Every year Eat Out seems to change something about its Awards, and this year is no exception. For 2017 Eat Out has decided to increase the shortlist of Restaurants to a Top 30, from which a Top Ten will be recognized at the 17 November Awards ceremony. Continue reading →
It was the last episode of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ last night, going full circle in Hayden having surfed off Muizenberg in episode 1, and doing so as well in Umhlanga in episode 13 last night. It was a shame that Hayden chose to end off his endorsement for Woolworths’ sustainability program by playing silly games with two pieces of Naan bread and stick out his tongue, a photograph placed on the programme series’ Facebook page.
Hayden visited a hydroponic cucumber farm Qutom Farms outside Durban, which supplies Woolworths. They catch rain water, and therefore they have not had to use external water for more than two years. The plants are grown in glasshouses with covering over the roofs to allow the staff to adapt the amount of light shining onto the cucumber plants. Derrick Baird, Director of Qutam Farms, said that the hydroponic farm ‘is a little bit of Europe here in South Africa’. They also use solar heating for the plant, generating about 220 kw per day. The plants are grown in cocopeat instead of in soil. A fine mist is sprayed if it gets too hot. No pesticides are used, allowing Hayden to eat a crunchy cucumber without having to wash it.
The Victoria Spice Market in Durban is known as the best place in which to buy curry spices. Viewers were Continue reading →
Last night’s episode 12 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ showed many South Africans an area of the country they have little exposure to, being Shakaland, a Zulu Cultural Centre, where Quinn was exposed to Zulu stick fighting, dancing, and traditional food and beer. The link to Woolworths in rhino spotting and to Shakaland is not clear, other than that Woolworths sells Rhino-themed shopper bags.
The Wildlife ACT (African Conservation Trust) Rhino monitor guide Zama Ncube took Quinn and Justin Smith, Head of Sustainability at Woolworths, to track black and white rhino, finding fresh dung and tracks of the rhino in the thick grass, and they were able to spot them too. Woolworths’ shopper bags with rhino visuals were plugged, as was the My Planet shopper card, proceeds of which go to the Wildlife ACT program. The link between Woolworths’ Sustainability focus and Wildlife ACT was not explained. Quinn then took to the skies in a helicopter, flown by pilot Etienne Gerber of the Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing of Project Rhino KZN, making it far easier to see the rhinos from above, and to control their movement and protection. Quinn was spoilt with sightings of zebra, giraffe, and buck. He was told that there are 20000 rhinos now. Continue reading →
Despite good publicity for the WWF-SASSI classification of seafood available in restaurants, and for sale in supermarkets on MasterChef (Seasons 1 and 3), and on ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘, a study has found that many consumers do not question the sustainability of the fish they buy!
A survey, conducted by Added Value for the World Wild Fund (WWF) campaign for its South Africa Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) communication, concluded that most South African consumers do not consider sustainability when buying seafood, and almost half do not ask Continue reading →
We wrote recently how Woolworths has been misleading consumers with claims about its Ayrshire milk, deceiving food labelling, and how it tries to create an image of healthy produce via its ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ series on SABC3. The group Grass Consumer Food Action has been persistent in its criticism of Woolworths, and appears to have hit a raw nerve in the Good Business Journey division at Woolworths, the retailer having launched a brand new ‘Good Food News‘ 16-page insert in the Sunday Times yesterday! It looks like a Taste magazine (the Woolworths sponsored magazine published by New Media Publishing) but printed in Tabloid format on recycled paper!
While the Tabloid has ‘headlines’ on page 1, to attract one’s attention to the content, it consists of a mix of ‘advertorials’ of its award-winning wines (since when are wines a food, as per the name of the publication?) in ‘Crowned as the best‘; ‘responsibly sourced‘ fish; braai suggestions for ‘Ready Steady Braai’; and ‘Flavours of Home‘ (prepared foods with strong spices such as curries, and traditional foods such as koeksisters and milk tart); as well as editorial. It is obviously planned as a monthly insert, numbered ‘Issue 01′, and dated September 2014. The focus of the first issue is ‘lovelocal‘:
* ‘New on the shelf‘ (page 3) showcases new pack designs for wine boxes, braai tins, braai marinade, braai Continue reading →
Last night’s episode 10 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ showed Hayden Quinn leaving South Africa, and visiting the beautiful Lesotho, ‘Kingdom in the Sky‘, southernmost land-locked country in Africa, and completely surrounded by South Africa. The content of the episode was motivated by the Katse Fish Farms, which grows trout in Lesotho, a supplier to Woolworths in a production process which is linked to the company’s sister operation Three-Streams Smokehouse in Franschhoek. Content-wise it was the thinnest episode, both in terms of little meaningful information provided, and even in terms of the few TV commercials flighted!
