Bushmans Kloof beefs up management team

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat has announced that James Basson has been appointed as the new Lodge General Manager. Executive Chef, Floris Smith, who will remain in charge of the lodge’s award-winning cuisine, which earned it the coveted Condé Nast Traveller UK Gold List Best Hotels for Food in Africa, Middle East and Indian Ocean award in both 2010 and 2011, has been appointed as Assistant General Manager. Pieter van Dyk has been appointed to take up the reigns as Human Resources Manager.

James Basson has been an integral component of the Bushmans Kloof team for the past four years, where he was first appointed as Assistant Food and Beverage Manager in 2008, before his talent, hard work and passion for the industry earned his promotion to Food and Beverage Manager six months later.

He started his career studying Marketing at Tygerberg College, but quickly realised his love for the hospitality industry, particularly the Food and Beverage sector. He honed his talents between 2004 and 2008 in the Food and Beverage divisions at various top Western Cape establishments including Zorgvliet Wine Estate, the Portswood Hotel, and the Santé Winelands and Wellness Centre.

He started his career studying Marketing at Tygerberg College, but quickly realised his love for the hospitality industry, particularly the Food and Beverage sector. He honed his talents between 2004 and 2008 in the Food and Beverage divisions at various top Western Cape establishments including Zorgvliet Wine Estate, the Portswood Hotel, and the Santé Winelands and Wellness Centre.

Floris Smith – BK Assistant General Manager & Executive Chef

During the past few years, Basson has inspired his team to a new, elevated level of professionalism and it became apparent that he was ready to move onto greater challenges. He has proven to be a great leader, with fine values reflecting strength and character, and with an ability to adjust, evolve and assume the responsibilities that he had been confronted with over the past four years. He shows remarkable skill in combining flexibility, morals, high standards of service and most importantly, the ability to take care of guests’ needs, all of which comprise the key characteristics of being a General Manager.

Floris Smith joined Bushmans Kloof as Head Chef in 2001. Under his management the cuisine at Bushmans Kloof reached great new heights. He then left for Londolozi Game Reserve in August 2003, before returning to Bushmans Kloof for another two year tenure. Keen to explore a new taste venture, Smith then joined Hotel Izulu in Ballito (Kwa-Zulu Natal) as Executive Chef in 2006, honing his culinary skills and adding exciting elements to his repertoire of dishes, before returning to Bushmans Kloof in 2009, to once again, head up its culinary team.

A man of many talents, Floris also developed the guest entertainment at Bushmans Kloof and recently formed a drumming troupe and choir who thrill guests with traditional African songs and gumboot dancing during pre-dinner drinks at the River Boma, or after dinner at any of the breathtaking dining venues at the lodge or out in the reserve.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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