Entries tagged with “Chef’s Table”.


Chef’s Table is one of the most highly regarded cooking series on television, Netflix having set the highest bar in two series to date, each featuring six world class chefs, as well as one focused on top chefs in France, with outstanding filming. Now it has released a Pastry series of four episodes, deliciously mouthwatering!  (more…)

Netflix has developed a reputation for producing exceptional documentaries, and its ‘Chef’s Table’ is the talk of the international restaurant industry. Two seasons of six episodes each have already been launched. Yesterday Chef’s Table Season 3 was launched by Netflix, with a very diverse spectrum of six Chefs and their restaurants featured. (more…)

imageI am not much of a television viewer, but whilst visiting my son in the UK he introduced me to the Netflix series ‘Chef’s Table’, a series of episodes each focusing on a world-renowned chef and his/her restaurant from across the globe. (more…)

MasterChef 3 14 Final 6Last night the MasterChef SA Season 3 Top 6 finalists returned from Mauritius to a treat in Johannesburg, being lunch at South Africa’s number 2 Eat Out Top 10 restaurant five hundred, at the Saxon Boutique Hotel, a restaurant on my bucket list!  Returning to the MasterChef SA kitchen at Nederburg, the finalists had to replicate each of Chef David Higg’s dishes, Abigail Mbalo leaving the MasterChef SA kitchen, having forgotten to plate some of the elements.

For the second time in a few weeks episode 14 started more than 10 minutes late, without warning or apology by M-Net, not even on Social Media.   We saw the Top 6 Finalists arrive at five hundred, and they were seated at the Chef’s Table.  A screenMasterChef 3 14 five hundred opened to the kitchen, and Chef David welcomed the Finalists, saying that they would be served a 6-course lunch to congratulate them on getting so far in the competition.  The dishes presented would be those that have been the highlight of the five hundred menu in the past 18 months.  He mentioned their rooftop garden, which was planted in the same time period.  Chef David also said that they do things differently at five hundred, the chefs serving the diners.

Nederburg wines were to be paired with each course, but we only saw the sommelier pair the first course of pressed prawns with broccoli coral, mayonnaise, and nori soil, with Nederburg The Anchorman (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Professor Francis Petersen has been appointed as Chairman of Cape Town Design NPC, the company co-ordinating Cape Town’s reign of World Design Capital 2014, after the recent passing of its former Chairman Professor Russel Botman. 

*   Influential travel writer Sarah Khan, originally from New York,  fell in love with Cape Town and lives in our city, having met her now husband here two years ago.  She tells a romantic  tale about her transnational love affair, engagement, wedding and reception, held on three continents!   She has written fantastic stories about our city for leading international titles.

*   South African rugby player Francois Hougaard has been appointed to work with the tourism authority of the Seychelles, to promote the island to South Africans!

*   Brent Perremore of Orphanage Cocktail Emporium, who won the National World Class finals recently, has been prevented from (more…)

Equus Interior Whale Cottage PortfolioI had eagerly awaited the opening of the Cavalli Estate on the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West,  its majestic entrance having been completed about two years ago, and having heard a number of times that Chef Henrico Grobbelaar would be heading up the kitchen in the Equus restaurant.  Its Equus Tasting Room, Gallery, Boutique, and Restaurant opened a month ago, its 54 thoroughbred saddlebred horses, and olive and vine plantation make up the Cavalli Estate.  It must be the largest Winelands tourism offering in terms of size and facilities offered.

Horses dominate everything at Cavalli, the Italian name for the animal, and the racehorse stud was developed while the Equus centre was being built.  The stud is the main reason for the estate’s existence, and one passes the large stable building as one drives to Equus, with fynbos evident in the gardens landscaped by Keith Kirsten, who also did the Delaire Graff gardens.   I had been invited to be shown around by mother and daughter Gundel and Annette Sogor from Gordon’s Bay, who had been to the tasting room before, but had not yet eaten at Equus. Arriving separately, we each shared how unprofessional the welcome at the security entrance as well as at the parking had been, and Lauren Smith, owner’s daughter, architect, and Operations Manager of the estate, made quick work in having the problem addressed and the outsourced security men replaced.

