Tag Archives: Ryan Smith

Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant shortlist 2015: a prediction! Judges identified too!

Eatout-lockup-merc1 2015The Eat Out judges are doing the rounds in evaluating our country’s Top 20 restaurants, from which they will pick their Top 10 Restaurants for 2015, to be announced at a Gala Lunch at Mistico Equestrian Centre outside
Paarl on 15 November.

Last year a number of restaurants made it to the Top 20 shortlist, possibly by default, as the largest number of chef changes ever took place in 2014, making the restaurants linked to those chefs ineligible to be considered for an Eat Out Top 10 award.  This affected Hartford House (Chef Jackie Cameron starting her Jackie Cameron School of Food and Wine), Delaire Graff (Chef Christiaan Campbell Continue reading →

Leopard’s Leap launches Culinaria Collection, focused on food and wine pairing!

When superb wine marketer and CEO Hein Koegelenberg is involved in a project one can expect it to be of a superlative quality, reflecting La Motte’s slogan of ‘A Culture of Excellence’. So it was on Wednesday, when we were invited to attend the launch of ‘sister’ wine brand Leopard’s Leap’s new Culinaria Collection of six wines, a range developed on the basis of terroir, inspired by the regionality of French wines, and its suitability for different food types. Continue reading →

‘Cook Franschhoek’ to spice up local master chefs!

The Franschhoek Wine Valley tourism organisation is celebrating the cooking talents of its top restaurant chefs and its award-winning wines by pairing them in ‘Cook Franschhoek‘, a festival of cooking running over this coming long weekend, from 14 – 16 June.

Taking the form of cooking demonstrations in the chefs’ restaurant kitchens, food and wine lovers will be shown how to prepare the chefs’ special dishes, and will be taken through wine tastings, with a Franschhoek winery paired with each restaurant.  The cost of demonstrations ranges from R85 – R2100 each.

Participating restaurants are :

*   Antonij Rupert Tasting Room/L’Omarins – guided tour of culinary and medicinal herb garden with glass of L’Omarins sparkling wine, olive oil tasting, and a goodie bag. Friday 9h30 -11h00 and 15h00 – 16h30, Saturday 9h30 – 11h00 and 15h00 – 16h30,  Sunday 9h30 – 11h00 and 15h00 – 16h30, R85 each.

*   Le Quartier Français/Môreson – Tandoori chicken demo and tasting by Chef Vanie Padayachee. Friday 10h00 and Saturday 10h00, R370 each.

*   Leopard’s Leap Rotisserie/Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards – Chef Pieter de Jager will demonstrate making a salt meringue Santer on garlic brochette, paired with Leopard’s Leap Culinary Pinot Noir, introduced by Eugene van Zyl.  Friday 10h30;  Breakfast Tart demo, paired with Leopard’s Leap Culinary Methodé Cap Classique, Saturday 9h30,  R110 each.

*   Terra del Capo Tasting Room – Chef HW Pieterse will host an Italian food and Italian wine variety pairing at Antonij Rupert. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11h00 – 12h00, R85 each.

*   Ryan’s Kitchen/Rickety Bridge – Chef Ryan Smith will demonstrate the making of a guava and vanilla soufflé with a Tennis Biscuit ice cream, and serve a 2 course meal, paired with Rickety Bridge Paulina Reserve Chenin Blanc by winemaker Danie de Bruyn. Friday 12h00, R300;  Chicken and crab curry lunch paired with Paulina Reserve Semillon, and includes 2 course meal. Saturday 12h00, R300.

*   Franschhoek Kitchen/Holden Manz Winery – Chef Maryna Frederiksen will demonstrate the use of fresh herbs in creative ways, and a light lunch will be served, winemaker Schalk Opperman introducing  their 2012 Chardonnay and 2010 Merlot. Friday 12h30 and at 16h00, Saturday 12h00, R220 each.

*   Café BonBon/Haut Espoir – Chef Tijn Hahndiek will demonstrate the making of Butter chicken curry and basmati rice. One course lunch and gift. Friday 14h00, R220; Eggs Benedict demo, inclusive of breakfast and gift, Saturday 10h30, R110;  Home-made pasta demo with one course lunch and gift, Saturday 14h00, R220.

*   Allora/Rickety Bridge – Chef Roaan Erasmus will demonstrate making gnocchi and folded pasta, paired with Rickety Bridge wines by winemaker Danie de Bruyn. Lunch included. Friday 15h00, Saturday 12h00, R220 each.

*   SalmonBar/Haut Espoir – owner Gregg Stubbs will demonstrate how to debone and fillet trout, and tasting of cold smoked, hot smoked, cured, marinated, and grilled salmon.  Friday 17h00, R250; sustainability talk and salmon tasting, Saturday 17h00, R250.

*   Haute Cabrière/Pierre Jourdan – 6 course Pinot Noir winter Tasting Menu prepared by Chef Ryan Shell and presented with Takuan von Arnim, Friday and Saturday at 19h00, R655 each.

*   Bread & Wine/Môreson – Chef Neil Jewell will demonstrate Wagyu beef three ways, with winemaker Clayton Reabow pouring the wine. Saturday 10h00, R110.

