Chef James Diack

Chef James Diack believes that the most beautiful experiences from the simplest things in life. His passion for provenance and sustainability is evident in his philosophy, and the food and wine served in his four highly-acclaimed restaurants.

James studied at the Institute of Culinary Arts (ICA) in Stellenbosch. Prior to opening Coobs in 2012, he worked for some of South Africa’s most respected chefs including Bruce Robertson at The Showroom and celebrated pastry chef, Nicolas van der Walt. He was also Richard Carstens’ pastry chef at Manolo before becoming his sous chef.

In Johannesburg, James refined his management skills working for a fine-dining catering company and then spent two years at Pomodoro, a local Italian eatery. Inspired by international travel while growing up, and in particular a pilgrimage through Spain; James later decided to open his own restaurant.

He opened Coobs in 2012, Il Contadino in 2017, and La Stalla and Douglas + Hale in 2018.

In October 2018, Chef James Diack was named as one of the SASSI 2018 Trailblazer Chefs.