After nine years, Kevin and Sumien Warwick have sold The Class Room Restaurant to Tina van den Berg, who took over on 1 May. That does not mean, however, that the Warwicks have hung up their aprons for good – Kevin will continue to pursue his passion for training students for the hospitality industry.

Kevin and Sumien Warwick with the new owner of The Class Room Restaurant & Function Venue, Tina van den Berg.

Warwick’s Chef School was founded in 1991 and originally utilised the Kidbrooke premises for training. When the Warwicks purchased Kate’s Village Restaurant in 2010, they renamed it The Class Room because of its connection to the chef school, as a practical outlet for the students.

Now they are looking forward to diversifying and, while Kevin will continue his involvement with various culinary programmes, he’ll also be offering new short hospitality training courses and cooking classes at different venues. These will include fun holiday programmes for primary and high school learners and short, part-time courses that are ideal for amateur cooks and culinary enthusiasts who like to entertain.

As the new owner of The Class Room, Tina is very excited to be hosting private and corporate functions, weddings and special events at this popular venue. She is also continuing with The Class Room’s legendary Sunday lunches, while initiating additional events such as the Soup & Sherry Evening they hosted last week.

Tina hails from Kempton Park and is not alone in this new venture – her husband, businessman Martinus, will soon be joining her, while both her son and daughter are working by her side. Son, Martinus Jr is looking after the finances and daughter, Bernadine is taking care of marketing and design work. She is also Tina’s right hand when planning events and functions.

Back in Kempton Park, Tina worked as a bookkeeper for 11 years and also started her own events company. “Both my children got roped into the business and we began looking for a venue of our own,” says Tina. While visiting family in Strand last year, they drove around and decided that the Cape offered the best opportunities. “Once back home, we continued our search on the internet and when we found The Class Room on the internet, we immediately knew it was the right place for us.”

That was in March – and a month later Tina and Bernadine were here. “Hermanus is a beautiful place – so clean and well-maintained,” enthuses Tina. “We have been pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the people and the warm welcome we’ve received.”

The Class Room’s whole team is staying on to support the new owners and to ensure continuation of the venue’s reputation for high culinary standards and excellent service. “The Class Room was never a one-man show, and we are grateful to have worked with a team of talented and loyal staff members who we have a lot of respect for,” says Kevin.  

“We would like to thank our team: Annabelle, Nicola, Jan, Clupedia and more recently, Bhungane, Amber and Abongile. Thank you also to our part-time staff members who have assisted us over the years: Michael, Yolanda, Louise, Reinette, Anthea, Chantelle, Riekie, Dihan, Flora, Lucia and Danelle; and to all our customers for their wonderful support over the years.

“We wish Tina van den Berg and her daughter Bernadine, all the best with this new venture and we are looking forward to seeing The Class Room grow to new heights.”

Anyone requiring more information on Warwick’s Chef School’s upcoming short courses is welcome to contact warwicks@hermanus.co.za or 083 978 3942.

The Class Room Restaurant & Function Venue can be contacted on 028 316 3582.

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