Beerhouse PR Consultant Peter Marx invited me to try the innovative new beer-based BrewFood menu at Beerhouse on Long Street, a feast which my friend Elize Skriker and I shared. Almost every dish and sauce contains beer, with a menu focusing on smoked meat dishes. Prices are very affordable. Not only was it an excellent lunch but it was also a most informative beer lesson! Continue reading →
Eat Out has announced the names of its six ‘celebrated chefs’ cooking at its 2014 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards Gala Dinner on 16 November at new (for Eat Out) venue Thunder City. It has also revealed that five judges will select the Top 10 Restaurants for 2015.
In the past the chef selection for the Gala Dinner has been a sure predictor of Eat Out Top 10 restaurant selection, but when this became too obvious, Eat Out selected a mix of chefs who made the Top 10 Restaurant list, with some that did not. We have predicted the Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant shortlist for this year. The ‘decorated chefs’ cooking the dinner are:
* Neil Jewell of Bread & Wine (a weird Top 20 Restaurant finalist last year), which will definitely not make Top 10.
* David Higgs of five hundred (last year’s Chef of the Year and the restaurant came second on the Top 10 list), which will definitely make Top 10 – can Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly let go of her ‘darling’ Luke Dale-Roberts, and give the top spot to Continue reading →
* In the World Travel Awards 2014 Cape Town was named Leading Destination as well as Leading Cruise Port (ironic as its facilities in the harbour to receive cruise line guests are so poor) in Africa. For Africa The Pepperclub Hotel & Spa was named Leading City Hotel; Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront Leading Conference Hotel; Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Spa Leading Hotel Residences; Ellerman House Villa One Leading Luxury Villa; and Table Mountain Leading Tourist Attraction. (received via media release from Cape Town Tourism)
* Top Stellenbosch chefs Tanja Kruger of Makaron at Majeka House, Christiaan Campbell of Delaire Graff, Bertus Basson of Overture, and Michael Broughton of Terroir, as well as Somerset West-based Chef Gregory Czernecki of Waterkloof will be preparing the food for Stellenbosch at Summer Place, a showcase of the best wines, art, and food from the Winelands town, which will be held on 15 October at Summer Place. Entrance costs R500. (received via media release from Random Hat Communications)
* Ultimate Braai Master ‘Time for Tough‘ 13 series Season 3 starts sizzling on etv this evening, at 20h30. It is described as the Continue reading →
I have no idea who heads up Woolworths’ Marketing department, but it seems that the retailer has lost the plot! Once the darling of all, seen to be above reproach in the quality of the products it sells and the lengths that Woolworths will go to find the most organic and animal-friendly produce for its customers, it is being lambasted for copying other brands, for importing tomatoes, peas and more, and for making misleading claims about its products. In addition, it seems to have lost the link between its expensive sponsorship of TV food programmes and its stores!
Let’s start with ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’, a programme which has been running on SABC3 for the past 9 weeks, a travelogue of our beautiful country, and documentation of Woolworths’ sourcing of sustainable and ethical produce, or so it is presented. We have been exposed to Woolworths suppliers of tomatoes in Stellenbosch, organic wines made in Franschhoek, apples and pears grown in Grabouw, SASSI-friendly fish sourcing, and the pasture-fed lamb from the Karoo. Criticism has been leveled about the use of an Australian surfer who came third in MasterChef Australia in 2011, as the tour guide to our country and the guide to its sustainable food and wine treasure chest, a self-confessed ‘cooker’ and not a chef! The dishes in the eight episodes to date have been as basic as salads, pizzas, and sandwiches, with a mussel pot and an Eton Mess too. In some episodes the Woolworths punt has been so strong (i.e. the tomato growing) that it has become irritating, but of late the strong Woolworths promotion has been toned down. Surprising is the low-key advertising for Woolworths in its half-hour episodes, and is nothing as mouthwatering as the Woolworths’ commercials we have seen on MasterChef SA Seasons 1 and 2. Nedbank is the other Continue reading →
A workshop held above Truth coffee shop about ten days ago, at which One Up Agency’s Alex Harrington-Griffin and Cape Town Magazine Managing Director Marcus Zandhuis spoke, focused on the concept of Partnership and Collaboration Marketing, and used Robertsons’ recent #SkyDine collaboration with kulula.com as one example of such marketing.
The Robertsons #SkyDine promotion is an interesting if not bizarre example of Partnership Marketing. Chatting to the brand’s Social Media Manager at The Ultimate Braai Master Cape finals on Saturday, he explained that Liquorice, the company he works for, only handled the Social Media aspects of the campaign. Durban-based ad agency The Hardy Boys, handling the Robertsons’ account, conceptualised the campaign. A planeful of bloggers and food journalists from Cape Town (and Johannesburg) was invited by marcusbrewster, the campaign PR agency, to a surprise flight to Johannesburg, and on the return flight to Cape Town, Reuben Robertsons Riffel introduced the surprise 3-course meal which he had designed, and which was prepared by airline catering company Foodirections. Utilising plane crockery and an airline catering company, food plating and presentation was disappointing. We recognised Continue reading →
Yesterday I was invited to attend the judging of the Cape Finals of Season 3 of Ultimate Braai Master held in the parking area of The Lookout at the V&A Waterfront. Not only was it a good way to catch up with a number of chefs who judged the Cape Finals, but it was also an opportunity to meet Cooked in Africa Films producer Justin Bonello.
Justin chatted to blogger Thuli Gogela of Mzansi Style Cuisine Blog (she appeared in the Bloggers episode of season 2 of MasterChef SA) and I as the judging came to an end at the Finals. One sensed his overriding passion for food, which has grown into TV production, with 21 productions to date, including two previous Ultimate Braai Master seasons, two seasons of Charly’s Cake Angels, as well as ‘Seasons at Terroir‘, which was launched last week and focuses on Chef Michael Broughton, and his restaurant Terroir at Kleine Zalze. Justin denied that Terroir not making the Top 20 Eat Out restaurant list last November was a blow to their production, saying that Chef Michael’s food is beyond Top 10 competitions, clearly a fan of the chef’s food. He is fascinated by the revolution of growing one’s own vegetables and herbs, and proudly showed me a photograph of his vegetable garden at home, out Hout Bay way, which will become the subject of a TV series ‘Green Time’ at the end of 2015, with seven pilot projects of vegetable gardening at schools being developed. Continue reading →