A record 111 South African wines received a coveted 2018 Platter’s Guide five-star rating at the Awards ceremony held at the Table Bay Hotel tonight. Raats Family Wines was named as the 2018 Winery of the Year. Continue reading →
Last night KWV was crowned as the king of the wine industry for the fifth year running, winning 5 Double Gold and 9 Gold Awards for its wines, more than any other winemaker. Nederburg (2 Double Golds and 11 Gold Awards) and Spier (2 Double Golds and 8 Gold Awards) followed in second and third place, respectively, awarded at one of the highlights of the wine industry, a function attended by about 400 wine industry staff and media, with their partners. Kanonkop won the Best Performance by Entry title for 10 wines or fewer entered, while KWV won the title for more than 10 wines entered. A total of 57 Double Gold, 157 Gold, 473 Silver, and 662 Bronze medals was awarded. A mix of local and international judges evaluated the entries.
Not only were the wines with their winemakers and related staff celebrated, so too was the 25th anniversary of the Veritas Awards. The highlight of the evening for me was seeing how many women Continue reading →
* The Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau has won the South African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) Award for Best Convention Bureau in Southern Africa for the second year running. The Bureau is part of Wesgro, and its Award was based on a vote by SAACI members.
* The Tourism Business Council of South Africa has emailed accommodation establishments that amendments made. to the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 last year requires of hotels, motels, boarding houses, lodges, guest houses, and apartment buildings to keep a register of their guests, take a copy of their ID or passport (none of them do), and take the residential address details. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months! Interesting is that B&Bs are not included in the list, and that Airbnb is excluded, being accommodation in private homes and apartments in the main!
* The Department of Home Affairs denies that international tourism numbers have declined in the first quarter of this year, claiming a 0,6% increase in foreign Tourist arrivals. The Department is comparing apples and pears, only providing information about March 2015 relative to March 2014, and not for the full quarter!
* Noma, the world’s third best restaurant, has announced that it will be Continue reading →
I have enjoyed such an active program in Munich, with dinners at Cocoon with the Obholzers of Simelia Wines and Innerhofers of Capelands on Monday night, and the celebration of the birthday of Opulent Living’s Florian Gast at Marais Soir in Munich on Tuesday evening! It turned out to also be a surprise reunion of four of the seven international chefs who cooked at Chefs who Share 2014, the chefs coming from all parts of Germany and Austria to celebrate Continue reading →
* All Johannesburg – New York SAA flights in both directions will now be non-stop, the America-bound flight becoming non-stop too. The route popularity and the reduction of 90 minutes flight time have motivated the change.
* Due to the devastating fires last week, Table Mountain National Park has requested locals and visitors to stay away from Tokai forest and Silvermine, deeming them to be unsafe, with continued flare-ups, and trees Continue reading →
The Diners Club Winelist Awards for the Western Cape were held at Shimmy Beach Club yesterday, saluting the restaurants in the province, and the standard of their winelist content and presentation. Bushman’s Kloof won best Winelist in the Western Cape. During the course of this week the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal awards will also be presented.
A judging panel, led by wine judge Dave Hughes, and consisting of Winnie Bowman, Nikki Dumas, Fiona McDonald, and Christine Rudman, evaluated 208 winelists nationally, and 100 from the ‘Cape‘, a province which has not existed for years! Diners Club threw the Western Cape and Eastern Cape into one ‘Cape’ pot in reporting on the results and in handing out the awards yesterday! A substantial number of Western Cape restaurants did not enter the competition this year, down from 96 entries last year to 80 this year.
Odd was the choice of venue, being the Bar section of Shimmy Beach Club, which did not have enough parking for the attendees, some walking for more than 1 km to get to the venue. We were welcomed with a glass of Pongracz, and the food was very meagre, being macaroni cheese croquettes and sushi! There was not enough seating for everyone, in a room which had some round tables, a few chairs and couches, but had no presence in making this function special for the award winners, compared to the venue used at the Vineyard Hotel last year. It also was not a finalist for the Winelist Awards! Very odd was using Anna Trapido as the MC, not generally known to the local restaurant wine stewards and sommeliers, in being the editor of the 2015 ‘Diners Club Rossouws 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 →
It was a unique experience to meet seven chefs who have worked or are currently working at Michelin star restaurants (10 Michelin stars awarded in total) in Austria and Germany for breakfast at the Lanzerac on Tuesday. While it was an early morning start, it was energizing being in the company of the ever-bubbly Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast of Opulent Living, who had extended the invitation to a number of writers.
We were seated at one long table intermingled with the chefs, and a half way swopping of seats was clever too, so that we could get to chat to at least three of the seven chefs for a longer period of time. Opulent Living, organisers of the charity Gala Dinner ‘Chefs who Share‘ in the City Hall this evening, welcomed the seven chefs, who had all flown in from Europe to Cape Town on Monday.
Tonight seven teams of two local chefs each, a local sommelier, and one of the German-speaking chefs, will prepare a four course dinner for 36 guests who have paid R3000 each to attend, a total of 250 guests not only eating delectable food, but also drinking excellent local wines, and interacting with the three chefs looking after their tables. Last year Opulent Living raised R1,2 million through the charity Gala Dinner, and decided to raise the bar this year by flying in the seven German-speaking Continue reading →