The Equus building is vast, and consists of a massive art gallery, a boutique, (more…)

Bastille 2013 Hein KoegelenbergThe Bastille Festival was a festive weekend of tasting Franschhoek wines, connecting with friends, and trying some of the village food treats.  By all accounts it was a great success, and DnA Events must be congratulated in attracting such large numbers of visitors to Franschhoek, irrespective of the winter weather!  Almost every accommodation establishment was fully booked on Saturday evening, and the restaurants and shops did a roaring trade.  Franschhoek looked festive, almost every business being decorated in the French tricolore, and many of the locals and visitors wearing a beret and French colours.  For our French-speaking intern from Reunion, it was a surprise to experience all the Frenchness of Franschhoek this weekend.

It seemed more crowded on Saturday compared with previous years, yet there seemed to be less on offer outside of the Festival marquee than in the past.  We saw the queue outside the marquee just after the midday opening time, and it stretched a few blocks down Dirkie Uys Street.  We heard from our Whale Cottage Franschhoek guests that many tried to get tickets to get into the marquee on Saturday but were unable to do so, not even in the closing hour. Those that did have tickets could barely move inside the marquee as it was so full, despite a limit on the numbers, mainly caused by the afternoon rain, which meant that the ticket holders sitting outside moved into the marquee.  For many it was too crowded, and they left the marquee after visiting one stand, taking a bottle of wine outside to enjoy it in less crowded conditions.  Col’Cacchio had a band performing, and appeared to be one of the most popular meeting places after the marquee closed at 17h00, there being no cover charge.  Last minute rooms were sold to visitors who had heard about breathalyser tests on Helshoogte Pass.  The traffic on the main road was unbelievable, at times backed up to the Huguenot Monument.

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Yesterday Rougié, the world’s largest producer of foie gras, introduced a number of us to their method of foie gras production, dispelled all myths of the ‘cruelty’ of this production, and spoilt us with a wonderful Chef’s Table lunch at the Mount Nelson Hotel.

Guy de Saint-Laurent, Directeur: Commercial Export of Rougié Sarlat, flew in from France to explain to Chef Rudi Liebenberg from the Mount Nelson’s Planet Restaurant, Chef Dylan Laity of Aubergine, and Chef Darren Badenhorst from Grande Provence how duck foie gras is produced.  The company specialises in foie gras supply to the restaurant industry, and calls itself the ‘Chef’s Foie Gras’.  We were told that foie gras is one of the oldest food products, having been developed in Egypt 5000 years ago, the Pharaohs already force fattening wild birds at that time.  For their long journeys to other parts of the world in winter, the birds naturally overfeed to create a natural layer of fat around their liver, for their long flights, doubling their weight. The first foie gras recipes emanate from Rome, and were based on geese livers. Now 80% of the world’s production comes from France, with another 15 % being produced in Spain, Belgium, Japan, and the USA.  With the introduction of corn from America to France, the production of foie gras was revolutionised, in being used to force feed the ducks and geese.  Foie gras is produced from Moulard ducks, a cross between Muscovy and Pekin ducks.  Up to 98% of all foie gras is made from duck, taking 12 weeks to breed and 10 days to be fattened, while geese need 14 weeks breeding time and 21 days of fattening.  Duck foie gras is more affordable therefore, and tastes better, Guy said.  Its preparation has been mainly pan-fried or seared in the past, but Rougié is working on guiding chefs to find more uses for it. The company has recently set up the L’Ecole Du Foie Gras, teaching chefs the art of foie gras usage.

We were shown a video of how duck are fed a boiled corn ‘mash’ with a tube which goes into their crop, the process called ‘gavage‘.  This process takes 3 minutes, and is done once a day over the last 12 days of the duck’s life.  Vets visit the foie gras farms, and confirmed that ducks are ‘anatomically pre-disposed to be force fed’,  having a long neck, and that there is ‘no indication of stress’ to the ducks, a study showed.  The quality of the treatment of the ducks is reflected in the quality of the foie gras that is produced.  Rougié exports foie gras to 120 countries around the world, either raw, in cans, or flash frozen, the latter having a taste and texture ‘as good as fresh’. The company is a co-operative of about 700 duck farmers, foie gras being one of the products they make.

Foie gras has nutritional benefits, containing Vitamins B, C, and E.  A slice of foie gras has 260 Kcal, compared to a hamburger having 275 Kcal, and a pizza 600 Kcal.  It has good fat similar to that in olive oil, and protects the heart.  It is a food that can be adapted to the food traditions of the world, going well with the sweet, sour, and acidity in ingredients.  The Japanese are even making foie gras sushi, and the Chinese are making foie gras dumplings for Dim Sum.

