Tag Archives: culinary

Plaisirs de France: Franschhoek Food goes French, celebrates Huguenot Heritage!

Franschhoek is about to become a whole lot more French, when the Plaisirs de France (Pleasures of France) Celebrations kick off in the village on 15 October, demonstrating its food and culinary delights, and its French Huguenot heritage, a month-long Bastille Festival judging from the programme.  A mix of Le Pique Niques, cooking demonstrations by local Franschhoek and French chefs, a weekly Country Village Market, French cheese tastings, pop-up kitchens with French-inspired lunches at art galleries, and some top class dinners form the foundation of the Festival.  The Plaisirs de France Festival is part of a larger Seasons of France cultural exchange program between South Africa and France.

The French Huguenots arrived in 1688, and were allocated land in what was originally called Oliphantshoek in 1694. The farm names La Dauphiné, Bourgogne, La Bri, Champagne, La Motte, Cabrière, La Cotte, La Terra de Luc, and La Provence still exist, and were named after the settlers’ places of birth in France.

The highlight of the month-long French celebration will be a French-inspired six-course dinner at Pierneef à La Motte, costing R690 for the dinner paired with wines, which Chef Florent Boivin of the Paul Bocuse Institute in France will cook with Chef Chris Erasmus on 12 October. Chef Florent has cooked at a number of Michelin-star restaurants, including Maison Troisgros, Le Jardin des Sens, and Maison Decoret. He has also opened new restaurants at D’Sens in Bangkok, Raffles Hotel Restaurant in Singapore, and Héritage Hotel Restaurant in Mauritius.  Chef Chris Erasmus has just returned from a three week stage at Noma, the world’s number one restaurant, based in Copenhagen.  The dinner will combine the fresh herbs and vegetables grown on La Motte, South African produce such as springbok, and French gourmet delights such as foie gras.

Other special meals on offer are the following:

*   3-course lunches at The Bistro at Allee Bleue, R195, 15 October – 15 November. Tel (021) 874-1021

*   6-course Tasting Menu dinner at Vrede & Lust’s Cotage Fromage, paired with Vrede & Lust wines, R299. Wednesdays from 17 October – 14 November.  Tel (021) 874-3991

*   Cooking French Pastries at Le Quartier Français, 20 October, 10h00 – 13h00, R795.

*   6-courses paired with wines, Le Quartier Français Dinner, 25 October, 19h00, R950.

*   6-courses dinner paired with wines at La Motte Owner’s Cottage, 18 – 20 October, R950. Tel (021) 876-8000.

*   French Tarts at Bread & Wine, 17, 24 and 31 October and 14 November, 10h00, R395. Tel (021) 876-4004.

*   French Canapés at Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa stand at the Village Market 20 and 27 October, 3 and 10 November, 9h00 – 13h00.

*   Macaroons, Meringues and Charcuterie at Bread & Wine stand at Village Market, 20 and 27 October, and 3 and 10 November,  9h00 – 13h00.

*   Le Pique Nique at Rickety Bridge: R148 per person, 24 hour booking ahead.

It appears that very few of the Franschhoek restaurants are participating in the Plaisir de France promotion!

Pierneef à La Motte, La Motte, R45, Franschhoek.  Tel (21) 876-8000. www.la-motte.com Twitter: @PierneefLaMotte

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

German fashion reality TV show puts Cape Town onto the catwalk!

A production team from VOX TV, a private TV channel in Germany with a viewership of 35 million, is in Cape Town to shoot ‘Das Perfekte Model’ (The Perfect Model), a reality model casting show, reports Hotel & Restaurant. As various locations in the city are to be used for the filming, Cape Town should see an even bigger influx of German tourists this summer.

Top international German model Eva Padberg is the mentor and celebrity judge for the series, and is in Cape Town with the model candidates until Monday.  The show is seen to be a head-on challenge to Heidi Klum’s ‘Germany’s Next Topmodel’. Cape Town is the only long-haul city featured in the model casting show series, and was organised by SA Tourism’s Germany office, partnering with SAA and the Pepper Club Hotel.

Theresa Bay-Müller, SA Tourism Germany Country Manager, said that “South Africa is known for providing the perfect backdrop for photo shoots and filmmaking.  We are proud to be able to host Eva Padberg and her VOX TV crew … and are confident this partnership will further entrench South Africa’s natural beauty and unique lifestyle to the German public”.  She added that not only would the show position South Africa as the fashion capital of Africa, but would also expose Cape Town’s ‘unique leisure, culinary and adventure offerings that complement the Cape Town lifestyle experience’. Bay-Müller said that SA Tourism had used adventure, outdoor, culinary and wine as themes to market South Africa to the German outbound market. “It is the variety, depth and unique combinations of experiences available in South Africa that makes it an ideal destination for Germans, and what a better place to show all of this than in Cape Town, especially following some great lifestyle and tourism accolades for the city”, she concluded.

In addition to the filming, the models will be shown around the city and will be taken to an ostrich farm. They will also receive acting, runway, and casting training in Cape Town, and will feature in fashion shoots, with Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront as backdrop.

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

Franschhoek set to twin with St Helena, Napa Valley

Following a recent visit to the USA by the Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Association CEO Jenny Prinsloo, a proposal for a twinning relationship between Franschhoek and St Helena in the Napa Valley is to be evaluated, reports the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau in its latest member newsletter.

According to Ms Prinsloo, the proposed twinning relationship is justifiable on the basis of both towns being members of the Great Wine Capitals, their similar demographic profile, their same high-end real estate offering, their compatible tourist target markets, their location in premier new world wine regions, their shared reputation as gourmet destination towns, their similar accommodation offerings, their similar business profiles, their shared niche speciality shops and art galleries (St Helena is one of two top shopping destinations in California), sharing being high quality lifestyle destinations, and a shared focus on wellness tourism.

The benefits in twinning are overwhelming, with a group of St Helena Chamber of Commerce members  set to visit Franschhoek next year.  Marketing information is to be exchanged, and ideas relating to festivals and events to be shared.   Wine estate and restaurant intern exchanges could result; environmentally sustainable initiatives for the wine estates can be applied in Franschhoek, from the experience gained in this regard in St Helena; school cultural exchanges could follow; social media marketing could be strengthened in Franschhoek, already advanced in St Helena but still poorly adopted in Franschhoek;  guidance in setting up a culinary school in Franschhoek, by the St Helena’s Culinary Institutes of America branch; and Franschhoek expanding its focus on wellness tourism, with the guidance of St Helena’s experience in this field.

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

SA chefs stir at Culinary Olympics

Bertus Basson, chef at Overture restaurant on the Hidden Valley wine estate outside Stellenbocsh, is the only Western Cape chef to be included in the South African chefs’ team participating in the Culinary Olympics, which started in Erfurt in Germany yesterday. 

Other chefs in the South African team are all from Gauteng, and include Garth Shnier of the Sandton Sun, Rudi Liebenberg of the Saxon Hotel, Trevor Boyd from the Sheraton Pretoria, Marli Roberts from Unilever Foodsolutions, Dilene Cranna from the Sheraton Pretoria and Vicky-Lynn Gurovich from the Saxon Hotel, reports the Sunday Times.

More than one thousand chefs from 40 countries will be participating in the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung.