Our Team

Our Team

 

MARTIN LOMBAARD
OWNER-PATRON
Martin Lombaard has been on the Durban restaurant scene for as long as anyone can remember, launching the trend-setting el Cubano, el Turko and el Guappo in the early 90s. Havana Grill at Suncoast followed in 2003 and Little Havana was launched in 2012.

Martin’s always been something of a legend in the kitchen but his knowledge of cuisine really grew and developed when he was travelling the world in his early twenties. For four years he worked in and studied restaurants in places as diverse as Israel, Turkey, Greece, Austria, Thailand, New Zealand, America, before returning to SA to conjure up his own magic.

Martin is passionate about the world class grill standards that Havana sets, and loves entertaining big and generously.

JOSE GONCALVES
OWNER-PATRON
A master at meat, amongst other things, Jose Goncalves grew up in a household where meals were like religion. Even though his father worked long and late, he’d come home, whip up a fabulous dinner from whatever he’d brought with him, and wake his young sons to eat.

Jose started his career, fresh from school, in Ch’amigo, an Argentinean restaurant in Durban where ever steak was dry aged and cooked on a charcoal grill, and there his passion for meat was born. After managing Mike Kitchen’s at Mhlanga for around 10 years, Jose took off, with his wife and son, and went sailing round the world for 7 years.

Back in Durban in 2003, Jose joined Martin as a partner in Havana, happy to be able to share his passion for meat again.

DEIDRE PARK
EVENTS COORDINATORIt takes loads of patience and hard work to run the functions and eventing side of Havana and to manage the strong headed men at the helm. Deidre Park has however, excelled at this since 2007, with ingenuity, presence and skill.Ever cheerful, Deidre is not just hard working, but a perfectionist too. But that’s no surprise – she’s been passionate about home economics since school, and after studying hotel management, worked in a variety of environments including a B&B in the Cape wine lands and corporate catering and did a two year stint on the Queen Mary 2, before settling into Havana.I enjoy it here,” she says. “The restaurant is just the right size to
remain personal!”Deidre became a partner in Havana in 2012 and, in her spare time, is passionate about tasting other menus and learning more about food!

 
NANCY CLARKE
KITCHEN MANAGER

The kitchen wouldn’t be the same without multi-talented Nancy Clarke calling the orders, and with her intimate knowledge of every aspect of the kitchen, no one would have it any other way. Nancy studied Commercial Catering at ML Sultan and worked for a contract catering company for a few years before spending some time working in a kitchen in London and in a chalet in France. After 5 years of work aboard a cruise ship, Nancy landed back in Durban and joined Havana first as a waitress from 2006 to 2007 and then in her current position from 2008. She became a partner in 2012.

Nancy is fanatical about quality control in the kitchen environment and prefers to use fresh, high quality ingredients.  She’s specially gifted at baking, looking for any excuse to whip up biscuits and cakes.

 

 

Seafood and Grill Room, Sun Coast, Durban