While we were listening to the presentation, Chef Rudi’s team was busy preparing a foie gras feast for us, a nine-course lunch of small portions, to demonstrate the diversity of foie gras.    Chef Rudi’s brief to his team was to do him and the foie gras proud in the dishes that they created for this unique lunch. Three foie gras canapés were served with Villiera Tradition Brut NV, a terrine with beetroot, a macaroon, and a whipped foie gras torchon.   We discussed the reaction to foie gras, and that the state of California has banned its use in restaurants, despite foie gras being USDA approved.  Restaurants in the state wish to reverse the ban through legal action.  Guy said that the negative reaction comes from foie gras being seen to be for the well-to-do, making it elitist, the gavache method of feeding, and the love for comic characters such as Daffy and Donald Duck.

We started with frozen shaved foie gras, which was served with pine nuts and litchi, a  fresh surprise combination of ingredients, which Assistant Sommelier Farai Magwada paired with Bellingham’s The Bernard Series Chenin Blanc 2011.  Guy told us that he has chefs which visit restaurants around the world, especially to those far away from France, to educate and excite chefs about the preparation of foie gras. Last week Guy and Sagra Foods, the importers of the Rougié foie gras, had hosted similar lunches at The Westcliff with Chef Klaus Beckmann, and at The Saxon with Chef David Higgs, of whom Guy said that his work was two star Michelin quality, having been more classic in his foie gras usage.  Foie gras served with fresh apple, apple chutney, on an oats streusel, was paired with Spier Private Collection Chardonnay 2007.

I asked Guy about cookbooks about foie gras, and he told me that three have been written to date, one produced for Rougié, another done by Chef Nobu of the restaurant group by the same name, and the third by Beijing restaurant Da Dong. Given that Rougié was not prescriptive about how the foie gras should be served at its South African lunches, it seemed a good idea to develop a compilation of the dishes served, perhaps even including those lying ahead for Guy in Mauritius and Reunion.  An indian touch came through with foie gras and curried banana being sandwiched between two poppadom crisps, served with a fresh Solms-Delta Koloni 2010. A fun dish was pairing foie gras with popcorn and chicken breast, which was paired with Jordan Chameleon 1995.  As if we had not eaten enough already, we had a small palate cleanser, being duck confit with artichoke and mash.

We moved to fish, for which we were served fish knives, for hake cured with lemon and lemon grass, served with foie gras spuma and grilled melon, and paired with Cederberg Bukettraube 2011.    Guy explained that sous vide was invented for foie gras, and has since been adapted for use for other foods.  He also told me that French chefs predominantly used foie gras in terrines, but since Rougié has started marketing their products, and running their chefs’ courses, they are seeing it put to a greater number of creative uses. The beef, marinated mushrooms, and foie gras emulsion was paired with L’Omarins Optima 2006.  We talked about Chef Rudi’s support of Farmer Angus at Spier, buying his free-range meats, and having guinea fowl and turkey bred for his restaurant.

The Mount Nelson’s creative pastry chef Vicky Gurovich has just returned from a stage at Chef Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir in Great Milton, and visited Valrhona in Paris.  Her dessert creation of a foie gras, Valrhona chocolate and toffee terrine served with hazelnuts was the pièce de résistance. It was paired with Nederburg Eminence Noble Late Harvest 2009.

Sagra Foods was established in 1994, and operates from Cape Town, but distributes a range of exclusive foods and wines nationally, and even into Southern Africa, planning to make this country a hub of distribution of its fine foods into Africa, Darryn Lazarus said.  They commenced with Italian products, but decided to focus and specialise on premium products such as truffle oils, truffle butters, and many more, to make these products more affordable for local chefs.  Darryn said they are the ‘pioneers in specialty ingredients’, using wholesalers like Wild Peacock to offer chefs a single source of supply.  They import products ‘that make a difference’ from France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Australia, and the USA. So, for example, they sell El Bulli’s Texturas range, being the technical elements which once world best Chef Ferran Adria uses in his molecular gastronomy; De Cecco pasta from Italy; Vilux French mustards and vinegars; Borde dried mushrooms; Belberry jams, sauces, syrups, and vinegars; pastry cases with an 8 month shelf life; Australian Massel beef, chicken and vegetable stocks which are kosher, halaal, and gluten-free; and Tea Forte, the original designers of the tea pyramid, with such award-winning tea flavours as Blueberry Merlot and Lemon Sorbet.

