Tag Archives: Kamini Pather

Celebrity Chefs bring the world of food to Cape Town this week!

Food Hospitality World logo Whale Cottage PortfolioIt was by chance that I saw a programme for the ‘Food Hospitality World Conference’ when I registered for the Good Food & Wine Show.  With the e-mail from Wired PR came the Conference programme, with a fascinating list of talks by local and international food and wine speakers, bringing the world to Cape Town, and giving our industry a taste of what lies ahead for the Good Food & Wine Show running at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 29 May – 1 June. What was unbelievable was the poor attendance in the exhibition hall in general and in the ‘Conference’ venue too, tiny in taking about 50 attendees, many of them hospitality students.

Yesterday’s list of talks was food and wine focused, and due to guest house commitments I arrived right at the end of Miguel Chan’s talk on Chenin Blanc, which ‘has gained a surge in popularity recently’, the programme notesFood Hospitality World Miguel Chan Whale Cottage Portfolio revealed. Chan is a wine buyer and sommelier at the Tsogo Sun group of hotels. He has promised notes about his talk, which I will add to this blogpost when received.

Very surprising was the talk by Michelin 2 star Chef Carlo Cracco from Italy, where he owns Ristorante Cracco in Milan.  He is unable to speak a word of English, so fired away in Italian, without it being explained to us that his colleague (we think) would translate batches of sentences for us.  On the TV screens photographs of his book, his Continue reading →

Global Pizza Challenge 2014: top SA passionate pizza makers sought!

Burrata Fig and pancetta Whale Cottage PortfolioOn Thursday evening I attended the launch of the South African leg of the Global Pizza Challenge, a project which belongs to Chef Arnold Tanzer from Johannesburg and  Martin Kobald from Australia.  South African pizza makers have done well in the past seven years of the competition.

I almost did not make the function, which was held at the offices of Dish Food & Social,  giving us a street address of 423 Main Road in Observatory. A building marked 423a on one side of a Shell garage was visible, but not the street number on Main Road that we were searching for in the near dark, which turned out to be on the other side of the petrol station.   To complicate matters the entrance gate is in a side road off Main Road!  Having survived the panic of finding the venue, it was great to catch up with Chef Arnold, whom I had met last year on a Media Day for MasterChef SA Season 2 at Nederburg.

Before we got into pizzas, we caught up about Season 3 of MasterChef SA, which is being filmed at the moment and will continue until June. The series will be broadcast from August onwards.  Chef Arnold did not answer all my questions, such asGlobal Pizza Challenge Arnold Tanzer Whale Cottage Portfolio if there would be two broadcasts per week again as in Season 2.  He would not discuss how strict new MasterChef SA judge Reuben Robertsons Riffel is with the contestants, given that he may not want to rock the boat!  We talked about the very honest and harsh review by Chef Arnold of Aarya, the Montecasino restaurant, the use of which Deena Naidoo won for a two year period in winning MasterChef SA Season 1.    We chatted about how low key Season 2 winner Kamini Pather is, not being visible,and not (yet) having created her planned food communication channel, as she announced when she won.   As before, there will be guest chefs. Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 21 – 23 February

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Koos Bekker, Naspers CEO and founder of M-Net/Multichoice, is to step down on 31 March, the company which also owns M-Web and has internet interests in China has announced.  He and his wife own the magnificent Babylonstoren outside Franschhoek.
*   Qantas has announced the cancellation of its codeshare agreement with SAA, which will be effective as of July.   The move appears to be due to pressure from the Australian government to not collaborate with competitors.
*   President Jacob Zuma has declared 7 May, the date of the General Election, as a public holiday.
*   Cape Town International has been announced as Best Airport in Africa for the fourth year. Western Cape Tourism Minister Alan Winde’s office has announced.   The other Top 5 African airports are Durban, Mauritius, Cairo, and OR Thambo.  Upington airport is top airport in the category of 2 million and fewer passengers.

 

*    The City of Cape Town clearly has too much money to waste, running a footbridge naming Continue reading →

Restaurants, MasterChef SA, and Social Media dominated Whale Cottage Blog in 2013!

