Tag Archives: Baker’s biscuits

‘Chopped South Africa’: first SA professional chef reality TV competition show!

ChoppedSA Banner Whale CottageChopped South Africa’ was launched at Giggling Gourmet Jenny Morris’ studio in De Waterkant yesterday, to publicise the 10 programme Food Network series on DStv channel 175, commencing on Wednesday 23 July at 21h00.

Chopped South Africa‘ is the first professional chef reality TV competition in South Africa, based on the American ‘Chopped‘, but with a South African flavour. It is the first international adaption of the programme, and was created due to the series’ very strong following in our country, with 25000 viewers per programme, I was told by Nikki Cooper, the Commissioning Editor of ‘Chopped South Africa‘, based in London and working with programming for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  She said that she was ‘blown away by the talent and graciousness’ of our local chefs.  Due to the strong support of South African viewers, Food Network is investing in creating content for our country, but with appeal to its international viewers too.

We were welcomed by Jacques Verster. He introduced the four judges, being Jenny Morris who has hosted programmes on Moroccan and on Mediterranean cooking for Food Network (and who turned out to be a tough judge, explaining that she wanted to be honest with her feedback, and for it to have integrity); David van Staden, the Executive Chef of the Tsogo Sun Group; Siba Mtongana, who has her own ‘Siba’s Table’ program on Food Network; guest judge Rebecca Hurst, who runs the Hurst cookeryChopped SA judges Whale Cottage school; and guest judge and Chef Lindsay Venn of Tsogo Sun The Cullinan (not in the photograph).  We were told how strongly the judges believed in their standards, and fought for their point of view in deciding which chef would be ‘chopped’. Heinz is the main programme sponsor, while Shoprite-Checkers provided all the ingredients for the cooking on the program.

Nikki explained how the series works, with each of the ten programmes having four contestants, 40 selected from many applications received from young professional chefs in South African kitchens.  Shot in Johannesburg, hosted by Denvor Phokaners, produced by Sue Nel from Snelco in association with Continue reading →

Pick ‘n Pay Sweet Service and Ciro Sour Service Awards!

The Sweet Service Award goes to Pick ‘n Pay Franschhoek, and its manager Craig, for organising individual Parmalat milk portions, a hospitality product one does not expect to buy at a retailer, but which we had seen sold in single servings at its Daily branch in Franschhoek.  The main branch in Franschhoek did not have enough boxes in stock, so sent for the balance of our requirement from its Daily branch whilst we were shopping, and had them available within a few minutes.  The price of the box of 50 Parmalat portions is R37,99, far cheaper than the price charged by Ciro.

The Sour Service Award goes to Ciro Beverage Solutions, a company servicing the hospitality industry with individual portions of Ciro coffee, Huletts sugar, Parmalat milk, Baker’s biscuits, Five Roses tea, LavAzza, House of Coffees, WEGA, N&W, Schaerer, Cafitesse, BUNN, Chilla Beverage, and more, and from which we have ordered for more than ten years.  The service declined (except for the sales service from Debra Ruthven), the prices increased, and the trading conditions re quantity purchased and charging for delivery worsened over time, accompanied with rude interaction from the contracted-out delivery staff, who appeared to be new staff at every delivery. Complaints lodged were dealt with defensively, and in the 14 year period of doing business with them we have never met a Ciro staff member!  Cheques posted to their head office in Johannesburg were stolen from their post box.  The Cape Town branch manager Gustus Bergman was previously a financial manager at the Johannesburg head office, and does not know how to communicate with and treat his customers, nor has he fixed the service problems.  For years we believed this company was the only source of hospitality products, and we are delighted that we can now source the Parmalat portions from Pick ‘n Pay at a far better price!

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at info@whalecottage.com.   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.