After six years or more of Twitter being an important part of the Social Media mix, it is a surprise to still see new Tweeters joining Twitter. Surprising is that so few Twitter newbies understand the medium, and many have a slim chance of attracting new Twitter followers when they follow one.
We occasionally check our Twitter Follower list, to see if any of our new Followers are worth following back, initially thought to be the right thing to do. But increasingly we note that fewer and fewer new Followers are worth following back, the most interesting Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Opening of Parliament, and the SABC2 coverage of the President’s State of the Nation Address last night, the best one hour comedy show which the TV channel has ever broadcast! It was an entertaining mix of the cellphone signal being blocked in the House, no water provided, regular TV black-outs, ‘scrambled’ audio which made it impossible to hear President Zuma, the Speaker, and other speakers speak, the continuous raising of questions by members of the House, the eviction of the EFF by armed police from the House, and the voluntary walk-out by the DA. Comedian Pieter-Dirk Uys Continue reading →
Jamie Goode is a well-known award-winning ‘wine journalist‘ and wine judge from the UK, writing his Wine Anorak blog for the past 14 years. Uncharacteristically he has lashed out at ‘wine writers ripping off wineries’, describing this as a ‘disturbing trend‘!
Goode wrote on his Blog last week: ‘A rant. I don’t rant often, but I’m driven to do it today. As a wine writer, I’m alarmed by the recent trend for other wine writers to behave parasitically by charging wineries to reproduce reviews. I’m Continue reading →
After a one year absence, the Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide is back, with a new name, new sponsor, new editor, and a new methodology of recognising top restaurants. Restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands still dominate the 5-star restaurant list by far, with 13 out of 20 restaurants in the Western Cape, out of 300 restaurants evaluated in total!
Yesterday ‘Rossouw’s by Diners Club International 2015 South African Restaurant Guide’ was launched in Johannesburg, now sponsored by Diners Club, the same company also sponsoring the Platter’s by Diners Club 2015 South African Wine Guide. Anna Trapido has been the editor for just more than half a year, writing individual reviews about restaurants on their website, and has compiled the new Guide, awarding twenty restaurants with 5 star ratings nationally, another change, as the Rossouw’s restaurants only achieved a maximum of 3 stars in the past, when it was run by previous owner JP Rossouw. The publication format now matches that of the Platter’s Guide. A 5-star rated restaurant is defined as a ‘consistently superlative restaurant in its category – with no/almost no issues’! To obtain a 5-star rating the restaurant had to achieve a score in excess of 90%, errors in food being unbalanced, or wines and foods not matching, counting against a restaurant, for example. Every element of the restaurant visit, from making the telephonic booking to the departure, was scored. All meals were paid for by Anna’s reviewers, all largely unknown Continue reading →
Will the resignation of two 2014 Eat Out Top 10 Chefs, with a third to come it is rumoured, make it the easiest hop into the 2015 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant list ever? While it is a bit early, we speculate as to which new restaurants will make it onto the Eat Out Top 20 and Top 10 Restaurant lists later this year.
Given the strict rule of an Executive Chef having to have worked a full twelve months (November 2013 to October this year) to qualify to get onto the Eat Out Top 20 shortlist, the three restaurants with the departing chefs will not qualify to make Top 20 for the judging in the next two months or so. Hartford House and Pierneef à La Motte should definitely be off the list, and the third Top 10 restaurant will be confirmed shortly (see Postscript below). Chef Chris Erasmus left Pierneef à La Motte a week ago, to open his new restaurant Foliage on the main road of Franschhoek next month, while Chef Jackie Cameron is opening Jackie Cameron’s School of Food and Wine in Hilton in January next year, but leaves at the end of July. The third chef is rumoured to move from the Winelands to Cape Town, to open his own new restaurant, and could not be reached yesterday due to the restaurant being closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. We would not be surprised if a fourth Top 10 restaurant chef makes a move to Cape Town too, given the number of new restaurants opening in the next few months. Continue reading →
Yesterday I was invited to attend the judging of the Cape Finals of Season 3 of Ultimate Braai Master held in the parking area of The Lookout at the V&A Waterfront. Not only was it a good way to catch up with a number of chefs who judged the Cape Finals, but it was also an opportunity to meet Cooked in Africa Films producer Justin Bonello.
Justin chatted to blogger Thuli Gogela of Mzansi Style Cuisine Blog (she appeared in the Bloggers episode of season 2 of MasterChef SA) and I as the judging came to an end at the Finals. One sensed his overriding passion for food, which has grown into TV production, with 21 productions to date, including two previous Ultimate Braai Master seasons, two seasons of Charly’s Cake Angels, as well as ‘Seasons at Terroir‘, which was launched last week and focuses on Chef Michael Broughton, and his restaurant Terroir at Kleine Zalze. Justin denied that Terroir not making the Top 20 Eat Out restaurant list last November was a blow to their production, saying that Chef Michael’s food is beyond Top 10 competitions, clearly a fan of the chef’s food. He is fascinated by the revolution of growing one’s own vegetables and herbs, and proudly showed me a photograph of his vegetable garden at home, out Hout Bay way, which will become the subject of a TV series ‘Green Time’ at the end of 2015, with seven pilot projects of vegetable gardening at schools being developed. Continue reading →
Yesterday I enjoyed an interesting lunch with restaurateur Michael Townsend at Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, one of the most low key restaurant entrepreneurs in Cape Town but with a fast growing empire which has focused on fish to date. Now he is opening a steak restaurant in Muizenberg, and if it is successful there, he will bring it to the city centre.
I have only met Michael once before, on Kalk Bay’s main road outside his La Parada, when he called my name as I walked past, and did not react initially as I do not know anyone living on that side of Cape Town. He persisted, having recognised me from the blog and previous writing I did for the Weekend Argus Ad Monitor column which I created many years ago. We have become Facebook friends since. Yesterday morning he contacted me, requesting a meeting. I suggested Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, having just written the review. He had arrived early, and bought seven books relating to meat from the shop, with help from Chef Liam Tomlin. What he wanted input on was the appointment of a group Executive Chef, who can look after all his restaurants (two Harbour House, five Lucky Fish, and two La Parada to date).
He told me that he once was a student in Fashion Design, including dresses and handbags, moving to Johannesburg to join a company called Brandcorp, of which he became a director, and when it was listed on the JSE, he made his first good money. He intimated that he cannot hold on to money for too long, and is not materialistic, always wanting to put it into a new business. His first money went into Harbour House in Kalk Bay, previously called Canteen Tequila, of which he changed the name when they opened about 15 years ago. It did not run very well in early days, Continue reading →
We 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 →