At the age of 23 during his education in Engineering, Grobbelaar realised his real passion was with the science of seasoning rather than combining synthetic polymers. He swiftly changed his career path and started peeling vegetables for three years at the Erinvale Golf Estate in Somerset West under the leadership of Australian Chef Michael Bridgeman. There he soaked up the expertise bestowed by his mentor, leading him to win first place in the National Salon Culinaire Competition in 2004.
After a short stint catering for millionaire clients on their luxury yachts in the US, he returned to South Africa to train with legendary Garth Stroebel and Paul Hartmann at their Chef's Academy. As his love affair with food went into high gear, his skills became noticed with numerous awards and enviable posts including Sunday Times South Africa Chef of the Year 2009 - San Pellegrino International Young Chef of the Year 2009, and nominated as one of the 35 Men of Influence by GQ Magazine South Africa 2009. During The 2010 FIFA World Cup he held the position as Executive Chef overseeing ten stadiums, where over 660 VIPs at each game enjoyed one of his seven rotational menus. If serving soccer lovers and legends wasn't enough, he was then awarded another sporting position in 2010 as Team Captain of the South African Culinary Olympic Team.
At the ripe age of 31, Grobbelaar now embarks in his exciting new role at the helm of Cape Town's No. 1 Hotel as voted by Travel + Leisure the 500 World's Best Hotels 2010. Here he oversees the culinary experience of distinguished guests at the award-winning Azure restaurant, 24-Hour Café, as well as the famous Leopard Bar. Guests visiting the hotel for arguably the most romantic and memorable South African weddings and celebrations will also benefit from Grobbelaar's coveted palate.
Grobbelaar comments, "Working at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa fulfils another career ambition, which is certainly the icing on the cake. The hotel is known around the world for superior levels of service and award-winning standards and it's an absolute honour to lead this impressive culinary team. I plan to bring a fresh burst of flavour to my new menus, launching in the summer season, drawing from the freshest seasonal ingredients, to make The Twelve Apostles the place to visit for the finest dining experience in Cape Town."
President and Founder of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, Bea Tollman, comments "We are absolutely thrilled to have Henrico join The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa as our Executive Chef. There is no doubt his expertise and service excellence is a perfect match for Red Carnation, where our family-run boutique hotels showcase splendid luxury and exceptional personal service, expressed in our guiding principle, 'No request is too large, no detail too small'. He is definitely as great asset to the company.'