*   Paulina’s at Rickety Bridge/Rickety Bridge Winery – Chef Melissa Bruyns will demonstrate making seafood risotto, paired with a tasting of Chenin Blanc by winemaker Wynand Grobler. Saturday and Sunday 11h00, R180 each.

*   Fyndraai/Solms-Delta – Chef Shaun Schoeman will demonstrate the use of culinary fynbos flowers, with a 3-course meal and wine pairing by Joan Heatlie of The Vastrap Chenin Blend and The Hiervandaan Shiraz Blend, Saturday and Sunday 12h00, R320.

*   Pierneef à La Motte/La Motte – Chef Chris Erasmus will demonstrate making classic pâté and terrines, paired with La Motte wines by Michael Langenhoven, Saturday 17h00, R165.

*   Reuben’s/L’Omarins – Chef Reuben Riffel will take attendees to Antonij Rupert Wines, to taste their sparkling wine and to see the culinary and medicinal herb garden, followed by lunch at Chef Reuben’s home, winemaker Dawie Botha pouring L’Omarins wines, with a gift pack and herb bouquet, Sunday 12h00 – 15h00, R2100.

Cook Franschhoek, 14 – 16 June. www.cookfranschhoek.co.za. Tel (021) 876 2861.  www.webtickets.co.za

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

Chef Reuben Riffel’s endorsement of Robertsons is a marketing con!

We have been asking for some time how Chef Reuben Riffel can reconcile the international restaurant trend to foraging and growing vegetables and herbs, and endorsing the Robertsons spice range. Now it has become clear that Chef Reuben is just putting his name to the brand for advertising purposes, given that he uses fresh herbs in his Reuben’s restaurants.  This is a serious blow to the credibility of Chef Reuben, his Reuben’s restaurants in Franschhoek, at the One&Only Cape Town and in Robertson, the Robertsons brand, as well as MasterChef South Africa, which is sponsored by the spice and herb brand.

At the Franschhoek Literary Festival ten days ago we asked Chef Reuben a question in this regard, and he had a well rehearsed answer to it, justifying his endorsement of Robertsons on the basis of not all herbs being available all year round, and that fresh herbs and his restaurants are not affordable for all.  The question must have irritated him badly, as he wrote a disparaging comment about it on his Facebook page later that day.  He must have realised that it would get him into terrible trouble, and he has since closed down his Facebook page. Robertsons’ response to the disparagement and damage to their brand is surprising:We were alarmed when we received this complaint and assure you that we have taken this very seriously. We would like to clarify that as a brand Robertsons does not condone the use of inappropriate language in any forum or in any social media channels. We have  however discussed this further with Reuben and believe this to be a personal matter with a deeper history and would suggest that you address it directly with him. Our team of lawyers have reviewed the complaint and advised that contractually there is no breech (sic) or transgression to our contract. Our contract and relationship with Reuben is limited to his chef expertise and his appearance in our advertising, it only governs his opinions in relation to our brand and does not extend to personal opinions on a private matter’. There is nothing ‘personal’ about asking a valid question about Chef Reuben’s endorsement of Robertsons, and the impact it has on his credibility as a chef, a question asked by many of his chef colleagues too. One wonders what ‘personal’ issues Chef Reuben could have been referring to. The endorsement, and the resultant lack of attention to and focus on his Reuben’s restaurants, has already cost Chef Reuben dearly, in that he did not make the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant shortlist of twenty late last year, the first time in Reuben’s Franschhoek eight year history.  He achieved a miraculous Top Chef and Top Restaurant accolade in the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant awards six months after opening, an unheard of achievement at the time.

It is the programme for ‘Cook Franschhoek’, to be held in the gourmet village from 15 – 17 June, that is the confirmation that Chef Reuben believes in and uses fresh herbs.  The write-up for his outrageously-priced R1500 sessions, information which must have been supplied to the organisers by him, refers to a ‘stroll to our secret vegetable garden to pick fresh vegetables and herbs (Reuben believes firmly that only the finest ingredients should be used for the best results)’, a clear confirmation that he believes that fresh is best! This is confirmed in his latest cookbook ‘Reuben Cooks Local’, which does not have a single recipe in it necessitating any Robertsons herbs or spices. When asked, Franschhoekers said they have no idea where the ‘secret‘ herb and vegetable garden is, which must be in walking distance from his restaurant. Someone jokingly saying it must be his Robertsons’ spice rack! Another local has guessed that it must be the garden of Klein Olifantshoek, across the road from his restaurant parking, but staff of the boutique hotel deny this. It is said that when Reuben’s Franschhoek moves to its new location close to Place Vendome later this year, they will develop a vegetable and herb garden there. Currently Chef Reuben sources his restaurant herbs and vegetables from Roubaix in Franschhoek.

Robertsons has had a bad time in choosing its marketing partners, not only in signing up Chef Reuben to endorse its brand, and in running Masterclass videos with Chef Reuben on the Robertsons’ website aligned to its sponsorship of MasterChef SA,  but also in having appointed controversial Sonia Cabano as its Social Media Manager when MasterChef South Africa started in March, and then having to terminate her services when she abused the Robertsons’ Twitter account to settle personal scores.

