Entries tagged with “vegetarian”.

Yesterday I had the goosebump experience of being introduced to the new-in-the-making Gåte at Quoin Rock restaurant at the Quoin Rock winery outside Stellenbosch, which is destined to become a superlative Fine Dining dinner experience, probably the best this country has ever seen!  (more…)

While I am very conscious of my weight, and focused on maintaining or even reducing it further, I have not become a Vegan or Vegetarian eater, although my eating pattern largely excludes meat and bread. It was therefore interesting to receive an invitation from the hotel’s Food & Beverage Manager Hilton Ruch, to try the new Vegan High Tea last Friday. (more…)

A three-week writing focus at Apricale in Italy saw me complete the writing of a book within the time period I had allocated to this first-ever writing challenge. As the catalyst for The Book was Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen, in that I met a special man at his book launch in March last year, and that The Book tells the story of the transformational effect of the meeting, there was no better restaurant to eat at on Saturday, to celebrate the completion of The Book, than at JAN Restaurant in Nice! It felt like Christmas, it being exciting to experience JAN Restaurant again, my third visit in two years!  (more…)

Last week, over a four-day period, I experienced the gift of a Silent Retreat at Temenos Retreat in McGregor. The essence of the Silent Retreat is to not speak and to look inward, learning to love oneself. (more…)

denny-burger-packLast week I attended the soft opening of Restaurant at Villa 47, and could not believe that I had been seated next to André Naudé, a director of Libstar, the holding company of Rialto (which in turn owns Villa 47), and a former Tiger Brands client of mine of 15 years ago. André had organized an invitation for me to attend the launch of their new Denny mushroom burgers at the Libstar head office yesterday.  (more…)


imageWhilst dining at Le Bernardin in New York earlier this week, I received a copy of Zagat 2016 ‘New York City Restaurants’. Paging through it, I discovered some interesting information about the New York restaurant scene.  (more…)

imageAs part of a three-day stay in Franschhoek last week, I made a point of revisiting some older restaurants. One of them was Haute Cabrière, a restaurant which I had heard little of, other than its appointment in November last year of new Chef Dennis Strydom, of late. (more…)

FitChef Mediterranean fresh veg Whale CottageLast night I was invited to the first media launch in the country of FitChef, a new service of healthy meals and smoothies delivered into one’s home, as per one’s chosen mealplan.  A range of options is offered, including Banting/LCHF, detox and weight loss, vegetarian, and wellness. More than 50000 meal portions and 35000 smoothies are sold around the country monthly.

Developed by founder Wayne Kaminsky, who told us that he was a superfit fitness fanatic sportsman, participating in Ironman and Cape Epic challenges, and needing to find a more healthy eating pattern to lose weight.  He was using antibiotics, and could let them go when the benefits of the ‘clean eating’ came to the fore.  He moved more and more to healthy foods which he enjoyed cooking, making a batch of portions over weekends, and finding them selling well when he posted photographs of them on Facebook.  He started FitChef three years ago, and the Cape region was opened a year ago.  Wayne has tremendous energy, and his food preparation skills were impressive, preparing our dinner simultaneously at 10 food stations, at each of which a different dish was prepared.  He had prepared some of the dishes, and talked us through each food preparation station, each containing a different set of ingredients for a dish to be made. I noticed that a lot of ingredients came from Woolworths, but Wayne said that they prefer to use Pick ‘n Pay products. I questioned Wayne about his use of some Robertsons products, and he said that it was just for our dinner, and that they use fresh herbs in the factory food preparation. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Agricultural Tourism is a new opportunity for our country, reports Southern African Tourism Update, offering a learning opportunity for international farmers, according to Margi Biggs, MD at Specialized Tours & Events, Marius Botha, Owner at Guttera Tours, and Eugene Booysen, MD of Cape AgriTours. Farmers from other countries want to learn about new farming products, to network,  and to meet farmers to learn about techniques, to apply in their home countries.  The top source markets for agricultural tours include the UK, Germany, Brazil, France, Austria, India, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada, Ukraine, Chile, and the USA.

*   Champagne sales are bubbling in the UK, reports Decanter, almost doubling.   Best sellers include  Dom Perignon 2004, Taittinger 2002 and 2004 and Pol Roger Winston Churchill 2000.

*   South Africa has 14 million internet users, representing 39% of adults, according to research conducted by Digital Media & Marketing Association. (more…)

The large increase in the number of Indian tourists holidaying in South Africa has led SA Tourism to publish a vegetarian cookery book, to guide local restaurants and hotels in the preparation of vegetarian, vegan, and Jain dining. ‘Guide to Vegetarian, Vegan & Jain Dining in South Africa’ is available free of charge to hospitality establishments, and has been prepared with input by the SA Chefs’ Association.

The latest SA Tourism newsletter reports that the Guide has 50 recipes for snacks, starters and sides, salads and soups, main courses, and desserts, and ‘lists food items that each group may (and may not) eat; gives a brief explanation of the culture that informs the dietary lifestyle of these tourists; and offers a wide selection of delicious recipes that will keep vegetarian, vegan and Jain visitors happy and well-fed as they explore and fall in love with South Africa’.  The book also explains the differences between vegetarians, vegans, Jain eaters, pescatarians, and lacto-vegetarians, and suggests the best local places to source ingredients.  Jainism is a religion in India which dictates vegetariasm, but its adherents may not eat root vegetables, says Wikipedia.

South Africa is justifiably famous globally for its cuisine and delicious fresh produce. We want to make sure that South Africa delights the palate of every single visitor – even those whose dietary preferences are strictly vegetarian,’ said Thulani Nzima, CEO of SA Tourism. ‘We also want to educate the local hospitality industry and tourism operators about how to best meet the dietary requirements of these visitors,’ continued Mr Nzima.

One of South Africa’s fastest-growing tourism markets is India, which grew more than 26% in 2011 and continues its strong growth. ‘Our research has found that the culture of visitors from India differs markedly from South African Indians, and although Indian visitors love our destination, their specific dietary needs are not taken care of in South Africa,’ added Mr Nzima.

It would be useful if SA Tourism could also prepare a guide to cultural differences within South Africa in respect of Breakfast.  We have seen expectations for Breakfast of visitors from Johannesburg to be vastly different to those of other South African guests.

‘Guide to Vegetarian, Vegan and Jain Dining in South Africa, SA Tourism, neesha@southafrica.net.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage