Born in Milan in 1964, Nava owned a string of successful Milanese restaurants and has had some of Italy’s best known chefs in his employ.
Competitive fishing brought him to South Africa in 1989 and in 1999 he decided to live here. In Cape Town he started Rhodes House in 2000 and his passion for cuisine lead him to open the now famous 95 Keerom Restaurant and Carne SA.
In an attempt to control as much of the supply chain as possible, to ensure the quality of the end product, he acquired livestock farms near Graaff Reinet and Nieu-Bethesda.
Here he raises Dorper sheep and he is one of only a handful of farmers who is breeding a cross between the Italian prize Romangola bull and the hardy African Nguni. The result is a beast that is big and virile and fetches a high price on auction. The meat also has wonderful marbling of fat.
Where possible, Nava uses meat from his own farms where he is assured of their organic credentials, but as demand from his restaurants has increased, he has had to find other premium suppliers where he is confident of best practice animal husbandry in Bredasdorp, Namibia and in Botswana.