Chef-patron Daniel Leusch has won every significant South African food award. Born in Verviers, Belgium, he trained at the International Hotel School in Lausanne, Switzerland and arrived in South Africa aged 24 in 1976. Of his arrival he says “South Africa was a very different place then. We were the first to introduce the idea of the bistro into this country.” Through out the years Chef Leusch has remained true to his original vision of classic French dishes prepared with care and skill in a charming yet calm and affordable epicurean environment.
For over three decades the gastronomic skill and quiet attention to detail of Daniel’s wife, Karine Leusch has been a core element in the fine flavours produced by La Madeleine. Now retired from the kitchen brigade, she continues to ensure that the administration of the establishment runs with a deliciously smooth aplomb.
Sous Chef Mary Hlongwane has been a member of the La Madeleine family since 1990. She was trained in-house by Chef Leusch and the strength of that training shows in deep densely flavoured sauces, silky smooth crème brûlées and most of all in what Chef Leusch describes as the “utter perfection” of her choux pastry profiteroles.