On Friday a group of writers was invited on behalf of Holden Manz, by its marketing consultant Tanya Fourie. We were taken on a tour of the Holden Manz wine cellar, tasted its latest wine vintages, introduced to the new Holden Manz Chenin Blanc to be launched soon, and spoilt with an excellent lunch prepared by Chef Ricardo Le Roux and paired with some of the Holden Manz wines. Continue reading →
* The price of petrol could drop by 69 – 72 cents per liter on 3 December, the Automobile Association has forecast. The declining international oil prices will benefit motorists. ‘Petroleum prices have dropped by more than ten percent over the past 15 days and the exchange rate has weakened only slightly in the same period‘.
* The organisers of World Design Capital (WDC) 2014 have condemned the vandalisation with graffiti of the ‘Perceptions’ Ray-Ban glasses sculpture on the Sea Point Promenade. The art work has generated a huge debate about its suitability in its perceived commercialisation, by promoting the glasses brand. The organisers said: ‘As WDC 2014, we condone creativity and condemn in the strictest sense, lawlessness. It is a sad day when public debate is substituted with vandalism‘.
* KWV is hosting ‘Brandy Sensations‘, a ‘long table dinner‘ to be held at the KWV Sensorium art gallery in Paarl tomorrow. Continue reading →
Julia Hattingh is the fourth chef at Franschhoek Kitchen since Holden Manz bought the previously named Klein Genot wine estate, and it was renamed after the owners’ surnames. She is a breath of fresh air, and the restaurant will attract back customers, as Chef Julia settles in and takes the restaurant to a new level.
Security is stricter now, one having to fill in a sheet at the boom, but friendly. One walks through the downstairs tasting room to get to the upstairs restaurant, and I chose the smaller room with the fireplace. Front of House Manager Cobi Bosch is new, and he and I did not gel at all. He previously worked at Rhapsody’s at Cape Town International and in Bloemfontein. I knew that Manager Wayne Buckley would pop in, and I did want to meet Chef Julia, which made me stay. Cobi also served as the waiter on Monday. He recommended to a neighbouring table what his favourite dishes are, in guiding them what to order (they ordered a cheese platter to share in the end), but did not offer me this service. He brought two wine lists, one with Holden Manz wines, and the other with wines from their ‘friends’, being other wine estates in Franschhoek and one in Stellenbosch, telling me that the Chardonnay on the list was sold out already. He seemed most put out when I requested butter instead of the bottles of Willow Creek extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for the slices of olive oil bread which he had brought to the table. Continue reading →
A number of Franschhoek’s top chefs will pair their delectable dishes with the wines of the local wine estates at ‘Cook Franschhoek’, running from 13 – 15 June, sharing their special cooking tips, reflecting the food trend of getting back to basics.
Spread around the wine estates and restaurants of Franschhoek, the participating chefs will allow workshop participants into their domains, and share their cooking secrets, while the winemakers will guide the attendees on choosing the most suitable wines to pair with each dish made. At the end of each workshop, the dishes cooked and the wines paired will be available to taste. It also allows one to interact with the chefs and winemakers in small groups, and to ask more specific questions.
The participating Franschhoek chefs subscroibe to the cooking basics, such as ‘snout-to-tail’ food usage, meaning that every piece of an animal such as a pig is used (such as witnessed on MasterChef SA Season 2 when Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte cooked a pig’s head to make a terrine); sourcing ingredients fresh from the farm to the table, within close proximity to the restaurants; smoking meats, charcuterie being the speciality of Chef Neil Jewell of Bread & Wine; cooking over a fire, including a rotisserie, a Green Egg, and Weber; and Nordic cooking techniques of pickling, fermenting, and preserving. Continue reading →