Tag Archives: Kamini Pather

Patrón Perfectionists 2019 sees more women mixologist SA finalists! Part One

On Thursday I attended Patrón Perfectionists 2019, a two-prong event that was held in Franschhoek and in the Waterfront to select the winner of the 2019 Patrón Tequila cocktail competition, out of a finalist list of 15 mixologists from around the country. Cape Town mixologist David van Zyl of Cause & Effect Cocktail Kitchen won the competition, winning an entry into the Global Finals against 21 other mixologists in Mexico in January 2020.

This Blogpost focuses on Part One of the Patrón Perfectionists event. Part Two follows tomorrow. 

Continue reading →

Shimmy Beach Club introduces its new 2017 Winter Menu, paired with Bloemendal wines!

It is ironic that Shimmy Beach Club introduced its Winter Menu with a media lunch on an almost ‘summery’ day, for the second year running! It was a sociable event, and the food served in taster portions was a step up from previous Winter Menu launch lunches I have attended in the past. Continue reading →

2014: the Top 10 Blog highlights, Banting beats them all! (reposted)

Woolworths-CarbClever-better-pic-via-email-207x300Our WhaleTales Blog and Whale Cottage Portfolio website received a make-over this year (i.e. 2014) by 406Media, and despite an error severely hampering Google’s ability to find our blogposts (since repaired), we achieved more than 300000 unique pageviews in the past twelve months, or around 30000 unique pageviews per month.  We are grateful to our loyal readers for visiting our Blog so regularly.

Our Top 10 Blogpost list, based on Google Analytic numbers of unique pageviews in the past 12 months, is as follows: Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Kyoto Garden Sushi over-priced, over-salted, over-slow service!

Kyoto interior 1 Whale CottageFrom having been low key for eight years since opening, 2014 has been kind to Kyoto Garden Sushi, in it winning a 5* Smart Casual accolade in the 2015 Diners Club Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide, as well as Best Asian Restaurant in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Awards last month.  As a result friend Whitney Wentzel and I had extremely high expectations when we had dinner there last Wednesday evening, which sadly were not met at all!

I was surprised that I could book a table for the following day when I called, being the week after the Eat Out Awards, the Japanese chef taking the booking.  I had seen a parking sign with an arrow to the left outside the entrance, and had thought that parking was available behind the building, but was told thatKyoto Interior 2 Whale Cottage it was for upstairs tenants and that we should park at the school down the road, not great on a rainy night.  The waiter I asked had no clue about the parking sign outside.  Luckily a parking bay became available across the road.  At the entrance to the restaurant a candle is lit, and two Noren cloth dividers hang in the doorway.  We were shown to a table, sitting next to another couple, so close to each other that we could hear each other’s conversations.   There seemed to be some uncertainty about our booking, Continue reading →

Jet-set Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Awards 2014 at Thunder City, but food a disappointment!

Eat Out 2015 cover Whale CottageThe Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards event is a highlight on the restaurant calendar, held for the 17th year, and at Thunder City for the first time last night.   The results surprised, with one heavyweight chef sliding right off the Top 10 list, while a new restaurant made Top 10. Two restaurants which did not make the Top 20 Restaurant shortlist in 2013 flew back into Top 10 last night.  Stellenbosch remains the Gourmet Capital of South Africa (4 Top 10 restaurants), followed by 3 in Johannesburg, and 1 each in Cape Town, Franschhoek, and Hermanus.   While the award recipients were acceptable, the food was a disaster.

Thunder City is not an ideal venue for a function of this magnitude (800 guests, but advertised asEat OUt Thunder City Whale Cottage 1000 initially), being difficult to find – the petrol station one block away from the turn-off had no clue where Thunder City is, and there were no signs off Borcherds Quarry Road, other than some posters held by men, only visible in the last minute.  I followed a taxi, there being no further signage to Thunder City.  We were collected from the VIP parking by a Mercedes-Benz shuttle van, and I arrived just as the event started, Chef Pete Goffe-Wood doing a tribute to Chef Bruce Robertson, who passed away two weeks ago.   The lighting was poor for Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 3 episode 4: Roxi Wardman stars in Dublin, Phila Vilakazi ducks out in Pressure Test, changes to MasterRobertsons! (updated)

MatserChef 3 4 Roxi and Chef Kevin ThorntonFor the first time in the history of MasterChef SA a contestant was flown to another country alone, for winning best dish.  Roxi Wardman made the best Proudly South African Mystery Box dish in episode 3, her butternut and peanut butter tart winning her the trip of a lifetime to eat at 2 Michelin star restaurant Thornton’s in Dublin.  Phila Vilakazi was the first MasterChef SA Season 3 contestant to be sent home. For the first time a MasterChef SA episode contained an off-putting hard-sell punt for its main sponsor Robertsons!

