Last Monday I attended The Sommeliers Selection 2018 tasting of the top-scoring wines at Tokara Delicatessen, driving through from Cape Town on a rainy day. My two favorites I tasted were Arra Shiraz 2015, as well as Trizanne Reserve Syrah 2017. The top wines in the tasting were selected by top Sommelier members of the South African SOmmeliers Association, and the Black Cellar Club. Continue reading →
What a fun birthday party Jenny Morris laid on at the new location of the V & A Waterfront branch of Cape Town Fish Market, on the business side of the Waterfront, where Paulaner and Moyo used to be. The restaurant has created The West Coast Village, complete with sea sand, replicating a Strandloper-type restaurant, but just done better!
The Cape Town Fish Market space is massive, and can seat up to 600 patrons in total, on a green artificial lawn outside, and inside too, a retractable roof allowing the restaurant patrons to sit under the stars if the weather allows it. A minimum of 20 guests must book the West Coast Village, so that the food for this special menu can be prepped in advance. We were seated at long tables, with Jenny’s friends, most sitting at tables set on the beach sand. It is difficult to walk on it, and Jenny’s instruction to bring flat shoes was understandable in retrospect. At the side of The West Coast Village area is a dedicated fireplace, at Continue reading →
While blogging is a noble form of recording one’s experiences, it should at all times be honest and reflect the full travel experience, good and bad. Bloggers receiving payment gush about the beautiful scenery, and their experiences, and never criticise. In addition, they rarely declare receiving a gift or an experience for free, let alone being paid for writing about the experiences.
‘However, I fear that as tourist boards and travel principles have shifted some of their emphasis from traditional media reviews to blogger press trips, and blog posts about their products, the spirit of blogging Continue reading →
The Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards event is a highlight on the restaurant calendar, held for the 17th year, and at Thunder City for the first time last night. The results surprised, with one heavyweight chef sliding right off the Top 10 list, while a new restaurant made Top 10. Two restaurants which did not make the Top 20 Restaurant shortlist in 2013 flew back into Top 10 last night. Stellenbosch remains the Gourmet Capital of South Africa (4 Top 10 restaurants), followed by 3 in Johannesburg, and 1 each in Cape Town, Franschhoek, and Hermanus. While the award recipients were acceptable, the food was a disaster.
Thunder City is not an ideal venue for a function of this magnitude (800 guests, but advertised as 1000 initially), being difficult to find – the petrol station one block away from the turn-off had no clue where Thunder City is, and there were no signs off Borcherds Quarry Road, other than some posters held by men, only visible in the last minute. I followed a taxi, there being no further signage to Thunder City. We were collected from the VIP parking by a Mercedes-Benz shuttle van, and I arrived just as the event started, Chef Pete Goffe-Wood doing a tribute to Chef Bruce Robertson, who passed away two weeks ago. The lighting was poor for Continue reading →
Last year New Media Publishing changed its annual Eat Out magazine, having featured 1100 restaurants in earlier years. Last year the Eat Out Top 500 restaurant guide was based on applications sent by restaurants themselves, and the top 500 selected by 50 food and restaurant writers and lovers. This year the Eat Out 500 top restaurants could be nominated by anyone, mainly the public, and chosen and reviewed by a panel of 30, mainly food writers.
Earlier this week Eat Out announced the Top 20 Restaurant shortlist, which will guarantee those restaurants a space in the 2015 Eat Out Top 500 Restaurant Guide.
The selection and evaluation of the Eat Out Top 500 is sketchy: ‘...a list of candidates was selected (how, on which criteria?), rated (on which scale, on which criteria?), and reviewed by the panel‘ (the criteria for reviewing are mentioned as food – defined as menu composition, seasonality, and presentation – and ambiance, service, and wine/beverage selection). Surely they mean that a particular member of the panel reviewed a particular restaurant? The end result is described by Eat Out (twice in its media release) as a ‘power list of great restaurants‘! Someone alerted me to the hard sell to new restaurants by Eat Out to be listed on Continue reading →
We first met Tarryn at I ♥ my Laundry a year ago, when she did a fascinating tasting with The Winery of Good Hope wines and the effect of tasting them in Riedel Glassware on the enjoyment in wines compared to drinking the wine from ‘ordinary’ domestic glasses.
Riedel is one of the brands represented by Reciprocal Wines in South Africa, as is Miele temperature controlled wine storage units, but its major focus is imported wines, and 52 Champagnes specifically. Tarryn told us that the company was created in 1969, importing ‘gems and everyday drinking wines of family-owned businesses‘, which are accessible and not too expensive.
Tarryn poured Champagne Gardet Brut Premier Cru NV, made with 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. This was followed by Champagne Jacquinot Private Cuvée Brut, with 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, which comes from Épernay. The highlight was the Louis Roederer Brut and Brut Rosé. The champagne producer also makes Cristal, but only in excellent years. Continue reading →
A workshop held above Truth coffee shop about ten days ago, at which One Up Agency’s Alex Harrington-Griffin and Cape Town Magazine Managing Director Marcus Zandhuis spoke, focused on the concept of Partnership and Collaboration Marketing, and used Robertsons’ recent #SkyDine collaboration with kulula.com as one example of such marketing.
The Robertsons #SkyDine promotion is an interesting if not bizarre example of Partnership Marketing. Chatting to the brand’s Social Media Manager at The Ultimate Braai Master Cape finals on Saturday, he explained that Liquorice, the company he works for, only handled the Social Media aspects of the campaign. Durban-based ad agency The Hardy Boys, handling the Robertsons’ account, conceptualised the campaign. A planeful of bloggers and food journalists from Cape Town (and Johannesburg) was invited by marcusbrewster, the campaign PR agency, to a surprise flight to Johannesburg, and on the return flight to Cape Town, Reuben Robertsons Riffel introduced the surprise 3-course meal which he had designed, and which was prepared by airline catering company Foodirections. Utilising plane crockery and an airline catering company, food plating and presentation was disappointing. We recognised Continue reading →
Yesterday I was invited to attend the judging of the Cape Finals of Season 3 of Ultimate Braai Master held in the parking area of The Lookout at the V&A Waterfront. Not only was it a good way to catch up with a number of chefs who judged the Cape Finals, but it was also an opportunity to meet Cooked in Africa Films producer Justin Bonello.
Justin chatted to blogger Thuli Gogela of Mzansi Style Cuisine Blog (she appeared in the Bloggers episode of season 2 of MasterChef SA) and I as the judging came to an end at the Finals. One sensed his overriding passion for food, which has grown into TV production, with 21 productions to date, including two previous Ultimate Braai Master seasons, two seasons of Charly’s Cake Angels, as well as ‘Seasons at Terroir‘, which was launched last week and focuses on Chef Michael Broughton, and his restaurant Terroir at Kleine Zalze. Justin denied that Terroir not making the Top 20 Eat Out restaurant list last November was a blow to their production, saying that Chef Michael’s food is beyond Top 10 competitions, clearly a fan of the chef’s food. He is fascinated by the revolution of growing one’s own vegetables and herbs, and proudly showed me a photograph of his vegetable garden at home, out Hout Bay way, which will become the subject of a TV series ‘Green Time’ at the end of 2015, with seven pilot projects of vegetable gardening at schools being developed. Continue reading →
* UK X Factor judge and singer Cheryl Cole was spotted at The Duchess of Wisbeach in Sea Point on Saturday evening, and Tweeted to her 4,5 million Twitter followers, The Daily Mail reports.
* Beer sales in Africa are expected to be the fastest growing, predicts a report by Rabobank, the continent having the fastest growth in legal beer drinking population between 2013 – 2018. SABMiller has announced that it will triple production at its plant in Nigeria, with an investment of £110 million.
* The Good Food & Wine Show 2014 will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 29 May – 1 June, and an action-packed program has been announced: 8 top restaurants will offer signature dishes; Woolworths and Robertsons will Continue reading →