Hayden was seen on a horse in a traditional BaSotho outfit, with a blanket wrapped around him and wearing a BaSotho hat. It was explained to him that Lesotho is 3800 meters above sealevel, its lowest regions still being higher than South Africa, and therefore the locals keep warm by wrapping the blankets around them. About three-quarters of the country is rural.
In a village near the Katse Dam, Hayden met Rose Lekhoakhoa, a teacher and cook, who grows vegetables Continue reading →
Last night’s episode 9 had little to do with Woolworths, it being odd to have chosen Johannesburg as a sustainable destination, but this was defined more broadly in terms of transportation and how it impacts on climate change.
The episode was different to others before, with most of the content shown in the first 20 minutes, with little advertising, and then one concentrated burst of commercials. Hayden met with Chef Citrum Khumalo of Asidle Gourmet Catering, the two of them cooking on top of the 22 storey Randlords building, to test Hayden’s fear of heights. Chef Citrum showed Hayden how to make a colourful Chakalaka, its vibrant colours reflecting the diversity of the population of Johannesburg. The chakalaka was to be served with mango atjar (pickled in Oriental spices), beetroot, free-range chicken, ostrich, boerewors, and dumplings. Chef Citrum made the chakalaka with onions, parsley, beetroot, garlic, onions, and stock, frying them at high heat, and then adding white wine. Amazi (sour milk) was added too, as was chili, mustard seed, carrots, celery, spinach, black and sugar beans, and tomato paste.
Chef Citrum told Hayden that one hasn’t experienced Johannesburg if one has not been to Soweto (a name created from its original name South Western Townships), the most densely populated area in South Africa, in which 2 million persons live. Orlando is the best known suburb, and it is here that the well-known Vilakazi Street can be found, with the houses of the late Nelson Mandela and Continue reading →
Hayden Quinn covered a large distance in last night’s episode, travelling from Oudtshoorn to Prieska via Prince Albert, and ending off in Hertzogville in the Free State. Farmer Hennie de Bod tried to teach Hayden some Afrikaans sayings, which Hayden wasn’t too bad at repeating.
The 500 km trip in a lovely red new Mercedes-Benz GLA began outside Oudtshoorn, at the Gamkaberg Reserve, where Dr Quinton Martins, the founder and Director of the Cape Leopard Trust, showed Hayden the research camera capturing the movement of leopards, as well as of other wildlife, demonstrating the Biodiversity in the area. Hayden was made to do a leopard crawl, to get a feel of a leopard’s movement. Dr Martins has more than 1000 photographs of leopards, and his research shows that there is an average of one leopard per 100 km². Then it was onto the gravel road of the Swartberg Pass, which separates the Little and Great Karoo and was built in 1888 by Thomas Bain, which took Hayden to Prince Albert. Here he only spent the night at the only hotel in town, the Swartberg Hotel and its Victoria Room Restaurant ‘from a bygone era’, Hayden said. Hayden did not see anything else in the village, which has become famous in serving as the location for Kokkedoor Seasons 1 and 2. Continue reading →
Last night’s episode 6 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ was set in beautiful Knysna, showcasing its timber industry, being the Oyster Capital of our country, and home to Ile de Pain, one of the best bakeries in South Africa. It is a pity that beautiful Plettenberg Bay, and the fertile farming region of George, Sedgefield, and Wilderness were excluded.
The episode opened with Hayden meeting Markus Farbinger, the Austrian baker who opened Ile de Pain a number of years ago on scenic Thesen Island, baking breads and pastries, which one can buy to take away or to enjoy in their coffee shop. Schoon de Companje owner Fritz Schoon worked with Markus for a year, and learnt all he knows from Markus, before setting up De Oude Bank Bakkerij in Stellenbosch, now renamed. Fritz featured in Stellenbosch episode 2 with Hayden, showing him how to bake mosbolletjies, and went zorbing with him at De Morgenzon! Liezie Mulder is the chef and Markus the baker in their business, having a restaurant in the town centre too. Markus had baked some lavash flatbread in his woodfired oven, which Chef Liezie used to make South African Boerewors Wraps for breakfast, adding scrambled eggs, boerewors, and sheba, a salsa made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, red pepper, sugar, salt, and pepper. This was followed by a surfing Continue reading →
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 →