Entries tagged with “sommelier”.


Earlier this week my friend Aurélie Jullien and I had lunch at Delaire Graff restaurant, as part of a two-day road trip to show her Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. For me the lunch was the highlight of our trip, not just its excellent food and wines, but also interacting with the estate GM and hearing about their new expansion plans. (more…)

A three-week writing focus at Apricale in Italy saw me complete the writing of a book within the time period I had allocated to this first-ever writing challenge. As the catalyst for The Book was Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen, in that I met a special man at his book launch in March last year, and that The Book tells the story of the transformational effect of the meeting, there was no better restaurant to eat at on Saturday, to celebrate the completion of The Book, than at JAN Restaurant in Nice! It felt like Christmas, it being exciting to experience JAN Restaurant again, my third visit in two years!  (more…)

imageOn Saturday evening The Test Kitchen closed its doors for a six-week renovation, aimed at improving its ranking on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list. The restaurant currently is 22nd Best in the World. (more…)

imageNot having been to Johannesburg in 25 years since moving to Cape Town, it was now or never to get to five hundred before Chef David Higgs leaves on 11 December. I combined the visit with meals at Mosaic at The Orient, DW Eleven-13, and Cube Tasting Kitchen.

While I will write a detailed review about each restaurant, I (more…)

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*.  Cape Town has been named as one of 35 most beautiful cities in the world for 2015 by the UK Telegraph, in the company of Istanbul, Florence, Paris, Siena, Jerusalem, Oxford, Cambridge, New York, Rome, Sydney, Bruges, Seville, San Francisco, Bath, Lausanne, Venice, Edinburgh, London, Havana, Prague, Kyoto, Moscow, St Petersburg, Dubrovnik, Rio de Janeiro, and more.

Cape Town was praised for its ‘in-your-face beauty of a craggy mountain range that drops precipitously into a glittering sea, its flanks carpeted in greens and delicate florals – the Cape Floral Kingdom, smallest yet richest in the world’. The pristine white beaches with their granite boulders are also (more…)

Open Door Kitchen and Bar Whale CottageYesterday was only the second day of Open Door being open on Constantia Uitsig, but it felt as if it had always been there, with everything running smoothly.  Open Door is the third restaurant of co-owners Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht, alongside Burrata and Bocca, and serves country fare.

Previously the home to The River Café on the wine estate, with a tasting room on the side which has moved across the driveway, the space of Open Door is large, being able to seat 250 patrons at full capacity, in different sections. One enters around the corner, and no longer at the former tasting room entrance. The main restaurant room is spacious, with a gas fireplace to come at the one end, and an open kitchen on the other end, with the bar close to the kitchen section, opposite of which is Neil’s precious wine collection, looking smaller than that of Burrata, but is not, (more…)

Bosman's Grand Roche View from terrace Whale CottageI don’t visit Paarl very often, usually disappointed with the restaurant offering of the town.  Last week I spent a day there, to visit Jan Willem & Seuns, and Melissa’s newish branch. I had given up on Bosman’s at Grande Roche, after repeated poor experiences in the restaurant. However, a chance meeting of Bosman’s new Restaurant Manager and its Sous Chef at Maison in Franschhoek a few days prior led me to return.

During the busy festive season days I took a break at The Kitchen at Maison in Franschhoek, and sat next to a table with a couple, which turned out to be Austrian Chef Christoph Terschan and Restaurant Manager Onwaba Maholwana of Bosman’s.  We chatted for ages, talking through the whole Eat Out Top 20 restaurant list, and our respective experiences with the restaurants.  Onwaba was well-informed about my previous Bosman’s disasters, and (more…)

Aluminium Jordan branding Whale CottageAn invitation from Waterford Communications to attend a function of the Guala Closures Group, the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA), and South African aluminium producer Hulamin sounded interesting in terms of content. Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant shortlist Jardine at Jordan as function venue was an added attraction.  A passionate case was made for the benefits of using aluminium closures for wine bottling.

On  arrival we received a glass of Jordan The Real McCoy Riesling 2014 andAluminium Duck pate Facebook duck paté canapés, which were served with passion fruit jelly, and prune purée, on brioche.  Buffalo milk mozzarella, confit tomato and basil was also served as a canapé.  We sat at large round tables, covered with brown table cloths and a white overlay.  We received a bread platter, which included ciabatta, Cape seedloaf, and vetkoek, served with porcini butter, watercress pesto (with overpowering garlic), and aoili.

A number of parties with an interest in the use of aluminium in screw caps and closures was present at the (more…)

Chefs who Share Lanzerac 7 chefs 2 Whale CottageIt was a unique experience to meet seven chefs who have worked or are currently working at Michelin star restaurants (10 Michelin stars awarded in total) in Austria and Germany for breakfast at the Lanzerac on Tuesday.  While it was an early morning start, it was energizing being in the company of the ever-bubbly Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast of Opulent Living, who had extended the invitation to a number of writers.

We were seated at one long table intermingled with the chefs, and a half way swopping of seats was clever too, so that we could get to chat to at least three of the seven chefs for a longer period of time.  Opulent Living, organisers of the charity Gala Dinner ‘Chefs who Share‘ in the City Hall this evening,  Chefs who Share logowelcomed the seven chefs, who had all flown in from Europe to Cape Town on Monday.

Tonight seven teams of two local chefs each, a local sommelier, and one of the German-speaking chefs, will prepare a four course dinner for 36 guests who have paid R3000 each to attend, a total of 250 guests not only eating delectable food, but also drinking excellent local wines, and interacting with the three chefs looking after their tables.  Last year Opulent Living raised R1,2 million through the charity Gala Dinner, and decided to raise the bar this year by flying in the seven German-speaking (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The announcement by Virgin Atlantic that it will drop Cape Town from its London route from 26 April 2015, at the start of the local winter, comes as a shock to the Tourism industry.  The new Immigration Regulations are said to be to blame in part, but the London-Johannesburg route has not been axed, therefore not making this reason credible.  It would appear that it is an unprofitable route in winter, due to Cape Town’s terrible Seasonality problem in winter, but word received says that this is a permanent route axing!  Tokyo, Vancouver, and Mumbai will also be chopped!

*   Better news is that Qatar Airways is changing its three times a week via Johannesburg flights between Doha and Cape Town to five direct flights between the two cities from 3 November onwards.  The change is justified on the basis of Cape Town’s popularity as a destination in Africa.

*   Minister Derek Hanekom addressed the e-Tourism Africa Summit 2014  in Cape Town today, highlighting how technology has changed tourism information provision and bookings.  In 2011 150000 tourists booked via SA Tourism’s online travel agency partners.  Two years later this doubled to 285000.  He encouraged tourist product owners to offer tourists free wifi, so that they can share their local tourist experiences via Social Media.

*   The Beautiful South, a showcase of 250 wines from South Africa, Chile, and Argentina, will be held for the (more…)