With rating agencies giving our economy a thumbs down, and our Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni painting a bleak picture of our economy last week, it is no surprise that there are few, if any, restaurant openings planned for the rest of the 2019/2020 summer season.
Exhibit A of Chefs Rikku O’Donnchü and Warwick King opened on Bree Street on Friday. La Chêne opened at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek two weeks ago. Cowboys & Cooks is running late in opening its planned new restaurant in De Waterkant.
The poor economic conditions in our country currently is manifesting in the very few new restaurants opening for the new summer season, most such new openings usually taking place in September. Where many new restaurants are opening, they are changing the name and concept of existing ones, rather than being brand new, or adding other restaurants in a restaurant group’s portfolio.
Two exciting top-end restaurant openings are those of Exhibit A (owned by highly acclaimed Chef Rikku O’Donnchü and Chef Warwick King, who left Gåte restaurant earlier this year), opening in the city centre on 1 November; and of La Chêne at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek. Interesting is that a number of new restaurants have opened on Kloof Street, our former Cape Town Restaurant Street before Bree Street took over, Continue reading →
Recently friends Llewellyn Lambert, Jenny Stephens, and I had lunch at the recently opened Boschendal at Oude Bank, previously the space occupied at SCHOON de Companje. We found a clean, uncluttered, and friendly Farm Shop, Bistro, Bakery, and Butchery, with produce brought in from the Boschendal farm outside Franschhoek.Continue reading →
I have made a decision to stop supporting and attending WineMag events after having been called to a meeting with Christian Eedes, editor of WineMag, and his business partner Jax Lahoud. I was badly disrespected by fellow-writer Eedes, and I will not stand for bullying of any kind.Continue reading →
It was interesting to receive a media release earlier this week, announcing that SCHOON (de Companje) belonging to Fritz Schoon is to move out of its existing building on Church Street in Stellenbosch, to an as yet undisclosed new location, and that Boschendal moved into the building on Wednesday. Continue reading →
The 41st Nederburg Rare South African Wine Auction raised a record R6,2 million over the past two days, in what is one of the highlights of the wine industry events calendar. A total of 67 wineries, four being new (Anura, Axe Hill, Bloemendal, Pella) this year, participated in the Auction.
The second highest average price per liter was achieved this year, says Nederburg Auction Manager Dalene Steyn. The trend of last year to achieving premium price continued this year, the largest number of private buyers ever creating strong competitive bidding, with an average price per liter of R576. Record price per liter was achieved for the Fortified, Cap Classique, Port, and Dry White wine categories. UK wine judge Tim Atkin said that our local wines are still undervalued, especially Continue reading →
*. The price of petrol will decrease by 69 cents per liter at midnight this evening. The decrease is mainly due to the drop in the price of crude oil, which has resulted from an oversupply of Brent crude oil. The new petrol price contains an allocation of 4,6 cents per lite to fund a 9% increase in the salaries of pump attendants and cashiers.
Last night’s episode 6 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ was set in beautiful Knysna, showcasing its timber industry, being the Oyster Capital of our country, and home to Ile de Pain, one of the best bakeries in South Africa. It is a pity that beautiful Plettenberg Bay, and the fertile farming region of George, Sedgefield, and Wilderness were excluded.
The episode opened with Hayden meeting Markus Farbinger, the Austrian baker who opened Ile de Pain a number of years ago on scenic Thesen Island, baking breads and pastries, which one can buy to take away or to enjoy in their coffee shop. Schoon de Companje owner Fritz Schoon worked with Markus for a year, and learnt all he knows from Markus, before setting up De Oude Bank Bakkerij in Stellenbosch, now renamed. Fritz featured in Stellenbosch episode 2 with Hayden, showing him how to bake mosbolletjies, and went zorbing with him at De Morgenzon! Liezie Mulder is the chef and Markus the baker in their business, having a restaurant in the town centre too. Markus had baked some lavash flatbread in his woodfired oven, which Chef Liezie used to make South African Boerewors Wraps for breakfast, adding scrambled eggs, boerewors, and sheba, a salsa made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, red pepper, sugar, salt, and pepper. This was followed by a surfing Continue reading →
The question on the lips of many South African viewers of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ is: why Hayden Quinn? Why choose a MasterChef Australia top 3 finalist (no, not winner) of 2011 (no, not even 2013) to promote the beauty of South Africa and its abundance of sustainable foods amongst South Africans? We did some research, and found that South African viewers are being misled about the TV show host, and that Woolworths appears to have a hidden agenda in pushing its Australian investments!
I started with the Cardova Group, the production company of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘, and of the ‘Expresso Morning Show’ and ‘Top Travel‘ too, all flighted on SABC3. A random e-mail landed in my Inbox from LinkedIn, asking me to congratulate Mark Bland as newly appointed Producer of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’, just as the series kicked off and my interest in it was piqued. I got Mark’s cellphone number via LinkedIn, and asked him for more information about the food series. He was extremely hesitant in talking to me, even though we have known each other for a good two to three years. He is a regular reader of my blog, and has commented on it on occasion. I was taken aback about his hesitancy to meet, to talk about the new show, stating that he had just been promoted, and did not want to jeopardise his new appointment in case I wrote something that could land him in trouble. As a regular reader he would have known that I can only write what I have been told. As the producer of the show, one would have thought that he would have wanted information about the series to be shared, or expected that he would have referred me to a PR person within his company, or at Woolworths, SABC3, and/or Nedbank, the major sponsors of the series. The best he could send me was this bland (pardon the pun) media release: Continue reading →
Poor Hayden Quinn! Trying to be clever, the promo for last night’s episode 2, which was flighted on SABC3 on Sunday evening, had Hayden proudly sharing that he was going behind the ‘Boerewors Curtain‘ in Stellenbosch, to meet artisanal baker Fritz Schoon of Schoon de Companje. The Tweet left Hayden with dough on his face, in making what he called a ‘joke‘, in poor cultural taste!
In reaction to a Tweet about his incorrect information (the ‘Boerewors Curtain‘ is a less than complimentary name for the residents of the suburbs of Parow/Bellville/Durbanville, to describe their love for braai-ing, in preference to most other activities, which means that they rarely leave their area, and that the area smells of braais from Friday evenings to Sunday lunch times on weekends), Hayden replied: ‘I guess the little joke was lost haha just referencing stellies (sic) as a (sic) Africaans (sic) town‘. His producer Riaan Badenhorst quickly jumped to his defence, explaining that Boerewors is ‘proudly heritage food‘, which was not the point of the Twitter exchange!
‘Hayden Quinn : South Africa‘ was first flighted on SABC3 last Monday, doing a great job in making Capetonians proud of their beautiful city and its fresh produce bounty. Hayden was a MasterChef Australia finalist in 2011, but did not win the series, and has managed to sign up the series about our country’s sustainable food production. The programme is sponsored by Continue reading →