Entries tagged with “La Belle”.


On Saturday I was one of six hundred invited guests attending the double launch of the newest additions to The Kove Collection’s 15 establishments, most located in Camps Bay, Bilboa restaurant and Chinchilla Rooftop Café & Bar, both with a spectacular view over the Camps Bay Beach.  (more…)

The first restaurants are sending out their Winter Specials information, summarised below. The list is updated continuously. We welcome information about new specials:

CAPE TOWN

#  Foxcroft, High Constantia, Constantia. Tel 202-3304. Three Tapas R195 Monday – Friday, 4-courses reduced to R295. Bottomless Steenberg Bubbly at R195 when eating either of two specials. From 15 May – 29 June. (Updated 30/5)

#.  La Colombe, Silvermist Estate. Tel (021) 794-2390. Four courses for R395 Monday – Thursday until 31 August. R395. (Updated 15/6). 

#. Umi in Camps Bay: 2 couc vv bvrse set menu R180, 3 courses R220. Fish & fries R110, Japanese pizza R75, Sirloin R120, Butternut soup R65, Half price sushi.  Tel (021) 437-1802 (added 23/5)

#  Pepenero in Mouille Point : 2 courses R180, 3 courses R220. Sirloin Tagliata R120, beer battered fish and chips R95, Seafood platter R155, red wine braised lamb shank R165, 6 fresh oysters R95, and  spaghetti alle vongole R95. Daily. Tel (021) 439-9027 (added 23/5)

# Paranga in Camps Bay: 2 courses R250; 3 courses R300; Daily. Tel (021) 438-0404 (added 23/5)

#. The Bungalow in Clifton: 2 courses R200; 3 courses R240. Lamb curry R185, fillet pasta R135, Mussels R120, chicken schnitzel R95, Thai chicken curry R105, and braised lamb neck R165. Tel (021) 438-2018 (added 23/5)

#   La Belle Bistro & Bakery, Camps Bay, The Alphen, Mouille Point: 2 courses R190, 3 courses R230. Tel (021) 437-1278/439-9036 (added 25/5)

#   Dalliance, V & A Waterfront: 2 courses R190, 3 courses R230. Tel (021) 418-1037. (Added 25/5)

#  Open Door, Constantia. Three courses Lunch or Dinner Tuesday – Friday. R295.. Tables of four or more receive a complimentary bottle of Constantia Uitsig Natura Vista. 

#. Bistro Sixteen82, Steenberg: Five tapas to share for two R300 for tables of up to 10 persons, Monday – Sunday 17h00 – 20h00, until 30 September. Free coffee with any breakfast Monday – Friday except public holidays. Lunch Special: 2 courses from R185, 3 courses R215, 4 courses R245. Prices valid for tables of up to 10 persons. Until 29 September. Tel (021) 713-2211. (updated 18/5/16)

#.  Catharina’s, Steenberg Hotel:  2 courses R165, 3 courses R195, Lunch Monday – Saturday. 3 course Dinner without wine R265, R295 with wine. Monday – Sunday, until 31 August.  Tel (021) 713-7178. (added 25/5)

#.  La Mouette, Regent Road, Sea Point : 4-courses and a carafe of wine R 295. Tuesday – Sunday dinner, Sunday lunch. From 8 June.  Tel (021) 433-0856 (added 30/5)

#   Harbour House, Constantia Nek and Kalk Bay: 2 courses R195 (R220 with a glass of wine), 3 course menu R215, or R240 with glass of wine, Mondays – Fridays, June. Tel (021) 795-0688/788-4133/418-4744 (updated 3/6)

#   Harbour House, V & A Waterfront: 3 course menu R215, or R240 with glass of wine, Mondays – Thursdays. June. Tel (021) 795-0688/788-4133/418-4744 (Updated 3/6)

#   Harbour House, Constantia: High Tea Petit R150; High Tea Sweet & Savoury R185; High Tea Deluxe R260. All include a Pot of Tea. The Deluxe High Tea costs R320 with a glass of bubbly added. Monday – Saturday 14h00 -17h00. Tel (021) 795-0688. (Added 23/5)

