Working as a barman and waiter during and directly after high school lay the foundation for a career in hospitality that he only realised later in life. Seeking instead to make his money in the offshore oil industry Barry studied motor mechanics, rope access and offshore survival before heading out to Scotland and West Africa to assemble offshore pre refineries. Realising his financial goals but feeling less than accomplished he headed back to South Africa to start his own business.
Quickly burning through saved up startup capital he took on night jobs as waiter, barman or bouncer to pay the bills while slowly building the infrastructure needed to create the largest supply of raw material to the South African curio industry. Within months the business was large enough to take on a partner and generate enough income to support both, but he soon realised he enjoyed being in the restaurant more than the office and once the business was stable, handed the company over to his partner and father, took the plunge and committed to making a career out of hospitality. I am very proud to add that the business is currently still operating successfully with the same partners and networks I helped secure after 5 years and generating a healthy profit and has finally expanded on my recommendation.
After working his way through high street restaurants, him and his girlfriend started working on various projects for wine estates including, functions, weddings, poolside bars at guest houses and managing restaurants. On relocating back to Stellenbosch he took on a management position at Protea Hotel before finally getting an opportunity to train under Joakim at the prestigious Rust en Vrede Restaurant. Working near fanatically, he flew through his Cape Wine Academy courses followed swiftly by the intermediate WSET courses before finally enrolling for the grueling WSET level 4 diploma which he is currently in the second year of.
After two years under Joakim’s tutelage, in early 2014, Barry took over the reins and has successfully maintained and built on the foundation laid before him. Coming third nationally in the Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Awards, highly rated in the SA Eat Out Awards, winning Best Wine Program in Africa and the Middle East, two years in a row as well as Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence.
Barry’s skill is his diversity. Not only does he have world class wine knowledge, a pitbull like work ethic and some of the highest rated restaurant experience in the country. He also bring priceless hands on experience of starting a business with limited resources and has the maintenance skills to keep a restaurant running on a tight budget.