Growing up in Cape Town South Africa with parents who loved to cook, Devon Boyce knew he wanted to work with food at a young age. Along with brother Kyle (Head Chef of Pizza East), Devon started cooking one night a week for the family while growing up and fell in love with it. Making the decision to pursue the culinary path, he landed a position at one of the top 15 hotels in the world, the Cape Grace hotel in Cape Town. He worked alongside brother Kyle for three years before he was offered an opportunity to move to the UK with Soho House and he jumped at the opportunity.
In 2008, Devon started as sous chef at BKB and moved into the head chef role the following year. Shortly after he was appointed the head chef position at High Road House in Chiswick, London and oversaw both kitchens. Having mostly Thai experience in Cape Town, Devon learned the British style of cooking quickly and while at High Road House he focused on sourcing as much seasonal produce as possible and looked to British purveyors for the most sustainable and seasonal options available for his menu.
In 2014, Soho House asked Devon to oversee the opening of Chicken Shop at Soho House Chicago in the West Loop neighborhood, one of the property’s public facing restaurants. The first U.S. outpost of the UK brand, Chicken Shop serves up free-range birds, which are marinated overnight, steamed and then cooked over charcoal on a special rotisserie. Taking inspiration from 1950s American general stores, guests enjoy a fun, casual setting while indulging in a rare taste of rotisserie in Chicago.
Devon lives in Chicago with his brother Kyle, the head chef of Pizza East at Soho House Chicago. When he’s not in the kitchen he enjoys trying the many restaurants in Chicago and looking for new inspiration to bring back to his own kitchen.
A Q&A with Chef Devon Boyce
How long have you been working with Soho House Group?
Since 2008. I started as sous chef at BKB and moved into the head chef role the following year. Then I was offered head chef at High Road House in Chiswick, London, looking after two kitchens.
Where did you get most of your inspiration throughout your career?
My inspiration came from living in South Africa in the sunshine, by the ocean. Much of my training was at the Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town, rated as one of the top 15 hotels in the world. The quality of food and availability of fresh produce and seafood are second to none.
What do you most like to cook?
Definitely modern European and British.
What is your signature dish?
Scallops, buttered chanterelle mushrooms and chestnuts.
What do you cook at home?
I love to cook Thai and Indian, for a change!
What is your favourite cookbook?
Larousse Gastronomique bible, without a doubt.
What do you look for in your chefs?
I look for a lot of energy, which comes hand in hand with a good attitude. Passion is essential, otherwise there’s no quality. Oh, and definitely common sense too!
What is your most memorable meal? It was somewhere called the Asian Kitchen in Capetown…I have never tasted Peking Duck like it. I went back every two weeks, so I guess I have had multiple memorable meals. Seriously untouchable.