The Ledbury is London’s top restaurant, and was ranked 14th on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in June. It also boasts two Michelin stars. Continue reading →
Tag Archives: Banc
‘Burnt’ chef movie a must-see for restaurant fans, full of stars!
I enjoyed seeing ‘Burnt’, a movie about an American chef chasing the third Michelin star for his London restaurant, but I was as anxious as his staff about winning the additional star! It provides an excellent perspective on what happens in top restaurant kitchens and dining rooms, and how Continue reading →
Chef Liam Tomlin flourishing at new Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen on Bree Street!
Liam Tomlin is the most internationally experienced and respected but one of the least known chefs working in Cape Town, despite having worked in our country for ten years. The recent move of his Chef’s Warehouse & Cookery School on New Church Street to Bree Street, now named Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, seems to have transformed him and he seems happier than he has been for a long time, being back in the kitchen and hands-on in his restaurant.
Located in a heritage building on food fashionable Bree Street, where Caveau used to be before it went under, Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has been painted a soft grey, which brings out the best of its simple red Chef’s Warehouse branding. When I arrived to meet Judy for lunch, I spotted former Portofino restaurateur Cormac Keane having lunch as I was taking a photograph of the exterior of the building. Cormac was a maverick whilst he lived in Cape Town, and it is a shame that he left Cape Town to return to London, having shaken things up in the restaurant industry when he operated here until the World Cup 2010, it not living up to his expectations. The Irish roots of Chef Liam and Cormac created a friendship in the early days in Cape Town for both men, which still holds. Chef Liam started his career in Australia, and opened his restaurant BANC in Sydney, which earned him a 3 Hats award, as well as two Restaurant of the Year awards. He moved to our country ten years ago, and has written cookbooks (‘BANC’, ‘Season to Taste’, and ‘Lessons with Liam‘), which are available at Chef’s Warehouse, still serves on the British Airways Taste Team, and has assisted wine estates such as La Motte in setting up Pierneef à La Motte and its kitchen. For a year he operated at Leopard’s Leap in Franschhoek, selling cooking and baking utensils and vessels, and offering cooking courses, whilst also Continue reading →
Liam Tomlin Food at Leopard’s Leap: Chef’s Table is cooking!
A new service which Liam Tomlin Food is introducing at its new Leopard’s Leap venue is a series of Chef’s Table lunches, allowing one to experience first-hand not only the cooking methods and recipes of international Chef Liam Tomlin, but also to eat his food.
Liam Tomlin Food Culinary Studio opened about a month ago, and has a state of the art demonstration kitchen for 24 students at a time. It also has ample seating for about 50 food lovers, who can follow what the demonstration chef prepares on TV screens above the work counter. Cooking classes and food demonstrations have been scheduled, as have a number of Chef’s Table events, both at which Chef Liam will prepare meals which are paired with Leopard’s Leap wines.
The Chef’s Table food preparation is interactive, allowing participants to ask questions, and they will receive recipes for the dishes which the chefs prepared. On scheduled weekdays a 90 minute 3-course lunch will be offered, at R250, and on weekends a 2 ½ hour 4-course lunch costs R350. The programme for the first quarter of next year is as follows:
13 January: Italy (11h00 – 13h00)
20 January: Gourmet Fast Food (11h00 – 13h00)
27 January: Chinese New Year (11h00 – 13h00)
3 February: Cape Winelands Cuisine cookbook demonstration with Pierneef à La Motte Chef Chris Erasmus and writer Hetta van Deventer
4 February: Grape, focusing on which food one should pair with which wines (11h00 – 13h00)
10 February: Poultry (11h00 – 13h00)
24 February: Feasting on a budget (11h00 – 13h00)
2 March: Gone Fishing (11h00 – 13h00)
9 March: Vegetarian (11h00 – 13h00)
16 March: France (11h00 – 13h00)
23 March: Meet the Meats (11h00 – 13h00)
30 March: Spanish Fiesta (11h00 – 13h00)
Cooking classes and food demonstrations have been scheduled for the first three months of 2012, many of the four-hour classes falling on Saturdays, but some on weekdays too. Participants receive a recipe folder. The programme is as follows:
14 January: Around the World: Italy, 9h30 – 13h30, R650
21 January: Gourmet Fast Food, 9h30 – 13h30, R450
28 January: Chinese New Year, celebrating the Year of the Dragon, 9h30 – 13h30, R650
8 February: Valrhona Chocolate Valentine’s Day Dessert with Vanessa Quellec, 9h30 – 13h00, R700. Includes plating, tempering chocolate, the emulsion method, pastry dough, and ice-cream making and churning.
11 February: Poultry, demonstrating how to use every part of a bird, how to make duck confit, tunnel boning and stuffing the legs, and making savoury mousse, 9h30 – 13h30, R650
14 February: Valentine’s Couples Evening, with Chef Liam preparing a 4-course meal built on indulgence, including oysters, caviar, strawberries, and chocolate, paired with sparkling wine, 18h30 – 21h30, R650
18 February: Knife skills for slicing, dicing, and chopping, 9h30 – 13h30, R400
25 February: Feasting on a budget, providing handy tips on how to stretch core ingredients, 9h30 – 13h30, R400.
29 February, 7 March, 14 March, 21 March, and 28 March: Back to Basics on Stocks, Soups and Consommé, Savoury Sauces and Compound Butters, Meat and Poultry, and Desserts, 9h30 – 13h30, R3000 for the five courses.
3 March: Gone Fishing, providing guidance on how to scale, fillet, trim, portion and prepare fish. 9h30 – 13h30, R650.
10 March: Vegetarian, 9h30 – 13h30, R650
17 March: Little Chefs: Learning to Bake, for 8 – 12 year olds, 10h00 – 13h00, R200.
24 March: Meet the Meats, 9h30 – 13h30, R650
31 March: Around the World: Spain, 9h30 – 13h30, R650.
Liam Tomlin Food also has a Chef’s Store, selling kitchen equipment, appliances, crockery, cutlery, glassware, knives, utensils, spices, chocolate, teas, and preserves. Gift vouchers, gift wrapping and a wedding registry service is also offered. The Store will be selling fresh produce from the Winelands next year, and we were told yesterday that Chef Liam will prepare a number of food items that can be bought to enjoy at Leopard’s Leap. A new rotisserie has been installed, and one will be able to buy roast chicken too. Chef Liam will only make a certain number of items per day. Picnics will commence in the summer of 2012/2013. Brands stocked in the Chef’s Store include Valrhona, De Villiers chocolate, Staub, Lavazza, Bamix, Scanpan, Riedel, Maxwell & Williams, Wüsthoff, Bodum, Nielsen & Massey, Krups, Kitchen Aid, and Le Creuset.
Liam Tomlin’s Banc Restaurant was named Sydney’s best in 2001. He is a member of the British Airways Taste Team, and moved to Cape Town in 2004, initially as a consultant to hotels, restaurants, and wine estates. Last year he opened the Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School in Cape Town. He has written a number of cookery books, including ‘A Season to Taste’.
POSTSCRIPT 8/1: We have added a new Chef’s Table lunch for 3 February to the list above.
POSTSCRIPT 13/1: We received an e-mail today, announcing that all but one of the Chef’s Tables on Fridays have been rescheduled for 11h00 – 13h00, to accommodate Franschhoek mothers having to fetch their children from school.
Liam Tomlin Food, Leopard’s Leap Vineyards, Main Road/R45, outside Franschhoek. Tel (021) 876-8822. www.liamtomlinfood.com. Twitter: @LiamTomlinFood
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage
Leopard’s Leap to make a leap into Franschhoek cuisine scene!
I have the highest regard for the passion and energy of Hein Koegelenberg, who wears a number of hats, including heading up the operation of La Motte, founder of Meridian (a local distribution and sales company for 24 leading wine brands) and Historic Wines of the Cape (a warehousing, labelling and shipping company), and co-owner of Leopard’s Leap with his wife Hannelie Rupert-Koegelenberg. I was delighted that Hein made time last week to share the planned developments at Leopards’ Leap, which is set to open a Tasting Room as well as a Cookery School in October, next door to La Motte in Franschhoek.
On the 10 hectare farm with its 400 square meter building being built, the Leopard’s Leap brand will have its first home, having been produced at the La Motte cellars in the past. The brand sells six times as much as La Motte in volume, a total of 600 000 cases of six bottles. The brand was created eleven years ago, as a second label to the Rupert wine brands La Motte, Rupert & Rothschild, and L’Ormarins. Originally the brand was made from the left-over grapes from these three properties, but now Hein and his team buy in wine from Perdeberg, Wamakersvallei, Ashton Winery, Darling Winery, Leeuwenkuil and La Motte to create Leopard’s Leap wines. The wines have been bottled at the KWV to date.
A recent development is that Leopard’s Leap is bulk shipped to the United Kingdom, where it is bottled under the supervision of the winemaker, to save up to half of his shipping costs, given the Rand risk, Hein said. Almost a quarter of Leopard’s Leap production has been bottled in the UK. This is the way in which Leopard’s Leap has reacted to changing market conditions, and Hein’s philosophy is to adapt, saying one must make things work for your business when the external environment changes. Hein is not optimistic that the strength of the Rand will change in the next 3 – 5 years. Having withdrawn from the American market for some time, Hein says the time is right to go back into the USA with Leopard’s Leap and La Motte, an agent just having been appointed to sell the brands there.
The three leopards on the Leopard’s Leap label have energy, and depict the personality which Hein and his wife wish to create at their new Tasting Room. They have therefore appointed Mokena Makeka, a ‘hot’ young architect from Cape Town, whose Makeka Design Laboratory recently re-designed the Cape Town Station for the World Cup. The interior decor will be handled by Christo Barnard, who did the decor of Pierneef à La Motte. The design will reflect that the brand’s target market is younger, and enjoy drinking this wine at a lower price point. The building will have a lot of glass, to bring the outside in, and a large outside sitting area too. A tasting room, delicatessen offering picnics, and wine sales facility make up the core of the new building.
A cutting-edge demonstration kitchen with 24 state-of-the-art work stations will also be built for the Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School branch opening at Leopards’ Leap, with owner Liam Tomlin and his wife moving to Franschhoek. Tomlin has worked in leading restaurants in the UK, Europe and Sydney, including Banc in Sydney, about which he wrote a book with the same name, and another entitled “Season to Taste”. He opened the Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School in Cape Town a year ago. The Cookery School will offer a wide range of classes, presented by Tomlin as well as by top local and international chefs. The Chef’s Warehouse will sell a wide range of kitchen products, to offer participants the tools to make at home what they have learnt at the Cookery School.
The food to be served at Leopard’s Leap will be picnics. Tomlin and Barnard are currently working on the picnic concept, to develop a unique offering relative to what is currently being served at other wine farms, to create a unique identity for Leopards’ Leap. Hein described the Leopard’s Leap brand as ‘pastel, earthy, funky, trendy, with energy”, and this will guide the interior decor and personality of the new Leopard’s Leap building.
The Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club will visit Leopards’ Leap on a Saturday on Saturday 12 November. Further details can be obtained by e-mailing email@example.com
Leopard’s Leap Wines: www.leopards-leap.com
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com
New Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club launched
An exciting new Food & Wine Bloggers Club has been launched in Cape Town, and its first meeting will be held at the Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School on 19 May, from 18h00 â€“ 20h00.
Based on bloggers’ needs to always learn something new about Social Media Marketing, and given that there is no Bloggers’ Manual to teach one about blogging, I decided to start a Bloggers Club, as I too wish to learn more. As I enjoy writing about food, and enjoyed attending the Food Bloggers’ Conference in March, I decided to form a Bloggers’ Club that focuses on food and wine, and that “pairs” a food blogger with a wine blogger. Every month a different food and wine blogger pair will address the Bloggers’ Club meeting.
I am delighted that Liam Tomlin, owner of the new Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School in the Cape Town city centre, has come on board as a partner in the Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club, and his Cookery School, seating 20 persons, will host the meetings. He will also make snacks to match the wine that the Wine Blogger will be presenting during his/her talk.
Each of the selected wine and food bloggers will speak for 30 minutes about his/her blog, giving a description of the content, spelling out their goals, and providing guidelines to the other bloggers present about how to be a better blogger. Bloggers attending will then be able to ask questions, and to meet the other Bloggers present.
Our first food and wine pair to speak, on 19 May, is Michael Olivier of Michael Olivier Blog and Anel Grobler of Spit or Swallow Blog.
Our programme of speakers for future Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club meeting are Pete Goffe-Wood of Kitchen Cowboys Blog, Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck and Bubbles on Wine Blog, The Foodie of The Foodie Blog, Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick Wine Estate and Vilafonte Blog, Sam Wilson of Food24 Blogs, Rob Armstrong of Haut Espoir, Dax Villanueva of Relax-with-Dax Blog, Hein Koegelenberg of La Motte and Hein Koegelenberg Blog, Clare Mack of Spill Blog, Simon Back of Backsberg Blog, Jane-Anne Hobbs of Scrumptious Blog, and Emile Joubert of Wine Goggle Blog.
Future Club meetings will be on 1 July, 28 July, 18 August, 22 September, 20 October, and 24 November. A new speaker list for 2011 will be announced closer to the time.
The Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School opened 3 weeks ago, and is a stockist of the most wonderful local and imported kitchenware, glassware, crockery, utensils, pots, as well as a broad range of unusual ingredients, oils, essences, and teas. Chef Liam Tomlin was the co-owner of Banc, Sydney’s top restaurant, whilst he was there. He consults to British Airways. For more details about the Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School click here.
To attend a meeting of the Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club, or to volunteer to be a speaker, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All aspirant bloggers, avid Blog readers wishing to meet their blogging heroes in person, and regular bloggers, are welcome to join the Club! Entrance is R 150 per meeting, payable in advance by bank transfer or credit card. Attendance is limited to 20 persons per meeting, so bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis.
The Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School is at 50 New Church Street. From Buitengracht Street turn into Buitensingel Street near the Caltex garage, below Bo-Kaap. Turn first right into New Church Street. The Cookery School is on the right, just off the corner, diagonally opposite the Protea Fire & Ice Hotel.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com
Unique Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School opens in Cape Town
The new Chefs’ Warehouse and Cookery School has opened in a renovated Victorian building in New Church Street, off Buitensingel Street in Cape Town.
Chef Liam Tomlim, previously operating in Sydney where he ran the highly rated Banc restaurant (see our previous story on Liam Tomlin here), has opened a Cookery School, where he and local chefs will present cooking courses in a small intimate studio not holding more than 20 persons. It has a hi-tech look, with lots of stainless steel. But the little touches make the venue special – against a wall different coloured glass tiles form an interesting pattern, with glass bottles of spices on a shelf in front of each tile.
In the Cookery School Tomlin is planning to host a 20-lecture “The Basic Techniques and Methods of Cookery” course, with the start date now 8 May. The course, with four hour lectures every second Saturday, has not yet been fully subscribed, and it may be the R10 500 price tag, the start of the quieter and tighter winter season, or the World Cup that falls in the period, that may be causing the slow booking commitment. Tomlin is passionate about food, being the author of two cookery books, and he is likely to make an interesting cookery lecturer, with his Irish sense of humour.
Guest Chef classes can also be booked, with Neil Jewell of Bread and Wine in Franschhoek talking about “The Pig” on 5 May; Peter Tempelhoff, Executive Chef of the McGrath Hotels, will do a course on 11 May (title not yet confirmed); Alexander Mueller of Pure at Hout Bay Manor will talk about “Pure Food” on 24 May; and Carl Penn of Carne will talk about “Basic Lamb Butchery” on 27 May. Classes cost R 575 each, and are held from 6.30 – 9.30 pm in the evenings.
A 12-part winetasting course will be presented by Caroline Rillema of Caroline’s wine shops in the city center and in the V&A Waterfront. Sommelier Mia Mortensson, now with the Winery of Good Hope in Stellenbosch, and Paul Cluver Jnr will also be presenters. The course starts on 8 June, and costs R 7000 for all 12 lectures, but can be booked in sections as well.
A 6-part Artisan Baking course “Knead to know” will be presented by Tim Faull of the Professional Vision Group consultancy, from 2 June – 14 July, and costs R 3 000.
Tomlin’s wife Jan rules the roost in the front section, which is the Chef’s Warehouse, which contains a treasure trove of beautiful kitchen and dining items such as glassware, crockery, cutlery, serving dishes, aprons, carving knives, utensils, massive wooden stirring spoons (must get one!), Le Creuset pots, copper pots, cookery books, coffee machines, wine racks and many more products. The Chef’s Warehouse will give Core Catering and Banks a good challenge, stocking far more beautiful and many imported products, offering better service, and being located in a far more desirable area. It would be the perfect place to buy a gift for a food or a wine lover.
While the name of the shop implies that it is a massive shop, it is not at all, but the available space has been cleverly used. Two smaller rooms lead off the Warehouse, the one being a cold room with interesting products which need to remain chilled, and the other being a food shop, which sells Willow Creek and Hamilton Russell olive oil, 100% pure cocoa powder, Spanish and Iranian saffron threads, Calleebaut & Valrhona chocolate, flavoured oils (white and black truffle, pistachio, hazelnut, porcini, walnut), vinegars (12 year Italian balsamic, Willow Creek Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar, Neil Jewell’s smoked red wine vinegar), Nfuse spices, Lavazza coffee, Von Gesau chocolates, Tea Emporium teas (organic Rooibos, Moroccan mint, Kyoto cherry rose, lemon caipirinha, even a chocolate flavoured one!), Khoisan salts (fleur de sel, salt caviar, sea pearls, smoked salt, truffle salt), and products of the Verjuice company (verjuice, vino cotto, preserved ginger in verjuice). Vanilla syrup, sugar, husks, pods, paste and seeds are also sold, as are vanilla, coffee, rose water, peppermint, almond and orange blossom pure essences.
A beautifully made unit displays 50 fresh spices and dried herbs (including Iranian dried limes, Brazilian pink peppercorns, Indian and Romanian coriander) in small quantities, which will be restocked as they run out, to keep them fresh. Another display unit contains a wide range of dried fruits, nuts and seeds. An eye-catching design element is a photograph of Tomlin’s recipe book collection, which he photographed in his home, and had made as a poster for the shop.
What I missed was a brochure of the Cookery courses to be offered, to take home, and the smell of food. A coffee machine, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee, would signify what the Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School is all about. Its little veranda would make an ideal spot for some tables for customers to sit at, as The Warehouse does not allow much space for customers to move around in.
The Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School is an exciting new addition to Cape Town, and enhances the city’s reputation as the food capital of South Africa.
Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School, 50 New Church Street, Cape Town. Tel 021 422 0128. www.chefswarehouse.co.za
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com