Celebrities and brand endorsers are not protected from social as well as legal norms in writing what they think about others on Social Media forums such as Facebook and Twitter.  Cabano went on a shocking Twitter rage last week, making it unlikely that any brand would wish to be associated with her in future.  She is a cookbook writer, and her racist, religious, political, and other views expressed on Twitter last week could cost her potential book purchasers and publishers. Chef Reuben seems disillusioned by Social Media, even though he was looking for trouble in writing his disparaging Facebook comment, and it appears that he has given up on Social Media, writing on Twitter a few days ago:To all real friends on twitter, fb. See you in the real world. Unfortunately people with bad agendas makes (sic) this less enjoyable’.

We have always held Chef Reuben and his Reuben’s Franschhoek in the highest regard, and recommended it to our guests for seven years.  Last year we had a particularly bad service experience at the restaurant, and an unsatisfactory response to our feedback from Chef Reuben, and decided to remove the restaurant from our portfolio of restaurant recommendations in Franschhoek.  It would be a shame if it were true that Chef Reuben has sold his soul, in endorsing brands such as Robertsons and SAA Business Class on the African and USA routes, in writing books, in doing live and TV demonstrations, all for the revenue, and no longer caring about his Reuben’s restaurants, as the Franschhoek locals and fellow chefs say. Celebrities become the focus of media scrutiny, and even parody, Chef Reuben’s Robertsons’ endorsement being the subject of Another Damned Food Blog last year.

Chef Reuben was praised for his humbleness despite his fame for many years, but as the cover of his cookbook shows, there is a change in attitude with a taste of arrogance, confirmed by those who are looking to do business with him.  We wish for the return of ‘old’ Chef Reuben in the Reuben’s kitchen(s) again! He also owes Robertsons and its customers honesty in his endorsement of their brand.

POSTSCRIPT 22/5: The Advertising Standards Authority is an advertising industry self-governing body, and its Code governs what advertisements may or may not say.  The Preamble in section I states:

“1.1 All advertisements should be legal, decent, honest and truthful.

1.2 All advertisements should be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the consumer.

1.3 All advertisements should conform to the principles of fair competition in business.

1.4 No advertisement should bring advertising into disrepute or reduce confidence in advertising as a service to industry and to the public”.

Expanding upon this, clause 2 in section II focuses on honesty in advertising:

2.Honesty

Advertisements should not be so framed as to abuse the trust of the consumer or exploit his lack of experience or knowledge or his credulity”.

Testimonials are addressed specifically in clause 10:

10.1To be genuine

Advertisements should not contain or refer to any testimonial or endorsement unless it is genuine and related to the personal experience over a reasonable period of the person giving it. Testimonials or endorsements which are obsolete or otherwise no longer applicable (eg where there has been a significant change in formulation of the product concerned) should not be used.

10.2Conformance to the Code

Testimonials themselves should not contain any statement or implication contravening the provisions of this Code and should not be used in a manner likely to mislead”.

POSTSCRIPT 22/5: We accept Chef Reuben’s apology for the disparaging comment on his Facebook page, which he has reinstated (see the Comments to this blogpost).

POSTSCRIPT 22/5: In the Robertsons’ commercial in MasterChef SA last night, Chef Reuben is described on screen as ‘South Africa’s top chef’. As Chef Reuben did not even make the latest top 20 Eat Out Restaurant shortlist, this is a misleading advertising claim.

POSTSCRIPT 23/5: Elizabeth Pretorius, Communications Director: Africa for Unilever, has responded to our feedback and this blogpost as follows, not addressing the real issue: Unilever is committed to conducting its operations with honesty, integrity and with respect to human rights and as such we do not condone any actions to the contrary. We strive to provide our consumers branded products that meet their needs and aspirations, and Robertsons is one of the main brands in our stable, making herbs and spices available to the widest possible consumer base’.

POSTSCRIPT 29/6: The Wall Street Journal today published an interview with Chef Reuben, providing an interesting insight and confirming the essence of this blogpost!:

*   he first ate a restaurant at the age of 15

*   he would love to have Chef Heston Blumenthal (Fat Duck) cook for him at home

*   he loves making interesting sandwiches with unusual ingredient combinations

*   ‘making a great meal is one of the nicest gifts you can give’, referring to his home cooking for his wife and daughter

*   he would ‘struggle if I don’t have things like garlic and fresh chillies that I grow in my garden’. He admits to having spices in his cupboard at home, specifying ‘curry powder and garam masala‘, not quite the kind made by Robertsons.

*   when entertaining at home, contrary to the Robertsons TV commercial, Chef Reuben writes ‘I always try  and do steam pots. We have all sorts of raw ingredients and vegetables and a steaming pot of stock and you can cook your own food’.

*  He doesn’t work on Sundays, ‘being my family time‘.

POSTCRIPT 8/7: Chef Reuben’s ‘secret vegetable garden’ is at La Motte, where vegetable farmer Dan Kruger grows vegetables to order for a number of Franschhoek chefs, including Pierneef a La Motte’s Chris Erasmus, Haute Cabriere’s Ryan Shell, Ryan’s Kitchen’s Ryan Smith, Delaire Graff’s Christiaan Campbell, Dish restaurant’s Oliver Cattermole, Le Quartier Français’ Margot Janse, and Reuben’s Reuben Riffel.

