Entries tagged with “Toffifee”.


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 (more…)

Fine Brandy Fusion This Is Brandy Whale Cottage PortfolioOn Thursday evening my friend Bettie Coetzee-Lambrecht and I attended Fine Brandy Fusion at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, having been invited by Manley Communications.   Fine Brandy Fusion is a fine showcase for the local brandy industry, the Bisquit cognac with South African links being our highlight.

At the registration desk we received a goody bag, and a booklet of coupons, to allow us to taste brandy cocktails and taste some of the 50 fine brandies neat.  Immediately on entering we passed a smallish restaurant, catered by the Convention Centre kitchen.  The food quality of the Convention Centre has been poor at every exhibition attended in the past, but picked up when its new Chef Warwick Thomas arrived a year ago, reaching a new low at World Travel Market Africa last month.  I was immediately sceptical, but the food options which were displayed in a refrigerated unit looked better (just from the plating) than I have ever seen there before.   We received two food couponsFine Brandy Fusion Food Whale Cottage Portfolio each, which Bettie used for linefish and I ordered tasty calamari rings, Bettie saying that it would be important to line our tummies for the brandy tasting to come.  We both ordered a cheese platter as well.  The service was excellent and professional, and the prices very reasonable at about R50 each.  We felt severely under-dressed when a fashionista wearing fur and her partner shared our table! (more…)