I ate at KONG Bar & Grill in De Waterkant last Thursday for the first time, at the invitation of its PR Consultant Marina Nestel, and then watched the World Cup Rugby Semi-Final there on Sunday. Not expecting much from the ‘Grill’ part of the name, I was surprised to meet Chef Coenraad Spauner, who heads up the kitchen and who worked at a Michelin Plate restaurant in France last year. Continue reading →
How does Chef Jenny Morris do it? In one week she has launched her new series of ‘Jenny and Reza’s Fabulous Food Academy on Food Network, launched her new ‘World Atlas of Food: 100 countries, a world of flavours’, and has launched her new Jenny Morris Giggling Gourmet range of wines made Continue reading →
Cape Town has just been ranked third Best Food City in the World by Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards 2014. Taste of Cape Town 2015, running at the Green Point Cricket Club until the end of today, gives locals and visitors a taste of what makes our city so special as a food destination.
Hosted for the eighth year in Cape Town, and run by food editor and stylist Justin Drake, Taste of Cape Town has settled in at the cricket club venue after venue changes in early years. Taste of Cape Town is a festive and fun way to eat and drink one’s way around one venue, showcasing not only restaurants and wine estates in Cape Town, but also those in the Winelands.
I was invited by Errieda du Toit PR to attend the Taste of Cape Town, and was joined by Continue reading →
The Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards event is a highlight on the restaurant calendar, held for the 17th year, and at Thunder City for the first time last night. The results surprised, with one heavyweight chef sliding right off the Top 10 list, while a new restaurant made Top 10. Two restaurants which did not make the Top 20 Restaurant shortlist in 2013 flew back into Top 10 last night. Stellenbosch remains the Gourmet Capital of South Africa (4 Top 10 restaurants), followed by 3 in Johannesburg, and 1 each in Cape Town, Franschhoek, and Hermanus. While the award recipients were acceptable, the food was a disaster.
Thunder City is not an ideal venue for a function of this magnitude (800 guests, but advertised as 1000 initially), being difficult to find – the petrol station one block away from the turn-off had no clue where Thunder City is, and there were no signs off Borcherds Quarry Road, other than some posters held by men, only visible in the last minute. I followed a taxi, there being no further signage to Thunder City. We were collected from the VIP parking by a Mercedes-Benz shuttle van, and I arrived just as the event started, Chef Pete Goffe-Wood doing a tribute to Chef Bruce Robertson, who passed away two weeks ago. The lighting was poor for Continue reading →
It’s the highlight of the restaurant industry tonight, and 1000 restaurant staff, food lovers, suppliers, and media will be at Thunder City to salute and celebrate the Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants.
It must be one of the most oddball years for the Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Restaurant Awards 2014, the goalposts changing in August and September, as more and more Top 20 calibre chefs left their restaurants of employ, to join other restaurants, or to open their own establishments. Some Eat Out judges had already been sent to evaluate potential Top 20 candidate restaurant before the chef departures were announced, wasting time and money for New Media Publishing and its judges Abigail Donnelly (Editor of Eat Out), Andy Fenner (Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, supplier to a number of Top 20 restaurants, a 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 past week three further Top 20 Restaurant candidate chefs have announced their resignation, making the restaurants at which they work ineligible to be nominated for the 2014 Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant shortlist. This year is the most volatile we have ever seen as far as top restaurant chef departures go, opening up the opportunity for a fresh 2014 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards list.
The latest chef resignations are the following:
* Chef Oliver Cattermole left Mondiall Kitchen & Bar two weeks ago, today joining the Leeu Collection as its Executive Chef for its five star Dassenberg Estate hotel and Rusthof Country House in Franschhoek, both opening next year. Chef Oliver has worked locally at Dash at the Queen Victoria Hotel, the Le Franschhoek hotel, and Mondiall, as well as internationally at Ivy Restaurant, La Gavroche, Novelli, and at Cannizaro House hotel.
