Tag Archives: Chefs’ Warehouse and Cookery School

MasterChef SA Season 2 controversial final week: what lies ahead in episodes 27 and 28?

masterchef-sa-2-billboard-pete-goffe-woodNo matter what happens in the MasterChef SA Season Finale tomorrow evening, the choice of the Season 2 Masterchef SA winner will be controversial, if the outcry on Social Media about Kamini Pather being allowed through to Top 4 and Top 3 is anything to go by, even forcing M-Net to issue a media release about it!

Food blogger Kamini Pather was the clear leader until episode 24, rarely putting a foot wrong,  and only landing up in two Pressure Tests.  It is clear that her strength is creatively meeting cooking challenges, and that she is less good in having to replicate dishes of visiting chefs, which was her downfall in two episodes last week.  She is seen to be aloof, some seeing this as arrogance.  She was a winner of the bell, and Food and Wine Pairing Master Class at Nederburg, for the best Signature Sandwich in episode 5.  She was the joint winner with Tiron Eloff of the Coffee Invention Test in Ethiopia MasterChef 2 26 Kamini Whale Cottage Porfolioand received a MasterClass in the Jemma Valley. Went into her first (Vegetarian) Pressure Test due to the injera challenge in Ethiopia in episode 21. Into the Pressure Test in episode 24 for her poor month-end dish.  Poor performance in Gâteau Pressure Test, yet was (controversially) saved by the judges in episode 25.   Poor performance in Richard Carstens’ Chocolate Handkerchief dish in episode 26, yet was saved again. In a video interview after episode 26 a very tearful Kamini admits that her early morning yoga is ‘working less and less’, and that ‘the volume of tasks’ required when replicating dishes ‘is freaking me out’.  She has the highest number of votes from readers of our blog.

Sisters Landri and Seline van der Wat have won increasing viewer support, for their wonderful supportive relationship, for being smart, for their cooking skills (Seline for baking in particular), for how well-spoken they are, in often making Continue reading →

Col’Cacchio ‘Celebrity Chef’ Series 2013: eat good, do good!

Col’Cacchio has announced the ‘Celebrity Chefs‘ who are endorsing its ‘Celebrity Chef’ Series 2013, none of whom are in fact ‘celebrity’ nor chefs linked to a restaurant!  Despite the misnomer, the concept of the promotion is a noble one, as R5 of each of the Celebrity Series pizzas goes to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, which does excellent work in caring for children from all over Africa.  A donation of around R100000 can be expected from the pizza promotion this year.

Last year I attended the awards evening of the Col’Cacchio Pizza Challenge, in which pizza lovers competed for the honour of having their pizza added to the Col’Cacchio menu for the month of August, alongside pizzas designed by Chef Chris Erasmus from Pierneef à La Motte, Chef Jackie Cameron from Hartford House, and Chef Coco Reinarhz of Sel et Poivre.  This year Col’Cacchio has called for pizza lovers to enter their Pizza Challenge Live, Continue reading →

The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap is a fresh feast!

I was invited by La Motte and Leopard’s Leap Culinary Consultant Hetta van Deventer-Terblanche to try out their new The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap for lunch on Saturday, and enjoyed the beautiful display of their salads, made from just-picked vegetables and herbs on the property, and the excellent pork and chicken prepared in their impressive-looking rotisserie.

The Leopard’s Leap tasting room opened a year ago as a brand new tasting centre combined with the Liam Tomlin Food culinary store and cookery school. Chef Liam Tomlin has decided to move back to Cape Town, returning to his Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School. This has allowed Leopard’s Leap to utilise its rotisserie imported from France, and its impressive herb and vegetable garden to source ingredients for a number of salads, and to offer Leopard’s Leap wine tasting guests lunch and sweet treats.  Hetta put together the concept, inspired by CEO Hein Koegelenberg, yet is very modest about her role.

