The Sweet Service Award goes to The Ivy in Franschhoek, which invited me to try their Apartment 3 on Monday evening. I did not spend much time in the apartment, but slept there in a very comfortable bed that was warm, with an electric blanket, and an air conditioner in the bedroom. The apartment is very spacious, with two bedrooms, each with a bathroom, one en suite. The kitchen is equipped with quality appliances, and everything one would need for a self-catering stay. I did miss a converter plug to be able to use the two-prong hairdryer and to charge my phone. Parking is available on the property, and employee Wellington was very friendly in showing me the apartment, in helping me to set up the wifi, and switching on the air conditioner. Breakfast the next morning was at the nearby The Village Tart, owned by Lisa Adams, who also oversees the management of The Ivy.
Last week the whole of Cape Town, if not South Africa, was rooting for Chef Angelo Scirocco of The Chef’s Warehouse in the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2015, representing Africa and the Middle East, but it was not meant to be. Chef Mark Moriarity from Dublin won the title in the inaugural competition, which received 3000 entries from Continue reading →
Café Chic opened in Gardens in 1999, a Victorian building with a chic interior created by French owner Francoise Queyroi. A year ago the restaurant was closed and placed on the market, but has not yet found a buyer. It was a surprise that Chef Conrad Gallagher has taken over the building, renting it lock, stock and barrel, including its cutlery (by Helcometals from Egypt/France), crockery, glassware, table cloths, and serviettes, with a view to buying it in future. Given Chef Conrad’s reputation related to a previous era of owning restaurants in Cape Town, it is brave of him to return!
Chef Conrad had opened Geisha in 2007 in the building alongside Newport Deli in Mouille Point, spending R3,5 million on its interior, when he received an eviction order, being informed that the building was to be demolished, to make way for a new building. He moved to the Cape Royale Continue reading →
As we predicted in our blogpost yesterday, Roxi Wardman was crowned MasterChef SA Season 3 winner last night, and has waved her career at Transnet as an assistant train driver goodbye. While her ‘opponent’ Sipho Mdlankomo is widely liked, there should be no debate about the fairness of the result, as the scoring was shared at every step of the three-stage challenge which the Top 2 had to go through last night.
It was a shock to see the transformation in Roxi’s appearance, from always well-presented in terms of make-up and bling bling jewellery while she was in the MasterChef SA kitchen, to her red/pink hair, heavy make-up, and proudly-visible tattoos which she did not have as a Finalist. We had only seen one piercing above her lip in the past. It seemed as if Roxi could not believe that she had won the competition.
The Top 2 finalists met up in the MasterChef SA kitchen for one last time, and were delighted to see the other 10 Finalists there too, coming in support of the Top 2. An even bigger surprise was the surprise arrival of Roxi’s parents and her boyfriend Byron, as well as Sipho’s ‘boss‘, as she called him, his wife, and their Continue reading →
Last night’s two-hour episode was a bundle of nerves for both the Top 4 finalists as well as for MasterChef SA fans, with difficult food challenges. With Ian Young and Philippa Robinson sent home, Sipho Mdlankomo and Roxi Wardman will be fighting each other for the Top slot. The programme was divided in two halves, filmed on two different days.
The Top 4 were to bake a cake ‘fit for a queen‘ in the first hour, it not being known initially that a Finalist would be eliminated in each half. Roxi was happy, desserts and cakes being her forté. Pastry Chef Lorraine Meaney from the Cape Grace hotel, a guest in Season 1, joined the kitchen, and set the challenge of a Cardamom Lemon Chocolate gâteau. Chef Lorraine was the Head Pastry Chef Continue reading →
Good news in a City of Cape Town weekly newsletter is the development of a by-law intended to regulate the metered taxi industry in Cape Town, which has got out of hand in the operation of its service.
