New restaurant openings continue, many working behind the scenes, and not revealing information about their new establishments prior to opening. We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously.
* Giulio’sCafé has opened where My Basaar was located (photograph).
A spate of new restaurant openings is coinciding with the start of the Summer season. Restaurateur Michael Townsend of the Harbour House Group continues unabated in opening new restaurants, achieving a total of 18 or more by December! We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously.
It was a recent article by Nick Lander, husband of renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson and restaurant critic in the UK, about restaurants in hotels he had visited in Dubai that made me consider once again why hotel restaurants fare so poorly in patron support and in the Eat Out Top 10 restaurant awards in our country.
Lander writes that specific rules about restaurants and liquor licences force restaurants to be linked to hotels in Dubai. In our country no such rules apply, and as a service to guests, hotels have over the years added dining facilities, in early days being the only restaurants offering tea and cake, and lunch and dunner. My parents drove us with overseas visitors to Franschhoek’s Swiss Farm Excelsior (now the Le Franschhoek Hotel), the benchmark of restaurants in those years.
The question on the lips of many South African viewers of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ is: why Hayden Quinn? Why choose a MasterChef Australia top 3 finalist (no, not winner) of 2011 (no, not even 2013) to promote the beauty of South Africa and its abundance of sustainable foods amongst South Africans? We did some research, and found that South African viewers are being misled about the TV show host, and that Woolworths appears to have a hidden agenda in pushing its Australian investments!
I started with the Cardova Group, the production company of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘, and of the ‘Expresso Morning Show’ and ‘Top Travel‘ too, all flighted on SABC3. A random e-mail landed in my Inbox from LinkedIn, asking me to congratulate Mark Bland as newly appointed Producer of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’, just as the series kicked off and my interest in it was piqued. I got Mark’s cellphone number via LinkedIn, and asked him for more information about the food series. He was extremely hesitant in talking to me, even though we have known each other for a good two to three years. He is a regular reader of my blog, and has commented on it on occasion. I was taken aback about his hesitancy to meet, to talk about the new show, stating that he had just been promoted, and did not want to jeopardise his new appointment in case I wrote something that could land him in trouble. As a regular reader he would have known that I can only write what I have been told. As the producer of the show, one would have thought that he would have wanted information about the series to be shared, or expected that he would have referred me to a PR person within his company, or at Woolworths, SABC3, and/or Nedbank, the major sponsors of the series. The best he could send me was this bland (pardon the pun) media release: Continue reading →
For the seventh year ‘Taste of Cape Town’ is delighting Capetonians with a feast of delectable food, excellent wines, talks and demonstrations about food and beverages, as well as entertainment, held at the Green Point Cricket Club near the Cape Town Stadium until today.
‘Taste of Cape Town’ has had incredible luck with the weather over the years, and temperatures have been climbing since opening day on Thursday, touching on 30ºC yesterday afternoon, and forecast to exceed this temperature today. Other than the Lindt stand, the ‘Taste of Cape Town’ stands do not have airconditioning, but attendees sought shade on the cricket ground to eat and drink their purchases. Outside each food stand a stand-up table allows one to eat, and to meet other ‘Taste of Cape Town’ attendees and obtain tips from them as to what to try at other stands on the route. The chefs have a challenging time preparing hundreds of portions of three dishes each, with limited space and cooking facilities. There was barely any waiting time at any of the stands, once one had ordered. Payment is in terms of ‘scoins’, vouchers valued at R5 each, available to buy in booklets of 20 at R100. The cost of each dish is priced in scoins, none costing more than 8 scoins (R40). The prices have not been increased in the past six Continue reading →
Yesterday was a picture perfect day to try out the new Summer menu of new Executive Chef Christo Pretorius at Azure restaurant at the 12 Apostles Hotel, at the invitation of its GM Horst Frehse. The amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean is brought into the restaurant and reflects in the menu too.
Chef Christo was promoted when Chef Henrico Grobbelaar left the hotel to head up the kitchen at Equus restaurant at Cavalli Estate in Stellenbosch a few months ago. He had previously worked at De Huguenot (no longer operating) with Chef Tanja Kruger, and at the Cape Royale before joining the 12 Apostles. He travels overseas every year, to experience international cuisine. He acknowledged that he is nothing without his team, and that he delegates to his staff, mentors and trains them. Chef Christo focuses on ingredients that are seasonal, and sources them as locally as he can, the game coming from Uitenhage and Oudtshoorn. Only green-listed SASSI fish is served. He has a good relationship with his suppliers, and knows that they will assist him when he has urgent requests. His focus at Azure is on ‘flavourful food‘. Horst shared that they have had very good feedback about Chef Christo’s menu, and that the chef comes out of the kitchen as much as he can, to meet the guests and to obtain their feedback. 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 →
It’s that time of the year again, and this week Eat Out will announce its shortlisted Top 20 Restaurants for the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards 2014. The judges have been furiously eating their way around the country, and top restaurants are licking their lips in the hope of cracking the Top 20 list, from which the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants will be announced at the gala dinner in the V&A Waterfront on 10 November.
* The City of Cape Town’s free wifi service in the Company’s Garden has had a poor response to date, with only a hundred internet users enjoying the service in 11 days since its inception, despite the excellent weather in the past week!
* Hermanuspietersfontein’s Die Bartho 2011 was named Best White Blend in the 2013 SA Terroir Awards.
What a beautiful setting the Company’s Garden and backdrop Table Mountain was to last night’s episode 15 of MasterChef SA, fantastic marketing of Cape Town to the rest of the country’s TV viewers! The Red and Blue Teams had to prepare a dish reflecting our country’s cultural food heritage, and the scoring was pretty close, or so the viewers thought!
Having won the Best Dairy Dish Challenge in episode 13, Kamini Pather was allowed to choose her team of five for the next challenge, as well as the apron colour, when the box of aprons was delivered to the Finalists’ house. She chose the colour blue, and the two van der Wat sisters Seline and Leandri, Ozzy Osmond and Jason Steel for her team. Amanda Beck and Karen Els appeared to be in charge of the Red Team, which consisted of Khumo Twala, Joani Mitchell, and Tiron Eloff too. The team challenge was to make a dish that would reflect the origin of our country’s culinary heritage dating back to 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck planted the Company’s Garden to serve as a halfway house trading station of fresh foods for ships of the Dutch East India Company travelling between Holland and the Far East. The South African Culinary Olympic Team, which participated in the Culinary Olympics 2012 in Germany, and returned with 12 medals for our country, was invited as judges. We recognised Chef Tanja Kruger Continue reading →