It was a surprise to receive an invitation for a restaurant opening late last year. Classic Car Bar is a clever car-themed The Engine Room restaurant and cocktail bar for which Executive Chef Reuben Riffel has designed the menu. Continue reading →
Last Friday I attended the launch in Bishopscourt of Cointreau South Africa’s philanthropical program of upliftment, to find our country’s most creative woman through its Cointreau Creative Crew. The motto of the program is ‘#DreamDareCreate’, Continue reading →
Chef Julia Hattingh hosted a media launch at her brand new Reverie Social Table Restaurant in Observatory last night, serving a four-course dinner for a table of 18 guests ahead of the official opening on 1 October.
My Google Maps App became confused with the one-way streets of Observatory, but I found the restaurant on Lower Main Road, a well-lit restaurant with a collection of guests being visible from the street.
One notices the table for 18 on entering the restaurant, Continue reading →
At the conclusion of Season 3 of MasterChef SA, M-Net filmed a four-part series ‘Feast’, focused on Christmas. Each MasterChef SA judge has his own program, and visiting chef Marco Pierre White had one too, which was screened on Thursday evening.
The MasterChef SA judge episodes of ‘Feast’, taking the first one which focused on Chef Pete Goffe-Wood a week ago, gave an overview of the chef, his favourite outlets from which to source supplies, and a Christmas feast prepared for friends and family. The episode for last night was filmed in July, but the studio at which the episode was filmed was decorated for Christmas. Coincidentally it rained on the day of filming as it did in Cape Town on Christmas Day!
As Chef Marco did not have any friends or family in Cape Town, he was ‘loaned’ some, being MasterChef SA finalists: Deena Continue reading →
The MasterChef SA Season 2 Hot Auditions are done, Bootcamp is lying ahead for 50 contestants, and we are boldly predicting the 16 Finalists who will make it to the kitchen at Nederburg to show South Africa who our hot amateur cooks are: Continue reading →
Last night the first episode of MasterChef SA Season 2 was flighted, to what seemed liked a smaller audience, if the Twitter reaction (or lack of) is anything to judge it by. The first episode built a bridge between MasterChef Season 1 last year and the new Season 2, with some familiar faces, and many new hopefuls, some successful in making the bootcamp of 50 contestant amateur cooks, and many not. There are some interesting characters one can expect to go through to Nederburg, given the amount of airtime they received last night.
To demonstrate how far some of the MasterChef Season 1 Finalists have come since their participation in the show, there was a quick overview of some of the more successful Finalists: Deena Naidoo now has a part-ownership in Aayra at Montecasino, part of his so-called R8 million prize package from Tsogo Sun. Sue-Ann Allen, the runner-up, is described as the ‘head chef’ at the Market on the Wharf at the V&A Waterfront in The Times. Lungile Nhlanhla is Drum‘s junior food editor. Ilse Fourie has a cooking show ‘Ilse Kook‘ on KykNET. Berdina Schurink has opened Bella Sophia Culinary Café in Pretoria. Manisha Naidu and Jade de Waal have participated in cook books. Some Finalists missing from the Season 1 recap were Sarel Loots, who was a contestant on Kokkedoor, dessert specialist Thys Hattingh who now is Project Manager at the Compass Group, Guy Clark, who has an amazing chef’s job in Mumbai, and Brandon Law, who is Chef Deena’s right hand at Aayra. It was wonderful to see judges Andrew Atkinson, Benny Masekwameng, and Pete Goffe-Wood again, feeling like old friends, and barely having changed in the year since we first got to know them in Season 1.
To a MasterChef SA newcomer viewer the action may have been too fast, and therefore confusing. No background information was provided about the start of the process, namely the audition to have one’s cold dish tasted, brought along from home. The episode started with the hot auditions, in which some of the 100 contestants received lots of airtime, while the others that received little coverage in the episode or were not even mentioned by name were predictably the ones that fell out. Each participant had 45 minutes to prepare their dish, and 5 minutes to impress the judges whilst plating their dish, and the standard of the dishes presented to the judges generally was high at this very early stage.
Given the amount of time spent on them in the first episode, one can speculate that the following will be seen in the group of 16 contestants at Nederburg (today’s episode will focus on the rest of the hot audition):
* By far the most airtime was devoted to the first contestant featured, being Zahir Mohamed, who owns Baked Bistro in Bakoven. He already had a dream to open his own restaurant, and shared that he would open his own bistro after participating in MasterChef SA. His father is the chef cooking for Manchester United and its fans in the UK. He would ‘cook my heart out’ on MasterChef, and wanted to make them happy, he promised the judges. He was the first of many contestants to cry, the pressure bringing on the tears, and he explained that he had given up his job (at Brandhouse marketing Heineken) to participate in the reality TV show (as Sue-Ann Allen had in season 1). Zahir made a home-smoked rack of lamb with roasted garlic and a port jus, which Chef Andrew rejected for not having a smoked taste and the spices not coming to the fore. Chefs Benny and Pete disagreed with him, tasting the smokiness, and praising the sweetness in the beetroot and a rack of lamb prepared properly. Twitter: @BakedBistro @Foodie4CapeTown
* Mohamed (also known as Ozzy) Osman is a student from Johannesburg whose English pronunciation was dreadful. His pan-fried lemon sole served with a phyllo pastry basket filled with spinach was a hit amongst the judges. Chef Pete promised him 10 years in boarding school if his fish was raw inside, having introduced that his love for cooking stemmed from the dreadful food he had to eat at boarding school. He shared that he comes from a family of dedicated cooks. Chef Pete probably understated his praise of the sole as being ‘pretty well done’. Twitter: @Oh_so_Ozzy
* Sisters Leandri and Seline van der Wat from Mahikeng (previously Mafikeng) both received their white aprons, but were kept on tenterhooks by the judges, calling them in one after the other. They were the most gorgeous sisters, both in appearance, and also in attitude, each wishing the other one success in the show. They lost their mother at an early age, and have enjoyed cooking together. Selina made a Doublet of prawns served with Rooibos and thyme salt. Leandri prepared a Smoked snoek ravioli.Twitter: @This_is_Leandri @SelineVW
* Neil Lowe was an interesting character, looking studious with his specs, and clearly trying to impress the judges with his terminology of ‘sous vide’, and ‘Modernist cuisine‘, by far the most sophisticated sounding home chef. If anything, the judges were more critical of him showing off his food science terminology, and said that the proof lay in his understanding of food. His Mauritian sea bass prepared with a lemongrass and coconut velouté received the judges’ praise that earned him a white apron. Twitter: @NeilLowe
* Kamini Pather is a food blogger from Cape Town that we know from our Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club meetings, and appears to work at The Test Kitchen now. She spoke about wishing to use MasterChef SA as a launchpad to prepare a food portal for the Southern Hemisphere. Her Indian lamb shoulder served with a smear of cauliflower pureé and mustard vinaigrette was highly praised by Chef Andrew, who loved its flavours coming together, and the taste of its spices. She received her white apron. Twitter: @KaminiPather
* The character that created the biggest impact was Sanet from Boksburg, with partly purple hair and a BIG personality, hugging Chef Andrew heartily when she received her white apron for her Port and Porcini risotto and chicken. When asked if she had dyed her hair for the programme, she said that purple is her colour, and that of her birthstone, her colour of luck. She was not shy to praise herself in being kind and lovable! She also cried, filled with emotion at having got so far.
Advertisements featured included those for sponsors Nederburg, Tsogo Sun, Woolworths (with beautiful food shots), new sponsor VW (with a tenuous food link), and Robertsons (many ads, but only one with Chef Reuben Riffel). Other advertisers included Nespresso, Standard Bank, Spree.co.za, Dr Oetker Pizza Ristorante, and (oddly) Plascon paint.
For an overview of what is lying ahead for Season 2 read here. For behind the scenes information on the filming of Season 2 in January read here. We want to clarify that M-Net has a strict procedure for interviewing contestants, all writers having to obtain permission from their PR Manager Ingrid Engelbrecht upfront. The condition is that all writers have to submit their story to Ms Engelbrecht for approval and sometimes minimal editing before being allowed to publish it. We have agreed to follow this rule, so that we have the opportunity to write stories about the contestants during the course of season 2. This appears to be an unusual procedure relative to other food reality TV shows, especially as we signed a confidentiality agreement before attending the Media Day. This rule only applies to contestant interviews, and in no way affects writing a summary of each episode such as this one.
So how did the viewers judge the first episode? The men were noticeably negative, using 4-letter words to describe how much they disliked the program. Contestants Kamini and the two Van der Wat sisters received positive comments from them however. Some power outages raised the question about repeat broadcasts. Some complaints were received about the loud music in the broadcast, overpowering the judges’ feedback. It is still early days for Season 2 of MasterChef SA!