The Mount Nelson was praised by Guy for its playful and less classic interpretation of the foie gras challenge, and he liked how the structure and taste of the foie gras was brought to the fore with the ingredients used by Chef Rudi’s chefs.  It was a most informative, once-in-a-lifetime lunch highlight, with excellent food, paired with a amazing range of wines, good company, and hosted in a special venue inside the sixty year old Mount Nelson kitchen.  Merci beaucoup!

Sagra Food & Wine Merchants, 10 Flamingo Crescent, Lansdowne, Cape Town. Tel (021) 761-3360. www.sagrafoods.com.  Twitter: @SagraFoodsZA

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

A Tweet by Chef Franck Dangereux about his Chef’s Table yesterday, with a link to the 8-course menu, caught my eye on Twitter earlier this week.  Given all the good things I have read about The Foodbarn of late, and the excellent summer weather forecast of 35°C, I booked a seat for the lunch. Although pricey at R595 excluding the tip, the eight course meal, paired with six sets of Groot Constantia wines, with two vintages of wines for five of these, was a proverbial Feast, true to the promise one sees visually on the wall as one enters the restaurant.

The table for twenty was festively set with white table cloths and overlays, a selection of glasses, and a material serviette, with yellow daffodils and white roses in the centre.  The walls are painted in a unique blue, and this colour is picked up in chair covers for outside, and inside the cloakrooms.  On the walls are photographs of Chef Franck with other chefs, as well as three handwritten letters to him from Oprah Winfrey, Juliette Binoche, and Leonardo DiCaprio. We were a mixed bunch of lunchers. I recognised writer Donald Paul (who looked like Chef Franck’s brother), and Guy Kebble.  Boela Gerber is the winemaker at Groot Constantia, leading the wine tasting, and he has been at Groot Constantia for the past eleven years, and recently became a member of the Cape Winemakers’ Guild.  Brand new Sales and Marketing Manager is Grant Newton, who attended as well. Everyone got on well, most not having met before, and Chef Franck came to sit down as well whenever he could get out of the kitchen, photographing and tasting his dishes.  Cleverly he made some of the guests change seats midway through the lunch, and this gave me an opportunity to ask him some questions, and for new connections to be made.  Chef Franck welcomed all, and asked us to be adventurous in trying what he was serving us, and to have an open mind.  He pulled out all the stops in his first test, being an amuse bouche of frogs legs, which very few present had ever eaten. It was served well flavoured with garlic and sprinkled with parsley, which most described as having a taste similar to chicken.  Boela introduced the two Groot Constantia Sauvignon Blancs, a 2008 and a 2011 (R94 estate price).  He said that the consumer expectation is to drink this wine variety as young as possible, laughingly saying they are demanding a 2013 already! The 2008 tasted of green pea and asparagus, while the 2011 had fresh tropical granadilla flavour notes.  These two Sauvignon Blancs were paired with Chef Franck’s oysters with a terrine of seaweed and cucumber, a beautiful dish served with aioli and tobiko (roe from flying fish), and most preferred the younger Sauvignon Blanc.  Open to a challenge himself, Chef Franck was able to conjure up alternative dishes for two guests who were allergic to shellfish, requested at short notice on their arrival.

An interesting contrasting combination was seared scallops which were served with crispy pig’s trotter samoosas, and served with a star anise jus.  The rich Groot Constantia 2007 and 2010 Chardonnays (R138 estate price) were paired with this course. Boela said their barrel-fermented Chardonnay is very popular, and they only produce 1500 cases.  This variety sells out every year.  The best dish by far was the pan-fried foie gras, which was served with Japanese mushrooms and pineapple, with a subtle liquorice jus.  The unusual pairing of this dish with the dessert wine Grand Constance 2003 and 2009 (R366 for 375 ml, estate price), the latter pairing particularly well with the foie gras. Boela told us that they tried to reconstruct the original sweet wine developed on the 327 year old wine estate, conducting research to check how it was made originally.  They work with raisins which were ‘vinified’. It has resulted in a caramel flavour.  Bread was brought to the table for the foie gras, but was not toasted, and melba toast or brioche would have suited the dish better.  To give the meal a break, a colourful ‘Drinking boozy sorbet’ was served, which was a refreshing watermelon and vodka sorbet.

