Entries tagged with “Robbie Williams”.


Food Hospitality World logo Whale Cottage PortfolioIt was by chance that I saw a programme for the ‘Food Hospitality World Conference’ when I registered for the Good Food & Wine Show.  With the e-mail from Wired PR came the Conference programme, with a fascinating list of talks by local and international food and wine speakers, bringing the world to Cape Town, and giving our industry a taste of what lies ahead for the Good Food & Wine Show running at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 29 May – 1 June. What was unbelievable was the poor attendance in the exhibition hall in general and in the ‘Conference’ venue too, tiny in taking about 50 attendees, many of them hospitality students.

Yesterday’s list of talks was food and wine focused, and due to guest house commitments I arrived right at the end of Miguel Chan’s talk on Chenin Blanc, which ‘has gained a surge in popularity recently’, the programme notesFood Hospitality World Miguel Chan Whale Cottage Portfolio revealed. Chan is a wine buyer and sommelier at the Tsogo Sun group of hotels. He has promised notes about his talk, which I will add to this blogpost when received.

Very surprising was the talk by Michelin 2 star Chef Carlo Cracco from Italy, where he owns Ristorante Cracco in Milan.  He is unable to speak a word of English, so fired away in Italian, without it being explained to us that his colleague (we think) would translate batches of sentences for us.  On the TV screens photographs of his book, his (more…)

Masterchef-sa-all-finalists-300x169MasterChef SA Season 2 is the talk of the country, and we have another 5 weeks of viewing to look forward to. To warm things up a little, we have launched two competitions, the first being a prediction of who will win MasterChef SA in episode 26.

We are also running a weekly prize for the correct prediction of who our readers think will be chopped out of the MasterChef SA. For the correct prediction of who will leave MasterChef SA in episode 16 on  31 July, Cheyne’s in Hout Bay has generously offered a R400 dinner voucher for two persons for the correct prediction.

Capetonians can enjoy Chef Cheyne Morrisby’s Australasian-infused South African cuisine at his new restaurant on the Main Road in Hout Bay. Chef Cheyne is hands-on in the kitchen, yet makes time to greet each table.  He previously worked at Blues, and a planned one year job in London became an eleven year one, working at the Conran Group restaurants. (more…)

masterchef-sa-all-finalistsMasterChef SA Season 2 is the talk of the country, and we have another eight weeks of viewing to look forward to in the next two months. To warm things up a little, we have launched two competitions, the first being a prediction of who will win MasterChef SA in episode 26.

We are also running a weekly prize for the correct prediction of who our readers think will be chopped out of the MasterChef SA. For the correct prediction of who will leave MasterChef SA in episode 10 on  10 July, Cheyne’s in Hout Bay has generously offered a R400 dinner voucher for two persons for the correct prediction. (more…)

MasterChef SA Season 2 is the talk of the country, and we have another 9 weeks of viewing to look forward to in the next two months. To warm things up a little, we have launched two competitions, the first being a prediction of who will win MasterChef SA in episode 26.

We are also running a weekly prize for the correct prediction of who our readers think will be chopped out of the MasterChef SA. For the correct prediction of who will leave MasterChef SA in episode 8 on 3 July, Cheyne’s in Hout Bay has generously offered a R400 dinner voucher for two persons for the correct prediction. (more…)

I never experienced Cheyne’s when it operated from a small space on Bree Street after the World Cup, but was very impressed when I sampled Chef Cheyne Morrisby’s cooking at the Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz. Now Capetonians can enjoy Chef Cheyne’s Australasian-infused South African cuisine in Hout Bay.

Having only opened five days ago, Cheyne’s was already fully booked for lunch yesterday, all customers choosing to sit outside on a lovely sunny autumn day.  All the inside furniture was taken outside, so it is difficult to judge what the restaurant will look like when it is set up inside.  Comfortable cream chairs are set at white topped tables, without tablecloths, but with material serviettes, salt and pepper grinders, Fortis Hotelware cutlery, and good glassware.  A smallish sign on the Pam Arlene Place building is the only indication of where the new restaurant is, but the tables filled with happy diners attract attention of the traffic passing by.  About thirty diners can be accommodated at this stage, Chef Cheyne only launching the restaurant officially later this month.

It is heartening to see Chef Cheyne with his trademark cap in the kitchen, being absolutely hands-on, at the cost of regular customer contact, but it was impressive that Chef Cheyne did come to greet each table.  I overheard a table debating Cheyne’s name and how to pronounce it.  Chef Cheyne is Cape Town born, worked at Blues for two years, and a planned one year job in London became an eleven year one, working at the Conran Group restaurants. In this time he cooked for Kate Moss, Kylie Mynogue, and Robbie Williams.  He traveled to the East, including Thailand and Indonesia, and he said that his cooking style is that of the Pacific Rim.  He loves their cooking methods, their simple approach to ingredients, and keeping food simple, fresh, clean; and uncomplicated. They use base flavours to give food a good foundation.  He decided to return to Cape Town with his family, wanting them to ‘feel’ Africa, and also wanting to give back to his home country. He has two waiters, Simon being an ex-advertising industry executive, having worked at a post-production company. He wanted to switch career direction to work in a more social environment. Confident Clayton worked with Cheyne’s at his restaurant on Bree Street, whereafter he went to The Roundhouse, and then followed Chef PJ Vadas to Camphors at Vergelegen.  The traveling to Somerset West became too much for him, and when he received Chef Cheyne’s call, he decided to return to work with his old boss again.