#   Live Bait Muizenberg: Hake and calamari combo R205, Mondays to Thursdays. Tel (021) 788-2705. (Added 23/5). 

#   Grand Africa Café & Beach: 2 courses R195, 3 courses R255. June. Tel (021) 425-0551 (added 3/6)

#   Mangata Restaurant, Simons Town: Mussel Madness Monday 2 main courses R195, Sunday Roast R 149 pp. Tel (021) 786-1635 (added 25/5)

#   The Shortmarket Club, Shortmarket Str: 3 course Prix Fixe Menu R280, with carafe of wine added R 360. Lunch. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 447-2874 (added 25/5)

#   Pot Luck Club, Biscuit Mill: ‘Lucky Lunch’ Japanese Kitchen Style Lunch Menu R250. Mo day – Friday Lunch. 30 May – 30 September. Tel (021) 447-0804. 

#   Shimmy Beach Club: Winter Menu, until end August. Tel (021) 200-7778. (added 25/5)

#   Constantia Glen: Winter soups (goulash, butternut and sage, and French Onion) at R 90 per single serving, or R95 for smaller trio of soups. Wines from R50 per glass. Until 31 August. Tel (021) 795-5639 (added 26/5)

#   Meloncino, V&A Waterfront: 50% off pizza, pasta, and cocktails. 11h00 – 19h00. 1 June – 31 August. Tel (021) 419-5558 (added 25/5)

#. City Grill, V&A Waterfront: 50% off all Gourmet Steaks and Burgers.  11h00 – 19h00. 1June – 31 August. Tel (021) 419-5558 (added 25/5)

#.  The Greek Fisherman. Fisherman Seafood Platter R140, 50% off second platter. 11h00 – 19h00. 1 June – 31 August. Tel (021) 419-5558 (added 25/5)

#. Aubergine: 2 course Winter Bistro dinner, 3 courses, July  – Awaiting Specials. Monday – Saturday evenings. Tel (021) 465-4909 (added 30/5)

#   Cape Town Fish Market, Big Bay, V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Tyger Valley, Stellenbosch, Tokai, Grand West : 200g fish and chips, or burger with chips and onion rings, for R50 on Mondays; 50% off Sushi and 25% off sushi platters on Tuesdays; Granger Bay Seafood platter for two to share R199, and Fish Hoek Seafood platter R99 per person, on Wednesdays. Sushi platters from R89 on Thursdays. Complimentary prawn spring rolls with a bottle of Lord’s Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.  Family Feast R360 for four persons (R90 per head), with 4 hake fillets, 12 prawns, and deep-fried calamari. Tel 083 400 2005 (added 30/5)

#   I ♥ my Laundry, Buitengracht Street/Buitenkant Street: 8 pieces of Dim Sum from R55. Daily 7h00 – 19h00. Tel 084 6600 777 (added 30/5)

#   HQ, Buitengracht Street: Two for the price of one steak, chips and salad, on Mondays; #DateNight 2 steaks and 2 glasses R280 on Tuesdays; Half price tapas on Thursdays. Tel (021) 424-6373 (added 30/5)

#   Reverie Social Table, Observatory: 5 courses and 6 wines Dinner R545 Monday – Saturday Dinner. June and August. Tel (021) 447-3219 (added 30/5)

#   Mondiall, V & A Waterfront: 2 courses R185, 3 courses R225 Lunch and Dinner.  Tel (021) 418-3003 (updated 31/5)

Mondiall Kitchen & Bar warms up Cape Town with fireplace and Winter Menu!

#   Den Anker, Waterfront: Two Belgian beers on tap and two dishes (mussels, fish, or burger) R125 daily until 19h00.  Tel (021) 419-0249. (Added 3/6). 

Den Anker offers Winter Special with perfect paired dishes and Belgian beers!

