The American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards were held last night for the 18th year, at the superb event venue The Olive Press at Boschendal. The highest number ever of first-time recipient restaurants received recognition. A total of 53 award-winning restaurants are from the Cape. Continue reading →
Today the inaugural ‘2016/2017 Gourmet Guide: Top South African Restaurants, their Chefs & Recipes‘ was launched at the Good Food & Wine Show. Twenty one top restaurants were honored with one or two plates, acknowledging them as the best restaurants in our country.
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Almost a year after leaving Camphors at Vergelegen as an Eat Out Top 10 restaurant, Chef PJ Vadas has announced that he is setting up The Hog House on the Werf craft Bakery and Café in the more than two hundred year old Jonkershuis building at Spier in October.
The media release received from Spier states that Chef PJ will be baking breads and pastries in the custom-built wood-fired oven, and offer a light menu for breakfast and lunch. Continue reading →
In December I visited Boschendal Farm, to try their new Deli, and had been fortunate to be shown around the revitalised wine estate by Events Manager Aldo du Plessis and Chef Christiaan Campbell. The highlight of what was to come was the new The Werf Restaurant, to be established in the transformed building in which the Buffet used to be served. My expectations of the restaurant were therefore high, and the disappointment great after my lunch there ten days ago.
As it was the Franschhoek Literary Festival weekend, and I expected guests to check-in, I called ahead to make a reservation for an early 12h00 lunch. I was surprised that on a Wednesday morning the phone to the restaurant was not answered, and that one had to leave a message, the answering machine informing one that the restaurant is open from Wednesdays – Sundays. I called back Continue reading →
How are food trends made? Is it chefs inspired by other chefs, especially award-winning ones? Is it chefs doing stages in the top restaurants of the world, and returning to create dishes inspired by what they have seen and learnt, as has happened in our country with Noma clones!? Is it chefs looking at photographs of food bloggers and restaurant reviewers, or their photographs on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook?
The six following food trends are hot right now:
1. Bread and Butter: something many restaurants have done away with appears to be making a come-back, in being created as something so special that it is a serious dish on a menu. Breads are now self-baked, Banting-approved butter is not only served salted or unsalted, but also with additives like cheese, salts, bone marrow, burnt onion, sun-dried tomatoes, or Marmite, or as I experienced at Boschendal’s new The Werf Restaurant with lamb and beef added, or with Shiraz added at Equus at Cavalli. Serving whipped butter is particularly trendy.
2. Since Banting took off last year, the price of cauliflower has soared in Cape Town, a staple element of Banting menus, including cauli-mash, making bases for pizzas, and as a ‘safe‘ vegetable. Internationally Noma has revived this vegetable, by serving it pot-roasted whole, topped with pine and yoghurt whey. It is served puréed, barbecued, pickled, and even as a ‘steak’.