Entries tagged with “Welmoed”.


SV_Food Pairing_05PinotNoirWelmoed, part of Stellenbosch Vineyards, has launched two new wine varieties, a Pinot Grigio 2015, and a Pinot Noir 2014.

The new wines are described as follows: (more…)

Bistro 13 Interior plus serving hatch Whale CottageAn unusually high number of new restaurants has opened or will do so in the next month or two.  There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers!  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Kokkedoor judge and Chef Nic van Wyk and Roxy Laker have opened bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards (Welmoed) (photograph)

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (who own the La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) has opened Tiger’s Milk in Muizenberg, the venue having previously been earmarked for a steakhouse.

*   Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht (of Burrata) have opened new restaurant Bocca on the corner of Bree (more…)

Borage Bistro Interior 2 Whale CottageAn unusually high number of new restaurants has opened or will do so in the next month or two.  There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers!  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Borage Bistro has opened in Portside, with Chef Frank Marks, previously of The Fat Duck, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, La Colombe, The Test Kitchen, and The Pot Luck Club

*   Chef Chris Erasmus has opened his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek, having previously been at Pierneef à La Motte.

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) is opening a steak restaurant in Muizenberg in November.

*   Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht (of Burrata) are opening a new restaurant Bocca on the corner of Bree (more…)

Bistro13 Logo Whale CottageChef Nic van Wyk needs no introduction, having been the judge for two seasons of Kokkedoor, and having made a name for himself as a sauce man of note whilst he was at Terroir with Michael Broughton, and more recently having served honest food at Diemersdal Farm Eatery.  Now he has opened bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards, in the same building as the new tasting room for the wine estate, also known as Welmoed.

Chef Nic’s partner Roxy Laker has been excellent at documenting theBistro 13 Stellenbosch Vineyards tasting desk Whale Cottage journey of the transformation from a construction site into the restaurant, showing us on Facebook how Chef Nic and she were hands-on in erecting shelving and adding the decor. Yesterday a new journey commenced, it being the official opening day.  I was inquisitive to see the new restaurant and tasting room, and a chat between Roxy and I on Facebook led to an invitation from Stellenbosch Vineyards’ Business Development Manager Guy Kedian to visit yesterday, whilst I was in Stellenbosch anyway. (more…)

Foliage Chef Chris Erasmus at table Whale CottageFor the first time in many years Cape Town has seen barely any restaurant closures this winter. There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers! An unusually high number of new restaurants have opened or will do so in the next month or two.

This list of restaurant openings and closings, restaurant staff movements, and winter holiday closures, is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*     Chef Chris Erasmus has opened his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek, having previously been at Pierneef à La Motte.

*    Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has opened Street Food below the neighbouring hotel, offering Deluxe coffee, pastries, and Asian-inspired lunch take-outs. Operates from 7h00 – 15h00 Monday – Friday.

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill is opening next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) is (more…)

The Odyssey interior Whale Cottage PortfolioWhen Anne Myers invited me to lunch, and asked me to choose a venue in town, I recommended The Odyssey, which I had eaten at about a month ago when Cape Legends hosted a function for its Monis brand, just after the restaurant had re-opened with a new name and new menu, having previously been French Toast Wine & Tapas Bar.  It felt familiar, as the restaurant has retained the furniture,  minimal interior changes having been made, yet it is lively and new, with a new chef and new menu, no longer just serving tapas in this first local Gastropub.

The staff are youngish and friendly, even indulging our request for the volume of the music to be toned down so that we could hear each other speak. Matt Cowan is the Manager, who was promoted from waiter at Blues, the ‘parent’ restaurant, and has a marketing background, which he applies to the restaurant too.  We discussed the surprise news that they are using Spill blog as their ‘PR company‘, and there appears to be some tension already, the relationship not appearing to have got off the ground yet.  The biggest surprise of all was the charm ofThe Odyssey Chef Lapo Magni Whale Cottage Portfolio Chef Lapo Magni, who has also moved across from Blues, and is a cousin of Lorenzo Magni, the GM of the new restaurant.  Lapo has been in the country for four years, having left his home city Florence to help out at Blues, and he has just stayed on. He is on a high, having just won the Italian RAI TV La Terra dei Cuochi award for best fledgling chef, with a substantial prize tag.  His mother runs a cookery school, and encouraged him to enter the TV cooking competition in Rome.  It was her chicken liver paté recipe that won him the competition. He is focused on sustainable sourcing, and their goal is to obtain produce within a 100 km radius, where feasible.  Warthog is excluded, for example, it coming from the Botswana border, but is something Italians love, and it offers him the opportunity to serve it as a stew with wild berries, or as sausages, he said, also sourcing desert-fed lamb.  (more…)

We have been critical of Crush!1 and Crush2!,  the new food and wine digital magazine under the editorship of Michael Olivier, respected food and wine guru, as he calls himself on Twitter.   Our opinion has not changed after seeing Crush!3  We are heartened to see that our feedback is being acknowledged and implemented up to a point.   The overwhelming feeling is that the designers are trying too hard to add design ‘bells and whistles’ which distract rather than add to the magazine. This was reflected in the following Tweet on Twitter earlier this week:  “luv your magazine idea but the technology you using is not user friendly. Why don’t you do trad website?”  

We are sad that Michael, a friend for many years, has taken our feedback about the magazines so personally that he has chosen to not comment on our blogposts at all, no longer acknowledges my presence at functions, and has blocked us on Twitter, a rather unprofessional reaction from what we have always believed to be a mature gentleman.

Our review of Crush3! is as follows:

1.   The cover page has appetite appeal, but a new design feature is to show the cover shot change into a dirty used plate, not looking appetising at all.   The photography of this plate of food, from a feature on rosemary, does not come near the beautiful shot which was used for the cover of Crush2!   The type relating to the content runs over the photograph, making most of it unreadable.

