Taking on the restaurant industry one season at a time

Maritsa and Maradine Whitehorn, co-owners of Seisoen, and former contestants of TV show, My Kitchen Rules. PHOTO: NOMAQHAWE MTEBELE

Maritsa and Maradine Whitehorn went from experimenting with dishes in their kitchen, to competing on hit TV show, My Kitchen Rules, and opening their own restaurant in less than two years. Theirs is a journey of love, determination and perhaps even changing the perception of what really makes a chef and successful restaurant.

Recently opened Seisoen in Louw Wepener Street in Dan Pienaar, is described as the perfect place for fun-dining. A restaurant where visitors can feel right at home with a bowl of “Pap en Kaiings” and a bottle of their favourite wine. Maradine expressed that some are also tempted to kick off their shoes to get even cosier among the wooden wall installations and a glowing fireplace inspired by farming life.

Maradine, Bloemfontein born and raised former photographer is the reason that they took part in the TV show last year, This propelled their way into the food industry, according to wife, Maritsa. “I was not sure about being on television but she told me that she would not want to take part in the competition with anyone else but me. So I entertained the idea and to my surprise we actually got the call to join,” she said.

The couple have been together for a decade and have been married for five years. They expressed that although they both had a love for cooking and experimenting with dishes, the support they have shown each other was instrumental in opening up the restaurant.
“We complement one another and we always push each other to do better. Every plate we put in front of a customer must be better than the last,” said Maritsa. “Every time must be better and that is how you grow and improve,” added Maradine.

The idea of Seisoen came about as the duo wanted to create a place that is as adaptable as the changing seasons in food and decor. This also means that sustainability is at the heart of the gourmet food that is so painstakingly prepared.

“More people need to be conscious of how they use food because there are less and less farmers, and food security is an issue. Making food from seasonal food is also better for the environment as well as the local economy because you will not need to import ingredients,” said Maritsa.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele