This past weekend the Highcliffe Food and Arts Festival was held, the emphasis being on the Food, with Beverages, and gins in particular, of the New Forest area. Highcliffe is a small town down the road from Chewton Glen, the hotel at which my son works in the New Forest in southern England, an area well-known for its heathland, forest trails, and native ponies. And it surprised me at the variety of craft beverages and craft foods that were on offer to buy, in full size or as a tasting portion. Continue reading →
The new The Yard in the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront opened last week, as a multi-cultural cuisine restaurant, but also offering a bar, a homeware shop, and a Deli. It is the most unique restaurant I have experienced, in its diverse food offering. Continue reading →
How are food trends made? Is it chefs inspired by other chefs, especially award-winning ones? Is it chefs doing stages in the top restaurants of the world, and returning to create dishes inspired by what they have seen and learnt, as has happened in our country with Noma clones!? Is it chefs looking at photographs of food bloggers and restaurant reviewers, or their photographs on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook?
The six following food trends are hot right now:
1. Bread and Butter: something many restaurants have done away with appears to be making a come-back, in being created as something so special that it is a serious dish on a menu. Breads are now self-baked, Banting-approved butter is not only served salted or unsalted, but also with additives like cheese, salts, bone marrow, burnt onion, sun-dried tomatoes, or Marmite, or as I experienced at Boschendal’s new The Werf Restaurant with lamb and beef added, or with Shiraz added at Equus at Cavalli. Serving whipped butter is particularly trendy.
2. Since Banting took off last year, the price of cauliflower has soared in Cape Town, a staple element of Banting menus, including cauli-mash, making bases for pizzas, and as a ‘safe‘ vegetable. Internationally Noma has revived this vegetable, by serving it pot-roasted whole, topped with pine and yoghurt whey. It is served puréed, barbecued, pickled, and even as a ‘steak’.
I received a personal invitation from Chef Bertus Basson to join him for lunch at his new Bertus Basson at Spice Route restaurant, which opened on the Paarl wine farm 6 weeks ago. He and his charming wife Mareli managed to re-invent the restaurant within five days from taking over the space, modernising it to reflect their promise of ‘A Modern South African Restaurant’, both in terms of its decor and its food offering.
A lot has changed at Spice Route, my last visit having been when Charles Back had taken over the wine estate, previously called Seidelberg, next door to his Fairview. I didn’t have time to see all the artisan businesses which have opened at Spice Route since Back took over, but they include a Richard Bosman charcuterie outlet, with tastings at R30 (a bit cheeky I thought), a wine tasting centre, and Cape Brewing Co, about which I Continue reading →
Franschhoek has joined The Délice Network of Good Food Cities of the World, an international network of cities promoting the benefits of culinary excellence and good food, in partnership with the Cape Winelands District Municipality.
The Délice Network has 21 member cities, including Barcelona, Madrid, Montreal, Lausanne, Milan, Copenhagen, Chicago, Gothenburg, Birmingham, Helsinki, and Brussels. It is the only city in the Continue reading →
Word has spread about newly opened Chardonnay Deli in Constantia, and my expectations were high when Manley Communications sent the media release about it in December. The expectations created via the media release were not met unfortunately, and we found a Farm Stall with below-average and poorly presented food in its Eatery!
I had arranged to meet my lunch host Tony Ward at the Farm Stall, not knowing exactly where it was, and hard to see in a bend, and to turn right into to park, given the traffic load on Constantia Main Road. The branding on the roof of the building is smallish, not helping one to find it. There was barely any parking in front of or near the Farm Stall, it Continue reading →
Inspector Louis Albert Péringuey was a powerful man in the 19th century, in his role as Inspector-General of Vineyards in the Cape. Yesterday Gary and Kathy Jordan of Jordan Wines paid tribute to the man who led the fight against phylloxera, and who supervised the importation of American rootstocks onto which vineyard varieties were grafted. They have named their 2014 vintage Chenin Blanc Inspector Péringuey, ‘as Chenin was the first varietal we planted in 1983, that being the oldest block on the estate‘.
The Inspector collected museum artifacts in Africa, and moved to the Cape in 1879. He specialised in Coleoptera (the study of beetles) and prehistory. He was a teacher, worked for the South African Museum, and also worked as the Inspector-General of Vineyards. He has a leaf-toed gecko, an adder, and an ant named after him Continue reading →
We have compiled a list of the 26 restaurants on Bree Street below. While Kloof Street has about ten restaurants more, the Bree Street restaurants generally are of a higher standard, with only one franchised restaurant outlet on Bree Street, unlike Kloof Street. We have started our Bree Street restaurant list from the Table Mountain side, moving down towards the harbour, the FNB building being the bottom boundary: Continue reading →
Friday’s 31st Blaauwklippen Blending Competition event was not only a celebration of the enthusiasm and skills of wine clubs around the country, but also of the rejuvenation of Blaauwklippen, with a number of changes made with a new Tasting Room venue, the addition of a new Bistro with a new champion for it, a new Spirits Room, and a redecorated entrance and cellar function room. The Blending Competition made history with its most unusual outcome.
We were welcomed on a perfect function weather day on the lawn between the Tasting Room and the Manor House and Jonkershuis, a space I had never seen before. We were served Blaauwklippen’s Ons Sprankel wine, and canapés made by new Blaauwklippen Bistro owner and charcutier Steve Jeffery. They were served by dapper looking waitresses, wearing Bistro black outfits and cheeky hats, looking smarter than most restaurant staff I have seen in a long time. They offered platters of spinach and feta phyllo pastry parcels, and mozzarella pesto roulades, which doubled up as the starters (I did not see the third canapé specified on the menu). Natalie Campbell told me that the Manor House is used for conferences and weddings, while the Jonkershuis is used for staff accommodation.
I had a chance to chat to Steve before we sat down, and he told me that he has been at the Old Biscuit Mill for the past nine years, selling his charcuterie products, having had a stand at Blaauwklippen’s Market at one stage too. Rolf and Steve had been talking for about two years about doing something jointly, and Continue reading →
* SAA and SA Express are in financial distress, and cannot continue operating as they not meeting the requirements of a going concern, meaning that they require financial support from the government. The Department of Public Enterprise is withholding the financial statements of both entities, which means that the AGM of the SAA Board must be delayed for the third year running.
* According to Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy tourists from countries that require visas to travel to our country (mainly China, Japan, and India) are cancelling due to the stringent new biometric visa requirements, tour operators reporting booking declines of 35 – 90 %! The fear of Ebola on the African continent is compounding the problem. Traditional source markets in Europe, the UK, and USA are not affected by the new Immigration Regulations.
* Blaauwklippen has opened its newly named and relocated Tasting Room, which contains a Spirits Room with a selection Continue reading →