The American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards were held last night for the 18th year, at the superb event venue The Olive Press at Boschendal. The highest number ever of first-time recipient restaurants received recognition. A total of 53 award-winning restaurants are from the Cape. Continue reading →
On Thursday evening I attended the launch of hand-crafted Beluga Noble Russian vodka at the noble Nobu at the One & Only Cape Town. The Russian Consul-General in Cape Town described Beluga as ‘the best and the most popular‘ vodka in Russia! 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 →
The turnout at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa this afternoon, for the farewell tribute to its Executive Director Horst Frehse, was testament to his popularity and the respect in which he is held, it was clear to see by all who attended. He is one of two iconic hoteliers to retire this year.
‘Mr Frehse‘, as he has always been respectfully addressed by his Continue reading →
The 3rd ‘Chefs who Share – the ART of Giving’ Gala Dinner, held in the City Hall on Thursday evening, raised close to R2 million for two charities, bringing the total raised to R6 million in the past three years. It also crowned the first ever ‘Chefs who Share’ Young Chef of the Year.
The ‘Chefs who Share – the ART of Giving’ idea was conceptualised by Opulent Living co-owner Barbara Lenhard (who looked very glamorous) with Chefs Rudi Liebenberg and Bertus Basson, all 14 leading participating chefs as well as 7 sommeliers giving their time and expertise for the Gala Dinner at no charge. In the past two years R4 million net has already been raised through the last two Chefs who Share events. The monies raised from ticket sales (at R3000 a head and sold out on the same day as tickets went on sale), as well as from the Auction benefit Make a Difference Leadership Foundation and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Without the support of main sponsor Mercedes-Benz the event could not have been held in the past three years. Swiss International Air Line was also acknowledged for its sponsorship, bringing Chef Reto Mathis to Cape Town, and taking the winning Young Chef of the Year to Europe.
The chefs were paired as follows, each of them having one top Sommelier, and one Young Chef of the Year Finalist as an assistant too: Continue reading →
Winter is on the way, and the rate of new restaurant openings has slowed down dramatically, as has the move of chefs between restaurants, which was dramatic in 2014. This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Bertus Basson at Spice Route has opened as a ‘modern South African restaurant‘ at Spice Route, the kitchen run by Chef Alistair Lawrence, previously from Roots and Overture (photograph).
* Bacon on Bree has opened at 217 Bree Street, a bacon-inspired restaurant by charcuterier Richard Bosman and Continue reading →
Cape Town has just been ranked third Best Food City in the World by Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards 2014. Taste of Cape Town 2015, running at the Green Point Cricket Club until the end of today, gives locals and visitors a taste of what makes our city so special as a food destination.
Hosted for the eighth year in Cape Town, and run by food editor and stylist Justin Drake, Taste of Cape Town has settled in at the cricket club venue after venue changes in early years. Taste of Cape Town is a festive and fun way to eat and drink one’s way around one venue, showcasing not only restaurants and wine estates in Cape Town, but also those in the Winelands.
I was invited by Errieda du Toit PR to attend the Taste of Cape Town, and was joined by Continue reading →
Even though we are almost at the end of the summer season, chefs are still moving between restaurants, a number of chef changes having taken place at the end of February. This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Italian restaurant Palma has opened on Bree Street (photograph)
* Bacon on Bree has opened at 217 Bree Street, a bacon-inspired restaurant by charcuterier Richard Bosman and his wife Justine Seymour.
* Culture Club cheese and wine shop has opened at 215 Bree Street, its owner previously having been the GM of La Fromagerie on Marylebone High Street in London!
* The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.
* Baked in the Wood is to open on Bree Street, offering craft beer and tapas, owned by Zahir Mohamed of Baked Bistro.
* Honest Chocolate Café has opened next door to its original shop on Wale Street.
* Tasha’s has opened in Canal Walk
* Localé Cocktail & Pincho Bar has opened in Mowbray, as a joint venture between Baked Bistro Continue reading →
When Opulent Living‘s Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast organise an event, you know it will be beyond perfect, the German precision being evident from the minute one enters the venue. Outperforming its ‘Chefs who Share – the ART of Giving‘ Gala Dinner and Auction of last year, which raised R1,2 million then, R 2,5 million was raised at ‘Chefs who Share‘ on Thursday evening from the 250 tickets sold at R3000 each for the Gala Dinner, and the smart auctioneering of art works and other auction lots.
Arriving at the not-often-used Darling Street entrance to the City Hall, the Mercedes-Benz (the company was a sponsor) CLS Coupé was outside the steps, and photographs taken of the VIPs attending. Halfway up the steps were the tables to register one’s attendance, with tall vases of beauty created with vegetables, all of which plus the vegetables used for the table decor going to a soup kitchen the following day. Outside the Hall itself, waiters greeted us with glasses of Graham Beck MCC, and one could admire the artwork hung in the passages, which was auctioned later in the evening. A continuous stream of canapés was offered, and the waiters linked to the creators of these served them, which helped in that they knew what they were serving. Little name cards, with the description of the dishes and the chef’s name, made the identification for Tweeting easy. Those served by Chefs Jackie Cameron, Rudi Liebenberg with Michelle Theron, Darren Badenhorst, Malika van Reenen, and Christiaan Campbell attracted particular attention. It was in the passage that we could chat and congratulate Barbara, who looked beautiful and glamorous in her Gavin Rajah dress. Continue reading →
On Friday writers and the trade were treated to a vertical tasting of Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs MCCs, were surprised with the launch of new Graham Beck Gorgeous 2014, and were spoilt with a lunch at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa.
The late Mr Beck loved the ‘gorgeous’ adjective, and because he loved the Graham Beck wines, it was decided to name the new wine Gorgeous. Having Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes available from its MCC production, it was decided to use the same ‘recipe’ in making its range of seven MCCs, by blending the two grape varieties (58% Pinot Noir and 42% Chardonnay) to produce a still wine, in beautiful soft feminine packaging. It has a lower alcohol level, at 11,2%, and is good value for money at R60. The grapes used are from newly planted Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards, which will produce fruit going into the production of the Graham Beck MCCs over time.
Pieter ‘Bubbles‘ Ferreira took us through the 2006 – 2010 vertical tasting of the Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs. He shared interesting information about wines and winemaking in general, such as that the wine region demarcations are becoming smaller and smaller; that Graham Beck produces 1 million bottles of MCC per year, for which 85% of the grapes are brought in from other areas outside of Robertson; that their non-vintage MCCs spends 18 months on the lees, while their vintage MCCs spend 4 years or more on the lees; to qualify as a Cap Classique the wine needs to spend at least 9 months on the lees; a Champagne spends a minimum of 15 months on the lees; at 12 – 15 months the effect of the yeast is most pronounced, there not being much impact in the firsts nine months; for their Cuvée Clive there are no rules, Pieter going with his ‘gut feel‘ in deciding when this exceptional MCC should be made, the fourth release in the past 11 years about to be launched; they don’t encourage malolactic fermentation, but it can happen to 10 – 15% of the wine; they are building up a vinoteque of their MCCs; Magnums Continue reading →