Chef Pieter de Jager has moved across from Pierneef à La Motte, to run The Rotisserie kitchen.  He started at La Motte when the restaurant opened two years ago, having moved across from Le Quartier Français.  He has worked in London at The Waterside Inn Restaurant with Chef Alain Roux.  His father Chef Chris owned Die Fonteine and Chagalls, French inspired restaurants in Pretoria, when he was still at school.

One takes a tray with linen/cotton serviette and modern Sola cutlery and makes one’s way through to the salad bar, which is then weighed and charged, at R15 per 100 gram.  Salad options include a pasta salad, garden leaves, a root vegetable salad, a papaya salad, a potato salad, onion salad, couscous and date salad, marinated mushroom salad, feta, beetroot salad, cucumber and carrot shavings, chicken and bean salad, and stuffed mushrooms, all beautifully displayed.  The names of the salads are written on mini ‘blackboards’, attached to sticks and placed in jars containing miniature white pebbles.  The selection of salads will vary according to what is available in the herb and vegetable garden.  Bunches of herbs add green to the display, presented in a mini watering can, and in little terracotta plant pots.  A Leopard’s Leap ice bucket holds bottles of home-made beetroot, carrot and ginger, as well as pineapple juice, and ginger ale, all made by Chef Pieter’s team.  Three different vinaigrettes add further colour to the display. One is then asked if one would like chicken or pork from the rotisserie, which Chef Pieter and his colleague cut, and then add to the plate.  A quarter piece of herb grilled chicken costs R29, half R64, and a whole chicken costs R128.  A 100g slice of pork costs R25 and 200g R45.  For vegetarians there is a vegetable wrap filled with roasted butternut, carrots, sorrel, feta, sweet potato, and aioli, costing R25. A special children’s menu will be made available too. Miniature ciabatta and wrapped portions of herb butter are available at the till, and are included in the price.

For dessert there is a tempting selection of cupcakes, each in an individual mini bell jar (R15), miniature berry cheese cake (R10), popsicles (R10), berry jelly and custard (R10), brownies (R15), Rice Crispie treats (R9), and lemon tarts (R10).

One sits down at one of the tables, with fun tops of illustrations of knives and other kitchen utensils, the cuts of beef, and even some wine ‘stains’.  Glassware is the German Rastal, which Hetta said brings out the best in the wine for tasting.  One can also sit in a lounge area, with a cosy fireplace for winter lunches, or outside in summer. The tables only have water glasses, so that one knows that it is self-service.  The Leopard’s Leap wines are sold at a small premium to the prices in the tasting room, exceptionally well priced at R15/R33 per glass/bottle of the Leopard’s Leap Lookout range; R20/R38 for the Classic range; R25/R49 for the Family Collection Chenin Blanc and R25/R70 for the Family Collection Shiraz Mourvèdre; and R95 per bottle of the new Culinaria MCC, which was launched at the Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival this past weekend.

Hetta is setting up a shop which will sell culinary, wine and conservation (Leopard’s Leap supports the Cape Leopard Trust, and sponsors literary events) related items. One will be able to pop in The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap, and buy a piece or a whole chicken, or even a cupcake or popsicle, to take home or sit down and eat there.  The 24-station kitchen is available to chefs in Franschhoek to host demonstrations, and other events, Hetta emphasising that they are willing to share what they would like to call ‘Franschoek’s Kitchen’ with their chef colleagues. Ideally they would love a cooking program to be filmed in their state of the art kitchen.

The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap is a friendly informal restaurant at which to enjoy a light meal for about R100 a head.  It joins an increasing number of Winelands estates offering the convenience of being able to eat after a wine tasting.

The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap, R45, Franschhoek.  Tel (021) 876-8002. www.leopards-leap.com Twitter: @LeopardLeapWine.  Wednesday – Sunday from 10h00.  The Tasting Room is open from Tuesdays – Sundays.

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

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: www.liamtomlinfood.com Twitter: @LiamTomlinFood

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