On Thursday evening Chef Pete Goffe-Wood was the first MasterChef SA judge to have an episode in the new M-Net mini-series ‘Feast’ dedicated to him and his cooking, the highlight being the Christmas meal he prepared for his family and friends. Continue reading →
Last night I attended a collaboration dinner between Tokara Chef Richard Carstens and Leandri and Seline van der Wat, the two sisters who made it to number two and three, respectively, in Season 2 of MasterChef SA last year. The dinner was entitled ‘Beyond the Chocolate Handkerchief’, and was a huge success, being sold out, and will be repeated tonight.
I had the pleasure of spending a day with bubbly Seline van der Wat earlier this year, showing her all the foodie hotspots in Cape Town. More recently she and younger sister Leandri visited Cape Town, and we had lunch together at Chef’s Warehouse. A subsequent Facebook post announced the dinner, and I booked immediately, not having seen the two sisters in cooking action except for the MasterChef Season 2 episodes, in which they both won the hearts of viewers who enjoyed the Continue reading →
Carlo Cracca. Antonio Carluccio. Gennaro Contaldo. Katy Ashworth. Emma Dean. Vichit Mukura. These are the ‘top international chefs’ Cape Town food lovers are being exposed to at the Good Food & Wine Show at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, augmented with a handful of light-weight (with the exception of Chef David Higgs) mainly TV cooking program local cooks! As Cape Town is the centre of gourmet gastronomy, surely exhibition organisers Fiera Milano could have done better?
Christine Cashmore has organised the Good Food & Wine Show for years, and sold her company to Fiera Milano last year. She is certainly still involved, as I saw her at the show yesterday. She is tough to deal with, changing PR companies every year! Every year the criticism about the Show has grown, the big food producers no longer bothering to participate, and sample their products. The emphasis this year was clearly TV cooking shows, and the invited chefs (mainly) had a link to a TV program, in cooking at the Celebrity Chefs Theatre (how did Kamini Pather slip in here, as controversial winner of MasterChef Season 2?), the kykNET Kook Teater, the Spar Food Theatre, and the Selati Sweet Treats Theatre. Continue reading →
It 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 notes 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 Continue reading →
A workshop held above Truth coffee shop about ten days ago, at which One Up Agency’s Alex Harrington-Griffin and Cape Town Magazine Managing Director Marcus Zandhuis spoke, focused on the concept of Partnership and Collaboration Marketing, and used Robertsons’ recent #SkyDine collaboration with kulula.com as one example of such marketing.
The Robertsons #SkyDine promotion is an interesting if not bizarre example of Partnership Marketing. Chatting to the brand’s Social Media Manager at The Ultimate Braai Master Cape finals on Saturday, he explained that Liquorice, the company he works for, only handled the Social Media aspects of the campaign. Durban-based ad agency The Hardy Boys, handling the Robertsons’ account, conceptualised the campaign. A planeful of bloggers and food journalists from Cape Town (and Johannesburg) was invited by marcusbrewster, the campaign PR agency, to a surprise flight to Johannesburg, and on the return flight to Cape Town, Reuben Robertsons Riffel introduced the surprise 3-course meal which he had designed, and which was prepared by airline catering company Foodirections. Utilising plane crockery and an airline catering company, food plating and presentation was disappointing. We recognised Continue reading →
* Inhouse Brand Architects has designed a unique yacht-shaped GH Mumm VIP Lounge at the Grand Café and Beach in the V&A Waterfront. Tables are cork-shaped, curtains look like sails, and the flooring is wooden decking, reflecting the status of the international champagne brand. (received via media release from Inhouse Brand Architects)
* MasterChef SA is to produce Season 3, a Tweet from Season 2 Finalist Seline van der Wat informs, with auditions being held around the country in February and March.
* German beer brewers are using ‘flavour hops’ to add unique taste notes of oranges, grapefruit, and peaches to beer, reports The New Age.
It was on Twitter that I saw Seline van der Wat, MasterChef SA Season 2 Finalist, request suggestions for food destinations in Cape Town. I had so enjoyed her spunk on MasterChef SA that I invited her to join me in sharing my Foodie Cape Town yesterday.