#   GreenVine Eatery, Silvermist, Constantia: Sunday Winter Roast R140. Farm Breakfast Monday R59. Suit Up Tuesday breakfast and Bottomless coffee R80. Wine Wednesday lunch with complimentary Silvermist Sauvignon Blanc with meal. Hot cakes Thursday with tea or coffee R40. Beer Friday with 500ml Stella Artois Draught and burger R99. Tel (021)  794-7601. (Updated 3/6)

#   The 41, Camps Bay. 2 courses and complimentary drink R180, 3 courses and complimentary drink R220. Lunch and Dinner, until 31 August. 20 % off Breakfast Tuesday – Sunday 8h00 – 11h30.  Tel (021) 437-0558 (updated 26/6)

#   Massimo’s, Hout Bay. 15 % off total bill lunch Monday – Friday. Eat as much pasta, pizza,  and green salad for R125 per person, for tables of 4 or more. Monday – Thursday. Tel (021) 790-5648. (Updated 8/6)

#   Goloso, Sea Point: Pizza, pasta, or winter stew with a 500 ml Darling Brew Slow Beer R99. Early bird dinner discount – 2 pizzas or 2 pastas or 2 Winter stews and bottle of wine R250 Monday – Sunday 17h00 – 19h00. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 439-2144 (added 3/6)

#   Stuzzico, Villa 47:  2 courses R160, 3 courses R210.  With a bottle of Italian sparkling wine  or 750 ml craft beer or bottle of Italian red or white wine R410 (2 courses)/R510 (3courses). Tel (021) 418-2740 (added 5/6)

#   The Stack, Gardens: 2 courses R 195, 3 courses R235.  Monday – Saturday lunch, Monday – Thursday dinner. Tel (021) 286-0187 (added 5/6)

#   Cheyne’s, Hout Bay: 3 dishes R150. Tel (021) 790-3462 (added 5/6)

#   Burger & Lobster: The All Rounder’ (70g B&L Slider, Half Lobster Roll, Lobster Bisque, Fries) R139, Monday – Saturday, Lunch & Dinner. Tel (021) 422-4297  (Added 8/6)

#   Mitico, Kloof Street: Any pizza or pasta  plus glass of wine R75. Monday – Thursday, 12h00 – 16h00.  Tel (021) 422-2260 (added 9/6)

#   Primal Eatery: Two 35-day aged 300g sirloin steaks, with onion and chips, a bottle of KW Foothills Shiraz or Sauvignon Blanc, and sharing warm apple crumble with smoked cinnamon ice cream R450 per couple. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Tel (021) 422-3232. (Added 15/6)

#   Greenhouse, The Cellars-Hohenhort, Constantia: 4 courses R395 Friday and Saturday Lunch. 7 courses R750 Tuesday – Thursday Dinner. Tel (021) 795-6226. (Added 20/6)

#   The Quarterdeck, Grandwest. Prawns R250 on Wednesday evenings. Dinner & Dance Saturday evenings R250. Until 31 July. Tel (021) 505-7220. (Added 30/6)

#  Mynt, Camps Bay: Fillet Special with 2 fillet steaks, 2 sauces, 2 sides, 2 glasses of house wine R350 Monday to Sunday; two for one cocktail Monday – Sunday 17h00 – 19h00; two for one burger and pasta Monday – Friday all day and night. Tel (021) 473-1765 (added 7/7)

#   Seelan Restauarant & Bar, V&A Waterfront: Sunday Buffet 5 starters, 5 main courses, 4 desserts R300. Tel (021) 421-4906 (added 9/7)

#   Cabrón Taco Bar, Bree Street : Two for one Tacos, daily until 16h00.  Tel 0844 703 533 ( added 26/7)

#   Arcade, Bree Street: Two pizzas for price of one 12h00 – 20h00; two burgers for price of one, Wednesdays 12h00 – 20h00; two Pizza and/or Burger for price of one Thursdays 12h00 – 20h00. Tel 060 861 0511 (added 26/7). 

#   Royale Eatery: Classic Cheese Burger, Vegetable Cheese Burger, Falafel Salad bowl, chicken salad, 2-topping pizza, for R50, Citizen Patriot beer 440ml R22,  12h00 – 17h00, until 1 October. Tel (021) 422-4536 (added 26/7).