POSTSCRIPT 11/7:  Chef Reuben seems to be written out of the Robertsons’ TV commercials, appearing in only one commercial out of the six flighted on MasterChef SA last night.  From Twitter and a comment on this blog we have read that Chef Reuben is now endorsing another Unilever brand, being Rama margarine, an absolute no-no for chefs to be seen to be using anything but butter.

POSTSCRIPT 13/7: What a surprise it was to be in the same tiny Nedbank in Franschhoek with Chef Reuben Riffel today, and an opportunity to connect again. He justified the Rama commercial on the fact that many consumers cannot eat at top restaurants, and cannot afford to use butter. He shared that he and his wife Maryke are leaving for the UK and France to eat at top restaurants on a two-week trip next week, and that a little baby Riffel will make its appearance early next year.

POSTSCRIPT 16/7: Sonia Cabano, recipe book writer and Tweeter for Chef Reuben Riffel, is bashing Chef Reuben’s new Rama commercial in which Rama is added to rice: ‘Putting cubes of Rama margarine in rice is not part of our food culture. I’m sorry, but it isn’t. It’s not only wrong, it’s bad for health’ she Tweeted this evening.

POSTSCRIPT 7/10: The Sunday Times today has clarified what everyone has wanted to know about Chef Reuben’s use of Robertsons’ spices, when interviewed at The Sunday Times Chef of the Year Awards earlier this week: ‘Celebrity chef Reuben Riffel, one of the judges of the competition, told me people constantly asked him whether or not he really uses the spices he endorses. He said he uses them at home but uses herbs at his restaurant’. If this is true, it would be misleading to feature Chef Reuben in a chef’s outfit in the Robertsons’ advertising!

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

Franschhoek pop-ups with October ‘Art in Clay’ exhibitions, Music Festival, and ‘Cook Franschhoek’!

Franschhoek understands the value of regular events, and the power they have in attracting visitors to the village.  During October it is hosting its first ‘Franschhoek Art in Clay’ ceramics exhibition, Ceramics Fair, a pop-up ceramics shop, and setting up ‘pop-up’ restaurants in some of the participating galleries too.  In addition, the summer season of Cook Franschhoek takes place, and a Classical Music Festival will end off the month on a high note.

The driving force behind the ‘Art in Clay’ event is David Walters, who is one of South Africa’s leading potters and has been working in Franschhoek for a number of years now.   The participating galleries, and the ceramicists exhibiting their work, are the following:

Ceramics Gallery: Potter David Walters has been working in ceramics for 35 years, and now specialises in porcelain.  He has started specialising in creating dinnerware for some of the top restaurants in our country, including Reuben’s. He founded the Midlands Meander.  Exhibition of work by him, his daughter Sarah Walters, and by Jonathan Keep, Christo Giles, John Wilhelm, and Lindsay Scott.  Reuben Riffel will prepare a lunch on 23 October (sold out already). High Tea will be served, using David Walters’ hand-made tea sets, including Wedgewood nougat and Angel biscuits, on weekends, at R50.   24 Dirkie Uys Street.  Monday – Sunday 10h00 – 18h00. Tel (021) 876-4304.

Artefact: Tiny gallery with ceramics work by Vuyisa Potina, Andrea Desmond Smith, Kobus Stander, David Walters, and Sarah Walters.  Daniel Hugo Street.  Tel (021) 876-4304.

Ebony: Ceramics work by Clementina van der Walt, Hennie Meyer, Katherine Glenday, Lisa Ringwood, Mick and Sally Haigh, and Michael Chandler. Opening cocktail party for invited guests only, with food served by Neil Jewell on ceramicware made by the exhibitors. Franschhoek Square, Huguenot Street.  Tel 082 558 2221

Gallery at Grande Provence: Ceramics works by Imiso Ceramics, Zizamele Ceramics, Michael Haig, Louise Gelderblom, and Rae Goosen.  Lunches available daily next door in the Restaurant at Grande Provence. Main Road.  Tel (021) 876-8600.

IS Art: Ceramics work by Hylton Nel, Ralph Johnson, Helen Vaughan, Lisa Firer, Ann Marais, Wilma Cruise, Dale Lambert, Wendy McLachlin, Sue van Rensburg, Chris Smart, Caroline Heydenrecht, Hannes van Zyl, John Wilhelm, and Rebecca Tetley.   Lunch for 12 served in the gallery on 23 October by Margot Janse.  Huguenot Str.  Tel (021) 876-8443.

La Motte Museum: The theme if the exhibition is “Potters who are no longer with us”, paying tribute to deceassed and emigrated potters, in exhibiting the Ceramics SA exhibition at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, and from the Social History Collection of Iziko Museums of Cape Town.  Artists’ work exhibited includes that of Barbara Jackson, Bonnie Ntshalinsthali, Hyne Rabinowitz, Esias Bosch, Tim Morris, Sonja Gerlings, and Marietjie van der Merwe.  Lunches are available at Pierneef à La Motte.   Tel (021) 876-8850. Tuesday – Sunday 9h00 – 17h00.