The City’s by-law is intended to regulate fares, ‘pick-up conditions’, safety, vehicle standards, and to set minimum service standards, intended to be implemented over the next three years. In developing the new strategy, the City of Cape Town consulted with the Western Cape Metered Taxi Council, and did a comparative study of international best practice in cities such as New York, Dublin, Sydney, and Nairobi.
The City had set a moratorium on issuing new taxi licences until yesterday, and now all new applications will be evaluated against the new metered taxi strategy. Included in the strategy is addressing the following concerns regarding the industry: Continue reading →
MasterChef Season 3 is slowly coming to an end, with only three more episodes to go. Last night it was clearly winter when episode 15 was shot in the Cape forests, the focus being foraging. It also meant the end for Mel Sutherland, who was sent home due to an unsatisfactory ‘muscle (sic) ceviche with wild garlic panna cotta and squid ink jelly‘!
On arrival at the MasterChef SA Top 5 were told that they would have to find their own ingredients in nature. Chef Pete Goffe-Wood told them: ‘The first part of this challenge you have to find your own ingredients. And you’re going to do it in the way we’ve been doing it for thousands of years – you’re going to go foraging’. The Top 5 were to go out into nature to gather Continue reading →
Episode 13 of the third Season of MasterChef SA continued its location in Mauritius, and the creators of the two weakest dishes in episode 12, being Penny Fitchet and Roxi Wardman, were to be pitted against each other in an Elimination Test.
The five successful Finalists from episode 12 received a sweet reward, being a MasterClass in Mauritian sugar by the Long Beach Executive Pastry Chef Sandra Scioli. She showed them the different types of sugars produced in Mauritius, and which sugars are better to use for different types of baking. It also demonstrated to the Finalists that the outcome of a dessert can be influenced by the type of sugar one uses. Ian Young was impressed by the plating, ‘because it was very precise and very organised. And you can see that a pastry chef has got a calmness about them that is very systematic. What she put on the plate was beautiful‘.
The Elimination Test was described as a ‘Fusion’ Pressure Test held at the Hasu Japanese restaurant at the Continue reading →
It was lovely to escape to Mauritius with the Top 7 Finalists of Season 3 in episode 12 last night, and one could almost smell the mix of African, Chinese, Indian, and French spices which characterises Mauritian cooking. Sparkling spicy Mauritian MasterChef UK 2012 winner Shelina Permalloo was the visiting judge, and broke the monotonous three-male-judges team we have experienced for all three seasons of MasterChef SA!
Shelina took the seven finalists to the fruit and vegetable market in Mauritius capital Port Louis. She spoke to them about the food heritage of the country, and how it inspired her cooking and success. Many of the fruit and vegetable items stocked in the market were unfamiliar to our South African Continue reading →
The eleventh episode of MasterChef SA Season 3 was a close contest between Ian Young and Sipho Mdlankomo for the Immunity Pin, and between Penny Fitchet and Francois Zietsman in the Elimination Test. The episode ended off on a high for the seven remaining contestants.
Having won the paired Team Challenge last week, Ian and Sipho had been promised a surprise, and we recognised the Old Biscuit Mill, and the building in which The Pot Luck Club is housed. Chef Luke Dale-Roberts was introduced, and a video link showed him speaking to the camera, being at least a year old in that it was incorrect about when The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club had opened. Chef Luke’s The Test Kitchen is in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, but this was misrepresented by M-Net, as the contestants were at The Pot Luck Club, which is not on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list, but was made to appear as if it is! Instead of being served a lunch by Chef Luke, the two contestants were presented with a cloche by Reuben Robertsons Riffel, which when opened, contained an Immunity Pin. Sipho and Ian had to cook a dish created by Chef Luke, and the one replicating it most closely would win the Pin. The two contestants were given a recipe for Chef Luke’s braised pork belly served with apple, a miso and soy glaze, julienne vegetables, and a steamed Chinese bun, and they tasted a sample dish. They were given 90 minutes to complete the dish, cooking in the kitchen of The Pot Luck Club. It was a delight to see Chef Luke smile, Continue reading →