Aki is the owner of The Bistro Collection. This includes Licorish Bistro, The Green Peppercorn, LoveFish and Harissa (PTA). He opened Licorish Bistro in 2012 with the intention to celebrate the truly South African flavours. Licorish has a bistro-style menu with a thread of Cape Malay running through.
Aki has been in the restaurant industry for more than 20 years. Aki first made his mark when he started in Village Walk with Café Kafe, which became a benchmark café for a superior dining experience, efficient service and excellent food. From these humble beginnings Aki’s ambition and appetite for creativity and risk, he then became one of the first restauranteurs in Johannesburg to bring the gastronomic experience to dining when he first began The Bistro Collection.
Karel Jacobs, Executive Chef
After growing up in Pretoria and studying at the Food & Beverage Institute, Karel worked as Senior Chef De Partie at Fairmont Zimbali. His experience also includes Executive Chef at The Fig Tree Restaurant, and Hotel Izulu, as well as 2 years lecturing at The Capsicum School.
He now runs the kitchen at Licorish Bistro as Executive Chef, continuing to pour his heart into the restaurant by supporting and training his staff like they are family, innovating and evolving the food down to the plates that it is served on and just energising the space. Karel’s contagious, bubbly enthusiasm for life and food inspires everyone around him. He loves his restaurant and his staff (and mountain biking) more than life itself and it’s incredible to see.