Roxi arrived in a chilly Dublin, at the Fitzwilliam Hotel, where Chef Kevin Thornton spoilt her with an exclusive lunch at Thornton’s, one of the Top 25 restaurants in the world, and one of the top 10 for special occasions.  Chef Kevin’MasterChef SA 3 4 Kevin THronton Whale Cottages philosophy is that ‘food is about life.  There are so many people starving in the world and then we have all this stuff to play with, so it’s very important that you have a huge amount of respect for it’, he told Roxi.  He added: ‘If I was to describe our food, I would say it’s a natural energy based food so it’s all about natural energy’.   Roxi was impressed with Chef Kevin’s introduction to his dish, a ‘circle of life‘ story and bringing a pigeon in a nest with pigeon eggs, before he served it in three parts. He explained that they use Eireyu beef, reared on mother’s milk for the first six months, and then on grass and two pints of Guinness, for a month, with massages too. Thornton’s website reflects the food journey of Chef Kevin: ‘His cooking, while Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 3 episode 3: Proudly South African Masterpiece, Roxi Wardman’s tart jets her off to Dublin!

MasterChef SA 3 3 Roxi Mystery Box Whale CottageIt was the first episode in the MasterChef SA kitchen at Nederburg in episode 3 last night, and it was much easier to follow the action of the twelve finalists, who had to deal with a Proudly South African Mystery Box.  Roxi Wardman was the creator of the winning dish, and jetted off to Ireland, while Phila Vilakazi, Ndumiso Mncwabe, and Melissa Sutherland were in the bottom three, their dishes putting them into the Pressure Test next week in episode 4.

The brief to the twelve finalists was to use any of the ingredients in the Mystery Box, which were only revealed after the first commercial break, keeping the tension high.  The Mystery Box included South African favourites such as Masterchef SA 3 3 SA products 2 Ouma rusks, Pecks Anchovette paste, Oros, spinach, butternut, Colman’s mustard, Lucky Star pilchards, ostrich, Cremora, Illovo golden syrup, Black Cat peanut butter, flour, chocolate, Maltabella, Mrs Balls chutney, Melrose cheese, and more, collectively described as creating ‘nostalgic foods and memories’. The use of Nederburg Winemakers Reserve Pinotage was mandatory.  Chef Pete Goffe-Wood told the finalists that Pinotage is a cultivar unique to South Africa. The time limit to create a ‘South African Masterpiece’ was set at 45 minutes.

As each finalist spoke to the camera, to share what dish would be prepared, we got to know a little more Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 3 episode 1: Bootcamp 1 shows angelfish no angel; beautiful Cape Town on the table!

MasterChef SA 3 ep 1 Table Mountain and contestantsI had forgotten how hard it is to stay on top of a new series of MasterChef SA, and last night’s first episode of Season 3 was disappointing in being mainly an hour long tasting of 36 angelfish dishes, for the first day of Bootcamp.  But the tough elimination challenge could not have been held against a more beautiful backdrop than that of Table Mountain, great marketing for Cape Town.  The dominance of Reuben Robertsons Riffel was disappointing, being the new judge.

In the previous two MasterChef SA Seasons, more time was spent in getting to know the contestants, when they had to do basic tests such as peeling  and cutting potatoes, and peeling and slicing onions.  Last night the hot auditions in Cape Town (with Chef Pete Goffe-Wood and guest chef Henry Vigar of La Mouette), in Durban (Riffel with Chef Jackie Cameron, who has just left Hartford House to open her Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine) and in Johannesburg (Chef Bennie Masekwameng was joined by Chef Andrea Burgener, Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 3 hits the pan tonight; first SA MasterChef SA Celebrity on the 2015 menu!

MasterChef SA Season 3 Chefs Benny, Reuben, PeteMasterChef SA fans have been waiting in anticipation for their favourite reality TV cooking show to return to their screens, with the first episode of Season 3 starting at 19h30 this evening.  A new judge is introduced, and the contestants are said to be of a high standard. M-Net has also announced that its first Season of MasterChef SA Celebrity will stir things up for charity in January.

The M-Net media announcement about Season 3 is full of food clichés and fighting talk about how excellent the programme series is:  ‘The contestants are hungry for victory, the Judging panel has been refreshed by the addition of award-winning chef Reuben Riffel, and viewers can look forward to epic culinary triumphs as well as some spectacular gastronomic fails. MasterChef SA Continue reading →

Has the Good Food & Wine Show become the (Italian) Cook Show?

Good Food & Wine ShowCarlo Cracca. Antonio Carluccio. Gennaro Contaldo. Katy Ashworth. Emma Dean. Vichit Mukura. These are the ‘top international chefs’ Cape Town food lovers are being exposed to at the Good Food & Wine Show at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, augmented with a handful of light-weight (with the exception of Chef David Higgs) mainly TV cooking program local cooks!   As Cape Town is the centre of gourmet gastronomy, surely exhibition organisers Fiera Milano could have done better?

Christine Cashmore has organised the Good Food & Wine Show for years, and sold her company to Fiera Milano last year.  She is certainly still involved, as I saw her at the show yesterday.  She is tough to deal with, changing PR companies every year!  Every year the criticism about the Show has grown, the big food producers no longer bothering to participate, and sample their products.   The emphasis this year was clearly TV cooking shows, and the invited chefs (mainly) had a link to a TV program, in cooking at the Celebrity Chefs Theatre (how did Kamini Pather slip in here, as controversial winner of MasterChef Season 2?), the kykNET Kook Teater, the Spar Food Theatre, and the Selati Sweet Treats Theatre. Continue reading →