* Chef Brad Ball, who helped open Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg, leaves in two weeks to start up what sounds like a collective of three restaurants at Pedlars on the Bend in Constantia
* Chef Christiaan Campbell leaves Delaire Graff Estate, after opening up the main restaurant more than Continue reading →
* Constantia Glen was recognised as Wine Producer of the Year at the recent SA Wine Index (SAWi) 2014 awards, and Beyers Truter of Beyerskloof was named the Wine Legend of the Year, recognised as a pioneer of the South African wine industry. DeMorgenzon won White Wine Producer of the Year, and Kanonkop Red Wine Producer of the Year. Best South African Brandy Producer went to KWV. Top scoring wines, at 99 out of 100, were Hamilton Russell Chardonnay, Saronsberg Full Circle, Rijks Pinotage, and Kanonkop Paul Sauer. The event was held at Grootbos, which is exclusively offering the full range of SAWi Grand Wines Collection scoring 93+ points out of 1oo.
* The Local Grill in Parktown in Johannesburg has won the Wolftrap Steakhouse Championship 2014 for the second year running, with The Godfather from Centurion in Pretoria taking second place, beating 140 steakhouses around the country, and then a shortlist of five, which included two steakhouses in Cape Town. The judges selected the Local Grill on the basis of its expertise in ‘meat, consistent service, and accurate grilling‘. The steakhouse opened a branch in Woodstock a few months ago. Chefs Pete Goffe-Wood, Reuben Robertsons Pop-Up and Pop-In Riffel, and Arnold Tanzer were the judges, all associated with MasterChef SA Season 3. (received via media release from Hazell PR and Wine Consultants).
* Jordan Estate Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2013 won the Decanter International Chardonnay Trophy, having won the same Continue reading →
* South Africa welcomed close to 10 million international tourists in 2013, a 5% increase between 2012 and 2013. The following paragraph from eTurboNews makes no sense at all, appearing to be copy and pasted directly from a SA Tourism media release: ‘The latest release from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) indicates that international foreign arrivals to South Africa reached its highest levels ever, namely 14,860,216 in 2013. This 10.5% increase in international foreign arrivals (over 13,451,565 in 2012) translated to 9.6 million international tourist arrivals. All international tourist arrivals combined increased by 4.7%, while the overseas tourist arrivals sub-category increased by 7.1%‘! Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk said: ‘South Africa’s tourism industry continues to show good growth and we remain confident in the ongoing performance and sustainability of the sector‘. Visitors from Europe grew by 7%, especially from Germany (14% growth), France (10%), and Italy (10%). The growth from the UK was a mere 1%, while the USA grew by 7%, and China by 15%, now our 4th largest source market. Tourist growth from Brazil was 6%, while that from Africa was 12%. The growth in Tourism’s contribution to the GDP was 3% in the past year. The Tourism industry accounted for 5% of the country’s employment. The Minister announced the development of a ‘dashboard‘, enhancing our country’s collection of ‘insights and market intelligence’, which is to be launched in September.
* SA Tourism has criticised the restricted visa issuing service by our embassies in India and China, Continue reading →
The eagerly awaited 12th The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards was held last night at The Guildhall in London, and the Top 50 Restaurants were announced. Restaurants ranked 51st – 100th were listed on the Awards website, which crashed just after the Awards ceremony!
The initiative of Restaurant magazine in the UK, and using 900 judges from around the world, a total of 6552 votes were cast to vote for the world’s best restaurants. The world was divided into 26 regions, chaired by an expert for that region. Tamsin Snyman heads the Africa panel of 36 members, who had to eat at 4 local as well as at 3 international restaurants to cast their vote. No score is required – the vote is purely for the best restaurants they ate at, and must be presented in ranked order. Every year 10 panelists step down per region, to be replaced by new ones. For the first time in seven years Snyman did not attend, for family reasons.
The biggest surprise was that Noma in Copenhagen went back to its number one Continue reading →