Tag Archives: elBulli

New Restaurant openings in Cape Town and Winelands continue!

Tiger's Milk Main Table and lights Whale CottageEven though we are halfway through the summer season,  new restaurants continue to open, and more are planned before summer ends.  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Michael Townsend (who owns the Harbour House emporium, with La Parada, Lucky Fish, and Harbour House restaurants) has opened Tiger’s Milk in Muizenberg (photograph).  The Lucky Fish on Long Street will be transformed into Tiger’s Milk.

*    Kokkedoor judge and Chef Nic van Wyk and Roxy Laker have opened bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards (Welmoed)

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point. Continue reading →

New restaurant openings awaited in Cape Town & Winelands!

Bistro 13 Interior plus serving hatch Whale CottageAn unusually high number of new restaurants has opened or will do so in the next month or two.  There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers!  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Kokkedoor judge and Chef Nic van Wyk and Roxy Laker have opened bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards (Welmoed) (photograph)

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (who own the La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) has opened Tiger’s Milk in Muizenberg, the venue having previously been earmarked for a steakhouse.

*   Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht (of Burrata) have opened new restaurant Bocca on the corner of BreeContinue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 3 episode 6: Meeting ‘Karoo Kitchen’ writer Syddah Essop; Ndumiso Mncwabe fired out of Pressure Test!

MasterChef 3 5 Eleven finalistsLast night’s MasterChef consisted of two parts – a happy team of eight Finalists driven to the home in the Karoo of cookbook writer Syddah Essop, and a nervous looking team of three Finalists who had to cook in the Pressure Test without electricity, which saw Ndumiso Mncwabe leaving the MasterChef SA kitchen.

The team met Syddah Essop, writer of ‘Karoo Kitchen‘, and she shared her knowledge about Karoo Cuisine with the Finalists.  Syddah grew up in Beaufort West, in the heart of the Karoo.  She traveled from farm to farm in the area with her father, who sought to protect the rights of farmers.  In this way she learnt a lot about the Karoo locals and their food.   It took her three years to compile ‘Karoo Kitchen’, as a salute to the culture and heritage of the Karoo.   The cookbook contains a diversity of local dishes, including standards such as melktert, rusks, Karoo lamb, and even sheep’s head!  The cookbook has received acclaim for documenting the Karoo cooking culture and heritage.  Syddah prepared a table full of Karoo delights for the Finalists. Continue reading →

Open Letter to Sarah Khan: Strange Selection of Travel + Leisure ‘Top Chefs in Cape Town’!

The Test KitchenDear Sarah

We are extremely proud to have you living in your newly adopted home city Cape Town, and that you are such a fantastic tourism ambassador for our country in general, and for Cape Town in particular.  You put Cape Town on the world tourist map with your article earlier this year in the New York Times about Cape Town being the number one  ’52 places to go in 2014′, the best free publicity our city has ever had.

I was therefore shocked to see your article about Top Chefs in Cape Town’ in Travel + Leisureand the choices you made in selecting what you have listed as the top five chefs in Cape Town: Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen, Peter Tempelhoff of The Greenhouse, Reuben Robertsons Riffel of Reuben’s x 4 (in Franschhoek, Cape Town, Robertson, and Paternoster) plus Racine, Bruce Robertson of The Flagship, and Franck Dangereux of The Food Barn, in that order. You did not define your guidelines for selecting the five chefs, nor did you appear to use the same criteria in selecting the chefs that are on your list – the justification for inclusion appears more anecdotal and random.  Equally, I am surprised about the chefs you excluded from the list!

You seem to praise Chef Franck for his ‘foreign pedigree, but why single him out when Chefs Luke and Peter also have foreign roots?  Does that make them better chefs?  All of the chefs on your list have worked overseas, so they deserve equal mention in this regard.  You ‘warn’ Travel + Leisure readers to ‘watch out for these five Cape Town chefs and memorize their names now – they’re poised to break through to the global stage any day now‘!

Let me comment on each of your Top Chef choices: Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 3 episode 5: Carrots, carrots everywhere for dessert Invention Test!

MasterChef 3 5 Carrots Whale CottageEpisode 5 of MasterChef SA was long and drawn-out, featuring nine desserts made from a surprise ingredient – a Pantry overflowing with carrots, carrot juice, and carrot powder. Three new contestants will go into the Pressure Test in episode 6 next week, Ndumiso Mncwabe clearly heading for an early exit as he is facing his second Pressure Test.

The episode commenced with a recap of episode 4, Roxi Wardman sharing her euphoria about having visited and eaten at Chef Kevin Thornton’s 2 star Michelin Thornton’s restaurant in Dublin, for having won the best dish in episode 3.  She described it as a ‘mind blowing, life changing’ experience.  Philippa Robinson shared that Roxi’s success and her new confidence from her trip makes her feel intimidated, as she is one of the strongest contestants.

Reuben Robertsons Riffel led the contestants to the Pantry, and they were surprised to see the mountain of carrots, in red, orange, and purple, from which they had to make a dessert, with the carrot the focus, said Chef Benny Masekwameng.  Riffel said that a carrot dessert is not as crazy as it seems, and challenged the contestants to apply their mind.  A time limit of 90 minutes was set, MasterChef 3 5 Contestants Whale Cottagebut the Pantry was closed 15 minutes after the start. Once again the contestants were told that the three weakest dishes will place their creators into the Pressure Test, one of them going home in episode 6.  While there are eleven contestants left, only nine of them were interviewed and the evaluation of their dishes shown, Francois Zietsman and Mel Sutherland receiving no airtime last night. Continue reading →

Cape Town and Winelands restaurant and chef changes continue!

Borage Bistro Interior 2 Whale CottageAn unusually high number of new restaurants has opened or will do so in the next month or two.  There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers!  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Borage Bistro has opened in Portside, with Chef Frank Marks, previously of The Fat Duck, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, La Colombe, The Test Kitchen, and The Pot Luck Club

*   Chef Chris Erasmus has opened his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek, having previously been at Pierneef à La Motte.

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) is opening a steak restaurant in Muizenberg in November.

*   Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht (of Burrata) are opening a new restaurant Bocca on the corner of Bree Continue reading →

Harbour House: July Winter Menu excellent quality and value!

Harbour House Interior Whale CottageHarbour House is one of a collection of restaurants owned by restaurateur Michael Townsend, about whom we wrote earlier this year.  Last week I was invited by Michael to try the new Winter Menu of Harbour House in the V&A Waterfront, and was impressed with the quality of the service and dishes, and the good value that the Winter Menu offers.

There are two Harbour House restaurants in the Harbour House Group, which also includes two La Parada restaurants, a new steak restaurant in Muizenberg, Live Bait, Polana, Sirocco, and a fast growing collection of Lucky Fish outlets. At lunch Michael received a call to say that his offer to lease the Top of the Ritz restaurant had been accepted. Michael plans to list the Harbour House Group on the JSE in future.

Lizaan Nell joined us for lunch, and is Michael’s right hand, in overseeing the running of the restaurants.  She has worked for Michael for 16 years, and is in the restaurant kitchens to check that all is running smoothly, and according to guidelines, being closely involved with this Harbour House branch.  Lizaan spent six months working with Chef Franck Dangereux, who was working at La Colombe at the time.  Her time with Chef Franck inspired her in the creation of new dishes for Harbour House.  She is extremely excited to become the right hand of Chef Andres Condé, who starts at the Harbour House Group today.  He previously worked for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ number one restaurant elBulli, and moved across to owner and Chef Ferran Àdria’s Michelin star Tickets restaurant in Barcelona.  He has joined the Group with a first priority to improve La Parada, the tapas restaurants in the Group, and its food in particular, to make its tapas offering genuinely Spanish.  He will also work on the two Harbour House restaurants.  He has been promised his own restaurant, which will open in one section of the Continue reading →

Musical stoves expected in the 2015 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant list!

Waterkloof dessertWill the resignation of two 2014 Eat Out Top 10 Chefs, with  a third to come it is rumoured, make it the easiest hop into the 2015 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant list ever?  While it is a bit early, we speculate as to which new restaurants will make it onto the Eat Out Top 20 and Top 10 Restaurant lists later this year.

Given the strict rule of an Executive Chef having to have worked a full twelve months (November 2013 to October this year) to qualify to get onto the Eat Out Top 20 shortlist, the three restaurants with the departing chefs will not qualify to make Top 20 for the judging in the next two months or so.  Hartford House and Pierneef à La Motte should definitely be off the list, and the third Top 10 restaurant will be confirmed shortly (see Postscript below).  Chef Chris Erasmus left Pierneef à La Motte a week ago, to open his new restaurant Foliage on the main road of Franschhoek next month, while Chef Jackie Cameron is opening Jackie Cameron’s School of Food and Wine in Hilton in January next year, but leaves at the end of July.  The third chef is rumoured to move from the Winelands to Cape Town, to open his own new restaurant, and could not be reached yesterday due to the restaurant being closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.   We would not be surprised if a fourth Top 10 restaurant chef makes a move to Cape Town too, given the number of new restaurants opening in the next few months. Continue reading →

Many restaurant openings in Cape Town and Winelands contrary to past winter trend!

Chef's Warehouse Street Food logo Whale Cottage PortfolioCape Town is seeing an amazing number of restaurant openings in mid-winter, a time during which one expects the opposite, it being usual to see restaurant closures.  Although a concern to some, we are seeing a rise in restaurant entrepreneurs, opening more than one restaurant in Cape Town, including Neil Grant with business partner Barry Engelbrecht (opening on Bree Street, as well as at the former River Café; Michael Townsend of the Harbour House Group, who must be the fastest restaurant-opener at the moment, also bringing star Chef Andres Conde from Michelin star restaurants in Spain to Cape Town; and grumpy Giorgio Nava, who is opening two Carne restaurants shortly! This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has opened Street Food below the neighbouring hotel, offering Deluxe coffee, pastries, and Asian-inspired lunch take-outs. Operates from 7h00 – 15h00.

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   Lucky Fish & Chips has opened on Bree Street, on Regent Road in Sea Point, on Long Street, in Kalk Bay, and in Muizenberg, belonging to Harbour House group.  

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill is opening next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Ragafellows has opened on Main Road in Hout Bay.

*   The Dogfather has opened in Sea Point.

*   The Restaurant at Cape Point Vineyards has opened, with Chef Clayton Bell of the former Constantia Uitsig Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 2 July

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Former World’s 50 Best Restaurant number 1 chef in the world, Ferran Àdria of elBulli, says that the standard 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?

*   For the third year running vineyards in Burgundy have been hit by a hail storm, causing damage to 40 – 90% of the Continue reading →