Cape Town’s oldest restaurant Emily’s closing, Chef Peter Veldsman retiring!


Emilys-Interior-2-Whale-Cottage-Portfolio-2Emily’s Restaurant, one of Cape Town’s oldest and once fine-dining restaurants, is to close on Saturday, with Chef Peter Veldsman going into retirement.

Chef Peter became well-known as the award-winning Food Editor of Sarie, a position he held for twenty years. He started a cooking school, and co-founded the local branch of Chaîne des Rotisseurs. He has authored eleven books, including one about our country’s food history, as well as cook books. His culinary career spanned 50 years.

He opened Emily’s, one of few fine dining restaurants in Cape Town 23 years ago, in Woodstock, located there for 10 years initially, and was enticed to move to the V&A Waterfront, with an unfortunate location near the Nelson Mandela Gateway, seeing a decline in customers over the 10 years at that location. He moved the restaurant to Kloof Street two years ago, the standard having dropped dramatically by then, the sponsorship of the restaurant branding by Coca Cola being a shock, and Chef Peter nowhere to be seen.

I spoke to Executive Chef Johan Odendaal very briefly today, to confirm the closure. He told me that they have not sold the Emily’s brand name, and they do not yet know what they want to do with it in the future. It cannot be used by the new tenant of the space, he said.

POSTSCRIPT 24/11: We have just seen Chef Peter’s Facebook post, with his announcement: ‘Tyd om klaar te maak: Na 50 jaar in die kosbedryf het ek besluit dat dit nou tyd is om klaar te maak. My eetplek, Emily’s, is in die mark en ons gaan in Desember ‘n verkoping hou van die inhoud. Daar is die mooiste ontwerpers breekgoed, ‘n groot versameling ou bakgereedskap, stoele , tafels, kristal ens. Later meer hieroor. Ek wil my laaste lewensjare rustiger vat. Dis die tyd om ou paaie weer te loop en ou vriende weer te sien. Ek begin sommer oor ‘n week en maak ‘n draai by die Jordaans van Tulbagh en De Doorns, ry deur die Koo en soek Gert Lubbe op op Montagu, maak ‘n draai by Chris Milne op Barydale en bly dan in my grootouers se huis, deesdae ‘n gastehuis, op Ladismith oor’.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog:  Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@WhaleCottage  Facebook:  click here


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