On Friday I was lucky to bump into Chefs Rikku O’Donnchü and Warwick King in Camps Bay, the two rockstar chefs who masterminded and led Gäte Restaurant at Quoin Rock wine estate outside Stellenbosch until the end of March, and to spend time with them to obtain first details about what they have planned for their new restaurant. Continue reading →
I had the luck to have enjoyed a 16 course Tasting Menu dinner soon after the opening of Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock outside Stellenbosch, in November. I was blown away by the creativity of the dining experience, and its experiential nature, with Molecular Gastronomy, something I had not experienced at this international level in my dining experiences locally and internationally. On Tuesday a week ago I returned to Gåte, to try the new dishes on the Tasting Menu, as well as those that have changed in the past three months, while my friend from Paris ate the Tasting Menu for the first time, at her invitation. Continue reading →
The new words on serious diners lips are ‘Gåte’ and ‘Quoin Rock’, both not having been heard of by most, but already associated with superlative dining, on a wine estate tucked away outside Stellenbosch where no expense had been spared to create eating and drinking experiences to take one’s breath away! This is what we experienced when invited to eat at Chef Rikku O’Donnchü’s Gåte restaurant on Friday evening. I was still pinching myself over the weekend as to whether this was real, or just a dream. I invited my friend Stuart Bailey to share this experience with me. Continue reading →
Yesterday I had the goosebump experience of being introduced to the new-in-the-making Gåte at Quoin Rock restaurant at the Quoin Rock winery outside Stellenbosch, which is destined to become a superlative Fine Dining dinner experience, probably the best this country has ever seen! Continue reading →
On Thursday evening my friend Bettie Coetzee-Lambrecht and I attended Fine Brandy Fusion at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, having been invited by Manley Communications. Fine Brandy Fusion is a fine showcase for the local brandy industry, the Bisquit cognac with South African links being our highlight.
At the registration desk we received a goody bag, and a booklet of coupons, to allow us to taste brandy cocktails and taste some of the 50 fine brandies neat. Immediately on entering we passed a smallish restaurant, catered by the Convention Centre kitchen. The food quality of the Convention Centre has been poor at every exhibition attended in the past, but picked up when its new Chef Warwick Thomas arrived a year ago, reaching a new low at World Travel Market Africa last month. I was immediately sceptical, but the food options which were displayed in a refrigerated unit looked better (just from the plating) than I have ever seen there before. We received two food coupons each, which Bettie used for linefish and I ordered tasty calamari rings, Bettie saying that it would be important to line our tummies for the brandy tasting to come. We both ordered a cheese platter as well. The service was excellent and professional, and the prices very reasonable at about R50 each. We felt severely under-dressed when a fashionista wearing fur and her partner shared our table! Continue reading →
Amazing news for the restaurant scene in Cape Town is that Chef Andres Condé , who worked at the former elBulli, the former number one restaurant on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, is moving to Cape Town in June, and joining the Harbour House Group of restaurants belonging to Michael Townsend, as Group Executive Chef.
As his first priority Chef Andres will focus on La Parada, the two tapas restaurants based in Kalk Bay and on Bree Street, and will revamp their menus. If La Parada weren’t already the most Spanish tapas restaurants in Cape Town, they will now become super-Spanish and genuine tapas restaurants. He will also work with the Harbour House restaurant teams in Kalk Bay and in the V&A Waterfront. He will not be involved with the Lucky Fish restaurants in the Harbour House Group.
Chef Andres won an award as best young chef in Navarra, a Spanish wine region. His prize was an internship at the former elBulli near Roses in Catalonia, a Michelin 3-star restaurant run by Chef Ferran Adrià, who many would say is the world’s most creative chef, being associated with Molecular Gastronomy, and having written cookbooks. The internship was for two months, but Chef Andres stayed for more than six years! He worked in Continue reading →
On Thursday I met writer and recent Winelands resident David Bullard, Shan Pascall from Oneiric Wines, and Sophia Hawkins of Vilafonte for lunch at Wild Peacock Food Emporium in Stellenbosch, after we had connected at the pop-up lunch by Chef Bertus Basson at Oneiric Wines last Sunday. I met new Wild Peacock Chef Andrew Jordaan, and we were told by co-owner Andrew Baker that they supply all 2013/2014 Top 20 shortlisted Eat Out restaurants on their wholesale side, run by Sue Baker with son Ross. Wild Peacock is synonymous with oysters, and other ‘fine delicacies’ served by our country’s leading restaurants, the wholesale operation having opened more than 20 years ago.
Andrew said that the space of their deli and The Larder restaurant had seen a number of different retail outlets previously, and none had been successful due to the lack of parking. He and Sue had the vision for the deli, which was initially managed by their daughter Sarah, who now focuses on the company’s artisanal cheese selection. Parking has been addressed, and from next week onwards there will be parking marshalls operating outside their door, ensuring a regular replacement of shoppers, now able to pop into the Emporium, and to have a bite to eat and a glass of wine to drink. The deli has grown to become the 2013 Eat Out (previously run by former sister publication Eat In) Produce Awards Best Food Outlet in the South of South Africa!
Andrew created the wine section of the Emporium, and its offering has won a Diners Club Diamond Award as well as Best Small Wine List Award. Andrew runs The Wine Worx in his day job, selling, marketing, and distributing a range of wines of 21 boutique wineries. He is also a keen winemaker, having made a house Pinot Noir, which we enjoyed with our lunch. We were told by the waiter Danny that Andrew uses the cellar at Fryer’s Cove on the West Continue reading →
The viewers’ blood is boiling, in that Finalist Kamini Pather was given a second chance two nights running in episodes 25 and 26, to hang in at MasterChef SA, given that she clearly was the weakest performer in both the episodes. The episode was an exciting one, however, showing the diversity of the Finalists in being able to recreate something as difficult as Chef Richard Carstens’ Chocolate Handkerchief dish, consisting of eleven elements.
The Final Four were given black aprons on arriving at the MasterChef SA kitchen, being in a Pressure Test, without deserving it as such. They noticed technical equipment they had never seen before on their workstations, including gloves, goggles, palette knives, and nitrogen guns. They also noticed an unnamed white jacket hanging in the kitchen. They were told that the judges were turning up the heat, and that they would face the toughest challenge. The winner would go directly into Wednesday’s Finale, while the person preparing the weakest dish would be eliminated.
Seline van der Watt reacted by saying that she would ‘put all on the line today and go for it’. Ozzy Osman said cleverly that he would rather have the jacket than have to fight over it later in the series. Leandri van der Wat said practically ‘Let’s cook’, looking forward to the challenge! Kamini said that she felt calmer, after losing her nerves in episode 25, when her Lemon Meringue Gâteau was less than perfect, and she cried Continue reading →
Described as cool and aloof by viewers, Kamini Pather showed some emotion and her first tears in the 25th episode of MasterChef SA last night, frustrated in her efforts to bake a Lemon Meringue Gâteau, the focus of much of the episode. Being the darling of viewers and tipped to win Season 2 of MasterChef SA, it was a surprise that viewers reacted with such vitriol against her performance at the end of the episode last night.
While Ozzy Osman was on his way to Gansbaai as a guest of Dyer Island Conservation Trust for having created the best month-end dish, the three Finalists who had to go into the Pressure Test as a result of their poor month-end ‘cuisine’ in episode 24 were only supported by Leandri van der Wat, watching her sister Seline, Kamini, and Jason Steel bake up a sweat in what was billed as the ‘most daunting Pressure Test‘ in the series. Chef Benny Masekwameng warned. It would test their limits, in replicating the ‘work of art and masterpiece‘ of invited guest Chef Kelvin Continue reading →
Tension ran high in the Pressure Test in episode 6 of MasterChef SA Season 2 last night, when six Finalists had to go through a two-stage challenge, to allow the judges to eliminate the first Finalist, Shannon Smuts being chopped from the show. Continue reading →