Tag Archives: Qunu

American Express announces Top 2020 Dining Award winners, with a Johannesburg bias!

It was a multi-Award day on Monday this week, with both American Express (for the Western and Southern Cape), as well as the Gourmet Guide (National) announcing their 2020 Restaurant Award winners. A week earlier American Express had announced its Gauteng, Free State, and KwaZulu-Natal Awards. There were many similarities in the winners, yet some strange winners in the American Express Dining  awards documented in this post. Continue reading →

Four young chefs from Africa/Middle East go through to the global S.Pellegrino Young Chef Grand Finale in Milan in 2020, three from SA!

In a surprise announcement, not only one but four finalists in the Africa and Middle East region of the S. Pellegrino Young Chef Regional Semi-Final held in Cape Town on Monday, will be sent to Milan for the Grand Finale in May next year. But only one of the four young chefs will compete for the Global title of S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2020, being Chef Paul Thinus Prinsloo of The Restaurant at Waterkloof. Continue reading →

Inaugural 2016/2017 Gourmet Guide launched, Top 21 SA restaurants ‘plated’!

imageToday the inaugural ‘2016/2017 Gourmet Guide: Top South African Restaurants, their Chefs & Recipes‘ was launched at the Good Food & Wine Show. Twenty one top restaurants were honored with one or two plates, acknowledging them as the best restaurants in our country.
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‘Südafrika: der Kinofilm’ German documentary excellent marketing for South Africa!

SA Kinofilm1South Africa can expect a Tourist boom from Germany this year, with another film about our country to be launched in Germany on 25 February. The documentary about our country is called ‘Südafrika: der Kinofilm‘ (South Continue reading →

The Test Kitchen to pop-up at The Saxon in Johannesburg next year!

imageChef Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen is to set up a pop-up restaurant at The Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg on 21 January 2016.

This will be the third pop-up restaurant that Chef Luke opens, having previously popped-up with The Pot Luck Club in Verbier, and earlier this year in Austria. The duration of his pop-up at The Saxon has not been announced.

Despite Chef David Higgs leaving The Saxon in December, where he is in Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 8 May

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Comair is taking SAA to court for its bailouts received from the government, challenging the constitutionality of such payments, and calling for an equal playing field with ‘equal competition rules’ for all airlines.

*   South Africa ‘generally made really bad wine for a long time, writes Warren Johnston from Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 13 April

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The crayfish season closed at the end of  the Easter weekend, kicking off an educational campaign by the City of Cape Town’s Marine and Environmental Law Enforcement Unit to promote compliance with the Marine Living Resources Act. The seaworthiness of boats and certification of skippers was also checked, as was the minimum size and quantity of rock lobster caught.

*   The first ever export of Pinotage grapes from our country to the USA has arrived, sold into the market by suppliers Gino Pinto Inc.  The grape shipment has sold out.

*   SA Tourism and National Geographic Channel have teamed up to create a Continue reading →

‘Rossouw’s by Diners Club 2015 South African Restaurant Guide’ is back, 13 Cape Town and Winelands 5* restaurants!

Rossouw's by Diner's Club South African Restaurant GuideAfter 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 →

The Madiba effect: boost to Tourism?

Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben IslandIrresponsible newspaper journalists like Bernard Sathekge of The New Age give journalism a bad name, by creating headlines which mislead their readers, especially those who just scan the headlines and do not read the content.

Writing one month after the passing of Nelson Mandela, Sathekge creates a headline ‘Madiba magic boosts tourism’ for his story, but quotes SA Tourism arrival figures for the period January – September 2013 throughout his article, clearly misleading the readers of the newspaper.  He follows this with a secondary headline, which is even more misleading and downright dishonest: ‘Late statesman’s stature contributes to raising number of visitors from around the world‘.  He underlines his dramatic headlines with his view that ‘Nelson Mandela continues to do the country a power of good as his death has spurred interest worldwide as well as locally in Mandela heritage sites‘, quoting visits to the Mandela Museum in Qunu, very much off the beaten tourism track, to have ‘spiked‘.  This is the sum total of his information foundation of the article, filling the rest with unrelated 2013 tourism trend information!

He does not mention the Robben Island museum in Cape Town, which does not support his findings, it having seen a 5% decline in visitor numbers in December 2013, according to information provided by the City of Cape Town.  In part the decline was due to Continue reading →

RIP Nelson Mandela: father of our nation, hero of the world!

mandela-house-statue-whale-cottage-portfolio-225x300On Thursday evening South Africa and the world lost in Nelson Mandela one of its most influential citizens ever, who taught us about the nobility of forgiveness, despite what he suffered for 27 years to make South Africa and the world a better place for all.

No doubt like many others, I could not help but feel sad about the passing of someone whom I had never met, but who feels like a father, and the sadness is even greater, this being the second father I have lost this year. Reading the outpouring of love for Mr Mandela on TV, on radio, on Twitter, and Facebook, the timelines were dominated by the expression of each one who uses the media.  Kfm played tributes and ‘nostalgic’ music, not its normal music mix, like Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge over Troubled Water‘ and Eric Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’, and many more songs that related to the specialness of Madiba.

The world’s leaders expressed their sadness, and President Barack Obama was one of the first to express his condolences in the early hours of yesterday morning.  He and his wife Michelle have announced that they will travel to South Africa next week, to pay their respects to the  country and the family.   Books of condolence have been opened in South African embassies around the world, for South Africans and Madiba admirers to express their feelings.  A moving tribute was paid to him by his assistant of many years Zelda la Grange.

Many media interviewees said that the day had been inevitable, but no one was prepared for the final passing. A number of false reports announced Madiba’s passing mid-year, and it is clear that the major international and local TV stations had long before prepared documentaries about the man that had such a hold over the world.

Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster (now Drakenstein) prison in 1990, a month after I had moved back home to Cape Town from Pretoria and Johannesburg, and I was one of many millions watching the TV broadcast of the long and slow walk to freedom from the prison.  The broadcast by SABC was a lowlight of Mr Mandela’s release, his release having been delayed, and the SABC reporter had nothing more to say while waiting for at least an hour than to comment on a leaking tap!  As Madiba’s cavalcade was leaving Paarl, I was one of thousands making our way to the City Hall, to hear Madiba address the nation and the world.  We heard his distinctive voice for the first time.  It was the start of a new South Africa, of tolerance and respect for each other, most of the time.  Not only was Madiba respected for his lack of bitterness, but President FW de Klerk was saluted too for his graciousness in motivating his Cabinet to release Madiba, knowing full well that he and his National Party would eventually lose the ruling power.  For their gentlemanliness both leaders jointly received the Nobel Continue reading →