POSTSCRIPT 12/6: Deena Naidoo, winner of MasterChef Season 1, Tweeted the following compliment about this blogpost today: ‘As always a Great summary of Episode1 MasterChefSA season2 . You don’t miss much’.
MasterChef SA Season 2. Tuesdays and Wednesdays 19h30 – 20h30. www.masterchefsa.dstv.co Twitter: @MasterChef_SA
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
The long awaited V&A Market on the Wharf has opened in the historic building near the V&A Hotel in the V&A Waterfront, which once housed Planet Hollywood, David Kramer’s Theatre, and Musica, with more than fifty vendors displaying their food and beverage offerings. It is Cape Town’s first permanent market, operating from Wednesdays to Sundays, from 9h30 – 19h30.
Owned by Greg Anderson, or ‘Bubbles’ as Vaughn Johnson informed me, who took over the management of the Market when the previous operators pulled out, the Market offers a kosher deli, fresh seafood, meat, fruit and vegetables, baked ware and delicacies. Greg impressed with his passion, and kindly offered me a V&A Market on the Wharf branded shopping bag, to ‘hide’ my Woolworths bag! Greg is proud of the large number of new business owners that have joined as vendors, very few having been seen at any other markets in Cape Town. V&A Waterfront tenants Vaughn Johnson and Ian Halfon had come to have a look, and we had coffee and tea together.
A last-minute building regulation hitch saw the opening of the Market delayed by two days to last Friday. The space is large, one main hall with an upstairs section housing the craft beer bar and seating for Continue reading →
I felt honoured to have been invited by Errieda du Toit to attend the Cape Town launch of ‘MasterChef South Africa: The Cookbook’ at Exclusive Books at Tygervalley on Thursday evening. With a number of the finalists present, it was impressive to see how much camaraderie there is between the Finalists, even though the filming for the series ended more than six months ago. The Cookbook documents the journey of the MasterChef SA finalists, in addition to their best recipes.
Published by Human & Rousseau, the text for the book was written by Errieda, the food was styled by Jacques Erasmus of Hemelhuijs, and photography of the food was done by Myburgh du Plessis, all under the editorship of Daleen van der Merwe, and is the ideal keepsake for everyone who loved MasterChef South Africa. Errieda said that MasterChef SA was a landmark program, which changed the face of food in South Africa. Even children are becoming excited about cooking.
The book profiles each contestant and judge, and summarises each episode, sharing the best recipes of each contestant, e.g. Deena Naidoo’s prawn curry, Thys Hattingh’s Cherry Frangipane tart, Sarel Loots’ Boerewors with Polenta and butternut mash, Khaya Silingile’s Chicken Ballotine, Sue-Ann Allen’s Oysters with horseradish mayonnaise, Lungi Nhlanhla’s pork tails, Jade de Waal’s warm Cape berry chocolate tart with pistachio and cardamom ice cream, and Samantha Nolan’s Dutch croquettes. Recipes for traditional South African dishes such as koeksister, koesiesters, denningvleis, tripe and phutu pap, Waterblommetjiebredie, and chicken pie, are also offered. The book culminates in the Grande Finale, and Deena winning the title of first MasterChef SA.
Each page offers a tip or hint, or an interesting comment, by one of the MasterChef SA finalists. There are guidelines to sustainable cooking, food and wine pairing suggestions by sponsor Nederburg, and Le Quartier Français Chef Vanie Padayachee’s tips for cooking curry. Visiting chefs Peter Tempelhoff from The Greenhouse, Coco Reinharz from Le Petit Sel and Sel et Poivre in Sandton, Michel Roux Jnr from La Gavroche in London, Margot Janse at The Tasting Room, Michael Broughton from Terroir, Reuben Riffel from Reuben’s, and Lorraine Meaney from the Cape Grace hotel, are captured in the Cookbook, and most have a recipe included in the book.
The book also provides background information on how many kilograms of butter (100), cheese (250), litres of fresh cream (100) and milk (600), 215 kg fresh herbs (no Robertsons spices were used, as they are not stocked by Woolworths, despite the joint sponsorship of MasterChef SA), and vegetables (200 kg onions, and a further 3 tonnes for the bootcamp, 100 kg mushrooms, and 250 kg avocado), 57 kg prawns, 165 kg chicken, 400 kg lamb, and more than 2500 eggs were used!