The menu is printed on brown board and will be changed monthly. It is attached to a clipboard with a small winelist.  It carries an introduction by Chef Cheyne, describing his approach to cuisine: ‘I am passionate about influences and unique flavours from the Pan Asian/Pacific Rim region that stretches across South East Asia, Japan, Singapore, to Australia and New Zealand. I hope that you enjoy the food journey‘. There are about six starter and main course options, and three dessert choices.  Everything sounds special yet unusual, one not finding the combination of ingredients offered by Cheyne’s elsewhere on a local menu.  From the starter list there was no hesitation in ordering the crispy Crayfish tempura, miso, garlic chive wonton, and sauce shumai (R55), the added chive flower making it a most attractive starter.  Other starters (ranging from R40 – R55) are Roasted rice cakes, Red Dragon sauce, toasted sesame, and coconut flakes; Beef Tataki, miso, mirin and English mustard, and Tempura onion crown; Pork belly ssam, crisp baby gem leaves, Chinese mustard and XO sauce; Keralan spiced squid, green chilli puree, red kimchi and coconut jelly; and sticky duck, pear noodles, star anise and ginger glaze.

The main course choice was an easy one too, Chef Cheyne’s speciality being pork belly, and it was tender and filling, topped with the most delicious crackling, served with an unusual corn and cumin purée, Fuji apple tempura, coconut dumplings, and soy and maple sauce (R90).  Other main courses, none costing more than R95, are 48 hour Beef Short Rib, confit fingerling potatoes, braised daikon with a dashi reduction; Malaysian Laksa, grilled linefish and tiger prawns, warm cucumber noodles, and nori dust; Ramen noodles with Korean BBQ pork, bamboo shoots, spring onion, and poached egg; and Ramen noodles with white sesame and ginger chicken, prawn dumpling, and poached egg.  The dessert list is short and sweet, each item costing R45: Fried apple pie, kaya paste, sticky miso, sour cream ice cream; white chocolate and toasted sesame semi freddo, with banana tempura; and a delectable pear cinnamon and ginger tarte tatin with tamarind ice cream.

The winelist contains two brands per major wine varietals, and almost all are available per bottle and by the glass. Corkage is charged at R30 per bottle.  Pongracz costs R195 and Graham Beck Brut Rosé R215. Brampton Shiraz costs R35/R130, Madonna Shiraz R40/R185, La Motte Sauvignon Blanc costs R35/R140, and Durbanville Hills R30/R130.

Cheyne’s exterior and modest interior decor is unpretentious, and does not reflect the excellent creative cuisine prepared by Chef Cheyne.  Service could be a little smarter, especially from Clayton, given his background.  Prices are extremely reasonable, for the quality of food served.  Cheyne’s will become a challenge to Hout Bay restaurants, especially Kitima.  A nice touch was bringing two coconut ice bonbons with the bill.

Cheyne’s, 1 Pam Arlene Place, Main Road, Hout Bay (near Caltex garage).  Cell 079 067 4919. Website under construction. Twitter: @Cheyne_Reaction. Open Tuesday – Sunday Lunch, Tuesday – Saturday dinner.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Yesterday I met new The Franschhoek Kitchen Chef Cheyne Morrisby at Holden Manz in Franschhoek for the first time, not having had the opportunity to do so when he owned Cheyne’s in Bree Street before closing it down last year. I was very impressed with the tapas he prepared for lunch yesterday, and their exceptional value for money.  I also chatted to new winemaker Schalk Opperman and to Karl Lambour, the new Holden Manz wine production, marketing and sales director.

Chef Cheyne started at the Franschhoek Kitchen last Tuesday, and was busy making the tapas when I arrived. He told me that they will vary the tapas menu every week, depending on what they have available, and what the clients enjoy.  The tapas feedback will help him to develop his own menu over time, retaining those dishes that have been a particular hit at The Franschhoek Kitchen, which was started by his predecessor Chef Bjorn Dingemans. One senses that he wants to spoil his clients, and the three item tapas portions, at a mere R35, is unbelievable value.  He said that ‘the more one can enjoy, the better’, the policy he wants to offer his clients! Chef Cheyne is Cape Town born, worked at Blues for two years, and a planned one year job in London became an eleven year one, working at the Conran Group restaurants. In this time he cooked for Kate Moss, Kylie Mynogue, and Robbie Williams.  He travelled to the East, including Thailand and Indonesia, and he said that his cooking style is that of the Pacific Rim.  He loves their cooking methods, their simple approach to ingredients, and keeping food simple, fresh, clean and uncomplicated. They use base flavours to give food a good foundation.  He decided to return to Cape Town with his family, wanting them to ‘feel’ Africa, and also wanting to give back to his home country. He set up Cheyne’s on Bree Street, with a R 1½ million Miele kitchen, and one table of 20 seats, around which all his clients enjoyed his cooking.  In retrospect he is happy that he did not open a restaurant in Hout Bay, a difficult suburb in which to make restaurants survive.  He had come to scout a wedding venue for his brother, and looked at Holden Manz.  A week later he came back for an interview, and a week later he started the job.  Chef Cheyne is a very confident and energetic person, not taking any nonsense from anybody he said, and seemed at home in his new kitchen already.   Chef Cheyne lives in Hout Bay, but will spend six days a week on the wine estate to settle in.

