Chef & team

Harald Bresselschmidt grew up on a dairy farm in the pristine Eifel Region of Germany, which instilled in him a love of the land and an appreciation for fresh produce. He started training as a chef in 1980, working in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and London, before doing his Masters in Gastronomy and Cooking. He moved to South Africa in 1992, as Head chef for the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl before completing a series of stages at Michelin-starred restaurants in France. In 1996, he opened Aubergine – and has been offering innovative food experiences ever since.

The Aubergine chef team is made up of talented South Africans, many of whom were promising students at establishments like Infinity Culinary Training and Sense of Taste. Harald has trained his team in the art of fine dining by sharing his extensive experience to create opportunities for previously disadvantaged youngsters.

Our Front of House team are all longstanding members of the Aubergine family: we look forward to welcoming back our regulars and making new visitors feel at home. We pride ourselves on friendly and efficient, but unobtrusive service. Over the years we’ve invested in our team through ongoing in-house training. Our sommeliers continually strive to hone their craft through formal study, regular tasting experiences and visits to wine makers. Through the tireless work of organisations such as The Sommeliers’ Association of South Africa (SASA), great strides have been made in growing the sommelier profession in South Africa in recent years.

History & setting

The Aubergine Restaurant is housed in the historic 1830 former home of the first Chief Justice of the Cape, Sir John Wylde, in the Gardens area of Cape Town. It has been refurbished to combine a rich history with contemporary style with good acoustics.

The elegant ambience of our romantic restaurant features beautiful yellowwood tables, original wooden sash windows and Knysna Blackwood floors. Our classic approach to service is friendly, professional but unobtrusive. During the summer months, guests enjoy al fresco lunches on our lush terrace and magical dinners under the African stars. In winter, a quaint fireplace ensures a cosy atmosphere.

Buy our book

Initiated by Thomas Ernst and Gerard de Villiers, Wine Visionaries was published by Delius Klasing Verlag and details the people, places and passion behind 15 award-winning Cape wine farms.

Combining “expertise and emotion”, Harald has collaborated with wine makers to create special recipes that complement the flavours of these unique flagship wines.

The book won the ‘Best of the World’ at the Gourmand International Awards in the New World Food and Wine books category. You can buy it either on Amazon or pick up a signed copy at our restaurant.

Media & awards

Aubergine has garnered much recognition for our classic, perfectly balanced and creatively crafted dishes, as well as our exceptional service. Here’s what the media say about us:

Our awards

  • San Pellegrino Top 100 in 2009
  • Winner of Diners Club Wine List Awards annually since 1997
  • Winner of Diners Club Wine List Awards ‘Best Wine list in SA’ 2016
  • Gourmet Guide One Plate Award 2016-2020
  • Platinum Award from the SA Tourism Council

Harald was a participant of the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore in 1998 representing Africa. He has also been a guest chef at restaurants around the world including Singapore, Sydney, Montreal, Island of Sylt (GER), Saarbrucken, Berlin and Baden-Baden.