Whale CottageWe used Google Analytics to identify the top ten blogposts on our WhaleTales Blog in 2013. The most read blogposts related to restaurants, MasterChef SA Season 2, and Social Media drama.  The top 10 most read blogposts in 2013 were the following:

1.  Autumn and Winter Cape Town and Winelands Restaurant Specials 2013 tops the list of most read, achieving almost three times as many unique readers compared to the other top 10 blogposts.  In winter restaurant specials are extremely important to Capetonians, as their wallets and purses are more bare.

2.   The year started off with a Social Media explosion, when ‘Mother Superior’ Blogger Jane-Anne Hobbs attacked us on Twitter,  protecting her ‘chicks’ Michael copy-and-paste Oliver, mommy Tweeter and then occasional CEO of Cape Town Tourism Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, former political poor-spelling-grammar ‘PR’ and Communications Consultant Skye Grove at Cape Town Tourism, and Eat Out editor Abigail I-love-Giorgio-and-Luke Donnelly.  We retaliated with a blogpost (‘New Year kicks off with Twitter bullying, bashing, and blackmail’) which attracted so much attention that Hobbs must have regretted her Tweet, as all ‘sins’ of the four ‘chicks’ were laid bare! Continue reading →

2013: looking back on a tough year, with some highlights!

2013Today ends one of the less nice years, and the number 13 in it should have been a warning of  how bad it could become.  While it has many negative associations, it also was  a year of highlights, from our perspective.

For me personally the year was overshadowed by the passing of my father, and while I was lucky to have him in my life for such a long time, reaching the ripe old age of 97, it still was a shock when he went in April.  He brought our family to South Africa, and specifically to the Cape, for which I will be eternally grateful.   He helped shape my interest in the business world, and took a keen interest in my Market Research, Public Relations, and hospitality careers.   Added to this was the further loss of our beloved Madiba, who passed away on 5 December, a shock when it happened, despite one knowing that it was just a matter of time.    It felt like a double whammy loss year.  Heaven has gained two truly great gentlemen.

2013 has had some positive aspects: we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our Blog, well established and with more than 30000 unique readers per month.  We thank our loyal readers and commenters, as well as the Public Relations companies which feed us with up to date information and invite us to launches, particularly in the wine industry.  We particularly commend Waterford Communications for its professionalism in dealing with us as friends as well as writers, never taking any coverage for granted, always being willing to assist with more information, having a knack for choosing excellent weather days for client functions, and saying ‘thank you‘ for coverage received, a rare treat! The PR company leads an industry plagued by poor writers, who bombard one with media releases (often being irrelevant), repeating information already written about, and demanding proof of coverage granted to the client brand! Continue reading →

Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards 2014: Best event ever, some highs, some shocks!

Eat Out magazine cover Whale Cottage PortfolioAfter two disastrous years, New Media Publishing was brave enough to take stock earlier this year, and asked the industry what it wanted in the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards.  Last night that hard work paid off, with a new venue for the event, a slick and short presentation, new Awards introduced, and three new restaurants making the Top 10 Restaurant list.  The surprise was the emotion which the chefs expressed when receiving their plaques, challenging MasterChef SA Season 2 on tears!

We were one of the interviewees, meeting with Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly, its GM Aileen Lamb, MD Bridget McCarney, and Director Irna van Zyl.  We were forthright in our feedback and suggestions, including that a team of judges would be needed again (we suggested Garth Stroebel, and have yet to meet him!). We fed back that the preferential relationship with Luke Dale-Roberts in TASTE magazine (also published by New Media Publishing, and of which Abigail is the Food Editor) was unfair towards all other chefs, by featuring him every month – we were told that Woolworths had a contract with him, and therefore he received the coverage in the magazine.  This contract was terminated earlier this year, which is excellent news.  Other recommendations can be read here.  Flowing from the interviews and discussions with previous Top 20 chefs and restaurant managers, owners, and suppliers, as well as media representatives and bloggers, New Media Publishing allowed restaurants to apply to be included in the Eat Out Top 500 Restaurant List, which was selected by a Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 1 October

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   A 13-series ‘5 Sterre met Reuben‘ launched on kykNET today, with Chef Reuben Riffel cooking a three course meal, paired to a wine, and chatting to a product sponsor.  The program will air on Tuesdays at 17h30.

