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.