WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Is it the right thing for Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom to feature in an ‘advertorial’ for Uber, (boringly) showing him booking his ride via phone in his Parliamentary office, and then being driven to the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where he addressed the eTourism Africa Summit as keynote speaker?

*   Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2009 has won World Champion Cap Classique, Best in its Class, as well as Gold in the 2014 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships in London, with 650 wines from 16 countries evaluated.  Klein Constantia MCC Brut 2011 won Gold too, while Simonsig Cap Classique Kaapse Vonkel 2010 won Silver.  A total of 185 wines won a Gold or Silver medal.

*   Yuppiechef.com has been named the Best eCommerce Store in South Africa for the fifth year running, winning ahead of Woolworths, Groupon, Takealot, and Kalahari.com.  The award was made at the 2014 South African eCommerce Conference.  Yuppiechef director Paul Galatis said: ‘We were a team of seven people in January 2011 and have grown to a team of 80 over the past four years, all dedicated to building an exceptional online experience for our customers and inspiring them to get into their kitchens and start cooking! It’s wonderful to be rewarded for doing work we’re passionate about and we’re very pleased to have been recognised by the awards for the fifth year in a row’.  The company sells more than 8000 kitchen tools online. (received via media release from Orange Ink PR)

*   Delaire Graff’s charity project FACET (For Africa’s Children Every Time) has launched two Graff Mobile Learning Centres in partnership with Pebbles Project.  One of the Learning Centre vans will provide tuition as well as access to computers to children.   The other van will be a travelling library with fiction and non-fiction books.  The vans will visit eleven wine farms benefiting 1200 children . (received via media release from Waterford Communications)

*   The 2014 Chef of the Year cook-offs take place next week, and on the Senior Finalist list are Hanno Van Eeden from Sheraton Hotel Pretoria, Mluleki from Radisson Blu Sandton, Germaine Clarence Esau from Delaire Graff Estate, Sven Samuel Adams from Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Jade Van Der Spuy from 1000 Hills Chefs School, and Xavier Francis from Oyster Box Hotel.  Junior Finalists are Samantha Jones from Hilton Hotel Sandton, Kirsten Howell from Saxon Hotel, Samantha Holtman from 1000 Hills Chefs School, Candice Jordan from Fusion, and Amoré Botha and Michaela van der Merwe from the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa. Confectionery Showcase Finalists are Larissa Chevonne Pillay from The Oyster Box, Nathan Jacobs from The 12 Apostles, Wonda Grobbelaar from Chocolat te Gateaux, Kevyn Bradley Buys from Capsicum Culinary Studio,  Skhumbuzo Maphanga from Durban ICC, and Thabani  Magubane from Quills Deli. (received via media release from Strategic Public Relations)

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter:@WhaleCottage  Facebook:  click here