On Friday a group of writers was invited on behalf of Holden Manz, by its marketing consultant Tanya Fourie. We were taken on a tour of the Holden Manz wine cellar, tasted its latest wine vintages, introduced to the new Holden Manz Chenin Blanc to be launched soon, and spoilt with an excellent lunch prepared by Chef Ricardo Le Roux and paired with some of the Holden Manz wines. Continue reading →
* The price of petrol could drop by 69 – 72 cents per liter on 3 December, the Automobile Association has forecast. The declining international oil prices will benefit motorists. ‘Petroleum prices have dropped by more than ten percent over the past 15 days and the exchange rate has weakened only slightly in the same period‘.
* The organisers of World Design Capital (WDC) 2014 have condemned the vandalisation with graffiti of the ‘Perceptions’ Ray-Ban glasses sculpture on the Sea Point Promenade. The art work has generated a huge debate about its suitability in its perceived commercialisation, by promoting the glasses brand. The organisers said: ‘As WDC 2014, we condone creativity and condemn in the strictest sense, lawlessness. It is a sad day when public debate is substituted with vandalism‘.
* KWV is hosting ‘Brandy Sensations‘, a ‘long table dinner‘ to be held at the KWV Sensorium art gallery in Paarl tomorrow. Continue reading →
Julia Hattingh is the fourth chef at Franschhoek Kitchen since Holden Manz bought the previously named Klein Genot wine estate, and it was renamed after the owners’ surnames. She is a breath of fresh air, and the restaurant will attract back customers, as Chef Julia settles in and takes the restaurant to a new level.
Security is stricter now, one having to fill in a sheet at the boom, but friendly. One walks through the downstairs tasting room to get to the upstairs restaurant, and I chose the smaller room with the fireplace. Front of House Manager Cobi Bosch is new, and he and I did not gel at all. He previously worked at Rhapsody’s at Cape Town International and in Bloemfontein. I knew that Manager Wayne Buckley would pop in, and I did want to meet Chef Julia, which made me stay. Cobi also served as the waiter on Monday. He recommended to a neighbouring table what his favourite dishes are, in guiding them what to order (they ordered a cheese platter to share in the end), but did not offer me this service. He brought two wine lists, one with Holden Manz wines, and the other with wines from their ‘friends’, being other wine estates in Franschhoek and one in Stellenbosch, telling me that the Chardonnay on the list was sold out already. He seemed most put out when I requested butter instead of the bottles of Willow Creek extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for the slices of olive oil bread which he had brought to the table. Continue reading →
A number of Franschhoek’s top chefs will pair their delectable dishes with the wines of the local wine estates at ‘Cook Franschhoek’, running from 13 – 15 June, sharing their special cooking tips, reflecting the food trend of getting back to basics.
Spread around the wine estates and restaurants of Franschhoek, the participating chefs will allow workshop participants into their domains, and share their cooking secrets, while the winemakers will guide the attendees on choosing the most suitable wines to pair with each dish made. At the end of each workshop, the dishes cooked and the wines paired will be available to taste. It also allows one to interact with the chefs and winemakers in small groups, and to ask more specific questions.
The participating Franschhoek chefs subscroibe to the cooking basics, such as ‘snout-to-tail’ food usage, meaning that every piece of an animal such as a pig is used (such as witnessed on MasterChef SA Season 2 when Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte cooked a pig’s head to make a terrine); sourcing ingredients fresh from the farm to the table, within close proximity to the restaurants; smoking meats, charcuterie being the speciality of Chef Neil Jewell of Bread & Wine; cooking over a fire, including a rotisserie, a Green Egg, and Weber; and Nordic cooking techniques of pickling, fermenting, and preserving. Continue reading →
Many restaurants opened this summer, but the industry is taking its first toll, with restaurants closing down. It may be a tough winter ahead, given the poor state of the economy. Yet Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht (Burrata), Clayton Howard and Mico Botha (I Love my Laundry), and Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House) are expanding their portfolios.
This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Chef’s Warehouse & Cookery School has moved to Bree Street, in the Cape Heritage hotel building, where Awestruck/Caveau used to be, and is now called Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, with Chef Liam Tomlin in the kitchen. Street Food has also opened as a take-away outlet (7h00 – 15h00)
* Diesel & Creme, a diner, restaurant, and coffee shop, has opened on the R62 in Barrydale.
* Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.
* The Tap Room has opened at Devils’ Peak Brewery
* I ♥ my Laundry has opened another (its third) branch on Buitenkant Street.
* Jordan Wines has launched a Deli and Bakery.
* 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 Michael Townsend of the Harbour House group.
* Tümi has opened as a health food café in St John’s Piazza in Sea Point, being part of the Col’Cocchia group. Continue reading →
* Graham Beck Wines has been appointed as the official MCC supplier to Cape Town’s hosting of World Design Capital 2014.
* Wine writer Sherwin Lao from the Philippines, writing the column ‘Sip by Sip‘ for the Manila Standard Today, visited the Winelands of South Africa twice in 2013, and sings its praises, describing it as ‘a marvel to look at’, having visited Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Elgin. He also wrote about its ‘surreal mountain views, quaint looking towns and unparalled God-given beauty’. He was one of 14 international judges for the 2013 Michelangelo Wine Awards.
* The Guardian writer John Brunton visited the Winelands as a guest of SA Tourism, and titled his article ‘South Africa’s Cape top 10 wine route‘, recommending Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, the Swartland, Tulbagh, and Wellington generally, and Chamonix, Glenwood, Nabygelegen, AA Badenhorst, and Tokara specifically. He also recommended restaurants Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz (before they lost their Chef Maryna Frederiksen, whom he mentions) , Fyndraai at Solms-Delta, and Readers in Tulbagh.
Despite one of the worst winters ever experienced by the Cape hospitality industry, most restaurants appear to have survived it. A surprise trend is the number of Mediterranean style restaurants opening, with true Spanish and Italian owners and/or staff. This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* The Harbour House group has opened La Parada Spanish Tapas restaurant on Bree Street, with a subterranean bar/nightclub (above).
* Café Puerto Cabo has opened on Loop Street, a Spanish eatery and men’s clothing shop.
* The House of Machines has opened on Shortmarket Street, building motorcycles, offering good Evil Twin coffee, and serving very healthy food.
* Orphanage Cocktail Emporium is opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers, later this year.
MasterChef SA Season 2 is the talk of the country, and we have another 5 weeks of viewing to look forward to. To warm things up a little, we have launched two competitions, the first being a prediction of who will win MasterChef SA in episode 26.
We are also running a weekly prize for the correct prediction of who our readers think will be chopped out of the MasterChef SA. For the correct prediction of who will leave MasterChef SA in episode 16 on 31 July, Cheyne’s in Hout Bay has generously offered a R400 dinner voucher for two persons for the correct prediction.
Capetonians can enjoy Chef Cheyne Morrisby’s Australasian-infused South African cuisine at his new restaurant on the Main Road in Hout Bay. Chef Cheyne is hands-on in the kitchen, yet makes time to greet each table. He previously worked at Blues, and a planned one year job in London became an eleven year one, working at the Conran Group restaurants. Continue reading →
Franschhoek’s biggest event takes place next weekend, the Bastille Festival being celebrated on 13 and 14 July, showcasing the food and wine highlights of the valley, and promises to be great fun. This year the 20th anniversary of the Franschhoek Bastille Festival will be celebrated.
The town will be decked out in red, white and blue, and a large marquee in the centre of town, just off the main road, between the church and the town hall, will be the focus of the Festival. Wines of the following Franschhoek wine estates will be available to taste: Akkerdal, Alleé Bleue, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Backsberg, Boschendal, Babylonstoren, Boekenhoutskloof, Dieu Donnè, Glenwood, Grande Provence, Haute Cabrière, Holden Manz, La Bri, La Chataigne, La Motte, La Petite Ferme, Leopard’s Leap, Maison Estate, Morena – Franschhoek Pass Winery, Môreson, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Rickety Bridge, Rupert & Rothchild Vignerons, Solms Delta, and Vrede en Lust. Continue reading →
MasterChef SA Season 2 is the talk of the country, and we have another eight weeks of viewing to look forward to in the next two months. To warm things up a little, we have launched two competitions, the first being a prediction of who will win MasterChef SA in episode 26.
We are also running a weekly prize for the correct prediction of who our readers think will be chopped out of the MasterChef SA. For the correct prediction of who will leave MasterChef SA in episode 10 on 10 July, Cheyne’s in Hout Bay has generously offered a R400 dinner voucher for two persons for the correct prediction. Continue reading →