#  Clarkes Bar and Diner, Bree Street: Two for one cheeseburger, or beetroot and Aubergine burger for price of one between 18h00 – 19h00 on Tuesdays. Tel (021) 424-7648 (added 26/7)

#   Mini & Trout, Bree Street: Curry night R99 on Tuesdays. Tel (021)  426-2534 (added 26/7).

Franschhoek

#.  Haute Cabriere: 300g steak with a glass of Haute Cabriere Pinot Noir R175, with Creme Brûlée R225 Tel (021) 876-3688 (added 30/5)

#  Leeu Estates:  15% off with Leeu Collection Loyalty Card. Tel (021) 492-2220 (added 30/5)

#  Leeu House:  15% off with Leeu Collection Loyalty Card. Tel (021) 492-2221 (added 30/5)

#. Tuk Tuk Microbrewery: 15% off with Leeu Collection Loyalty Card. Tel (021) 492-2207 (added 30/5)

#   Marigold Authentic Indian:  15% off with Leeu Collection Loyalty Card. Tel (021) 876-8970

#   The Garden Room at Le Quartier Français: 15% off with Leeu Collection Loyalty Card. Tel (021) 876-2151.

#   La Petite Ferme: Wine and Food Experience 8 June, 6 July, 3 August. Dinner showcasing four wines, one La Petite Ferme, two other local, and one international, 3-course dinner R 750. Tel (021) 876-3016.

#   Dutch East: Grilled sirloin R135, on Fridays. Tel (021) 876-3547 (added 20/6)

Paarl

#.  FABER, Avondale, Paarl:  3 courses R250, Wednesday – Sunday Lunch, Thursday to Saturday Dinner, until 30 September. Tel (021) 202-1219.(Updated 20/6)

#   eat@Simonsvlei, Paarl: Cape Malay chicken curry, Cape Brandy tart and whipped cream  p,us glass of Simonsvlei Bukettraube R145. June – September. Tel (021) 863-3845. (Added 3/6)

Wellington

#   Oude Wellington Restaurant: ‘Kerrie Tafel’ three curries with rices, and sambals R150 per person. Wednesday Dinner. Until 27 September. Tel 082 836 8924. 

Stellenbosch

#.  Terroir, Kleine Zalze: Tuesday – Sunday Lunch, Tuesday – Saturday Dinner. Two courses with glass of Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection wine R295, four courses R395/R495 without/with wine. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 880-8167 (added 15/5)

#   Makaron, Majeka House: Small plates of 4/5/6 courses for R450/R565/675. If paired with wines the cost is R770/R940/R1100. Thursday – Tuesday Dinner. Tel (021) 880-1549. (added 25/5)

#  Delheim: Jazz and Cheese Fondue plus glass of Glühwein and live jazz R 230, Sundays from 25 June until 27 August. Tel (021) 888-4607 (added 30/5)

#   Cucina Di Giovanni, Eikendal Vineyards: Winter Mini Pizza (three) and Wine Pairing R60. Tuesdays – Sundays, until 30 June, and 1 August – 30 September. Tel (021) 855-1422. (added 20/6)

#  Eikendal Vineyards: Winter Pizza & Wine Pairing Experience, mini pizza and matching estate wine R60. Tuesdays – Sundays, 12h00 – 16h00 from 1 August to 30 September. Tel (021) 855-1422. (Added 26/7) ‘

Somerset West

#   Benguela on Main: 2 courses R240, 3 courses R310. Tuesday – Saturday Dinner, Lunch Friday and Saturday. From 2 June – 30 September.  Tel 087 357 0637 (added 25/5)

#   Henri’s Restaurant & Pub: 2 courses R 220, 3 courses R250, inclusive of a bottle of Lourensford River Garden wine per coup,e, or two glasses per single guest. Monday – Saturday Lunch and Dinner, and Sunday Lunch. Tel (021) 852-6442 (added 31/5)

Hermanus

#   Benguela Cove Restaurant: 3 courses, glass of wine, and glass of Glühwein R450 per person. Tel 087 357 0637 (added 30/5)

#   Origins Restaurant, The Marine Hotel: Winter Curry with almond and coriander rice, Pippa don, chutney and raita. R160. Lunch and Dinner. Until 30 June. Tel (028) 313-1000 (added 20/6)

Bot River

* Gabriëlskloof Restaurant, Bot River: 2-courses R210, 3-courses R250 Wednesday – Monday. Sharing Sundays 3 courses R300 per person. Until 31 August. Tel (028) 284-9865 (added 31/5)

