Tag Archives: deli’s

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 29/30 October

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*    Cape Town harbour does not appear to be able to cope with the influx of tourists coming off cruise ships.  Earlier this week about 2000 passengers on the MSC Opera were stuck on board as there were only four customs officials to deal with the passengers who wanted to go on land to explore Cape Town, and those that wanted to board for the next leg of the cruise.  Provincial Minister of Tourism Alan Winde described the incident as a ‘major setback for cruise ship tourism in the city‘.  The departure time of the ship was delayed by two hours.

*   The price of petrol is expected to drop by at least 40 cents per liter and the price of diesel by about 56 cents per liter next Wednesday, predicts the Automobile Association.  Another petrol price decrease can be expected in December.

*   The Department of Transport is attempting to prevent Emirates from adding a fourth daily flight between Continue reading →

Eat In 2011 is ‘Shopping Smart’: entertaining guests with produce from delis and food shops!

Increasingly consumers are entertaining their guests at home, by shopping at a select number of specialist food shops and delis, and preparing something last minute.  This is partly due to the recession South Africans have experienced in the past two years, as well as the general shortage of time, and this has stimulated the production of wonderfully healthy and creative food products for in-home use.   It also reflects the greater time that consumers spend on shopping for produce and ingredients than they do cooking or preparing it.   This was said by Anelde Greeff, editor of Eat In, at the announcement of the winners of the 4th Eat In Produce Awards, which was held as a Night Market at the Old Biscuit Mill on Thursday evening. 

The Best New Product winner of the 2011 SAB Eat In  Produce Awards, as judged by Anelde Greeff, Justine Drake (previous editor of Eat In), Pete Goffe-Wood (an Eat Out  Top 10 restaurant judge), Anna Trapido (an Eat Out  Top 10 restaurant judge) and Michelle Barry (principal of the Christina Martin Cookery School in Durban), is Totally Wild’s Aloe and Baobab Juice, which contains calcium, iron and vitamins.   The South African Heritage Award went to Enaleni Farm in KwaZulu-Natal, and this selection was motivated as follows: “This KZN farm is preserving our heritage by keeping a herd of Nguni cattle, endangered Zulu sheep, growing rare, local maize varietals and the traditional ibhece melon”.

The other 2011 SAB Eat In  Produce Awards winners, with the motivation for their selection, are the following:

*   “Best Organic Product: Kimilili’s Witzenberger cheese:  Made in the Swiss Appenzelltradition, using nothing but cheese cultures, microbial rennet and salt, the tangy, six-month matured Witzenberger had the judges carving off slice after slice.
 
*   Small Produce Award: Paddock – Chuck and Bobs:  Creating a small range of bacon, salamis and hams, Chuck and Bobs’ produce delighted the judges, as did the small-scale, hands-on way in which they make their charcuterie.
 
*   Small Produce Award: Earth – The Drift Farm’s range of organic fruit and veg:  Specialising in rare vegetables like black Aztec corn, fingerling aubergines and candy-striped beets, this family-run farm also goes to great lengths to be environmentally friendly. 
 
*   Small Produce Award: Bakery – The Foodbarn’s ciabatta and rye bread:  Made using locally produced stone-ground flour, natural yeast and water, the texture and freshness secured The Foodbarn’s woodfired loaves a place at the top of the bakery list.
 
*   Small Produce Award: Dairy – Swissland St Maure cheese:  The judges were blown away by the character of Fran Isaac’s fromages; most notably the soft, wood-ash-coated St Maure log, with its slightly salty, nutty taste.
 
*   Small Produce Award: Grocery – Quality Pickles’ range of chutneys, atchars and pickles:
This home-based kitchen produces 11 delicious sauces and seven stupendous pickles, including fragrant Mebos Chutney, crunchy pickle, and dhania.
 
*   Merit Award: The Kitchen Garden sprouts:   Joseph Feigelson offers the largest selection of edible sprouts in Africa, and supplies the country’s top chefs.
 
*   Best Markets and Stores: 
North – Braeside Meat Market and Pretoria Boeremark:   The judges commended Braeside for their commitment to sourcing the best, most ethically-reared meat. Owner Caroline McCann shoots her own venison, offers braai classes and is even breeding local turkeys.  Family-friendly Pretoria Boeremark meanwhile, was commended for its warmth, its unaffected charm and its amazing range of fresh farm produce. 
 
South: Get Stuffed Enterprises’ The Real Cheese and Neighbourgoods Market :  Valerie Elder’s range of South African cheeses is hard to beat and is illustrative of her dedication to our local cheesemaking talents. Running since 2006, the Neighbourgoods Market has grown into a hub of fabulous produce which has transformed Woodstock into a sought-after foodie destination.
 
East: Everfresh La Lucia and The Food Market :   With the widest range of products, from imported truffles and cheeses to indigenous beans and mfenu, Everfresh La Lucia goes to great lengths to promote fresh, indigenous produce.  Established by Emma Dunk, Nick Papadopoulos, Eric Edwards and Karen Brokensha, The Food Market showcases the most superb produce in KZN. 
 
Central: The Valley Market :  In the foothills of the Magaliesberg, The Valley Market show off both the area’s natural bounty and the pioneering artisan produce of its residents. There is even an online box scheme delivering to Joburg” .

The 2011 edition of Eat In magazine was launched at the event, the tenth issue, with 850 listings in categories such as bakeries, butcheries, cheese suppliers, delis, cooking schools, kitchen tool suppliers, ‘exotica’ (being spice and imported product suppliers), fish suppliers,  farm stalls and markets, organic food suppliers, caterers, olives and olive oils, and tea and coffee suppliers.  For the first time quick and easy recipes are provided as well.  

For the first time the Eat In Produce Awards were held with a ‘Night Market’ at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill, with many of the regular stall holders and past Eat In Produce winners selling their wonderful products.  I was pleased to meet Richard Bosman  (left), making an excellent quality and packaged range of cured meats using pasture reared pork.  I bought lovely mozzarella products from Puglia Cheese, and loved the stand for Buffalo Ridge in Wellington, buying their mozzarella too, and trying their yoghurt.   It was good to see La Motte’s Farm Shop have a stand too.

To co-incide with the Awards, S A Breweries launched two craft beers at the event – a Newlands Extra Special, and the Sunset Wheat Beer. A lovely sparkling Newlands Spring water was also available to drink at the launch.

As an invited guest to the Awards, it was disappointing that there was no name tag on arrival, despite my RSVP.  The media and “VIP” guests were herded into the back section of the market hall, but there was no one to guide one to the SAB table for the beer, and there was no wine available if one was not a beer drinker.  No food was served (ironic for a food-related event), and invited guests had to buy their food.  The whole function seemed a little amateurish in its execution, and I had to ask for the media pack on my departure, no New Media Publishing staff member proactively ensuring that all guests received such a pack.  The media pack consisted of a selection of SA Breweries beers, a lanyard and the Eat In  magazine, but none of the award-winning products!   Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly, who was attending the event as a colleague, and who was one of the writers for the magazine, was most hospitable and helpful, even though it was not her function, and not her duty to do so.  New Media Publishing’s Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards’ events have a far longer history, admittedly, but are slick and almost without hiccups, in contrast to what we experienced at the SAB Eat In  Produce Awards.  Parking anywhere reasonably close to the Old Biscuit Mill remains a challenge, even in the late afternoon.

Eat In 2011 magazine.   www.eat-in.co.za

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

New Franschhoek Wine Valley Food and Wine Route puts Franschhoek restaurants and wine estates on the map

The Franschhoek Wine Valley (the new tourism body name, the “Tourism Association” part of the name recently having been dropped) Food & Wine Route has been launched to the media, and soon will be presented in a new map, that will reflect the wealth of 42 restaurants, 48 wine estates and 3 delis and shops that sell foodstuffs in and around Franschhoek. The new Food & Wine Route is a good marketing reaction to the increasing dominance of Stellenbosch as the new gourmet center of South Africa, and its large number of wine estates, even though the tourism association’s website still refers to Franschhoek as the “Gourmet Capital of South Africa”!

Last year we wrote about the Food & Wine Route when it was first announced, and from the initial information it appeared to have a broader focus initially.  Now the Route is more focused, and will incorporate mainly the restaurants and wine estates that are members of Franschhoek Wine Valley.   Interestingly, the geographic delineation of Franschhoek has been broadened to incorporate the wine estates and restaurants on the R45 between Klapmuts and Simondium, including Noble Hill, Backsberg, and Babel at Babylonstoren, on the basis that they have become members of the Franschhoek Wine Valley association, even if they fall under the Paarl wine district.   Strangely, Glen Carlou has not chosen to be part of the Franschhoek Food & Wine Route, it being one of the first properties one passes when driving to Franschhoek on the R45.

Tania Steyn, the Marketing Manager of Franschhoek Wine Valley, explained that this new project consists of two parts.  The first is the Food & Wine Route map, in A3 size, which will list all the restaurants and wine estates, the one side featuring those in the village, and the other side those that are outside Franschhoek.   The Food & Wine Route map will replace the most handy Franschhoek Wine map, which guest houses and their guests have found to be useful in highlighting all the Vigneron members in Franschhoek.  The second part of the project is an e-commerce platform for specific Food and Wine Route Experiences, that one cannot visit spontaneously without a booking.  The bookings will be made on the website, and it is hoped that visitors to Franschhoek will book a number of such experiences, and will therefore stay in the area for longer.