2.   We are delighted that the video button has been taken off Micheal’s face on the Introduction page, our complaint of the previous two issues.   Michael also talks on the video without any clanging kitchen noises, as was the case in Crush2!  The Content listing is an improvement.

3.   Advertisers Old Mutual, The Kovensky Quartet of restaurants, Pick ‘n Pay, Pongracz, Arumdale and Welmoed remain faithful, with new advertiser Avontuur.  Arabella wines is no longer advertising.

4.   When reading the Chenin Blanc sub-page on the “Michael says” page, the page rolls down too quickly when one clicks onto the arrow, for one to be able to read the page.  

5.   On the ‘Essentials’ page there are no distracting flashes, and the brand names are typed at each product, but brand and pack recognition for Dalla Cia, Imhoff Jams, Fairview Chevin and Madécasse Chocolates is poor.

6.   The Morgenhof advertorial is visually intriguing but totally spoilt by the Uwe Koetter ring competition block, spoiling the appeal of this page.   The promotional box stays open when one clicks onto one of the four editorial boxes, making it impossible to read the windows about the restaurant, the coffee shop, the cellar and the owner, defeating the object of the exercise.

7.   The double page spread on snoek pate has five beverage bottles on it too, and one can only recognise the brand name of Steph Weiss beer.  Even when “rolling” over the pics of the bottles of Danie de Wet Cape Muscadel, Klein Constantia Rhine Riesling, Douglas Green Fino No 1, and Mullineaux one cannot read their labels.

8.   Andy Fenner’s “Jamie Who?'” page looks as it did in the previous issue, but the flashes are no longer petal-shaped, now being balloons.  The content of these is boring.   One bubble opens onto ‘After Work Drinks’, and three are meant to be featured, but only Harvey’s Bar is visible.   The balloon bubbles flash even when one opens the balloon, giving it a tacky feel.

8.   The “High Five” page is blocked by a promotion “Share the High Five with your friends”.   The Table Bay MCC Brut brand name is barely legible, being light blue.

9.  JP Rossouw has been overseas, so there is no review by him in this issue.  Michael has taken over the role, and has done a feature on La Motte, but once again a competition block blocks the photograph of the grounds and buildings of the “new” La Motte.  One cannot see how to close this block, which incorrectly spells the wine estate as ‘Lamotte’.   The competition does not call the reader to action – it leaves one feeling confused as to how to enter the competition. Whilst the La  Motte pages have three La Motte wines on the page, with unreadable brand names, the placement of the Pongracz ad on the same page seems to be an error of judgement, especially given that La Motte recently launched its own sparkling wine!

10.  The ‘Quick & Delicious’ page is also blocked with a “make sure you are subscribed” block over the week’s recipe cards.  A tiny packshot of Bisquit Cognac is barely readable and when one clicks onto it, it is yet another attempt to get one to subscribe.

11.  The “Cellar for later” page is fine and all wine brand names are clearly readable below the packs.  However, on the “Quaff for now” page, the brand names of the white wines are typed in green, making them barely legible. 

12.   A dreadful old-fashioned burlesque-type typeface is used for the main food feature, being “4 Ways with Rosemary”.  As it is an ingredient, it is not visible in the food shots, other than in its subtle use in the styling.   The information about each of the four recipes in respect of baking time and the number of persons that the recipe serves is barely readable.   This food feature is nowhere as yummy as the Lindt chocolate one was in the previous issue.

13.   David Cope’s “The Foodie” page looks much better than in Crush2!, and has some brand carry-over from his blog with the red tablecloth.  The “Midlands roadtripping” story has little interest to the mainly Cape Town readers.   There are tiny links at the bottom of the page that are barely visible, being so small.

14.   On the “Fresh Summer Food” one dish for Thai prawn cakes can be seen, yet a flash highlights ‘five delicious recipes’.  When one clicks onto that flash, it just enlarges it, and does not reveal the other four recipes.

15.   The feature on The Kitchen restaurant has a collection of photographs to the left, but one cannot see that they are linked to the restaurant story.

16.  The endlessly long “We love Real Beer” feature is blocked by yet another subscription sign-up block!

The design team clearly still tries too hard, making Crush! off-putting to read.  It is also too hard-sell, in pushing its free subscription (most readers would not be reading the magazine if they had not subscribed to it)!  Pushing its competitions at the expense of its own features or of advertisers’ brands is off-putting too, and reduces the value of their brands.   Our invitation to Michael to comment, issued in each of our reviews, still stands.  To read Crush!3, click here. (page 1 of the magazine has not been loading for a week now).

POSTSCRIPT 17/10: We are shocked that Michael Olivier, as editor of Crush!, can endorse a malicious campaign against us on Twitter as of last night, born out of a dinner of the Crush! editorial team, which included Michael Olivier, Sophia Lindop, Andy Fenner (Jamie Who?) and David Cope, in reaction to our three reviews of Crush!.  The driver of the campaign appears to be David Cope (the so-called ‘The Foodie’).  This is a most childish and unprofessional reaction, that one would not have expected from the once highly regarded Michael Olivier. 

POSTSCRIPT 18/10:   David Cope has taken great exception to having been outed, and is now hurling abuse at this writer via e-mail.  Surprisingly Michael Olivier has done nothing to protect his honour and that of his publication.  His broken page 1 has also not been fixed. 

POSTSCRIPT 4/11:  Andy Fenner (JamieWho?) has announced his exit from Crush!  He bases the decision on a collaboration with Woolworths, which has just been signed.   He may be smart in using this as a way out of Crush! to save his reputation, as he was part of the Crush! editorial team that launched the Twitter smear campaign, and is David Cope’s best friend.

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