Plettenberg Bay

* SeaFood at The Plettenberg: Await Specials information. Tel (044) 533-2030 

Closed for winter break

# The Kitchen at Maison: closed until 4 July (added 30/5)

#  Indochine, Delaire Graff: closed until 24 June (added 30/5)

#  Camphors at Vergelegen: Closed until 14 June (added 30/5)

#  Reverie Social Table: 1 – 30 June (added 30/5)

#  La Colombe: Winter break 9 – 30 June (updated 2/6).

#   Osteria Tarantino closed 10 – 25 June (added 8/10)

#  Waterkloof Restaurant: Closed from 19 June – 19 July (added 30/5)

#   Haute Cabrière: Closed from 26 June – 7 August (added 30/5)

#   FABER, Avondale, Paarl: 22 -30 May, 26 June – 11 July. (Added 25/5)

#   Makaron, Majeka House: closed 25 June – 29 July (added 20/6)

#   Pot Luck Club, Old Biscuit Mill: 26 June – 9 July (added 25/5)

#   Spier Hotel Restaurant & Bar: 1 July – 15 September. (Added 19/6)

#   Terroir: 3 – 25 July. (Added 25/5)

#   The Dining Room: closed 7 -19 July (added 8/6)

#  Bistro Sixteen82: 24 July – 10 August (added 25/5)

#   Primal Eatery: 1 – 15 August (added 6/7)

#.  Karoux in McGregor: 11 – 13 August (added 25/5)

#   Benguela on Main, Somerset West: 13 August – 13 September. (Added 25/5)

#   SOURCE restaurant in Hermanus not offering Dinner in winter. (Added 20/6)

Please send Winter Specials information to chrisvonulmenstein@gmail.com, to be added to this list. 

Please note: This list belongs to us, and permission must be requested to copy or post it elsewhere, with acknowledgement to our WhaleTales Blog. We wish you wonderful Winter eating and enjoyment.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: click here Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein

 

Naturalis (326 of 375)BuildingThe flood of new restaurant openings continues, especially in Cape Town. We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously.

Restaurant Openings

#   Chef Luke Dale-Roberts has opened Naturalis, as an ‘incubation hub’, for lunches, and a venue for occasional dinners and events (photograph).

#   The Harbour House Group is planning to open two new restaurants on the Muizenberg beachfront: a 160-seater Live Bait, and Howlin’ Wolf, a burger and beer quick service restaurant

#   Blacksmith’s Kitchen has opened in Paarl (more…)

imageClever Capetonians stay far away from restaurants over the Festive Season, given poor past experiences with service and food quality. It seems that many locals are brave enough or naive enough to go out during the (more…)

imageThe flood of new restaurant openings continues, especially in Cape Town. We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously.

Restaurant Openings (more…)

imageNew restaurant openings continue, many working behind the scenes, and not revealing information about their new establishments prior to opening. We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously.

Restaurant Openings

*   Giulio’s Café has opened where My Basaar was located (photograph).

*   My Sugar has opened in Sea Point.

*   Chef Julia Hattingh has opened her own restaurant Reverie Social Table in Observatory. (more…)

imageIt was a surprise that the Rossouw’s by Diners Club International 2016 South African Restaurant Guide was launched on such a low-key level at the Platter’s Wine Guide launch in Cape Town on Thursday evening.  They might wish that they hadn’t launched it at all!

Publishing Editor JP Rossouw showed us the cover of the book briefly when he revealed the new blue cover of the 2016 Platter’s Wine Guide.  That was it! Last year the Restaurant Guide (with twenty 5-star restaurants then) was surprisingly (more…)

imageA week ago La Belle Bistro & Bakery opened in Mouille Point, next door to sister restaurant Pepenero, off Beach Road, bringing to ten the number of restaurants in the Kove Collection which have already opened, with one more to come in the V&A Waterfront.

