Yesterday I attended the Chenin Blanc Showcase, a tasting of a selection of 50 Chenin Blanc wines, at the Cape Grace Hotel. Chenin Blanc is a cultivar growing in popularity, and we tasted the different styles of Chenin Blanc. 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 →
Yesterday afternoon Opulent Living hosted a function at The Reserve at Taj Cape Town, to introduce food writers to the seven Finalist Young Chef of the Year candidates, and to allow their creative canapés to be tasted.
The canapés form one part of the evaluation of who wins the Chefs who Share Young Chef of the Year 2015, the other part of the evaluation being the handling of the chefs of themselves in the next 48 hours, including during the Chefs who Share Gala Dinner taking place in the City Hall on Thursday evening. Continue reading →
Yesterday the second Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge was held at the Cape Grace, with the Top 10 Chenin Blancs selected out of a total of 145 wines entered. The banner in the pre-lunch venue summarized the stature of Chenin Blanc, with the pay-off line ‘A South African National Treasure‘!
Canapés of pastry cases with salmon and hollandaise sauce were served with Sparklehorse Chenin Blanc MCC made by Ken Forrester Wines. Ken Forrester is the Chairman of the Continue reading →
The black-tie gala dinner for ‘Chefs who Share – the Art of giving‘ will be held for the third time this year, once again in the City Hall in Cape Town, on 10 September. What is an exciting development is that a Young Chef Award will go Continue reading →
* FlySafair launches its Cape Town – George route on 13 November, at R399 one way, adding to its routes between the Mother City and Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Terms and conditions apply, in that extra charges are levied for extra luggage, special seating, and catering is charged for additionally.
* The Le Kap Lifestyle Fair will be held at Blaauwklippen on 6 December, and will be a showcase of fashion, food, wine, horses, and cars. Five top chefs, including Brad Ball, Gregory Czarnecki, Malika van Reenen, and Roland Gorgosilich, will prepare the food, and French champagne will be served. Veuve Clicquot, Glenmorangie, and Belvedere Vodka, as well as the wines of ten wine estates will be on offer, while ‘gourmet food markets‘ will be set up. There will be a dressage show, as well as a fashion show. Bentleys will be on display. R500 entrance, tickets via Computicket. (received via media release from Vivid Luxury)
* Coffee and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance will be the foundation of a new destination store Donford BMW Motorrad in Continue reading →
Today we celebrated the life of one of our country’s most creative and maverick chefs, Bruce Robertson having passed away suddenly of leukemia on Monday, only four days after he received the diagnosis. Hundreds of restaurant industry friends, family, and past patrons gathered at the False Bay Rugby Club in Constantia, to pay tribute to the happy-go-lucky man.
A special marquee had been erected, with benches, a table with eats brought along by the foodies, and lots of wines supplied by Cederberg (he only served this brand ‘with altitude and attitude‘ at his former The Boat House, and most recent The Flagship), Spier (where his close friend Tony Romer-Lee is involved), Villiera MCC, and Flagstone (winemaker Bruce Jack and Chef Bruce jointly made a wine called Bruce’s Juice at one stage). On the marquee walls were blown up black and white photographs of Chef Bruce, including one of him dressed in drag! There were so many familiar 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 →
Last year I had the good fortune to attend ‘Chefs who Share’, organised by Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast of Opulent Living and assisted by Belmond Mount Nelson Chef Rudi Liebenberg, a fantastic dinner held in the City Hall, which raised money for the MAD (Make a Difference) Charity and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. All proceeds went to the charities, as the chefs, sommeliers, and suppliers all donated their time and produce without charge. This year ‘Chefs who Share’ goes one step bigger, with an international chef being added to each team of two local chefs.
The food served is outstanding, each set of tables being looked after by two top local chefs and the international chef, as well as a local sommelier. Yesterday I was honoured with being the first to taste the dessert which Chef Darren Badenhorst from Grande Provence will serve at the decadent dinner on 11 September. Chef Darren is partnering with Chef Franck Dangereux of The Food Barn (with Chef Anton Schmaus from Germany), and they spent a long four hours on Friday to plan the menu for their section of tables. While Chef Darren has not revealed what the other dishes will be on the menu, Chef Darren made me his ‘Galaxy of Textures’, which meets the theme of chocolate for all desserts to be made for the dinner, coming in especially from his Continue reading →