Tag Archives: Spekko Rice

‘Chopped South Africa’: first SA professional chef reality TV competition show!

ChoppedSA Banner Whale CottageChopped South Africa’ was launched at Giggling Gourmet Jenny Morris’ studio in De Waterkant yesterday, to publicise the 10 programme Food Network series on DStv channel 175, commencing on Wednesday 23 July at 21h00.

Chopped South Africa‘ is the first professional chef reality TV competition in South Africa, based on the American ‘Chopped‘, but with a South African flavour. It is the first international adaption of the programme, and was created due to the series’ very strong following in our country, with 25000 viewers per programme, I was told by Nikki Cooper, the Commissioning Editor of ‘Chopped South Africa‘, based in London and working with programming for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  She said that she was ‘blown away by the talent and graciousness’ of our local chefs.  Due to the strong support of South African viewers, Food Network is investing in creating content for our country, but with appeal to its international viewers too.

We were welcomed by Jacques Verster. He introduced the four judges, being Jenny Morris who has hosted programmes on Moroccan and on Mediterranean cooking for Food Network (and who turned out to be a tough judge, explaining that she wanted to be honest with her feedback, and for it to have integrity); David van Staden, the Executive Chef of the Tsogo Sun Group; Siba Mtongana, who has her own ‘Siba’s Table’ program on Food Network; guest judge Rebecca Hurst, who runs the Hurst cookeryChopped SA judges Whale Cottage school; and guest judge and Chef Lindsay Venn of Tsogo Sun The Cullinan (not in the photograph).  We were told how strongly the judges believed in their standards, and fought for their point of view in deciding which chef would be ‘chopped’. Heinz is the main programme sponsor, while Shoprite-Checkers provided all the ingredients for the cooking on the program.

Nikki explained how the series works, with each of the ten programmes having four contestants, 40 selected from many applications received from young professional chefs in South African kitchens.  Shot in Johannesburg, hosted by Denvor Phokaners, produced by Sue Nel from Snelco in association with Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 4 February

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Chef Heston Blumenthal has temporarily closed his Michelin 2 star Dinner restaurant in London due to an outbreak of the norovirus, which affected 24 patrons and 21 staff.  It follows the closure of his The Fat Duck restaurant five years ago for the same reason!

*   Despite making a close to R1 billion loss in the latest financial year, SAA has bid to take a share in Senegal Airlines, which is facing bankruptcy!

*   Facebook is celebrating its 10th anniversary today, and is a lucrative communication platform for tourism.  The official Australia page has attracted 5,5 million ‘Likers’, while Love Great Britain has 2 million ‘Likers’.

*   Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is celebrating the 2oth anniversary of our country’s democracy by means of a series of videos showcasing how the political transformation has touched people in the wine industry. A new video will be released on the WOSA website weekly, for a six week period.  ‘From fifth-generation labourer to co-owner of a major farming venture, from refugee to nurseryman, from scholarship student to renowned winemaker and role model, from drug-addled  gangster to farrier, each of the intimate stories in WOSA’s The Democracy Series movingly charts a journey of progress‘, states the media release.  Each video ends with a quotation by the late Nelson Mandela. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)

*   Bubbly Isabella Niehaus is celebrating the two year anniversary of the Palms Market at the PalmsDecor & Lifestyle Centre with a ‘Spectacular Cook-Out with Spekko Rice‘ on Saturday 15 February.   Six top foodies will have their cooking challenge (the dishes have to include Hermanuspietersfontein wine and 1 Continue reading →