The wine estates on the new Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route are Akkerdal, Allèe Bleue, Anthonij Rupert Wines (L’Ormarins and Protea brands, and home of the outstanding Motor Museum), Backsberg, Boekenhoutskloof, Boschendal Wines, Chamonix, Colmant Cap Classique & Champagne, Dieu Donnè Vineyards, Franschhoek Cellar, Glenwood, Graham Beck Franschhoek, Grande Provence Estate, Haute Cabriere (with Pierre Jourdan sparkling wines), Holden Manz (previously Klein Genot), La Bri, La Chataigne, La Motte (with Pierneef art gallery), La Petite Dauphine, La Petite Ferme, La Manoir de Brendel, Leopard’s Leap, Lynx Wines, Maison, Mont Rochelle, Moreson, My Wyn, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Rickety Bridge, Solms-Delta (with interesting slave museum), Stony Brook, Topiary Wines (newest Platter 5-star sparkling wine in Franschhoek), Val de Vie, and Vrede & Lust.   These wine estates can be visited without appointment.

Those estates for which one must book a winetasting are Eikehof, Franschhoek Pass Winery (Morena sparkling wine), Haut Espoir, La Bourgogne, La Roche estate, La Vigne, Landau du Val, Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons and Von Ortloff.  Bellingham Wines, Klein Dauphine, La Chaumière and Veraison Vineyards are not open to the public at all, but their wines can be bought at the highly regarded Franschhoek wine shop La Cotte Inn on the main road in the village.

The Franschhoek restaurants and food outlets on the Food & Wine Route are Allora, Babel at Babylonstoren, Backsberg, Boschendal Restaurant, Boschendal Le Café and Boschendal Le Pique-Nique, Bread & Wine, Café Allèe Bleue, Cafè BonBon, Col’Cacchio Pizzeria, Cosecha Restaurant at Noble Hill, Dalewood Fromage (but not open to the public), Dieu Donnè Restaurant, Dutch East, Elephant & Barrel, Essence, Fizz Affair Champagne Lounge, Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz, Freedom Hill Restaurant, Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms-Delta, The Restaurant at Grande Provence, Haute Cabrière, Huguenot Fine Chocolates, Kalfi’s, Fromages de France (La Cotte Inn),  Le Bon Vivant, Dish @ Le Franschhoek, Le Verger The Orchard Restaurant (Le Franschhoek Hotel), The Common Room, The Tasting Room,  L’Ermitage Restaurant, Mon Plaisir at Chamonix, Mange Tout, Monneaux, Reuben’s, Rickety Bridge, Ryan’s Kitchen, Salmon Bar, The Country Kitchen, The French Connection, The Grill Room, The Jam Jar, The Olive Shack, and The Polo Club Restaurant (at La Vie). Oddly, Pierneef à La Motte is not listed, and one hopes this is just an oversight.   Other missing restaurants are Café Benedict, BICCCS, Chez D’Or, Cotage Fromage at Vrede & Lust, Crepe & Cidre, Café Le Chocolatier, Café des Arts, and the Franschhoek Food Emporium.

The Franschhoek Food & Wine Route Experiences which one can book include the following:

*   Solms-Delta Cape Music Tour, teaching participants about “Cape rural and vernacular music”. R 50 (minimum of 6 persons).  Monday – Sunday.

*   Plaisir de Merle “Award-winning wines wine tasting”. R 20, and R40 if cellar tour added. Monday – Saturday

Plaisir de Merle Flavour Sensation Tasting, food and wine pairing. R 50.  Monday – Saturday

*   Plaisir de Merle Wine & Chocolate Tasting. R 50. Monday – Saturday

*   Charcuterie Tasting with Neil Jewell. R 25 – R105. Daily before 11h00 and after 15h30

*   Franschhoek Cellar Cheese and Wine pairing. R 35.  Daily

*   Huguenot Fine Chocolates Chocolate Tour and Tasting. R 25.  Daily 11h00 and 15h00

*   Chamonix Grappa & Schnapps Tasting. R15.  Daily

*   Dieu Donné Micro-brewery and beer tasting. R15 beer tasting and R 35 for full bewery talk and tasters.  Daily

*   Babylonstoren Guided Garden Visit. R 20, Wednesday – Sunday 10h00 and 15h00.

*   Le Bon Vivant Surprise Menu. R 485 for 5-course meal and wine, R360 without wine. Daily except Wednesdays.

*   Food and wine pairing at Pierneef à La Motte. R 195 for 5 pairings, extra R 50 for glass of La Motte MCC. Tuesday – Sunday 12h00 – 14h00.

*   Cape Gourmet Delights Tour, with stops at Grande Provence, Moreson and Vrede & Lust. R1995 per day includes “light lunch”. 10 persons maximum.  Monday – Friday.

A walking tour as well as a talk on ceramics are part of this programme, but seem out of place in not having anything to do with Wine or Food.

One hopes that the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route map will indicate which wine estates, food shops and restaurants sell foods, such as the vegetables, breads and chocolates at the Farm Shop at Pierneef à La Motte; salmon products and breads at the Salmon Bar; the Mediterranean delicacies at The Olive Shack; wonderful freshly baked wholewheat bread at Grande Provence; breads and sweet treats at Café BonBon and Café Benedict; olive oils and balsamic vinegar at Allèe Bleue; heavenly chocolates as well as breads at Café Le Chocolatier; Truckles cheeses at Franschhoek Cellar; and a selection of home-made pies, preserves, dips, cold meats and breads at the new Franschhoek Food Emporium.   It would be good if the fortnightly Farmers’ Market at Holden Manz also be listed.

We salute the Franschhoek Wine Valley for putting together this initiative, and trust that the Food & Wine Route map will be finalised and printed as soon as possible, given that the summer season ends in two months’ time.   We encourage Franschhoek Wine Valley to add the names of the omitted Franschhoek restaurants, by encouraging them to sign up as members, so that the map can be as representative of the food and wine delights in Franschhoek as possible.

POSTSCRIPT 22/4: The new Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route maps have been made available, and can be collected from the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau, or from Whale Cottage Franschhoek.  Oddly, it lists the two Pick ‘n Pays too, under the ‘Franschhoek Restaurants & Food section”.  Following our recommendation above, the Franschhoek Food Emporium was added, but Café Le Chocolatier, Café Benedict, BICCCS, Chez d’Or, Cotage Fromage, Crepe et Cidre, Café des Arts, and the new Le Coq are not on the map.  Other sources of food to buy, as listed two paragraphs above, are not indicated on the map.

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

Franschhoek to launch Food and Wine Route

We recently created the concept of a Franschhoek Restaurant Route” in a blog post, to highlight the restaurant gems in Franschhoek, a village that has worn the Gourmet Capital crown to date.   Given that Stellenbosch has not actioned the “Stellenbosch Restaurant Route”,  a concept we created in a blog post too, Franschhoek is taking the high ground, and is combining its two major attractions, to form the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food and Wine Route from next year.

Franschhoek is not only incorporating food and wine in the Route, but is also planning to include cultural, art,  shopping, outdoor and scenic experiences into the Franschhoek Food and Wine Route.  An ‘e-commerce’ website is being built, allowing visitors to Franschhoek to book their “experiences” on-line.   Members of the Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Association do not pay to be included in the Food and Wine Route, but pay 10 % commission for bookings received via the site.

The following categories will be included in the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food and Wine Route (a mouthful at the moment, hopefully the ‘Wine Valley” will be dropped from the name over time):

*   Food:  signature dishes, award-winning restaurants, traditional cuisine, cooking classes, picnics, private dinners, including restaurants such as The Restaurant at Grand Provence, Pierneef Ã  La Motte, Reuben’s, Solms-Delta’s Fyndraai Restaurant, Allée Bleue, Le Franschhoek’s Verger, and many more.

*   Wine: red wine, white wine and MCC tastings; vertical, varietal and component tastings; barrel tastings; personalised cellar tours, at wine estates such as Graham Beck, Allée Bleue, Boekenhoutskloof, Colmant, Cabriere, La Motte, Grand Provence, Boschendal, Lynx, Solms Delta, Stony Brook, Chamonix and Vrede & Lust.

*   Food and wine pairings: including Vrede & Lust, Plaisir de Merle, Solms-Delta, Maison, Grande Provence, Mont Rochelle, Cabriere, Manz Holden, and Graham Beck

*   Local produce: olives, olive oil, cheese, bread, beer, schnapps, and salmon, sold at the Salmon Bar, Rupert & Rothschild, Vrede & Lust, Allée Bleue, Allora’s The Olive Shack, and Le Bourgogne

*   Deli’s and farm shops:La Cotte Inn, Allée Bleue, Franschhoek Cellars, Boschendal, L’ermitage, The Jam Jar, La Motte

*   Retail shopping: Cooksensuals

*   Art galleries, such as Grande Provence, David Walters’ ceramics’ studio, and the art collection at Ebony

*   Outdoor and scenic experiences

*   Accommodation

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