A number of the Cape-based MasterChef SA Finalists attended the book launch, including Sue-Ann (now a private chef, with her own demonstration kitchen at the newly opened V&A Market on the Wharf, Ilse Fourie (now a private chef), Guy Clark (now a private chef, having left the Madame Zingara group), Samantha, Charles Canning, Jade (who has recently published ‘Luscious’ vegetarian cookbook), and Lungi (now Deputy Food editor of Drum magazine). Ilse and Sue-Ann have signed a book deal for ‘Gourmet Sisters’ for next year. Sarel Loots travelled all the way from Sabie to be present, and Chef Pete Goffe-Wood also attended.
As MC, Errieda asked the Finalists how their lives had changed in the past year. Sarel related that he did not expect to be moved emotionally, and to cry about food! He also shared that he was mobbed at the Good Food & Wine Show in Johannesburg. Sarel is about to launch a range of Boerewors with fruit chutney, in conjunction with a spice company, first in Mpumalanga, and then nationally. Lungi shared that she has always been creative, and being creative about food was a further extension, showing who she is. Chef Pete said that he was seen to be ‘insensitive’ and tough, but he knew how much was at stake for each contestant, and how much they had given up in their professional and family lives to be there. Chef Pete was chased by a traffic cop for making a call on his cellphone – when they recognised him, the traffic cop told him he wanted to share how much he enjoyed MasterChef SA! The traffic cop opened the highway for Chef Pete, so that he could get to his function on time, referring to this as ‘culinary corruption’! Sue-Ann said that she is cooking for 120 guests with ease now, and that her knowledge of food and wine has improved dramatically. Ilse said that she has learnt knife skills, and how to eat and cook, yet stay small, being a ‘plus size model’. The finalists were most gracious in signing the book, and writing personalised messages.
Food trends for 2013 are Refined (beautiful plates of food, even if one is making it for oneself), Clean (in its content and origin), and Considerate (evaluating its impact on the environment), said Sue-Ann. Chef Pete added Sustainability, seeing this as THE food trend for the next ten years. Consumers are becoming more aware about environmental responsibility, both in supermarkets and in restaurants.
A dinner at Zibaldone in the Tygerberg Waterfront after the launch was even more special, as it allowed one to get to know Lungi, Sue-Ann, Sarel, and Ilse even better, and provided interesting behind the scenes MasterChef SA information: The contestants stayed at the guest farm in Paarl for up to 10 weeks (Sue-Ann and Deena), and were cut off from all communication (no cellphones or internet connection was allowed, with only a few calls to their families). They shared rooms. There was a ghost in one of the accommodation buildings, which frightened Sue-Ann and Ilse, especially when most of the other contestants had been sent home. They got home late at night, and had to get up at 6h00 to be back on set. They made their own food at night when they got back to the guest farm. They were provided with loads of cookbooks. The judges brought their own clothes, Woolworths not using the opportunity to market their clothing lines. Sue-Ann and Deena had to buy their own clothes for the Grande Finale dinner cooked for them at Montecasino in Johannesburg, and bumped into Ilse at Canal Walk by absolute coincidence on that day, not being allowed to tell her anything. Not shown on the program, but shared with Sue-Ann, was that good performance was rewarded with a shopping pass, which allowed her time off to shop at Paarl Mall! Almost all the contestants got on like a house on fire. Some of the male finalists were like naughty boys, dropping insects on Ilse, who is petrified of them, and other even worse pranks. Charles was the ‘papa bear’ and Samantha the ‘mama bear’ of the group. It was 54° C in Zanzibar, the heat and humidity affecting everyone badly, even the judges. A large number of the MasterChef SA team got food poisoning from eating the food at the Zanzibar night market, due to the food having been exposed to the heat throughout the day. The Finalists were not allowed wine.
The two owners of Zibaldone, brothers Adriano and Roberto Pietrella originally from Umbria, were extremely generous, in sending antipasta to the table, including Vitello Tonnato (veal with tuna sauce), Coppa ham with a spelt, tomato and mozzarella salad, lamb tortellini, Veal Romana, and ending off with Tiramisu. I was impressed with Sarel’s love for food, so many months after the reality TV series, spending more time with the owners in the kitchen than at the table with us, always keen to learn something new.
