City Press reported over the weekend that SAA sommelier and Global Food and Beverage Manager, Bongi Sodladla, was feted with bribes and incentives to offer wine purchase contracts to those wineries which greased her palms. Had Bribery Bongi not been going through a divorce, and had her still-current husband Wonga Sodladla not been so generous with information sent to SAA last month about his wife’s misdemeanours, SAA, the wine industry, and the South African public would never have known what was going on behind the scenes of SAA’s wine buying!
The winners of the 8th annual Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards were announced at the Stellenbosch Slowmarket yesterday. The Eat Out media release states that the quality of produce was excellent this year, and that it was not easy to choose the overall winners.
Judges were Deena Naidoo, MasterChef SA Season 1 winner, Eat Out Top 10 Chef Jackie Cameron of Hartford House, Chef Vanessa Marx of Dear Me, Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly, and Eat Out Editor-in-Chief Anelde Greeff.
We are delighted that the Oranjezicht City Farm has received recognition for its excellent work, in winning the South African Heritage Award. Anel Potgieter’s ‘Life is a Zoo Biscuit’ won Best Local Food Blog for the second time. Farmer Angus has been a pioneer for organic meat and egg production at Spier, and has been a previous winner too. It is no surprise that Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants has received the ‘Outstanding Outlet’ award for the Cape area, having been the former 2013 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant judge, yet it is surprising in that the outlet is in a dive location, and the service arrogant and poor – we are still waiting for the calf’s liver we ordered more than a month ago!
The 2014 Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards winners are: Continue reading →
* The Elite 100 fine-dining restaurants in the world have been announced for 2014, with three Cape restaurants on the list: The Test Kitchen at 45th place, The Tasting Room at 82nd, and Rust en Vrede (which the Cape Argus placed in Durbanville rather than in Stellenbosch!) at 85th place. The world’s top 10 restaurants, according to Elite, are Alinea in Chicago, Daniel Restaurant in New York, The Fat Duck in Bray in the UK, Eleven Madison Park in New York, Le Bernardin in New York, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona in Spain, Azurmendi in Vizcaya, La Pergola in Rome, The Ledbury in London, and Osteria Francescana in Modena in Italy. The Cape Argus incorrectly created one restaurant name out of the 7th and 8th ranked restaurants! A surprise is the omission of five hundred at The Saxon, which kitchen is headed by South Africa’s Top Chef David Higgs.
* After 45 years in the local and international hospitality industry, which includes the One&Only hotel group, Sol Kerzner is retiring, after selling a substantial stake of his Kerzner International Holdings to a Dubai-based company.
* New York Travel focuses on Spring Travel in South Africa, specifically in Cape Town and surrounding areas. In Cape Town the article mentions I Love my Laundry, the The Crypt Jazz Restaurant and The Marly in Camps Bay. It also refers to Cape Town’s role as host of World Design Capital 2014. Continue reading →
The hospitality industry in Cape Town is up in arms about the proposed changes to the by-law the City of Cape Town is wishing to make to liquor trading days and hours. The City has the right to stipulate the trading hours of alcoholic beverage sales, in accordance with the recently promulgated Western Cape Liquor Act.
The proposed by-law regulates that B & B’s and guest houses that are situated in residential areas, that have not been rezoned for commercial use, may not sell any alcohol at all. Those that are located in “local/neighbourhood business areas/nodes (including mixed use areas consisting of single/general residential interspersed with business uses)” may sell alcohol from 11h00 â€“ 23h00, as are hotels, pubs, restaurants and even supermarkets. Accommodation establishments in the CBD are allowed to sell alcohol from 11h00 â€“ 2h00. Wine farms are only allowed to sell alcohol from 9h00 â€“ 18h00, closing off the very lucrative weddings market to them.
The by-law changes are designed to reduce alcohol abuse and violence against women and children induced by alcohol abuse, the City says.
Both FEDHASA Cape and SATSA have requested the City publicly to reconsider its by-law, in that some of its members would have to close their alcohol sales at 21h00 if they are located in predominantly residential areas. FEDHASA says that the City has not consulted the association, and that the proposed by-law will damage Cape Town’s image as a world-class destination, especially in view of the city hosting the 2010 World Cup, and many international tourists preferring to eat later rather than early.. It also says that patrons will stock up on alcohol prior to the 21h00 deadline, to last them throughout the evening, which could lead to binge-drinking, which is exactly what the City wishes to avoid. Alternatively, more restaurant patrons could be bringing their own wines, to get around the by-law, which is disadvantageous to the profitability of restaurants.
SATSA says that it does not believe that the proposed trading hours will solve the social problems related to alcohol abuse, and invites the City to consult with the tourism industry before passing the by-law.
The by-law could set an unwanted precedent for municipalities in the Western Cape to follow the example of the City of Cape Town, in a province that has tourism as its major source of revenue. It has a further problem in that the definitions of “B & B’s” and “guest houses”, and the criteria for rezoning, are very vague. Another department in the City is working on these, having received input from industry players early last year, but its final unified rezoning policy for Cape Town is yet to be seen.