Last week I visited the home and studio of Three Potters and a Painter outside Stellenbosch, on my way to Franschhoek. I had first come across their ceramic work at Gåte restaurant, especially loving a black and white plate used in one of their dishes. They create works that bridge the gap between traditional design and contemporary innovation, with the aim of leaving their legacy in clay! Continue reading →
Winter is on our doorstep, autumn making itself felt already. Traditionally winter commences at Easter, giving the restaurant industry just three weeks to make its last bucks. The only new restaurant that I have heard open is Botanicum Café & Grill in Constantia, previously Bootlegger Café & Grill, now (silently) 50% owned by Bootlegger, as the concept was not working with the Bootlegger name, it being seen as a coffee shop and not a stand-alone restaurant.
Restaurant openings Continue reading →
I saw an article by Post & Courier recently, randomly as I do not follow this publication, and was attracted to its topic, being the impact of restaurant reviews and their power to close a restaurant down. Being our country’s harshest restaurant reviewer, this got me thinking about why the top chefs in our country, including Giorgio Nava, Bertus Basson, Peter Tempelhoff, Liam Tomlin, and Scott Kirton & Co are so sensitive to constructive criticism by banning (or attempting to) me from their restaurants, yet new (to our country) chef Wunderkind Rikku O’Donnchü of Gåte Restaurant welcomes it so! Continue reading →
I am hearing about the current tough summer season in the local restaurant industry, with a depressed local as well as international economy, and one can therefore only be concerned about restaurant closures lying ahead in winter. There are no new restaurant openings that I am aware of. The closing down of Primal Eatery is a surprise, and of Open Kitchen in McGregor too.
# Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened in the Palms Design Centre in Woodstock. It is owned and owner-managed by well-seasoned restaurateur Rudi Minnaar.
I was sent a copy of Eva Mazza’s ‘Sex, Lies & Stellenbosch’ by Jacana Press, to review, my first Book Review. Whilst I waded through the sex, and sex, and sex, I wondered how I would write this review, this being a family-friendly Blog. But it was right at the end that the message of the book was clear: no matter how terrible the life experiences one goes through, there is always growth and an opportunity to transform, and lead a better life, echoing my two ‘SwitchBitch’ books which I published last year. Continue reading →
It was a surprise announcement to read that Chef Bertus Basson has been exorcised from Spice Route wine estate outside of Paarl, and that Chef Liam Tomlin with Neil and Tina Jewell are taking over this space. It makes for an interesting discussion as to why the top chefs of our country are so determined to open one restaurant after the other, and to ask if they make any money out of it! Continue reading →
In November I was privileged to experience the 16-course Tasting Menu of the then newly opened Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock wine estate. On Friday my Parisian friend and I returned to Gåte, to experience the lunchtime Food and Wine Experience, pairing the restaurant’s homemade charcuterie and cheese dishes with the excellent wines of Quoin Rock. Continue reading →
The new words on serious diners lips are ‘Gåte’ and ‘Quoin Rock’, both not having been heard of by most, but already associated with superlative dining, on a wine estate tucked away outside Stellenbosch where no expense had been spared to create eating and drinking experiences to take one’s breath away! This is what we experienced when invited to eat at Chef Rikku O’Donnchü’s Gåte restaurant on Friday evening. I was still pinching myself over the weekend as to whether this was real, or just a dream. I invited my friend Stuart Bailey to share this experience with me. Continue reading →
I could not think it possible that the Eat Out Awards 2018 could be so refreshingly different, but it appears that new Head Judge Margot Janse has created a fresh new look at the restaurant judging criteria. Many of our top old-guard chefs took a severe beating at the Awards last night! Continue reading →
Last night I attended the launch of the ‘Platter’s by Diners Club International 2019 South African Wine Guide’ at the Table Bay Hotel. It was an evening of some surprises, and new awards presented! But one thing was consistent – the Mullineux duo of Chris and Andrea lead this country in its consistent wine award performance, winning Winery of the Year for the third time in the 39 year history of the Platter’s Guide. Continue reading →