The MasterChef SA interviews we had done during the season one series, and the book launch, showed how the Finalists have bonded, and become friends for life, it would seem, some becoming like brothers and sisters to each others. All the Finalists seem to have remained humble, even though they are instantly recognisable wherever they go. They will become famous in the United Kingdom, the UK TV channel soon flighting our MasterChef SA series, Chef Pete announced on Thursday. I asked Ilse, Sarel and Sue-Ann how they felt about season two of MasterChef SA, and each of them had a different reaction: Sarel said he is already working on building more Twitter followers, Ilse said she is concerned, while Sue-Ann said it will have no effect on them, as they were the first Finalists in the first MasterChef SA program in our country. Season two of MasterChef SA has commenced, the cold tests completed, and the hot dish tests are underway. Filming at Nederburg will probably start late in January, and flighting will be twice a week, on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, from about end March. Chef Pete said that the quality of the contestants is of a very high standard, having learnt a lot from MasterChef SA season one. The new ‘MasterChef South Africa: The Cookbook’ is compulsory reading for all MasterChef SA hopefuls, and for the fans of the TV series.
MasterChef South Africa: The Cookbook, Human & Rousseau. www.mnet.co.za/masterchefsa Twitter: @MasterChef _SA Available at leading booksellers. R350 recommended price.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Stellenbosch Hills awarded the first prize in its Biltong competition to Frik Crafford, for the best of 54 biltong entries received in its pairing with Stellenbosch Hills’ Shiraz, winning a cash prize of R15000 as well as product to an equivalent value, at a function held at 96 Winery Road yesterday.
We had attended the launch of the competition six months ago, but missed the visit to the Freddy Hirsch head office, where the art of biltong-making was explained to the bloggers and journalists attending. The brief was to create a biltong best suited to be eaten with Stellenbosch Hills Shiraz 2010. The wine brand was the first cellar to combine wine with the stalwart South African snack, Stellenbosch Hills winemaker and Manager PG Slabbert saying “The art of drying meat nowadays is as specialised as the art of winemaking. Our aim was to create a competition where two of South Africa’s most popular products – wine and biltong – could be combined”. It is the fourth year of the competition.
The judges evaluated the colour, the texture, the taste, smell, and the appearance of the biltong, as well as its performance when the Stellenbosch Hills Shiraz was drunk with it. The judges included super-nice MasterChef SA Finalist Ilse Fourie, who I met for the first time yesterday (she told me that she and Sue-Ann Allen are starting an events company, and that they are working on a cookbook), Sue von Hirschberg and Herman Schultz from Freddy Hirsch, bubbly chef Jenny Morris, and PG and Philip Kriel from Stellenbosch Hills.
Each of the three finalists were soft-spoken, each seemed surprised to have done so well in the Biltong competition, and each was low key about what exactly had made the difference in their winning biltong recipes. I spoke to Frik first, a policeman in the Child Protection Unit from Worcester, who loves making biltong and was surprised to win, being ‘uit die veld geslaan’ by the news. He has been making biltong for seven years already and buys his silverside or topside from his special butcher, or at Spar. He ‘marinades’ his beef for 24 hours in a mixture of vinegar and Worcestershire Sauce, layered with the meat, adding coarse coriander and brown sugar to his Freddy Hirsch biltong spices. Then he hangs his biltong. What makes Frik’s biltong so successful, is that he talks to his biltong, to make it taste better: ‘praat met jou vleis’, he advised! Second place winner Schalk van Deventer from Somerset West used Stellenbosch Hills Shiraz in his marinade, with vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Adding too much red wine would give the biltong a purple colour, warned Schalk. He had enjoyed the competition so much that he would start again, at creating the winning recipe. He said that there were so many opportunities to pair different wines with biltong. Third place winner Jakes van der Merwe is a professional hunter in Midddelburg, so he makes a lot of game biltong, but used beef for the competition entry. His ‘recipe for success’ was ‘getting one hands dirty’ in making the biltong.
Freddy Hirsch sells its 1kg spice mixes at nine Cash & Carries around the country, selling its products to mass biltong and dry wors producers. The company makes 40 blends for boerewors spices alone, including the Kameelhout flavour, for example. The company founder Freddy Hirsch is now 87 years old, but is still at his factory every day. The company also distributes into Africa. Bloggers and writers were thanked for publicising the competition, leading to the quality entries received.
