It has been announced that the new chef heading up the new Le Petit Manoir restaurant on the main road in Franschhoek is Chef Kevin Grobler, previously the Head Chef of one Michelin star JAN restaurant in Nice. He has been joined in the kitchen by his former JAN colleague Chef Scott Armstrong. Continue reading →
A three-week writing focus at Apricale in Italy saw me complete the writing of a book within the time period I had allocated to this first-ever writing challenge. As the catalyst for The Book was Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen, in that I met a special man at his book launch in March last year, and that The Book tells the story of the transformational effect of the meeting, there was no better restaurant to eat at on Saturday, to celebrate the completion of The Book, than at JAN Restaurant in Nice! It felt like Christmas, it being exciting to experience JAN Restaurant again, my third visit in two years! Continue reading →
I enjoyed seeing ‘Burnt’, a movie about an American chef chasing the third Michelin star for his London restaurant, but I was as anxious as his staff about winning the additional star! It provides an excellent perspective on what happens in top restaurant kitchens and dining rooms, and how 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 →
A spirit liqueur with a more than 200 year history is set to light up trendy De Waterkant, when a bar in its name opens within Andiamo in the original Cape Quarter next month. The history and richness of the Lanique brand will match the heritage of De Waterkant, which is one of the oldest suburbs of Cape Town.
The Lanique Bar within Andiamo is a collaboration between Nigel Price and Andiamo owner Bruce Walker, who got to know each other as Nigel’s company aqua v supplies Andiamo. Andiamo previously had a delicatessen inside the restaurant, and when Bruce did the sums as the new owner, he worked out that it was not lucrative. Nigel had been offered the rights to distribute Lanique in South Africa, and a brainstorm between the two led to the idea that the Lanique Bar within Andiamo be established.
Nigel walked me through the previous Deli space, which is being cladded with red brick, to give the space an old world feel. A stage for live music, a dance floor created by moving the tables out of the space into Andiamo, a door separating Andiamo restaurant and Lanique Bar within Andiamo when the restaurant closes at night, old timber ship decking, corrugated iron, floating shelves, rich opulent fabrics for the upholstery of the chairs, new tables, and chandeliers are planned to create an old world and opulent luxury feel. During the day the Lanique Bar counter will be closed off, but breakfast and lunch will be served and its coffee Continue reading →
* Former World’s 50 Best Restaurant number 1 chef in the world, Ferran Àdria of elBulli, says that the standard of cheffing is at its highest level ever, being ‘the best in history‘, and that the gap between a 3 star Michelin restaurant and a casual dining restaurant is the smallest ever! Àdria advised top restaurants to differentiate themselves on aspects other than the food, to justify their higher prices, suggesting their wine list, service, and decor. Cocktails also are a point of differentiation,with bartenders seeking inspiration for new recipes from chefs.
* Wine writer Joe Roberts says that a very small percentage of the 8000 wineries (with 16000 brands) in the USA is embracing digital marketing. While 44% of consumers are connecting with digital, only an estimated 1% of American wine marketing spend is on digital advertising. No more than 80 of the wineries have dedicated digital practitioners. In a week, winery brands receive 2 – 20 mentions on digital platforms, of which 80% go unanswered. One wonders if the South African stats are any better for our local wine estates’ usage of digital marketing?
* For the third year running vineyards in Burgundy have been hit by a hail storm, causing damage to 40 – 90% of the Continue reading →