I met Riana Andrews, Editor of SA Chef, at a recent function hosted by the Finnish Embassy in Pretoria, in Constantia. She expressed interest in writing a profile about me, and contracted Rebecca Bourhill, chef, blogger, and food writer, to do so for SA Chef magazine.
SA Chef is the official voice of the South African Chefs Association, which has close to 10000 chefs, restaurateurs, educators, learners and culinarians as members. Its focus is on skills development of the industry. Continue reading →
It was a multi-Award day on Monday this week, with both American Express (for the Western and Southern Cape), as well as the Gourmet Guide (National) announcing their 2020 Restaurant Award winners. A week earlier American Express had announced its Gauteng, Free State, and KwaZulu-Natal Awards. There were many similarities in the winners, yet some strange winners in the American Express Dining awards documented in this post. Continue reading →
Thank you to all concerned friends and Blog readers who have contacted me about the defamatory posts on Monday and Tuesday by 2OceansVibe. 2OceansVibe has looked for any opportunity to slate us since I asked the question four years ago as to why its owner Will Mellor should hide his true name, using the alias ‘Seth Rotherham’. Continue reading →
The Honest Chocolate Café opened a week ago on Wale Street, in a building next door to where it operated Honest Chocolate, the first outlet from which the owners Anthony Gird and Michael de Klerk first made and sold their artisanal dark chocolate in 2011. The Honest Chocolate Café sells all things chocolate, a blackboard as well as a menu detailing what treasures one can order.
Anthony says he ‘stumbled’ into chocolate-making, not having any culinary background. Using raw cocoa powder he had found in health shops, he experimented with it to make chocolates that his friends loved. Michael was living in London at the time, specialising in website design, and he too was experimenting with chocolate-making, having been inspired by a friend in New York to do so. The team call themselves ‘imperfectionists’, learning as they go along. They have started with making moulded and dipped truffles, and sold their first handcrafted chocolates at the Old Biscuit Mill. Their chocolates do not contain dairy or emulsifiers, and they only use natural fructose. The raw organic cocoa beans are sourced from Super Foods, who in turn source them from a co-operative in Ecuador, which is also known to make one of the top chocolates in the world. Their cocoa beans are not roasted, unlike other cocoa producers. The beans have a great aroma, have anti-ageing properties, and are good for the heart. They use agave nectar instead of sugar, which is low GI, and is therefore diabetic-friendly. In addition to truffles, they make small slabs, each new product wrapper designed by a different designer: a rabbit on the 72 % bar, and an illustration of the Kalahari desert on the Continue reading →
Yesterday I attended a section of the Kfm Breakfast Show broadcast, as a member of the studio-audience, to welcome MasterChef Australia judge Matt Preston, who is visiting Cape Town. Preston praised Cape Town for being ‘an amazing city‘, having eaten at eight restaurants alone on Tuesday.
Even though I had hardly seen any MasterChef Australia episodes, I applied to Kfm to attend the visit to the studio by the almost 2 meter tall Preston, after Blogger Anel Potgieter raved about meeting him at the Good Food & Wine Show in Johannesburg over the weekend. We were part of a studio audience of at least 30 at the Primedia Broadcasting studios in Green Point, the majority of the attendees being serious MasterChef Australia fans. We were offered coffee and breakfast snacks such as fruit salad and cream, as well as salmon sandwiches, not quite MasterChef quality!
Presenter Ryan O’Connor invited us to sit down, coming into the live studio with Preston as well as Chef and MasterChef SA judge Pete Goffe-Wood, as well as the rest of the Breakfast Show team consisting of sport presenter Sibongile Mafu, traffic presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen, and surf reporter Deon Bing. Deon had made a toasted cheese Continue reading →
* MasterChef USA is said to have been ‘cooking up a lie’,Chef Gordon Ramsay giving contestants cooking lessons prior to the filming of episodes, according to the revelations on the blog of a former contestant on the show. The producers responded that each contestant has access to information and to training. ‘Each home cook is given professional training before the challenges to ensure they can cook something decent when they start recording’, it was written. No such training has been given to MasterChef UK contestants however.
The dominant talk at the Chenin Blanc Association summer tasting at the Cape Grace hotel this afternoon (other than how fabulous the 21 Chenins we tasted were) was that Pieter de Waal, Secretary of the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group (SBIG*), which recently announced its FNB Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc list to much criticism by Nasty Neil, is allegedly suing puerile Pendock via FNB. It is speculated that the attack resulted from sour grapes, after Pendock was not invited to serve on the judging panel this year, and his services were cancelled at short notice for last year’s judging!
Prickly Pendock was visible by his absence at the Chenin Blanc Association tasting today, and appears to have gone into hiding, not having blogged for most of the day. He has been a furious blogger in the past week, and has lashed out wildly at a number of victims, including ourselves. Odd then that he blogged about David Cope’s (the first WhaleSpotter) new wine bar Publik on a personal website neilpendock.comthis afternoon for the first time today, and that no blogpost by him has appeared on the Sunday Times Live blogsite today. Could it be that Pendock’s column has been suspended, as the rumour mill is alleging? Cope and Continue reading →
It’s that time of the year again, and this week Eat Out will announce its shortlisted Top 20 Restaurants for the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards 2014. The judges have been furiously eating their way around the country, and top restaurants are licking their lips in the hope of cracking the Top 20 list, from which the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants will be announced at the gala dinner in the V&A Waterfront on 10 November.
No matter what happens in the MasterChef SA Season Finale tomorrow evening, the choice of the Season 2 Masterchef SA winner will be controversial, if the outcry on Social Media about Kamini Pather being allowed through to Top 4 and Top 3 is anything to go by, even forcing M-Net to issue a media release about it!
Food blogger Kamini Pather was the clear leader until episode 24, rarely putting a foot wrong, and only landing up in two Pressure Tests. It is clear that her strength is creatively meeting cooking challenges, and that she is less good in having to replicate dishes of visiting chefs, which was her downfall in two episodes last week. She is seen to be aloof, some seeing this as arrogance. She was a winner of the bell, and Food and Wine Pairing Master Class at Nederburg, for the best Signature Sandwich in episode 5. She was the joint winner with Tiron Eloff of the Coffee Invention Test in Ethiopia and received a MasterClass in the Jemma Valley. Went into her first (Vegetarian) Pressure Test due to the injera challenge in Ethiopia in episode 21. Into the Pressure Test in episode 24 for her poor month-end dish. Poor performance in Gâteau Pressure Test, yet was (controversially) saved by the judges in episode 25. Poor performance in Richard Carstens’ Chocolate Handkerchief dish in episode 26, yet was saved again. In a video interview after episode 26 a very tearful Kamini admits that her early morning yoga is ‘working less and less’, and that ‘the volume of tasks’ required when replicating dishes ‘is freaking me out’. She has the highest number of votes from readers of our blog.
Sisters Landri and Seline van der Wat have won increasing viewer support, for their wonderful supportive relationship, for being smart, for their cooking skills (Seline for baking in particular), for how well-spoken they are, in often making Continue reading →
The Wordsworth launch lunch of Agri-Expo Dairy Manager Kobus Mulder’s book ‘Cheeses of South Africa’ at Reuben’s at the One&Only Cape Town yesterday was most enjoyable, with great company, good food and wine, a charming hotel ambassador, and entertaining author/speaker.
Gorry Bowes-Taylor has been organising book launch lunches for Wordsworth for years, and will be a comedian in a next life, not being the most diplomatic lunch hostess, but is loved for making her guests laugh, and for finding new venues at which to hold the book launches. As I have written before, the lunches have a cult following by some of her regulars, who are not really interested in the subject of the book or the author, but who find value in the R225 three course launch lunch, excellent quality wines, the chance of making new friends at the table, the chance of winning a prize in the lucky draw, and for being entertained by Gorry and the author/speaker. She did not disappoint with her lunch organisation yesterday. Wordsworth sets up a table to sell the discounted launch book at such a function. Continue reading →