Our lunch at 96 Winery Road, which celebrated its 16th anniversary earlier this year, had some stalwart dishes too. The Caramelised Pearl Onions with biltong, cheese straws and Padano shavings starter has been on the menu since 1999 already, Tweeted Karl Lambour this morning. My main course choice was the well-known Hollandse Pepper Fillet, which had been rolled in black pepper, and panfried in a brandy and cream sauce, which was flambeed at the table. The pièce de résistance was the Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate flourless cake served with vanilla bean ice cream.
Disclosure: We received biltong and two Stellenbosch Hills wines with our media pack.
Stellenbosch Hills, Tel (021) 881-3828. www.stellenbosch-hills.co.za Twitter:@STBHills
Freddy Hirsch, corner 11th Avenue and Voortrekker Road, Maitland. Tel (021) 507 4500. www.freddyhirsch.prezence.co.za
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
* Café Dijon has closed its restaurants on Plein Street and at Zorgvliet in Stellenbosch, and has opened in the Rockwell Centre in Green Point, Cape Town, on Napier Street opposite Anatoli’s.
* Luke Dale-Roberts, Eat Out Top Chef at The Test Kitchen, is to open a real test kitchen, called The Kitchen of Dreams, a private experimental place to develop new recipes, at the Old Biscuit Mill
* Chef Luke Dale-Roberts is opening a pop-up Pot Luck Club in Swiss ski resort Verbier, at the Hotel Farinet, from 8 December – April, to be run by him, his chef Nicolas Wilkinson, and front of house Selena Afnan-Holmes.
* Col’Cacchio has opened a new outlets in Westlake, and a new one is coming in Claremont too.
* A new Vida é Caffe new branches are to open on Maindean Place in Claremont, at the new Wembley Square 2 development, at The Paddocks, and Groote Schuur. Two more branches are planned for Mauritius.
* Honest Chocolate is opening a second outlet, a ‘production kitchen’ in the Woodstock Industrial Centre
* Moyo is to open in November, where the Paulaner Braühaus was in the V & A Waterfront. It has taken over the tearoom at Kirstenbosch already.
* TRUTH Coffee has opened on Buitenkant Street
* FEAST is to open where Franschhoek Food Emporium was, in Place Vendome
* Deluxe Coffeeworks has opened where Reuben’s Deli used to be in Franschhoek.
* Okamai Japanese Restaurant has opened at Glenwood wine estate in Franschhoek
* Cavalli restaurant is said to open on the stud farm on R44, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, this year or next
* The Slug & Lettuce has opened where Beads was on Church Street in Stellenbosch
* Stables at Vergelegen Bistro has opened as a lunch restaurant in Somerset West. Its Lady Phillips Restaurant is being given a make-over by Christo Barnard, and will open on 1 November with a new name called Camphors at Vergelegen. The new chef will be PJ Vadas, previously of The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.
* Coopmanshuijs in Stellenbosch is opening a restaurant.
* Chef Johan van Schalkwyk has left the Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Winery, and has opened his own restaurant Twist Some More in Wellington.
* Chef Bjorn Dingemans has opened The Millhouse Kitchen restaurant on Lourensford wine estate in Somerset West.
* Chef Shane Sauvage (ex-La Vierge) has opened La Pentola restaurant in Hermanus.
* Ali Baba Kebab (renamed from Laila) has opened as a small beef and lamb kebab take-away and sit-down outlet, next door to Codfather in Camps Bay
* Gibson’s Gourmet Burger and Smoked Ribs has opened as a 70-seater restaurant in the V&A Waterfront, taking part of Belthazar. Owned by the Belthazar/Balducci group.
* Down South Food Bar, previously on Long Street, is said to re-open in the Riverside Centre in Rondebosch
* Ou Meul Bakkery from Riviersonderend has opened a bakery and coffee shop in Long Street
* Deluxe Coffeeworks has opened a roastery and coffee bar at 6 Roodehek Street
* The Deli @ The Square has opened at Frater Square in Paarl.
* David Higgs (ex Rust en Vrede) is opening a new 30 seater restaurant in The Saxon in Johannesburg.
* Big Route Top Gourmet Pizzeria has opened on Main Road, Green Point, next door to Woolworths, serving 52 different pizzas, salads and crêpes.
* Cousins has opened in the Parliament Hotel, where Il Cappero used to be.
* Aces ‘n’ Spades Bar has opened in ex-Boo Radley on Hout Street
* No. 6 Restaurant at Welbedacht has opened at Welbedacht/Schalk Burger & Sons wine estate in Wellington, run by the ex-owners of Oude Wellington
* Café Dulce is to open a new branch in Tygervalley Centre
* Gourmetboerie is to open at the bottom end of Kloof Street, where Depasco used to be, in October.
* Kushi Indian Restaurant has opened a branch on Main Road in Sea Point
* Time & Place Restaurant and Bar has opened on the corner of Wale and Buitengracht Street
* Make Sushi Bar has opened in Sea Point
* Thai Café is opening on Plein Street, Stellenbosch
* Simply Asia has opened in Paarl
* Restaurant @ Zomerlust has opened in Paarl
* Christina’s has opened at Van Loveren in Robertson
* Bellini’s is said to be opening on Greenmarket Square in October
* Moksh Authentic Indian Cuisine restaurant has opened in Paarl
* Vino’s has opened in Wellington
* Alfama’s has opened on Waterkant Street
* Taj Mahal has opened in Sea Point
* It’s a House is to open on Jarvis Street in October, as a bar, coffee shop, and design art space.
* Lion’s Head Bar is to open on Bree Street in October, selling craft beer and food
* An Indian restaurant is to open in the original Madame Zingara building on Loop Street, by the Madame Zingara Group
* The Caviar Group is opening three new restaurants in the Gateway Centre in Umhlanga by the end of this year: Beluga, Sevruga, and Osetra
* A new bar and Café is to open underneath the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, where Bamboo used to be
* Cattle Baron has opened in Hermanus.
* Café Blanc de Noir has opened on Brenaissance wine estate in Stellenbosch
* The Reserve is said to be opening a beach restaurant in the V&A Waterfront.
* Chef Nic van Wyk, previously with Terroir, is opening a restaurant at Diemersdal in Durbanville during the course of this month.
* Lizette’s Kitchen has opened in Vöelklip, Hermanus.
* Cattle Baron is to open at Pontac Manor in Paarl
* Col’Cacchio is opening in Hermanus at the end of November
* Merchant Café is opening on Long Street, opposite Merchants on Long, later this month.
* Paulina’s Restaurant is opening at Rickety Bridge in Franschhoek
* Ocean Jewel Deli opens at Woodstock Junction on 22 October.
* Buitenverwachting has opened a Coffee Shop and Roastery
* Wakaberry is opening on Kloof Street at the end of October
* Rock Sushi Thai has opened in Meadowridge
* Jimmy Jimanos sports bar is opening on Long Street
* Dolcé Bakery is opening in St John’s Arcade in Sea Point
* The Coffee Bloc has opened at Buitenverwachting
* The Salzburger Grill has opened in Sea Point
* Sabarosa in Bakoven has closed down.
* Sunbird Bistro in Camps Bay has closed down
* Limoncello in Gardens has closed down, but is continuing with its pop-up restaurant truck
* Paparazzi has closed down on St George’s Mall
* Wicked Treats in Franschhoek has closed down.
* Casa Nostra has closed down in Sea Point, until it finds a new venue.
* Bistro on Rose in Bo-Kaap has closed down as a restaurant
* The Kove in Camps Bay has closed down, its space has become part of sister restaurant Zenzero
* Sinnfull has closed down in Sea Point and Camps Bay
* Liam Tomlin Food is closing down in Franschhoek at the end of October
Restaurant staff/venue changes
* Il Cappero has moved from Barrack Street, to Fairway Street in Camps Bay.
* Table Thirteen has reduced in size in Green Point and will open in Paarden Eiland later this year.
* The V&A Waterfront Food Court is closed for renovations until November. A sign outside the construction area lists the following businesses moving into or returning to the area: Primi Express, Anat, Carnival, Nür Halaal, Royal Bavarian Bakery, KFC, Boost Juice, Simply Asia, Steers, Debonairs, Subway, Marcel’s, and Haagan Dazs. Nando’s is also opening.
* Fyndraai Restaurant will move to another building on the wine estate in November, and will offer fine dining. The current restaurant will serve light lunches and picnics.
* Josephine Gutentoft has moved to Makaron at Majeka House as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier.
* The Reserve has changed its name to Reserve Brasserie. Seelan Sundoo, ex Grand Café Camps Bay and ex La Perla, is the new consultant chef and GM (Seelan Sundoo has since left, now running the Shimmy Beach Club).
* Chef Andrew Mendes from ex-Valora is now at Nelson’s Eye restaurant, where they are setting up a lunch section and cocktail bar upstairs.
* Giulia’s Food Café Restaurant has opened where Miss K was on Main Road, Green Point. Now serve Italian-style lunch and dinner, but have retained some Miss K breakfast and pastry items.
* Having bought the farm about 18 months ago, Antonij Rupert Wines has taken over the Graham Beck Franschhoek property. They will re-open the tasting room in October, initially offering all its Antonij Rupert, Cape of Good Hope, Terra del Capo, and Protea wines to taste. They are renovating the manor house, to which the Antonij Rupert and Cape of Good Hope wines will be moved for tasting at a later stage.
* Orphanage is expanding into a property at its back, opening on Orphan Street, in December, creating a similar second bar downstairs, and opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers
* GOLD Restaurant has moved into the Trinity building
* Opal Lounge has closed down on Kloof Street, and has moved into Blake’s Bar building, renaming it Dinner at Blake’s. A wine and tapas bar has also been opened, called Bar Rouge.
* Mano A Mano has opened on Park Street, where Green’s used to be.
* MondeVino Restaurant at Montecasino in Johannesburg, the MasterChef SA prize for the next two years, is to be renamed Aarya, and is to be run by Chef Deena Naidoo from November onwards.
* Bizerca has moved into the ex-Gourmet Burger space in Heritage Square on Shortmarket Street.
* Co-owner Abbi Wallis has taken over the running of The Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Winery in Wellington.
* Marcelino has left Marcelino’s Bakery, leaving the control with Mr Zerban. A Zerban’s style restaurant is being added onto the bakery and will open mid-October. It will change its name to EuroHaus.
* Chef Chris Erasmus from Pierneef à La Motte is doing a stage with Chef Rene Redzepi at Noma, the number one World’s 50 Best Restaurants, in Copenhagen this month
* MasterChef SA runner-up Sue-Ann Allen is joining South Africa’s number one Eat Out Top 10 restaurant The Greenhouse as an intern for a month, from 21 August.
* Vintage India has moved out of the Garden’s Centre to the corner of Hiddingh and Mill Street, around the corner.
* Nook Eatery in Stellenbosch has been sold, with new owners.
* Crêpe et Cidre has closed down in Franschhoek. Gideon’s The Famous Pancake House has opened in its space.
* Brampton winetasting bar on Church Street, Stellenbosch, is undergoing renovations to treble its current size, planning to reopen in the first week of September.
* Noop restaurant in Paarl has new owners
* Buena Vista Social Club has changed its name to Barbosa Social Club
* Chris Marais is the new chef at Blaauwklippen, previously with The Oyster Box
* Daniel de Villiers is the new chef at Grand Dedale in Wellington, previously with Delaire Graff
* Phil Alcock is the new chef at Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point, having previously worked at The Cape Grace, The Showroom, maze, and more
* Albert van der Loo, previously with Le Coq and Dieu Donne restaurants in Franschhoek, is the new Head Chef at Oude Werf Hotel in Stellenbosch.
* Chef Emile Fortuin, who was at Reuben’s Robertson for a very short time, has left and moved to Tokara
* Camil and Ingrid Haas (ex Bouillabaisse and Camil’s) have returned to Franschhoek, with the view to get involved in a restaurant
* Chef Cheyne Morrisby has left The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz, and has joined the Mantella Group (owners of Blake’s and ex-Opal Lounge). Update: Chef Cheyne has left the Mantella Group, after a very short time.
* Tiaan van Greunen is the new Executive Chef at Reuben’s at The Robertson Small Hotel, after the departure of Emile Fortuin
* Alex von Ulmenstein is the new Restaurant Manager at Indochine, at Delaire Graff Estate
* Manager Raymond Brown has left Reuben’s Franschhoek, and has been replaced by Martell Smith.
* Zelda Oelofse is the new Manager of Harvest Restaurant at Laborie, having taken over from Yolanda Prinsloo.
* Maryna Frederiksen is the new Executive Chef at The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz.
* The ex-Caveau owners are said to be taking over the running of the Twankey Bar of the Taj hotel.
* Sand at The Plettenberg hotel has changed its name to Seafood at The Plettenberg.
* Grande Provence is closing on Sunday evenings until the end of September.
* Tokara is closing for a Spring break from 24 September – 4 October
* Planet Restaurant is closed on Sunday evenings until the end of September
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage