Corona Virus: How SA Eat Out Top 20 Chefs are coping with the COVID-19 Lockdown – Part 2!



Yesterday I published a post that focused on a number of leading South African chefs, in summarising what they are doing to maintain awareness for their restaurants, what they are posting, and how they are getting involved in helping their clients as well as the disadvantaged community. This Blogpost is a continuation of the story, focusing on the remaining restaurants which made the 2019 Eat Out Top 20 List.

Corona Virus: How South African Chefs are responding to the COVID-19 Lockdown, some selfless, some selfish!


The Eat Out Top 20 restaurants not covered in yesterday’s article are the following, in no particular order:


Eike by Bertus Basson, Overture, Spek & Bone, De Vrije Burger

Chef Bertus Basson is busy, cooking a dish daily in his home kitchen, often with his son Theodore on his arm, a very well-behaved young man, who gets to help stir a mix in a bowl, or accompanies his dad to the vegetable garden.Chef Bertus reposted an Eat Out Breakfast video on his personal page, as well as on the Overture and Eike by Bertus Basson Instagram accounts, but since then he is only posting a food preparation video daily on his daily Instagram account. His dishes include Banana Bread, chili sauce, Caesar salad, Chocolate Fondant, Ricotta dumplings, and more..



The last post for Greenhouse at Cellars-Hohenhort was dated 24 March. Chef Farrel Hirsch last posted on his personal Instagram account on 13 March.


La Colombe, La Petite Colombe, Epice Restaurant, Protégé, Foxcroft

This was the biggest surprise: with one of the largest collections of restaurants in its group, and La Colombe being the number one restaurant in our country, there has not been a word from La Colombe, La Petite Colombe, Epice Restaurant, Foxcroft, and Protégé since 24 March. The last post states that diners will be contacted for the rescheduling of bookings. It employs a PR company, but there is no visibility for the restaurant group at all.


Camphors at Vergelegen 

Interesting is that the restaurant utilized the Lockdown to create an Instagram account on 3 April. It is posting daily, with posts about its wastage policy, bread making, dish creativity, and more.  Chef Michael Cooke is posting irregularly, last announcing the new restaurant Instagram account,


Restaurant at Waterkloof 

Our country’s third best restaurant last year, and the number one restaurant the year before, does not have its own Instagram account, it sharing its news with the Waterkloof winery. The last restaurant post was on 18 March. Chef Greg Czarnecki last posted on 18 March.


Chefs Warehouse & Canteen, Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia, Chefs Warehouse at Maison, Brugarol, Jewell’s

On 20 March Chefs Warehouse & Canteen announced that it was temporarily closing its doors. It was the last post of the restaurant. Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia and at Maison had a similar post on 23 March. Jewell’s last posted on 24 March, announcing its closure until further notice. Brugarol in Barcelona last posted on 26 March. 

Restaurant owner Chef Liam Tomlin is not known to be much of a Social Media user, but now is posting very personal photographs of destinations he dreams of returning to, it would seen, such as Ireland, the beach, and the Kruger Park.



Wolfgat is the only restaurant in this Blogpost that is doing anything for its community, requesting contributions for the Paternoster People’s Partnership Food Drive. It is estimated that 600 households in the village, not earning an income during Lockdown as they are involved in the fishing and hospitality industry, will need food support, with an estimated R600000 required to create weekly dry foods packs for these households for one month. The restaurant website has a donation link.

Other than that there has only been one Instagram post, in which diners are requested to reschedule their bookings and to not cancel them.

(Photograph above)

LivingRoom at Summerhill Estate

The last Instagram post was on 23 March.


La Tête

The last restaurant post was on 23 March. Chef Giles Edwards has been posting on his personal Instagram account daily in the past five days, including dishes such as Yellowfin Tuna, Scotch Eggs, Yellowtail Crudo, and a Homemade Hot Cross Bun. No recipes are provided.


Rust en Vrede 

The Rust en Vrede restaurant at the wine estate does not have its own Instagram page, its last restaurant post being on 6 December, while the last wine post was on 25 March.  I could not find an Instagram page for Chef Fabio Daniel.


Tjing Tjing Momiji

The last Instagram post was on 17/March.


Marble, Saint

While Saint and Marble in Johannesburg are not Eat Out Top 30 restaurants, it was pointed out to me that Chef David Higgs’ entertaining food preparation videos could be worth including here.

Chef David Higgs has been one of the first chefs to post recipe videos on his personal Instagram account, adding a fun touch with the outfits that he wears, a different one each day. He has posted videos for custard, lamb stew, mushroom and bacon risotto, haddock Mac, chicken wing and prawn potjie, and more. On the Instagram accounts for his Saint restaurant in Johannesburg he is posting recipes for Saint dishes and cocktails, a similar approach used on the Mable Instagram page. Chef David posted an appeal for purchases of his ‘Mile 8’ book, all proceeds going to their Staff Support Fund.


Overall there is very little community involvement, except for Wolfgat, amongst this collection of our country’s leading restaurants, very disappointing. Even more disappointing is the poor attempt by most of these top restaurants to maintain their visibility amongst past and future diners.


Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein


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