I did a quick visit to Hermanus yesterday, and at a stop at Rivendell Restaurant, between Bot River and Hermanus, I was told that Chef Thomas Sinn was coming back from his overseas holiday especially to participate in a super-sounding feast, for which he is one of eight chefs cooking on Monday evening. The staff brought a copy of the programme, and I could not believe what the organisers have planned for the 11-day Festival, ‘A Celebration of South African Arts’ its 80-page Festival brochure proudly proclaims!
* The World Bank has warned our country to face its electricity supply problem, saying that the situation is ‘very severe‘, and warned that South Africa should not ‘sugar-coat‘ it. Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown has estimated the cost of loadshedding at R20 – R80 billion per month!
* The closing down of the South African Press Association(SAPA) at the end of March threatens press freedom, says the Cape Town Press Club. The Association is known for its quality coverage of events. News about South Africa and its neighbouring countries will now have to originate from foreign news agencies.
Carlo Cracca. Antonio Carluccio. Gennaro Contaldo. Katy Ashworth. Emma Dean. Vichit Mukura. These are the ‘top international chefs’ Cape Town food lovers are being exposed to at the Good Food & Wine Show at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, augmented with a handful of light-weight (with the exception of Chef David Higgs) mainly TV cooking program local cooks! As Cape Town is the centre of gourmet gastronomy, surely exhibition organisers Fiera Milano could have done better?
Christine Cashmore has organised the Good Food & Wine Show for years, and sold her company to Fiera Milano last year. She is certainly still involved, as I saw her at the show yesterday. She is tough to deal with, changing PR companies every year! Every year the criticism about the Show has grown, the big food producers no longer bothering to participate, and sample their products. The emphasis this year was clearly TV cooking shows, and the invited chefs (mainly) had a link to a TV program, in cooking at the Celebrity Chefs Theatre (how did Kamini Pather slip in here, as controversial winner of MasterChef Season 2?), the kykNET Kook Teater, the Spar Food Theatre, and the Selati Sweet Treats Theatre. Continue reading →
It was by chance that I saw a programme for the ‘Food Hospitality World Conference’ when I registered for the Good Food & Wine Show. With the e-mail from Wired PR came the Conference programme, with a fascinating list of talks by local and international food and wine speakers, bringing the world to Cape Town, and giving our industry a taste of what lies ahead for the Good Food & Wine Show running at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 29 May – 1 June. What was unbelievable was the poor attendance in the exhibition hall in general and in the ‘Conference’ venue too, tiny in taking about 50 attendees, many of them hospitality students.
Yesterday’s list of talks was food and wine focused, and due to guest house commitments I arrived right at the end of Miguel Chan’s talk on Chenin Blanc, which ‘has gained a surge in popularity recently’, the programme notes revealed. Chan is a wine buyer and sommelier at the Tsogo Sun group of hotels. He has promised notes about his talk, which I will add to this blogpost when received.
Very surprising was the talk by Michelin 2 star Chef Carlo Cracco from Italy, where he owns Ristorante Cracco in Milan. He is unable to speak a word of English, so fired away in Italian, without it being explained to us that his colleague (we think) would translate batches of sentences for us. On the TV screens photographs of his book, his Continue reading →
* Bloomberg Businessweek has highlighted Cape Town as the jet set holiday destination of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey, paying R50000 per day to stay in the new villa at Ellerman House, which houses owner Paul Harris’ art collection and new Wine Gallery (a serious one, not a six bottle one like that of the petite Pendock Wine Gallery)! Unfortunately the article contrasts the opulence of the villa and its guests with the poverty of the inhabitants of the townships in Cape Town, and highlights the city’s poor reputation as the ‘most violent city in Africa‘!
* Top UK chef Michel Roux Jnr has resigned from the BBC produced ‘MasterChef: the Professionals’ and ‘Food and Drink‘, describing negotiations with the BBC as a ‘frustrating process’, the corporation not having an appreciation of Roux’s commercial relationships.
The Cape Town film industry is about to start a bumper year of movie production, with parts of ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ likely to be shot in Cape Town, reports the Sunday Times. The Cape Town Film Studio is said to be so busy with productions that it is turning some away!
The ‘Avengers’ sequel is set to star Scarlett Johannson, Robert Downey jnr, and Chris Hemsworth, a multi-million movie which will largely be shot in London. The Cape Town Film Commission has not confirmed the production, but met with the production company late last year.
Major production companies have approached the Cape Town Film Commission about filming major feature films, international networks from Japan and India, as well as the BBC have made contact with the Commission. An international reality TV show may be shot in Cape Town or Durban in winter, The New Age reports.
Last year ‘The Giver’, starring Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, and Jeff Bridges, Continue reading →
One of the social highlights of this year was the unveiling yesterday of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s ‘The Chinese Girl’, South Africa’s most internationally recognised painting, at its new home at Delaire Graff in Stellenbosch, which celebrates its 10th year of being in Mr Graff’s ownership. The 40th Graff jewellery store was also opened at the wine estate, the first in Africa.
Delaire was bought by Laurence Graff OBE in 2003, and he invested a lot of money in setting up a cellar, a winetasting centre, the main restaurant, and investing in interior design created by the late David Collins from London. The Boutique Hotel followed, which houses Indochine and the Spa, also decorated by Collins. Commendable has been Mr Graff’s investment in South African art, and his William Kentridge dominates the main restaurant, while Lionel Smit’s work is striking, a four-piece work as well as a portrait of Mr Graff dominating the reception of the main building. Continue reading →
* Holden Manz is hosting a ‘Day of Fashion’, offering its wines and pop-up shops selling Sloane & Madison, Periquita, Erato, and I AM, on Saturday (16/11) from 11h00 – 16h00. (received via e-mail from Holden Manz)
Yesterday Blaauwklippen celebrated the 30th anniversary of its popular Blending Competition, and it was a day filled with celebratory balloons and nostalgic reflections of the heritage of the Blaauwklippen Blending Competition on the 331 year old wine estate in Stellenbosch. The competition has helped to demystify wine and make it more accessible to wine drinkers.
I have attended the Blaauwklippen Blending Competition (which they refer to as BBC) for a number of years, but had never seen so many guests before, 70 guests seated in the Barouche restaurant, many of whom having links to 1984, the first year of the blending competition. Blaauwklippen MD and Cellarmaster Rolf Zeitvogel reflected on the world 30 years ago, Apple having launched its Macintosh PC, Archbishop Tutu receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Mrs Margaret Thatcher becoming Prime Minister of the UK, and Nelson Mandela seeing his wife Winnie for the first time in 22 years. Through a number of speakers, we heard about the history of the blending competition, having been the idea of Angela Continue reading →