At the 2016 Eat Out Awards, held yesterday in the Arena of GrandWest over a Gala Lunch prepared by some of our country’s top chefs, some winners were predictable, and others were a surprise. It was a slick event with a Garden theme, which led many to predict that La Colombe would be the Restaurant of the Year, given its Forest menu theme. Sadly it was not, The Test Kitchen (controversially) named Restaurant of the Year for the fifth time! Nine out of the Top 10 restaurants are from Cape Town and the Winelands (Cape Town 3, Franschhoek 3, Somerset West 2, Stellenbosch 1, and Gauteng 1) Continue reading →
The Village Tart is Franschhoek’s newest restaurant, having opened two months ago on the main road, where the Pancake place used to be. It is a friendly restaurant, offering the best baking in Franschhoek, but serves lunches and breakfasts too. Continue reading →
Last Saturday evening my friend Giulio Loggerian and I dined at La Sosta restaurant in Swellendam, which won Eat Out Best Italian restaurant in 2014. It was an unusual experience in a number of respects, especially in that the owners themselves describe La Sosta as an ‘Italian restaurant with a twist’! Continue reading →
The 3rd ‘Chefs who Share – the ART of Giving’ Gala Dinner, held in the City Hall on Thursday evening, raised close to R2 million for two charities, bringing the total raised to R6 million in the past three years. It also crowned the first ever ‘Chefs who Share’ Young Chef of the Year.
The ‘Chefs who Share – the ART of Giving’ idea was conceptualised by Opulent Living co-owner Barbara Lenhard (who looked very glamorous) with Chefs Rudi Liebenberg and Bertus Basson, all 14 leading participating chefs as well as 7 sommeliers giving their time and expertise for the Gala Dinner at no charge. In the past two years R4 million net has already been raised through the last two Chefs who Share events. The monies raised from ticket sales (at R3000 a head and sold out on the same day as tickets went on sale), as well as from the Auction benefit Make a Difference Leadership Foundation and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Without the support of main sponsor Mercedes-Benz the event could not have been held in the past three years. Swiss International Air Line was also acknowledged for its sponsorship, bringing Chef Reto Mathis to Cape Town, and taking the winning Young Chef of the Year to Europe.
The chefs were paired as follows, each of them having one top Sommelier, and one Young Chef of the Year Finalist as an assistant too: Continue reading →
Yesterday afternoon Opulent Living hosted a function at The Reserve at Taj Cape Town, to introduce food writers to the seven Finalist Young Chef of the Year candidates, and to allow their creative canapés to be tasted.
The canapés form one part of the evaluation of who wins the Chefs who Share Young Chef of the Year 2015, the other part of the evaluation being the handling of the chefs of themselves in the next 48 hours, including during the Chefs who Share Gala Dinner taking place in the City Hall on Thursday evening. Continue reading →
* SAA has announced that its former GM of Human Resources Thuli Mpshe has been appointed as its Acting CEO, after the sudden departure of Nico Bezuidenhout, who returns to Mango.
* The Tourism Business Council of South Africa CE Mmatsatsi Ramawela has suggested that biometric data of passengers be captured on arrival in Continue reading →
Secret restaurants have been operating in Cape Town for a year or so, SecretEats having attracted attention to underground restaurants, which pop up in interesting venues such as art galleries, furniture design exhibitions, warehouses in Observatory, and in private homes in Llandudno and Tamboerskloof. Now [spasie] has opened in Cape Town, using the same formula of different chefs preparing the dinners, and guests sitting at one long table, with one difference – the restaurant space of [spasie] is fixed.
It is not clear why Greg Zeleny, the creator of SecretEats, has created a different brand, as he was not present at the [spasie] dinner to which I was invited. JP du Toit was our host, and told us that he looks after the dinners every Thursday and Friday, and that his colleague Zak Averre handles weekday daytime food from the same space. It was like a homecoming, the venue being across the road from the former Haas, in the building where the Haas ad agency had its offices, and where the Haas kitchen prepared the food for the Haas coffee shop. We had hosted a Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club function in the same venue, when it still was an art gallery for Haas. JP studied Biochemistry, and lived in Japan for two years.
The chef of the week was Chef Nick Charalambous, a Silwood Cookery School student (Cordon Bleu Grande Diploma), and former colleague Continue reading →
Yesterday I was invited to attend the judging of the Cape Finals of Season 3 of Ultimate Braai Master held in the parking area of The Lookout at the V&A Waterfront. Not only was it a good way to catch up with a number of chefs who judged the Cape Finals, but it was also an opportunity to meet Cooked in Africa Films producer Justin Bonello.
Justin chatted to blogger Thuli Gogela of Mzansi Style Cuisine Blog (she appeared in the Bloggers episode of season 2 of MasterChef SA) and I as the judging came to an end at the Finals. One sensed his overriding passion for food, which has grown into TV production, with 21 productions to date, including two previous Ultimate Braai Master seasons, two seasons of Charly’s Cake Angels, as well as ‘Seasons at Terroir‘, which was launched last week and focuses on Chef Michael Broughton, and his restaurant Terroir at Kleine Zalze. Justin denied that Terroir not making the Top 20 Eat Out restaurant list last November was a blow to their production, saying that Chef Michael’s food is beyond Top 10 competitions, clearly a fan of the chef’s food. He is fascinated by the revolution of growing one’s own vegetables and herbs, and proudly showed me a photograph of his vegetable garden at home, out Hout Bay way, which will become the subject of a TV series ‘Green Time’ at the end of 2015, with seven pilot projects of vegetable gardening at schools being developed. Continue reading →
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 →
After two disastrous years, New Media Publishing was brave enough to take stock earlier this year, and asked the industry what it wanted in the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards. Last night that hard work paid off, with a new venue for the event, a slick and short presentation, new Awards introduced, and three new restaurants making the Top 10 Restaurant list. The surprise was the emotion which the chefs expressed when receiving their plaques, challenging MasterChef SA Season 2 on tears!
We were one of the interviewees, meeting with Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly, its GM Aileen Lamb, MD Bridget McCarney, and Director Irna van Zyl. We were forthright in our feedback and suggestions, including that a team of judges would be needed again (we suggested Garth Stroebel, and have yet to meet him!). We fed back that the preferential relationship with Luke Dale-Roberts in TASTE magazine (also published by New Media Publishing, and of which Abigail is the Food Editor) was unfair towards all other chefs, by featuring him every month – we were told that Woolworths had a contract with him, and therefore he received the coverage in the magazine. This contract was terminated earlier this year, which is excellent news. Other recommendations can be read here. Flowing from the interviews and discussions with previous Top 20 chefs and restaurant managers, owners, and suppliers, as well as media representatives and bloggers, New Media Publishing allowed restaurants to apply to be included in the Eat Out Top 500 Restaurant List, which was selected by a Continue reading →