Entries tagged with “Spain”.


beloni-cheese-best-saSouth Africa’s top cheese at the 29th annual World Cheese Awards held in San Sebastián in Spain recently is the Benedictus hard ewes’ milk cheese made by Belnori Boutique Cheesery. The World Champion Cheese 2016 was Kraftkar, made by Tingvollost from Norway. (more…)

KitesurfTomorrow the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada commences at Dolphin Beach in Cape Town, instigated  by Sir Richard Branson, and runs until Sunday. The event is an attempt to break the Guinness World (more…)

World's 50 Best Restaurants logoChef Luke Dale-Roberts’ The Test Kitchen was named the 28th best restaurant in the world and Best in Africa, at the 14th The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony in London last night, a 20 place climb from his 48th position last year, and 61st position in 2013.  El Celler de Can Roca was World's 50 Best Test Kitchenranked as the Best Restaurant in the World, the second time it has received this honour.  Regular winner Noma dropped to third place. Spain received the most 50 Best Restaurant Awards (7), followed by the USA (6), and France (5).  Both The Test Kitchen and World’s 50 Best Restaurants trended on Twitter last night.

El Celler de Can Roca is based in Giron in Spain, and is run by the three Roca brothers Josep, Joan,and Jordi, who opened their restaurant in 1986. They pioneered sous-vide cooking, and are described as creating ‘magic without undue theatrics’. Brother Joan is the head chef, Jordi is the Pastry Chef, and Josep is the Sommelier and Front of House.   In 2013 they were also named the best restaurant in the world. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The FNB/Bureau for Economic Research Consumer Confidence Index ‘plummeted’ to -4  in the first quarter of 2015, reflecting the pessimism created by loadshedding, increases in income tax and the price of petrol, as well as ‘social and political turmoil‘.

*   Angelo Scirocco of Chef’s Warehouse and winner of the S. Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year Award for Africa/Middle East, has been ‘paired’ with fashion designer Ashi Studio of Beirut, each designer reinterpreting (more…)

La Motte pairingI had a lovely chat with South African Drinks International‘s Rick Beaumont earlier this week, about the devastating fires in Cape Town, and the latest results of the 2015 Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards, which had not yet been posted on their website.

The Cape Winelands dominated the Awards, winning four out of eight category Awards, against the UK, the USA, Spain, Italy, Greece,  Argentina, Chile, and Portugal.

South Africa won:  (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Ghanaian rapper D Black has been holidaying in Cape Town, his Instagram and Twitter (with 146000 followers!) shows. He visited Robben Island, Table Mountain,CampsBay, and the V&A V & A Waterfront. He also recorded with local musician Donald in Denial.

*    Cape Town has been named by National Geographic as the second best Beach City in the world, the Clifton beaches mentioned specifically for their protection against the wind and expensive accommodation. The False Bay beaches, as well as Milnerton and Blouberg, are referred to.  Number one is Barcelona, with its Barcenoleta Beach. The rest of the Beach City ranking is Honolulu (Waikiki Beach), Nice’s three beaches, Miami Beach, Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Santa Monica, Sydney’s Bondi, Tel Aviv, and Vancouver’s ten beaches.

*   SA Tourism, host of INDABA 2015, is describing the trade show as one which will exceed the expectations of both (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Reserve Bank has left the interest rate unchanged, the repo rate remaining at 5,75 %.

*   The retail trade experienced a fair to middling‘ Festive Season trade, and the projection is that 2015 will be much the same.  Stores targeting the lower income group were impacted by low demand, caused by unemployment and debt.  Woolworths sales growth was lower in the past six months than in the same period a year prior.

*   The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association has become an ‘association partner‘ for World Travel Market (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   International airline traffic in November 2014 grew by 3,6% on the year prior, the same level of growth as in October.   Travel within Europe grew at a somewhat faster rate, especially to Asian countries.

*   The International Monetary Fund has downscaled its forecast for the growth of our country’s economy this year to 2,1%, mainly due to strikes,  weak demand,  and electricity loadshedding. The growth projection for next year has been downscaled from 2,8 to 2,5%.

*   Statistics South Africa  has not issued tourism arrival figures since March 2014, awaiting data from the (more…)

Maison Deli main pic Whale CottageWe recently wrote about Maison Estate, and the visit in winter by its Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg to Portugal, Spain, and Australia, from which he has brought back new menu ideas.  These ideas have been incorporated into their menu, and a clever way of attracting attention to them is to incorporate them into a Tapas menu which greets one when one arrives in the Tasting Room.  The quality of the Tapas is the best I have experienced to date, and is excellent value for money.

As one enters the Tasting Room and The Kitchen building at Maison, a lounge area to the immediate right has been transformed into the Deli, with a High Table at which one can sit with bar stools, and ‘decorated’ with scientific looking equipment and preserves made by Chef Arno and his team.   A large shelving unit ‘divides’ the Deli section from the remaining (now much smaller) lounge, the shelves being filled by the hard work of Chef Arno, including green tomato atchar, pickled broad beans, marmalade, aubergine and courgette chutney, green figs, vinegar, chili relish, pickled Jerusalem artichokes, onion relish, spiced tomato ketchup, plum chutney, olive oil, courgette relish, yellow tomato atchar, olives, lemon cordial, and fresh ciabatta.  The items on the shelves are interspersed with home decor items from Weylandts stores, owned by Maison owner Chis Weylandt,Maison Deli shelves and produce Whale Cottage including tea sets, glass jugs, wooden boards, cutlery sets, placemats, bowls, plates, and more.  A refrigerated display unit contains jars of duck rillettes, pork rillettes, pork terrine, pancettas, saucisson, salamies, smoked yellowtail, fresh farm eggs, lemons, massive 5-year old Angus six week dry-aged thick 500 gram slices of T-bone (R300), and guineafowl pistachio parfait.    Almost all the produce used for the items sold in the Deli was harvested from the farm.   The styling of the Deli section was done by Marc-Anthony Hewson-de Swardt, Group Visual Merchandiser of Weylandts. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  To grow Tourism, our country should focus on attracting tourists in other African countries, and work with other African countries to combat common issues, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom told the Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) in Cape Town yesterday.  Issues that need a joint approach are easier inter-country travel on the continent, and addressing the spread of Ebola and the perception that Africa is one country, which is infected with the disease.

*   Slow Food is celebrating its 25th anniversary, having been founded in Italy to counter the growth in fast food.  It celebrates the ‘diversity of food, the richness of our traditions, the connection between what we eat and how it is produced. Since then, Slow Food is the only movement to connect the pleasure of food with social responsibility; fighting for the fundamental right to good, clean and fair food for everyone‘.

*   South Africa has overtaken Spain to become the fifth largest seller of wines in the UK.  Argentina, Australia and South  (more…)