Of the three La Belles (the other two are in Camps Bay, when Umi was divided in half and La Belle opened in one half, and in the Alphen Hotel), all belonging to the Kove Collection, the latter is the best run but (more…)

imageThe rate of new and planned restaurant openings seems slower than at the beginning of previous summer seasons.   Restaurateur Michael Townsend of the Harbour House Group continues unabated in opening new restaurants. Exciting news for Franschhoek is the ownership change today of Le Quartier Français by the Leeu Collection!  Today’s date of 1 September appears a number of times below!  We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously.

Restaurant Openings

*     Vicky Cristina’s tapas bar y restaurante espanol has opened in Camps Bay (photograph).

*   De Warenmarkt has opened in Stellenbosch, a mix of market, deli, bar, and pop-up restaurant 

*   Open Door has opened at Constantia Uitsig, the third restaurant to be opened by Neil Grant and his business (more…)

Today an exciting new reality TV series starts airing on SABC2 at 8h30, which will do for food blogging locally what the release of the movie ‘Julie and Julia’ did internationally three years ago. ‘Dinner Divas’ is a 13-part series with 12 contestant Food Bloggers, vying for the title of the Ultimate Dinner Diva 2012, with prizes to the value of close to R100000.  It is the first food blogger TV series cook-off in the world.

2 Blonds and a Redhead Filming Producer Anne Myers is a Diva in her own right, having produced many programmes and Advertising Funded Programmes (AFPs) for SABC2 and SABC3 over the past 27 years, the latter being televised credible advertorials for sponsor brands.   Myers had watched MasterChef SA, and found that it had many deficiencies, given her production experience, and therefore devised the unique ‘Dinner Divas’ concept, signing up sponsors, contracted with SABC2, invited food personalities as judges, and used Social Media to find 12 suitable food bloggers, the majority being from Cape Town. The shoot took place at Kitchen Cowboys, which belongs to MasterChef SA Judge Pete Goffe-Wood.

The twelve Food Bloggers are Anel Potgieter (‘Life is a Zoo Biscuit‘ Blog), Barry Gerber (‘What’s Cooking’ Blog), Candice Le Noury (‘Gorgeous Gourmet’ Blog), Janice Tripepi (‘janicetripepi‘ Blog), Kate Liquorish ‘undomestiKATEd’ Blog), Kristy Snell (‘FoodMonger‘ Blog), Nina Timm (‘My Easy Cooking’ Blog), Sue Green (‘Sous Chef’ Blog), Tami Magnin (‘Rumtumtiggs’ Blog), Thuli Gogela (‘Mzansi Style Cuisine’ Blog), Usha Singh (‘Healthy Vegetarian Foods’ Blog), and Zirkie Schroeder (‘PinkPolkaDotFood’ Blog).  Both Anel and Candice entered MasterChef SA, and did not make the Nederburg kitchen. Anel shared that not making it on MasterChef SA had triggered off a depression, which she tried to get out of by eating Zoo biscuits, and led to her creating her Blog as a type of therapy. Initially she and Candice (photograph left) were hesitant about participating on ‘Dinner Divas’, given the stress they experienced at MasterChef SA, which had taken the fun out of food making, but they loved the fun of ‘Divine Divas’. Janice shared that participating in ‘Dinner Divas’ had led her to relook her Blog, and to ‘make it even more perfect’. She raised the question many Bloggers ask: ‘Who is reading my Blog?’. Candice said that ‘Divine Divas’ had re-inspired her to become a better cook and blogger. Anel blogs once a week on average, and said that it takes up to ten hours to write a Blogpost, having to research a story, buy the ingredients, prepare the dish, and photograph it (good light is best when she gets up early in the morning) before work, or over weekends.  Barry shared that his Afrikaans Blog ‘Wat Eet Ons?’ became more English, to attract more readers.  MasterChef SA Finalist Lungi Nhanhla was present at the launch, in her capacity of new deputy Food Editor of Drum, and she shared that things were much more controlled on MasterChef SA, given that it is a franchised programme series.

In introducing the programme at the media launch on Thursday, Producer Michelle Coleman said that ‘Dinner Divas’ recognises the best Food Blogger and not necessarily the best cook amongst the twelve finalists.

