#grateful for a day of spoiling 🙏; for a quick post for a client; for a good Camps Bay Community Beach Clean, with 6 adults and 3 children, filling 10 bags, and meeting a new resident of Camps Bay, and a German family which has just taken over a Sea Point guest house; for bumping into Johnny Nortje on the beachfront, with a catch up after a long time of not seeing each other; for being spoilt by The 41 Restaurant, our Camps Bay Clean sponsors, with tea and water on the lawn at the Beach, and then with a breakfast, their Manager Emma Farquharson being extremely efficient 💙; for Continue reading →
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 →
Last week I spent two days in Franschhoek for a catch-up visit, after not having been to this lovely village known for its eateries and good wines in eight months. From having heard that the village was so quiet, and that many restaurants had closed down, I was pleasantly surprised to find the village bursting with excitement about new restaurants about to open in October, and later this year. I could not resist eating at Orangerie at Le Lude, what to me is one of Franschhoek’s best restaurants. Continue reading →
I drive down Rose Street in Bo-Kaap almost every day, and have been watching the slow progress made in a restaurant opening in what was one of my favourite coffee stops. After about six months of Haas having moved out, Batavia Café opened two weeks ago.
Old Haas fans may be disappointed with the lightweight decor, and design items for sale, following a similar concept as Haas in promoting not only its food at the Batavia Café, but also design in the Batavia section, by Cape Town designers such as Issa leo (menswear), Lazuli (womenswear), BO.NE nature made (African animal skulls), work by artists Annette Visser and Ina Grobbelaar, Gruparte (graphic posters and prints), and Oh dear Megan (jewellery designer). The first floor which housed the Haas ad agency has been let. The seating area in the little courtyard offers the most privacy. Many mixed-colour bunches of flowers, or a single stem in a Continue reading →
It was a call from Nick, who handles Social Media for Haas Collective, an advertising agency, art and interior decor consultancy, and coffee shop, that motivated my colleague and I to return to the new Haas building on Buitenkant Street yesterday, to write this piece.
Haas became a firm favourite when it first opened more than three years agoon Rose Street, giving life and energy to this Bo-Kaap street, being a convenient stop with parking usually available and devoid of parking marshalls. It became a second office (even though wifi was always problematical, with changing passwords) and a welcome meeting place, all first-time visitors being impressed with the art-focused interior. The food was always secondary, prepared from a kitchen across the road in a rented building, adjacent to where the Haas advertising agency had its offices too, in addition to the upstairs offices. Service deteriorated over time, as the waiters became more arrogant and slack, jiving in the entrance section, talking noisily, and not proactively following up with the kitchen. Inge has been the only efficient manager on the coffee shop side of the business, but Continue reading →
* Former World’s 50 Best Restaurant number 1 chef in the world, Ferran Àdria of elBulli, says that thestandard of cheffing is at its highest level ever, being ‘the best in history‘, and that the gap between a 3 star Michelin restaurant and a casual dining restaurant is the smallest ever! Àdria advised top restaurants to differentiate themselves on aspects other than the food, to justify their higher prices, suggesting their wine list, service, and decor. Cocktails also are a point of differentiation,with bartenders seeking inspiration for new recipes from chefs.
* Wine writer Joe Roberts says that a very small percentage of the 8000 wineries (with 16000 brands) in the USA is embracing digital marketing. While 44% of consumers are connecting with digital, only an estimated 1% of American wine marketing spend is on digital advertising. No more than 80 of the wineries have dedicated digital practitioners. In a week, winery brands receive 2 – 20 mentions on digital platforms, of which 80% go unanswered. One wonders if the South African stats are any better for our local wine estates’ usage of digital marketing?