Chef Cheyne is working with the existing kitchen team, and he will be allowing each of his chefs to develop their own signature dishes over time. The tapas menu offers six options, written up on a blackboard.  It was hard to choose between the tapas dishes, and each one was beautifully presented.  I started with a prawn tempura, with nice plump prawns, and pea risotto, delicious but a little too salty for my taste.  I had to double check with GM Wayne Buckley if the price quoted at R35 was correct for the three item tapas dish, and he confirmed it.  The beef tataki was served with Asian salad and wasabi mayo, the beef delicately rare, contrasted with the bite of the mayonnaise. The seared duck was served with a honey soy reduction and chilled watermelon, a most unusual combination. Other tapas choices were pork belly served with pea puree and topped with mange tout tempura, chilli salt squid with ponzu mayo, linefish with cucumber noodles and soy, and lamb and sushi rice balls with sesame.  Even though I had already eaten enough, I couldn’t resist trying out the chocolate brownie tapas, small slices topped with a strawberry, and served with an unusual ginger and caramel sauce.

Karl Lambour and I had been trying to meet for a while, and it was luck that he was at the restaurant too.  He lives in Camps Bay, and has a holiday home in Greyton to which he was heading back. He was excited by Chef Cheyne’s positive influence and energy.  Karl was the cellarmaster at Constantia Glen for five years, and worked at Fleur du Cap’s Bergkelder for two years prior to that.  His vision for Holden Manz is to express what the farm is capable of, in using predominantly their Franschhoek grapes and to make Franschhoek a region that becomes synonymous with excellent wines again.  He wants to focus on Holden Manz’s red wine varieties of Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. They will develop their iconic wine Big G even further, adding small amounts of Malbec and Petit Verdot to make the wine a true Bordeaux blend. The new Rosé is doing well. Karl is proud of their terroir, shared with their neighbours La Bri, Boekenhoutskloof, and Stoney Brook, the stony soil giving their wines complexity.  The mountain nearby stops the wind and cools down the temperature compared to other parts of Fanschhoek, where temperatures can exceed 40°C in summer.  They are also looking at what they can do differently in the restaurant, with a Shiraz-themed winemakers’ dinner planned for Wednesday, serving four courses, each paired with a Holden Manz, Mullineux, Eagle’s Nest, and AA Badenhorst Shiraz.  This is the second winemakers’ dinner they have organised.  Karl said that while he is not the winemaker, he is making two wines – a Chardonnay for which he is buying in grapes, and a special Shiraz blend.

Schalk Opperman apologised for his beard and moustache, saying that he is a member of the Franschhoek Moustache Association,  winemaker members having decided to not shave from the first day of their harvest until yesterday.  The competition was won by Jean Smit of Boekenhoutskloof, having grown the biggest moustache in this time.  He said that he originally had mixed feelings about moving to Holden Manz from Rust en Vrede, where he had a secure job for six years, but stood in the shadow of the winemaker. He was pleasantly surprised about the role which he can play in improving the grapes at Holden Manz, having a good structure, and he is working on developing the Holden Manz brand as wines to be reckoned with.   He is a Shiraz maker first and foremost, but sees making blends as a far bigger challenge for a winemaker.  He complimented Karl for his skills in wine marketing and brand building, and is happy that Karl leaves the winemaking to him, but is available to him as a sounding board. They will use their own grapes in winemaking only, only buying in a small quantity of Malbec and Petit Verdot to improve the Big G. They will use barrel fermentation in future, which was not done before, keeping the wine in the barrel for a year and in the bottle for another year.  In two years time the Holden Manz wines will show the effect of the new winemaking production techniques and winemaker, Schalk said.

It was a busy restaurant at The Franschhoek Kitchen yesterday, and the energy generated from Chef Cheyne was reflected by Karl, Schalk, Wayne and the serving staff too. Having been at the Franschhoek Kitchen a week ago, it was incredible what a change the new chef at Holden Manz has made! There is a promise of great things to come, given that this has only been Chef Cheyne’s first week.

The Franschhoek Kitchen, Holden Manz, Franschhoek.  Tel (021) 876-2729. www.holdenmanz.com Twitter:@HoldenManz01

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:WhaleCottage