The Food Bloggers were evaluated by five judges (chairman of the judging panel Aubrey Ngcungama is the ambassador of the One & Only Cape Town, was on ‘Come Dine with Me’, and is an absolute hoot from the first episode we were shown at the launch, more than a Diva himself!) over the series,  but only three per show.  The judges of the first episode are Aubrey, Leila Padayachi (pastry chef), and Caro de Waal, editor of Food24, and they evaluate the meals of the Divas without knowing who prepared the recipes and cooked the food.  The other judges used for the series are Chef Fernando Roman of the Five Rooms restaurant at The Alphen, and Andrew Lieber of ‘Gourmet Guys’ Blog.

The sponsors are Mr Price Home; Rhodes Foods (who make cheeses – such as the award-winning Portobello – under their own brand name and some for Woolworths, as well as canned jams, and tomato, fruit and vegetable products); Nulaid eggs, Sasko Flour; and Whirlpool kitchen appliances. Prizes for the winner of the Ultimate Dinner Diva 2012 title includes exposure for the winner’s Food Blog, as well as R50000 cash, a cookbook deal, vouchers of sponsors’ products, and R25000 worth of Whirlpool appliances.

In preparation of their appearance in the TV programme, each Food Blogger had to create a menu for a family weekend meal, with the recipes, and blog it in 100 words.  On set the Food Bloggers had to cook their meal within 90 minutes, set the table for the judges, and style and present their dishes. The judges evaluated the dishes ‘anonymously’, on authenticity, originality, balance and nutritional value of the menu, seasonality of the produce, the reasonable cost of the menu, the creativity in blog writing, the styling of their food and the table setting, and the food preparation skills.

The first episode we saw showed only two of the twelve Food Bloggers competing against each other. Nina Timm prepared a most colourful Mexican family dish, which included meat balls, refried beans, guacamole, and healthy tacos, a meal which she described as a ‘maaltyd om te eet’, and as ‘fingerfood’; while Kristy Snell made fillet steak and her mom’s Peach and Almond baked pudding.  Aubrey will be remembered as the most direct and honest judge, who does not put across his opinions diplomatically at all, making for fun TV. He was critical of Nina’s dish being too salty, while Kristy was not spared, Aubrey describing her salad as ‘a bit tired’, the sauces being confusing, and her dish being an ‘unexciting concoction‘. Yet both Nina and Kristy went through into the Semi-Finals.

Filmed in Cape Town, the first episode we saw had beautiful shots of Cape Town, which will benefit tourism to our city too, with the TV series’ national viewership.  Seeing the first episode, the comparison to MasterChef SA was immediate.  Only focusing on two contestants per episode, means that one can get to know each Food Blogger better, and the pace was much slower, allowing one to understand how the dish was made, and pick up some cooking tips, proving to be far more educational than MasterChef SA.

Dinner Divas’ plays an important role in enhancing the contribution of South African Food Blogs, which will have a stronger voice via the new TV series, and which are already characterised by their passion and inspiration. Food Bloggers’ success already is evident by the increasing number of cookbooks being launched by them. It was emphasised that the days of print media are numbered, and that Food Bloggers are taking over. Season 2 has already been committed too by the SABC, it was announced at the launch, being a winning recipe for the programme sponsors, SABC2 viewers, and Food Bloggers!

POSTSCRIPT 20/10: Episode 2 surprised this morning, in two respects: Judge Fernando Roman, Executive Chef from The Aphen hotel, offended bloggers when he said outright that he does ‘not fancy bloggers at all’, ironic as ‘Dinner Divas’ is a TV programme about bloggers cooking their recipes!  Not surprisingly, this caused a flurry of Tweets from critical bloggers, sure to avoid the hotel’s Five Rooms and La Belle restaurants!  In addition, contestant Sue Green cooked a pork dish, but judge Leila Padayachi does not eat pork!  However, Sue still made it into the semi-finals. Tami Magnin’s KFC-style chicken dish was dished by judge Aubrey, describing it as ‘boring to look at’ and as ‘inedible’!

POSTSCRIPT 5/1: Anel Potgieter has won season 1 of Dinner Divas.

Dinner Divas, SABC2, Saturdays, 8h30, from 13 October, for 13 weeks. www.ilovecooking.co.za Twitter @DinnerDivas1

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:   www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage