The seven talented Young Chef Award 2016 Finalists have been announced for Chefs who Share – the ART of Giving, the winner being announced at the Chefs who Share Gala Dinner in Johannesburg on 24 September. Continue reading →
Twelve Apostle’s Hotel PR consultancy Five Star PR invited a number of writers to try the new Winter Menu yesterday, on a sunny winter’s day, with Lion’s Head in the background. I was impressed with how the level of the cuisine at Azure restaurant has improved since my last visit. Continue reading →
In what initially looked like an Eat Out survey about restaurant recommendations when I saw the Facebook post very late last night was in fact a survey conducted by Tokara to research sources of restaurant recommendations and review platform credibility. I was delighted to see that our WhaleTales Blog was included in the Survey as a source of restaurant review information.
Tokara Restaurant owner Wilhelm Kühn is writing his dissertation for an Executive MBA at the UCT Graduate School of Business, and designed the survey. He introduced it as follows on the Tokara Continue reading →
Yesterday afternoon Opulent Living hosted a function at The Reserve at Taj Cape Town, to introduce food writers to the seven Finalist Young Chef of the Year candidates, and to allow their creative canapés to be tasted.
The canapés form one part of the evaluation of who wins the Chefs who Share Young Chef of the Year 2015, the other part of the evaluation being the handling of the chefs of themselves in the next 48 hours, including during the Chefs who Share Gala Dinner taking place in the City Hall on Thursday evening. Continue reading →
Opulent Living has announced the seven Finalists for its Young Chef of the Year 2015 competition, with six of the Finalists working at Western Cape restaurants and one in KwaZulu-Natal.
The forty entries were evaluated by a panel of judges, consisting of Chef Lentswe Bhengu, Chef Tracey Younghusband, Silwood Vice-Principal Carianne Wilkinson, Food24 editor Tessa Purdon, cooking celebrity Naz Moosa, and Opulent Living’s Florian Gast. They evaluated the entries received from young chefs under the age of 30 years, who were tasked to design a canapé costing no more than R25 each, having to send their recipe, photograph, and costing of their dish. The competition entry forms were sent to 75 top restaurants around the country, with an invitation Continue reading →
* SAA has announced that its former GM of Human Resources Thuli Mpshe has been appointed as its Acting CEO, after the sudden departure of Nico Bezuidenhout, who returns to Mango.
* The Tourism Business Council of South Africa CE Mmatsatsi Ramawela has suggested that biometric data of passengers be captured on arrival in Continue reading →
An American article guides restaurants with ‘25 Restaurant Marketing Ideas, Tips and Strategy to win in the food business’, most of which are applicable to South Africa too. Local restaurants are not known to be good at marketing their food and service! The list of ideas suggested is as follows:
1. Photographs are THE way to market restaurants, via Instagram in particular, ‘high-quality, drool-inducing photos’ being the best way to promote a restaurant. It is worth investing in an excellent food photographer.
2. Loyalty Programs on online food apps attract attention and reward loyal custom.
3. In the USA Yelp is vital, positive reviews being a massive marketing plus. It has not been heard Continue reading →
Yesterday I met Chef Reuben Riffel for a Day of Reconciliation coffee at Crisp in Franschhoek, around the corner from his Reuben’s restaurant, a follow-up from our reconnection at the Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Restaurant Awards.
As he sat down, Chef Reuben apologised for not feeling 100%, starting a cold, and expressing that he is exhausted after a very busy year, but seems to have enjoyed every minute of it. Ironically he and his wife Maryke had planned 2014 last year, wanting it to be a less busy year than 2013, but looking back, he said it was even busier. In the past year he has done the following:
* filmed MasterChef SA Celebrity Edition, a series we are yet to see, in January 2015, in which he cut his MasterChef judging teeth, apologising that he was still new at being a TV cooking show judge. Food24 reports that the 10 celebrities, cooking for a prize to be donated to charity, are Singer Patricia Lewis, Comedian Chris Forrest, Comedian TolAssMo, Continue reading →
* SAA would consider a partner to assist it in running its loss-making operation, the Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown said earlier this week. The airline’s application for more funding was recently rejected.
* Wines of South Africa (WOSA) has opened a Hong Kong office to market our country’s wines to all of Asia, and will be managed by Michaela Stander, who has managed the region from South Africa for the past six years. South African wine sales into China grew by 5% and to Japan by 12% in the past year. The marketing program includes consumer education, a sommelier competition, dinners, and offering wines by the glass. It will be visible at the HKTDC fair in Hong Kong next week, and at ProWein China from 12 – 14 November.
Yesterday I enjoyed an interesting lunch with restaurateur Michael Townsend at Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, one of the most low key restaurant entrepreneurs in Cape Town but with a fast growing empire which has focused on fish to date. Now he is opening a steak restaurant in Muizenberg, and if it is successful there, he will bring it to the city centre.
I have only met Michael once before, on Kalk Bay’s main road outside his La Parada, when he called my name as I walked past, and did not react initially as I do not know anyone living on that side of Cape Town. He persisted, having recognised me from the blog and previous writing I did for the Weekend Argus Ad Monitor column which I created many years ago. We have become Facebook friends since. Yesterday morning he contacted me, requesting a meeting. I suggested Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, having just written the review. He had arrived early, and bought seven books relating to meat from the shop, with help from Chef Liam Tomlin. What he wanted input on was the appointment of a group Executive Chef, who can look after all his restaurants (two Harbour House, five Lucky Fish, and two La Parada to date).
He told me that he once was a student in Fashion Design, including dresses and handbags, moving to Johannesburg to join a company called Brandcorp, of which he became a director, and when it was listed on the JSE, he made his first good money. He intimated that he cannot hold on to money for too long, and is not materialistic, always wanting to put it into a new business. His first money went into Harbour House in Kalk Bay, previously called Canteen Tequila, of which he changed the name when they opened about 15 years ago. It did not run very well in early days, Continue reading →