*   The last three MasterChef SA blogposts we wrote received record viewership in September, the blog achieving a record of almost 40000 unique pageviews), according to Google Analytics. The most read blogposts were the prediction of a controversial MasterChef SA end, Ozzy Osman’s controversial elimination, and Kamini Pather’s controversial win.  The competition we ran to predict the MasterChef SA winner also featured on the top blogpost list, as did our review of La Parada on Bree, the Winter Restaurant specials, the recent restaurant openings and closures, the ‘Mickey Mouse’ training done Continue reading →

Cape Town Tourism tries to market Cape Town via Bloggers yet again! Unlikely to be successful!

 Cape Town TourismCape Town Tourism is hosting three bloggers over a three week period, as a repeat of the 2012 Travel Blogger visit, attempting to reach international and domestic travelers and to encourage them to visit Cape Town.  This campaign failed to achieve its goal in 2012, and the new campaign could follow the same route!

We were very critical of the visit by the four bloggers last year, after the New York Times questioned the ethics of travel blogging, and focused its article on Keith Jenkins, the Velvet Escape blogger who led the Blogger team coming to Cape Town last year.  The Bloggers were seen to have blogged little before, during, and after their visit to Cape Town, and to have little credibility in not declaring that their visits were sponsored by Cape Town Tourism and its members, and that there was little that they paid for themselves.  This led to ‘advertorials’ written, mainly about their accommodation in Camps Bay.  Most of what was posted by the bloggers was ‘photoblogs’, a blogpost consisting of a photograph only!

Cape Town Tourism issued a very brief media release about the pending blogger visits, and claimed incorrectly that the ‘inaugural #lovecapetown blogger hosting programme contributed to Cape Town Tourism winning a Travel + Leisure SMITTY Awards (Social Media in Travel + Tourism Awards) in the category Best Overall Use of Social Media, CVB, Global‘.  The awards which were won by Cape Town Tourism (a Gold Loerie added on Continue reading →

Charly’s Bakery ‘Charly’s Cake Angels’ Season 2 baking from today!

Charly's Bakery Cup Cakes Whale Cottage PortfolioAfter all the MasterChef SA Season 2 controversy last week, it is cathartic to focus on the new Season 2 of ‘Charly’s Cake Angels’, which begins today with two daily time slots on Food Network DStv Channel 175, creatively communicated by Charly’s Bakery on these four yummy cupcakes.

In 2011 Charly’s Cake Angels attracted a loyal following, not only amongst Capetonians, but countrywide and even internationally, to such an extent that we have had Whale Cottage Camps Bay guests ask us to direct them to the ‘Charly’s Cake Angels’ shop!   The show was screened in 100 countries, including the UK, Ireland, in other African countries, in Europe, and in Asia.  The episodes focus on Cape Town, and while there are no Invention and Pressure Tests, and no eliminations, the episodes were equally stressful to watch in seeing how they meet the deadlines for baking and decorating cakes for weddings Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 12 September

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Traveling should be easier, and barriers to entry by tourists should be reduced.  E-passports have been proposed for 2020, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said when he addressed the e-Tourism Africa Summit in Cape Town earlier this week.  ‘We need to address the present outdated system of always having to go to Embassies, filling in forms and standing in queues. In a few years times this will be non-existent’, Van Schalkwyk said.  He also highlighted that industry taxes should be regulated, to make travel more viable and accessible.

*   Cape Town blogger Kamini Pather wins MasterChef SA Season 2, against tight competition from Leandri van der Wat !

*   Travel by young persons has decreased dramatically in the past six years, from 75% in 2007 to 47% currently, to focus on improving their CVs, a study by the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation has found.

*   Col’Cacchio has introduced a Mobi-friendly Loyalty program, offering R20 Continue reading →