The ‘Pop-Up’ Ceramics shop will be located in The Yard (where Isabellina was, at 38 Huguenot Road, home of the Salmon Bar and Pam Golding Properties) for the month of October,  including ceramics work by Heath Nash, Zizamele, Imiso Ceramics, Andy de Klerk of Cabinetworks, Urban Africa, Soulchild, and Chimpel. Under the trees outside the Dutch Reformed Church hall members of the Cape Craft & Design Institute and of Ceramics SA will display and sell their pottery on Saturday 29 October.

In honour of Franschhoek’s Gourmet status, and many potters’ crafting dinnerware for the local restaurants, the Summer season of ‘Cook Franschhoek’ takes place next weekend, from 7 – 9 October, and allows food lovers to rub shoulders with the local chefs and winemakers.  On Friday Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon will prepare beetroot risotto, beetroot chutney, and beetroot flatbread, paired with Haut Espoir wine; Chef Adrian Buchanan of Freedom Hill will demonstrate preparing grilled scallops with prawns, chorizo and pea shoot salad; Salmon Bar’s Chef Judy Sendzul will do a salmon and trout tasting, paired with Boekenhoutskloof wines; Chef Paula Johnson of Le Verger at Le Franschhoek Hotel will prepare chocolate hazelnut dacquoise, paired with La Bri wines; Chef Ryan Smith of Ryan’s Kitchen will do an ice cream, and sorbet demo, pairing with Antonij Rupert Wines; Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte will demonstrate cooking meat with shiraz, chocolate spice and berries, using La Motte wines.  On Saturday the Franschhoek Food Emporium’s Chef Robert Rittel will do a talk on the art of patés and terrines, pairing with Lynx Wines; Chef Shaun Schoeman of Fyndraai Restaurant will talk about veldfood flavours, pairing with Solms-Delta Winery; Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon does a pork belly demo, pairing with Haut Espoir; Chef Ryan Smith repeats the ice cream and sorbet demo, paired with Antonij Rupert Wines; Chef Margot Janse prepares beetroot sponge, spinach and onion puree, buttermilk labne, dill and cucumber granita, paired with Haut Espoir wines; Chef Paula Johnson of Le Verger repeats her chocolate hazelnut dacqouise, paired with La Bri wines; and Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte repeats his course on cooking meat with Shiraz;  Chef Adrian Buchanan repeats the scallop, prawn, chorizo and pea shoot salad demo, paired with their Freedom Hill wines; and the Salmon Bat trout and salmon tasting , paired with Boekenhoutskloof wines, is repeated.  On Sunday Chef Reuben Riffel will cook miso glazed Franschhoek salmon trout, paired with Boekenhoutskloof; Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon demonstrates the making of a Christmas apple and cranberry cake, and a spice-infused milk tart, paired with Haut Espoir; and the art of patés and terrines by Chef Robert Rittel of Franschhoek Food Emporium, with wines by Lynx, is repeated.

To add a crescendo to the month-long ceramics exhibition, talented Steinway pianist Christopher Duigan has organised the 8th Classic Music Festival for the last weekend of October.  The programme kicks off with a tribute to ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, with Zorada Temmingh performing in the Dutch Reformed Church, utilising a restored 1925 silent movie version of the film, with organ improvisation, on Friday 28 October. On the programme for 29 October are Claude Bolling’s suites for flute and jazz piano in the Dutch Reformed Church; a Food, Wine and Music tasting takes place in the courtyard in The Yard, outside the Salmon Bar and Taste South Africa, with cheese, charcuterie, and trout boards, a wine tasting, and music by accordionist Stanislav Angelov; and ‘Music of the Night’ with Louise Howlett and Albert Combrink at Café Bon Bon, with dinner.   On Sunday Christopher Duigan will perform ‘Liszt vs Liszt’ at the Dutch Reformed Church; classical guitarist James Grace performs at Bread & Wine over lunch; and a ‘Festival Finale’ will be held at Café Bon Bon.

Franschhoek Art in Clay, Franschhoek.  1 – 30 October.  Contact David Walters for more information: Tel (021) 876- 4304.   For details of the Classic Music Festival: www.musicrevival.co.za For tickets for Cook Franschhoek: www.webtickets.co.za

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

Franschhoek chefs will be cooking (with wine) at ‘Cook Franschhoek’ in June!

A number of hands-on demonstrations by some of the top chefs in Franschhoek will take place over the weekend of 10 -12 June, the chefs sharing their knowledge and passion for their craft, in what Franschhoek Wine Valley is calling ‘Cook Franschhoek’. 

The chefs that have been included in ‘Cook Franschhoek’ are Margot Janse of The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français, Neil and Tina Jewell from Bread & Wine, Bjorn Dingemans from Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz wine estate, Judy Sendzul from the Salmon Bar, Ryan Smith from Ryan’s Kitchen, Leigh Trout from Mange Tout at Mont Rochelle Hotel, Darren Roberts at Grande Provence, Chris Erasmus at Pierneef à La Motte, Pierre Hendriks of Le Bon Vivant, Matthew Gordon from Haute Cabriere, Adrian Buchanan from Freedom Hill, as well as representatives of L’ermitage, Huguenot Fine Chocolates, Le Franschhoek Hotel, and Franschhoek Country House and Villas.   Each course will accept 8 – 30 participants, depending on the size of the demonstration venue.   Each demonstration will be paired with a Franschhoek wine.  Most, but not all, of the demonstrations will be held at the Franschhoek Kitchen.  The cost per course and the venues will be announced tomorrow, and will be added to this blogpost.

Franschhoek’s best wine estates will participate in ‘Cook Franschhoek’ too, including Franschhoek Pass Winery, La Motte, Grande Provence, Cabrière, Haut Espoir, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Mont Rochelle and Môreson. 

Accommodation will be available at a variety of accommodation establishments over the ‘Cook Franschhoek’ weekend.  Whale Cottage Franschhoek is offering ‘Cook Franschhoek’ participants a special reduced winter rate for the weekend.

Franschhoek is re-asserting its positioning as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa.  While it may no longer have the largest number of Eat Out  Top 10 restaurants, it has just launched the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route, and ‘Cook Franschhoek’ is another demonstration of Franschhoek’s culinary leadership.

‘Cook Franschhoek’, 10 – 12 June.  www.franschhoek.org.za. Tickets can be bought at www.webtickets.co.za

POSTSCRIPT 18/3: The Franschhoek Wine Valley has not dotted all its i’s nor crossed all its t’s, and therefore is not yet able to provide cost, chef and venue details, as was promised for yesterday.  Darren Roberts from Grande Provence denies being a participant of the ‘Cook Franschhoek’ programme, not the first time that they have been erroneously listed on a Franschhoek programme, Roberts says. 

POSTSCRIPT 6/4: The program for Cook Franschhoek has been finalised.  Most of the demos will take place at Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz, the exception being those at the Salmon Bar, Le Quartier Français, Allora, and Pierneef à La Motte.  At each demo a chef and a matching winemaker will participate.  Prices range from R 30 for a chocolate tour and tasting at Huguenot Fine Chocolates, to R 225 each for two demos by the Salmon Bar, hosted by Judy Sendzul of the Salmon Bar and Marc Kent of Boekenhoutskloof: a Farmed versus Wild-caught salmon cook-off on 11/6, and a Salmon and Trout Tasting on 12/6.   On average the prices for the other demos range between R100 – R150.   Grande Provence and Le Bon Vivant are no longer participating in the event.  The full Franschhoek chef and winemaker list is as follows:

*   Adrian Buchanan of Freedom Hill restaurant, and Dieter Sellmeyer of Lynx

*   Chris Smit of Café Bon Bon, with Rob Armstrong of Haut Espoir

*   Bjorn Dingemans of Franschhoek Kitchen, and Mark Carmichael-Green of Holden Manz

*   Leigh Trout of Mange Tout at Mont Rochelle Hotel, and Dustin Osborne of Mont Rochelle 

*   Judy Sendzul of Salmon Bar, and Marc Kent of Boekenhoutskloof

*   Ryan Smith of Ryan’s Kitchen, and Neil Patterson of Antonij Rupert Wines

*   Matthew Gordon of Haute Cabriere, and Takuan von Arnim of Cabriere

*   Daniel Botha of La Verger at Le Franschhoek Hotel, and Susan Erasmus of Vrede & Lust

*   Neil and Tina Jewell of Bread & Wine, and Clayton Reabow of Môreson

*   Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte, and Edmund Terblanche of La Motte

*   Louis Jansen of Monneaux, and and DP Burger of Glenwood

*   Philip Aplas of Allora, and Terra del Capo (Anthonij Rupert Wines)

*   Ethne Booysen of L’Ermitage Hotel, and Wynand Grobler of Rickety Bridge

*   Margot Janse of Le Quartier Français, and Rob Armstrong of Haut Espoir

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

La Motte Sweet Service and City of Cape Town Sour Service Awards

The Sweet Service Award  goes to La Motte wine estate in Franschhoek, and was nominated by Ryan Smith, of Ryan’s Kitchen in Franschhoek.  He writes:  “Lana has one of those charm bracelets that my mother gave to her some time ago and every year my mother gives her a new charm. It’s of moderate value but particularly sentimental. This morning Lana woke up hysterical and in tears, she had lost the bracelet. We looked high and low, and couldn’t find it, we went in to work, had  a look around and  still no luck.  I said to her that she should go out to La Motte and see if anyone had turned it in. This was very much a last effort, as she was already despondent that it was gone forever and had it been dropped on the floor or grass there, anyone that found it would have  pocketed it. Lo and behold…one of the staff had handed it in and it was locked in their safe.  (Chef) Chris dropped it off for me later that afternoon. Lana was obviously overjoyed and I was very impressed that there are still some good people out there”. 

The Sour Service Award goes to the City of Cape Town, for planting palm trees all over Cape Town, but for not checking up on their fronds coming crashing down on stormy days in suburbs such as Camps Bay and in Fresnaye.   A heavy winter’s storm in early June caused all the dry and dead fronds to come down.  They were neatly packed on the pavement after the storm, awaiting collection by the City’s Parks department.  The refuse collection vehicle came every week to collect the garbage, but did not take the fronds with them, nor reported it to their City Council colleagues.  Even after calling the Call Centre, it took ten days for the fronds to be collected.

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at info@whalecottage.com.   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.

Restaurant News: Update on openings, closures and changes in Cape Town and Winelands

We have been tracking recent restaurant opening, closure, and restaurant and chef change information in Cape Town and in the Winelands on our Winter Restaurant Specials blog post, but have decided to do an update for those not looking for specials necessarily.  

Restaurant openings

*   La Mouette has opened at 78 Regent Road in Sea Point.  

*    Brio is a new jazz restaurant, in half of the ex-Riboville in town (on the Adderley Street side)

*    Van Hunks has opened at 1 Union Street, off Kloof Street in Gardens

*   Cafe Nood has opened in Wilderness Road, Claremont

*    Ryan’s Kitchen has opened at Rusthof guest house in Franschhoek – the chef Ryan Smith is ex-Mont Rochelle. 

*   The House of Meat has opened in the Pepper Club Hotel, corner Long and Bloem Streets, offering a full braai for R 295  

*   Spiros has opened in Hout Bay

*   La Cantina has opened in the Alliance Francaise.

*   The De Leuwen Jagt restaurant on the Seidelberg wine estate outside Paarl has opened The Fabulous Bakery.  

*   Gesellig has opened on the corner of Church and Regent Roads in Sea Point, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

*   Indochine has opened at the Delaire Graff wine estate in Stellenbosch. 

*   The Long Table Restaurant and Cafe has opened at Haskell Vineyards in Stellenbosch. 

*   The Wild Peacock Food Emporium has opened in Stellenbosch.  

*   De Oude Bank Bakkerij has opened in Stellenbosch.  

*   Knife Restaurant has opened in the Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, a sister restaurant to Fork.

*   Sommelier Restaurant has re-opened, after a two-year closure, at Sante Hotel & Wellness Centre

*   Illyria coffee shop has opened in the Eikestad Mall in Stellenbosch

*   Pierneef à  la Motte has opened at La Motte in Franschhoek.

*   The Artisan Cafe has opened inside Table Thirteen in Green Point, with a barista

*   The Fish Shack has opened in The Paddocks, Milnerton

*   Maison in Franschhoek is to open a restaurant

*   Etienne Bonthuys (ex-Tokara) has opened his long-awaited restaurant on Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, called Casparus, in partnership with artist Strijdom van der Merwe.

*   Luke Dale Roberts, award-winning chef whilst at La Colombe (reaching 12th place on Top 50 Restaurants in the World list), has opened The Test Kitchen at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.

*   Sofia’s at Morgenster has opened.

*   Down South has opened on Long Street 

*   Victoria Eatery has opened in Hermanus.

*   French Toast has opened at 199 Bree Street, a wine and tapas bar

*   DISH has opened at Inn on the Square, Greenmarket Square

*   Babel has opened at Babylonstoren near Klapmuts/Simondium (next to Backsberg)

*   Hemelhuijs has opened at 71 Waterkant Street, for breakfast and lunch

*   Barracudas has opened  with ‘simply sumptious seafood’ served, in Fish Hoek.

*   The Olive Shack at Allora in Franschhoek has opened as a deli, doing olive oil tastings, and serving Breakfast, Greek lunches and picnics

*   Sotano by Caveau has opened in the La Splendida Hotel in Mouille Point

*   Tables restaurant has opened at Nitida wine estate in Durbanville

*   Mozarella Bar has opened on Kloof Street, Gardens

*   Café Benedict has opened on the main road in Franschhoek.

*   Trinity has opened as a ‘super club’ in Bennett Street in Green Point

*   Il Cappero Italian Restaurant has opened in Barrack Street

*   Sugar Hut Club has opened in the old Castle Hotel building on Canterbury Street, next door to Charly’s Bakery

*   Caffé Milano has opened on Kloof Street, Gardens

*   The Stone Kitchen has opened at Dunstone Winery in Wellington

*  The Franschhoek Food Emporium has open in Place Vendome, and is owned by legendary Topsi’s daughter Danielle

*   What’s On Eatery  has opened in Watson Street, between Loop and Bree Street

*   Haas Coffee Collective  has opened on Rose Street in Bo-Kaap

*   Crush coffee shop and bakery has opened in Paarl, owned by Gerard van Staden, previously chef at le Franschhoek Hotel, and later overseer of all restaurants owned by Robert Maingard in Franschhoek.

*   Dear Me Brasserie and Tjing Tjing Bar has opened on Longmarket Street.

*   Quilter & The Workmen is to open in Bree Street in May

*   Act Restaurant and Play Bar  have opened at the Baxter Theatre

*   Le Coq has opened in Franschhoek

*   Dash  has opened in the Queen Victoria Hotel in the Waterfront

*   Café Dijon has opened another branch at Zorgvliet wine estate

*   Harbour House is to open a branch in the V & A Waterfront in September, in the Fisherman’s Choice site, near Sevruga

*   KOS Coffee & Cuisine has opened in The Regency on Regent Road in Sea Point

*   Café Extrablatt opens where shu used to be, next door to Doppio Zero in Green Point, in August

*   Skinny Legs & All That has opened on Loop Street

*   Leopard’s Leap opens its new picnic facility, tasting room and cookery school in October

Restaurant closures

*  Josephine’s Patisserie on Loop Street

*   Ginja on New Church Street

 maze at the One&Only Cape Town 

*   Panarotti’s and Shimmi’s Bar in Hermanus

*   Bouillabaisse in Franschhoek.     

*   Yum in Vredehoek. 

*   Cape Town Fish Market in Camps Bay

*   Vista Mare in Camps Bay

*   La Table de France in Sea Point

*   La Brasserie in Franschhoek

*   shu on Main Road in Green Point

*   Camil’s on Main Road in Green Point

*   Madame Zingara has left Cape Town

*   Fiesta in the Old Cape Quarter

*   Jardine’s Restaurant has closed on Bree Str

*   Liquorice and Lime has closed down on St George’s Mall

*   Cheyne has closed on Bree Street

*   The Kitchen Bar in the Quarters’ Hotel in Hermanus has closed

*   The Bistro in Franschhoek has closed down

*   The Sandbar in Camps Bay has closed down

*   The Blonde building is up for sale, and does not appear to be re-opening in August, as was announced by The Caviar Group, owners of Blonde, two months ago.

*   The Green Dolphin Jazz Club in the V & A Waterfront has closed down

*   Mezzaluna in Loop Street has closed down

*   Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant judge Pete Goffe-Wood’s Wild Woods Restaurant has closed down.

*   Restaurant Christophe closes down in Stellenbosch on 25 June. Chef Christophe Dehosse will be back at Joostenberg from August.

*   Nando’s in Camps Bay has closed down

*   Haute Cabriere under the chef-manship of Matthew Gordon closes on 7 June at the wine tasting venue with the same name in Franschhoek.

Restaurant name-changes/take-overs/chef changes/address changes

*   Leaf Restaurant and Bar has opened where The Showroom/Portofino used to be.  

*   Mason’s Cafe and Grill has opened where Cafe Gainsbourg used to be

*   On Broadway has moved to the New Space Theatre building, and is using the ex-Anytime restaurant space as one of the restaurants its patrons can eat at before the show.

*   Camil Haas, the co-owner of Camil’s in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, has left the restaurant (which has since closed down).  He is working for Reuben Riffel at Reuben’s in Franschhoek and at the One&Only Cape Town.  

*   Tank in the old Cape Quarter has changed its name to Aqua.

*   Luke Dale-Roberts is no longer the Executive Chef at La Colombe, but will consult to the restaurant.  

*   Cafe Rouge in Franschhoek has been renamed Chez d’Or.

  Richard Carstens has left Chez d’Or in Franschhoek, and is the Executive Chef and Wilhelm Kuehn the owner of Tokara Restaurant in Stellenbosch

*   Buena Vista Social Club has moved to the top end of Portswood Road in the Waterfront. 

*  Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town has opened, where maze used to be.

*   Cafe Le Chocolatier has taken over from Cafe Vendome in Place Vendome in Franschhoek.

*   Dutch East has taken over from Burgundy in Franschhoek

*   Cafe des Arts has taken over Topsi’s in Franschhoek.

*    Amazink, ex-Roots, in Khayamandi in Stellenbosch, has opened, with Bertus Basson from Overture an advisor.

*   Chef School owner Kevin Warwick has taken over Kate’s Village in Hermanus, now called The Class Room

*   Da Luigi has opened where Vista Mare was in The Promenade in Camps Bay

*   Satay Bar has opened where Zucca was in Kloof Street

*   Le Quartier Francais has closed its bistro iCi, and opened The Common Room

*   Franko’s Kitchen in Plettenberg Bay has reopened as a sushi restaurant called Kitchen Café

*  Fu.shi in Plettenberg Bay has closed down, and has a new owner and a new name The Terrace

*  The Old Post House in Plettenberg Bay has closed down, but is set to re-open for three months with a new owner

*   Blakes has opened on Buitengracht/New Church Street, where Relish/Ninja used to be, belonging to Rochelle Bushelle, owner of the Opal Lounge, and offering a lounge, bar and dining services

*   Franschhoek Kitchen is the new name of Genot restaurant on the renamed Holden Manz Wine Estate in Franschhoek (previously Klein Genot)

*   Chef Eric Bulpitt has moved to The Roundhouse, due to the closure of Jardine’s

*   Woodlands Eatery is the new name of ex-Yum in Vredehoek, with chef Larry, previously with Emily Moon in Plettenberg Bay

*   ZAR nightclub has opened in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, where Camil’s used to be 

*   Marika’s Greek Restaurant from Bakoven has moved to a new venue, at 176 Buitenkant Street, above 7Eleven.

*   The Rhubarb Room moves to 227 Bree Street

*   David Higgs is leaving Rust en Vrede  on 18 June and is moving to Johannesburg.  John Shuttleworth will step into his chef’s shoes.

*   Vanessa Quellec is to leave Caffe Milano  in July

*   Restaurant winter break closures

*   The Mount Nelson’s Cape Colony has re-opened, with a new name, Planet Restaurant, and menu. 

*   Vaudeville has reopened. 

*   Massimo’s Pizza Club in Hout Bay will re-open on 20 April, in their original venue in Hout Bay. 

*   The Salmon Bar in Franschhoek has moved into a new main road outlet in The Yard (part ex-Bouillabaisse and Pam Golding) and has re-opened.

*   Miguel’s in Plettenberg Bay has re-opened in the same location.

*   Rust en Vrede will close from 18 June – 18 July

*   Tokara will clsoe between 2 – 9 May

*   The Test Kitchen will clsoe between 7 – 23 May

NOTE: This information will be updated regularly, as we receive new information.

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