant at Grande Provence into the Eat Out Top 10 list, before joining The Collection by Liz McGrath as Executive Chef in 2008 – heading up four restaurants at three five-star Relais and Châteaux hotels. Peter successfully relaunched the Greenhouse restaurant at The Cellars-Hohenort in September 2015, and in October 2016 opened Origins at The Marine in Hermanus. At the heart of his food philosophy lies the continuous exploration and re-imagination of South African food - lending distinctive, memorable personalities to each of The Collection’s restaurants, without overcomplicating matters in the process. Peter has won numerous awards throughout his career, including ‘London Top Table’ (ES Magazine, UK, 2005), ‘Sunday Times Chef of the Year 2007’, ‘Franschhoek Life Chef of 2007’, ‘Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef’ and ‘Relais & Châteaux Future Leader in the field of cuisine’ in 2011. With Peter at its helm, Greenhouse has ranked as one of the Top 10 Restaurants in the country by the prestigious ‘Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards’ for eight years running.

Ensures the smooth running
of the kitchen and highest
quality of food

Ritchie Rorich

HEAD CHEF headchef@plettenberg.co.za

About Ritchie

Feeling passionate about travel and bringing people together, Ritchie Rorich secured a placement at the prestigious Ritz-Carlton resort in Naples, Florida, following his graduation from Steven Billinghams’ HTA School of Culinary Arts in 2007. He then spread his wings aboard the six-star cruise liner Crystal Symphony, travelling to over 30 different countries – and thereby fulfilling a lifelong dream of seeing the world. It was during his time spent in Hawaii and the Carribbean that he developed an affiliation for oriental and island cuisines. Upon his return to South Africa in 2010, Ritchie worked at Zinzi at Hunter Hotels in Plettenberg Bay as Senior Sous Chef for three years, under Chefs Ryan Millar and Antoinette Meyer. This was followed by three years of private cheffing, before joining the Collection family at The Plettenberg in October 2016, where he now works closely with his current mentor, Group Executive Chef Peter Templehoff.

Guides the Reception Team
and ensures that guests
enjoy a wonderful stay.

Laula Vena

GUEST RELATIONS MANAGER guestservices@plettenberg.co.za

About Laula

Laula started as an in-service student at Shamwari Game Reserve in 2005, a position she was only meant to hold for one year as part of her studies. In 2006 she was however appointed Day Centre Assistant Manager at the Reserve, followed by a promotion to Junior Lodge Manager at Longlee Manor in 2007. She moved to sister property Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in 2008, first as Assistant Lodge Manager across the Reserve, and then Lodge Manager of Tilney Manor. Following a stint as Lodge Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, she joined The Plettenberg as Guest Relations Manager in 2014.

Ensures the smooth
running of the Food
& Beverage department.

Antelize van der Walt

FOOD & BEVERAGE MANAGER fnb@plettenberg.co.za

About Antelize

Having first gained work experience in Scotland, Antelize returned to South Africa in 2007 to study BSc Consumer Science and Tourism Management. She then headed off to the US, first New York and then Boston, where she joined a Private Country Club as a Hospitality Management Intern. This was followed by a promotion to Assistant Food & Beverage Manger in 2012. Back on home turf, she worked as Restaurant Manager at Cybele Forest Lodge for six months, before joining The Plettenberg in 2013. In her role as Food & Beverage Manager, Antelize ensures that guests have an excellent culinary experience with great service.