We met at Melissa’s on Kloof Street, where I had my favourite iced coffee for the day, and Seline gave me some feedback about where she had been in Cape Town relative to my list of favourite food destinations. The Neighbourgoods Market at the Biscuit Mill and Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants were the only two food stops she had been to already.
We talked about MasterChef SA Season 2, and she wore the wooden rabbit brooch which she had worn throughout the show. She wears it every day, and her sister and fellow MasterChef SA Finalist Leandri was given an identical one as a gift. One senses that they are very close, Seline being slightly older, and having an older sister who recently made them aunts, as well as a younger sister who is still at school. She lives in Pretoria, and has resigned her job as an engineer working on renewable energy via Hydropower. From a rigid day job she would escape to the kitchen to express her creativity via cooking, she and Leandri sharing an apartment. Seline could not stop raving about Chef Chris Erasmus at Pierneef à La Motte, loving his passion for food, and his sense of community. She plays the piano, guitar, and cello. They grew up in Mafikeng, and lost their mother about ten years ago, necessitating them to cook for the family of four daughters and their dad. Having such famous daughters has made their dad a celebrity in their home town, and he has met many more of the locals since his daughters were on TV. He himself now hosts Moroccan dinner parties, while the youngest sister is starting to learn to cook and bake as well. Seline said that she and Leandri did not watch soaps on TV Continue reading →
There should have been no winner of MasterChef SA Season 2 episode 28 and the Finale of this reality TV cooking show last night, with both contestants making unforgivable mistakes in what was meant to be the pinnacle of the cooking competition! As a winner had to be chosen, the judges announced Kamini Pather as the winner, beating Leandri van der Wat by a ‘fraction’ of 6 out of 100 points.
The episode commenced with a very quick overview of the previous 27 episodes, highlighting Kamini’s near perfect past in being ‘top of the class’ (was this a predictor already?), and Leandri’s growth and top praise she received from Chef Prue Leith in particular. The two Finalists arrived at the MasterChef SA kitchen at Nederburg on a very rainy day, and were surprised to find all fourteen the other MasterChef SA Finalists there, as well as their families. Kamini’s mother Anthea and brother Neelan were present, as well as Leandri’s (and Seline’s) father Neil, aunt (her ‘second mother‘ Leandri said) and sister Nadine. Chef Pete Goffe-Wood said that it was the biggest Continue reading →
No matter what happens in the MasterChef SA Season Finale tomorrow evening, the choice of the Season 2 Masterchef SA winner will be controversial, if the outcry on Social Media about Kamini Pather being allowed through to Top 4 and Top 3 is anything to go by, even forcing M-Net to issue a media release about it!
Food blogger Kamini Pather was the clear leader until episode 24, rarely putting a foot wrong, and only landing up in two Pressure Tests. It is clear that her strength is creatively meeting cooking challenges, and that she is less good in having to replicate dishes of visiting chefs, which was her downfall in two episodes last week. She is seen to be aloof, some seeing this as arrogance. She was a winner of the bell, and Food and Wine Pairing Master Class at Nederburg, for the best Signature Sandwich in episode 5. She was the joint winner with Tiron Eloff of the Coffee Invention Test in Ethiopia and received a MasterClass in the Jemma Valley. Went into her first (Vegetarian) Pressure Test due to the injera challenge in Ethiopia in episode 21. Into the Pressure Test in episode 24 for her poor month-end dish. Poor performance in Gâteau Pressure Test, yet was (controversially) saved by the judges in episode 25. Poor performance in Richard Carstens’ Chocolate Handkerchief dish in episode 26, yet was saved again. In a video interview after episode 26 a very tearful Kamini admits that her early morning yoga is ‘working less and less’, and that ‘the volume of tasks’ required when replicating dishes ‘is freaking me out’. She has the highest number of votes from readers of our blog.
Sisters Landri and Seline van der Wat have won increasing viewer support, for their wonderful supportive relationship, for being smart, for their cooking skills (Seline for baking in particular), for how well-spoken they are, in often making 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 →