At this point I could chat to Franck, and he told me that he came to South Africa about 20 years ago, originally using the country as a base to travel, settling at Constantia Uitsig, where he worked for ten years. He started The Foodbarn six years ago, it containing a deli too initially, but he has moved that to another part of the centre, serving light meals too.  He told me that he has broken the mould of fine dining, and he likes the journey and irreverence of it.  He looks happy, in his shorts and T-shirt, and says he is having fun. He wants his customers to be happy at his restaurant, and for them to bring their children and their dogs. His clients come from Constantia, Hout Bay and Noordhoek, Fishhoek and Kommetjie.  In winter his food cost goes to 47%, but his restaurant does about 60 covers, breaking even financially and his staff stay in training when they remain busy.  We laughed when he said that he cooks the food and his business partner Pete de Bruyn ‘cooks the books’!  His favourite restaurants, not that he has much time to go to them, are Bizerca, and new Thai restaurant Erawan in Wynberg. We chatted about MasterChef SA, and Chef Franck said that he likes Chef Bennie Masekwameng, for being kind to the contestants.  He knows Chef Pete Goffe-Wood.  He praised the camera work and production quality, but said that he hoped that the food quality would improve.  I explained the MasterChef Masterclasses to come, which Top 18 finalist Guy Clark had told me about (interview to be posted on Tuesday).  Grant Newton came to chat, and told me that he has a diverse background for his new job at Groot Constantia, having owned his own restaurant, having run a Social Media consultancy, and worked at the previous SFW (now Distell), the university of wine, he laughed.

I have never tasted Swordfish before, and it had a definitive taste, without bones (a childhood fear), which Chef Franck served with braised radicchio, a member of the chicory/endive family, and a red wine jus with persillade (a chopped garlic and parsley mix). Given the stronger taste of the fish, the flagship Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Reserve 2003 (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend) and 2009 (Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend, at R233 estate price) were a perfect pairing.  A ‘steak au poivre’ (pepper steak) was presented with Cambodian black and red Kampot (peppers), and pomme Sarladaise (sliced potatoes sautéed in goose fat, and then sprinkled with garlic and parsley).  This dish was paired with 2004 and 2010 Groot Constantia Shiraz (R133 estate price), spicy, peppery and elegant, his favourite wine to serve with a main course, Boela told us.  As if we had not eaten and drunk enough, an elegant glass of ice cold Groot Constantia Cap Classique 2008 (R150 estate price) was served with an unusual quince carpaccio and quince sorbet, which had been placed on top of a refreshing lemon panna cotta, a perfect end to a perfect long meal.

Chef Franck is clearly a sauce man, and creative in his unusual ingredient combinations.  He told us that he would not tell us about his dishes, as they should ‘speak for themselves’.  However, he uses unusual ingredients and a number of culinary terms, so it would be interesting to have an explanation of each dish.  The service from his staff let him down, when a waitress stretched across us to place a fork on a number of occasions, and the requested water and ice refill needing a number of reminders.  It is advisable to not eat for a number of days before coming to a Chef’s Table at The Foodbarn, and to not have any dining plans for a few days thereafter, there is so much food to eat!  One should also not have to be anywhere after the lunch, as ours lasted from 12h00 – 17h00, even Chef Franck having to leave before the end, to see his son play rugby!  The Foodbarn logo promises 100% passion, and handmade real food – Chef Franck and his kitchen team deliver 100%!

The Foodbarn, Noordhoek Farm Village, Noordhoek.  Tel (021) 789-1390.  www.thefoodbarn.co.za Twitter: @TheFoodbarn, Tuesday – Sundays Lunch and Dinner.  50 % off a la carte menu dishes Monday – Friday lunches until the end of April.  Wine and food pairing evenings in winter.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

A new service which Liam Tomlin Food is introducing at its new Leopard’s Leap venue is a series of Chef’s Table lunches, allowing one to experience first-hand not only the cooking methods and recipes of international Chef Liam Tomlin, but also to eat his food.

Liam Tomlin Food Culinary Studio opened about a month ago, and has a state of the art demonstration kitchen for 24 students at a time.  It also has ample seating for about 50 food lovers, who can follow what the demonstration chef prepares on TV screens above the work counter. Cooking classes and food demonstrations have been scheduled, as have a number of  Chef’s Table events, both at which Chef Liam will prepare meals which are paired with Leopard’s Leap wines.

The Chef’s Table food preparation is interactive, allowing participants to ask questions, and they will receive recipes for the dishes which the chefs prepared.  On scheduled weekdays a 90 minute 3-course lunch will be offered, at R250, and on weekends a 2 ½ hour 4-course lunch costs R350. The programme for the first quarter of next year is as follows:

13 January:  Italy (11h00 – 13h00)

20 January:   Gourmet Fast Food (11h00 – 13h00)

27 January:  Chinese New Year (11h00 – 13h00)

3 February:  Cape Winelands Cuisine cookbook demonstration with Pierneef à La Motte Chef Chris Erasmus and writer Hetta van Deventer

4 February:  Grape, focusing on which food one should pair with which wines (11h00 – 13h00)

10 February:  Poultry (11h00 – 13h00)

24 February:  Feasting on a budget (11h00 – 13h00)

2 March:  Gone Fishing (11h00 – 13h00)

9 March:   Vegetarian (11h00 – 13h00)

16 March:  France (11h00 – 13h00)

23 March:   Meet the Meats (11h00 – 13h00)

30 March:  Spanish Fiesta (11h00 – 13h00)

Cooking classes and food demonstrations have been scheduled for the first three months of 2012, many of the four-hour classes falling on Saturdays, but some on weekdays too. Participants receive a recipe folder. The programme is as follows:

14 January:   Around the World: Italy, 9h30 – 13h30, R650

21 January:   Gourmet Fast Food, 9h30 – 13h30, R450

28 January:   Chinese New Year, celebrating the Year of the Dragon, 9h30 – 13h30, R650

8 February:   Valrhona Chocolate Valentine’s Day Dessert with Vanessa Quellec, 9h30 – 13h00, R700. Includes plating, tempering chocolate, the emulsion method, pastry dough, and ice-cream making and churning.

11 February:  Poultry, demonstrating how to use every part of a bird, how to make duck confit, tunnel boning and stuffing the legs, and making savoury mousse, 9h30 – 13h30, R650

14 February:   Valentine’s Couples Evening, with Chef Liam preparing a 4-course meal built on indulgence, including oysters, caviar, strawberries, and chocolate, paired with sparkling wine, 18h30 – 21h30, R650

18 February:  Knife skills for slicing, dicing, and chopping, 9h30 – 13h30, R400

25 February:   Feasting on a budget, providing handy tips on how to stretch core ingredients, 9h30 – 13h30, R400.

29 February, 7 March, 14 March, 21 March, and 28 March: Back to Basics on Stocks, Soups and Consommé, Savoury Sauces and Compound Butters, Meat and Poultry, and Desserts, 9h30 – 13h30, R3000 for the five courses.

3 March:  Gone Fishing, providing guidance on how to scale, fillet, trim, portion and prepare fish. 9h30 – 13h30, R650.

10 March: Vegetarian, 9h30 – 13h30, R650

17 March: Little Chefs: Learning to Bake, for 8 – 12 year olds, 10h00 – 13h00, R200.

24 March:   Meet the Meats, 9h30 – 13h30, R650

31 March:  Around the World: Spain, 9h30 – 13h30, R650.

Liam Tomlin Food also has a Chef’s Store, selling kitchen equipment, appliances, crockery, cutlery, glassware, knives, utensils, spices, chocolate, teas, and preserves.  Gift vouchers, gift wrapping and a wedding registry service is also offered. The Store will be selling fresh produce from the Winelands next year, and we were told yesterday that Chef Liam will prepare a number of food items that can be bought to enjoy at Leopard’s Leap.  A new rotisserie has been installed, and one will be able to buy roast chicken too.  Chef Liam will only make a certain number of items per day.  Picnics will commence in the summer of 2012/2013.  Brands stocked in the Chef’s Store include Valrhona, De Villiers chocolate, Staub, Lavazza, Bamix, Scanpan, Riedel, Maxwell & Williams, Wüsthoff, Bodum, Nielsen & Massey, Krups, Kitchen Aid, and Le Creuset.

Liam Tomlin’s Banc Restaurant was named Sydney’s best in 2001.  He is a member of the British Airways Taste Team, and moved to Cape Town in 2004, initially as a consultant to hotels, restaurants, and wine estates.  Last year he opened the Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School in Cape Town. He has written a number of cookery books, including ‘A Season to Taste’.

POSTSCRIPT 8/1: We have added a new Chef’s Table lunch for 3 February to the list above.

POSTSCRIPT 13/1:  We received an e-mail today, announcing that all but one of the Chef’s Tables on Fridays have been rescheduled for 11h00 – 13h00, to accommodate Franschhoek mothers having to fetch their children from school.

Liam Tomlin Food, Leopard’s Leap Vineyards, Main Road/R45, outside Franschhoek. Tel (021) 876-8822. www.liamtomlinfood.com. Twitter: @LiamTomlinFood

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage