Liam Tomlin Food to relocate to Cape Town in November


Liam Tomlin Food, a joint venture company with Liam Tomlin, Hein Koegelenberg, Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg and Berdine Neethling, is to relocate to Cape Town in November, the company announced today.

Co-owner Hein Koegelenberg said in a meeting today that to be closer to their support base in Cape Town, it makes sense to move the cookery school to a Cape Town venue.  Chef Liam Tomlin is still running courses at the current venue in Franschhoek until the end of October, and will be one of a program of chefs who will be doing cooking demonstrations at Leopard’s Leap, and will continue as a consultant chef to Leopard’s Leap. The program could include a three Michelin star chef from the Institut Paul Bocuse school of cooking.  The new Leopard’s Leap tasting venue was officially opened six months ago.

The move to Cape Town will co-incide with a food offering at Leopard’s Leap, given the demand expressed by winetasters.  Hein said that plans have not been finalised, but it is likely that cake and coffee, as well as chicken from their rotisserie will be sold with salads and bread.  Some of the space in the shop is likely to sell fresh foods to take home.

In the media release Liam Tomlin is quoted as follows: ‘It makes sense to be nearer to our main support base and although we will miss the beauty of the Franschhoek Valley and its friendly people (not to mention having wonderful wines across the room from us!), we are also looking forward to being in the hustle and bustle of Cape Town’.

To tie in with its Liam Tomlin Food culinary connection, Leopard’s Leap is launching a Culinary wine range, inspired by the French regions of Champagne, Loire, Rhone, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Sauternes, each of the wines being suitable for pairing with specific foods.  The range will be available exclusively at the Leopard’s Leap tasting room in Franschhoek, and at the new Liam Tomlin Food venue in Cape Town.

Good news is that Harry Joubert, previously with the Brampton tasting room in Stellenbosch, is the new manager of the Leopard’s Leap tasting room.

POSTSCRIPT 2/10: Despite the media release published a month ago, and the interview I had with Hein Koegelenberg at that time, Liam Tomlin Food will close down at Leopard’s Leap at the end of October, and will not move to Cape Town, Hein Koegelenberg confirmed telephonically today, saying that it was not financially viable to open the cooking school company in Cape Town.  Chef Liam Tomlin will be available to Leopard’s Leap on an ad hoc consultancy basis.  Leopard’s Leap will start serving food from 1 November.

Liam Tomlin Food: Twitter: @LiamTomlinFood

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: Twitter: @WhaleCottage

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5 replies on “Liam Tomlin Food to relocate to Cape Town in November”

  1. How was this ever supposed to add up as a business ? 50 odd million rand on a cooking school ! A fool and his money are easily parted.

  2. Thanks for your comment Jamie.

    It does seem odd that the financial viability of a cooking school in Franschhoek was not tested before it was built.

    I am not sure how much the building cost, but I would imagine the figure you are quoting includes setting up a fine tasting room for Leopard’s Leap, which will obviously remain operating, and from which they will serve food in November.


  3. uninformed comments such as darren and Jamie’s always add humor to one’s day. Do you really think that the cooking school cost that amount Jamie?

    Thank you for the blog Chris, I see you interviewed Leopard’s Leap’s owner – but what does Liam give as the reason for the move? I haven’t seen anything negative written about Liam Tomlin Food online?

  4. Thanks for your question Veronica.

    When I interviewed Hein Koegelenberg, as the representative of Liam Tomlin Food, I received a media statement quoting both Liam and Hein which I quoted from in my blogpost.

    The closing down of Liam Tomlin Food may have had to do with the cost of the courses, and the lack of awareness of Liam Tomlim, who has done little to market himself. They were not very active on Social Media either. It appears that Liam’s move back to Cape Town also caught Hein by surprise.

    The past twelve months have been extremely quiet in Franschhoek for all businesses, and could have influenced the decision to move back to a more lucrative market in Cape Town. What is interesting is that the two parties have ‘divorced’, having announced that they would open a new joint venue in Cape Town, but then that fell away. Liam is back where he started off twelve months ago, at his Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School in Cape Town.


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