Tag Archives: Hostex

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 25 June

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Locals as well as tourists may find it interesting to explore Cape Town underground as opposed to looking at its beautiful oceans and mountains!  Tours of Cape Town’s underground water canals are offered for small groups of up to fifteen persons, commencing at the Castle of Good Hope, with a one hour tour of the Castle, and another one hour section of the tour showing one the fresh running water coming from Table Mountain and running into the sea.  The canals were built by the Dutch in the 17th century, and were called ‘Little Amsterdam‘ at one stage.

*   After ten years of participating in his Kitchen Nightmare TV series, Chef Gordon Ramsay has closed the door to this popular program which advised struggling restaurant owners in the UK and USA in how to save their businesses.  More than 120 episodes were filmed over 12 seasons, and were sold to 150 countries, to have been seen by tens of millions of viewers.

*   Actor Sean Penn was seen having lunch at Truth on Buitenkant Street yesterday, being in pre-production for his new movie ‘The Last Face’, which will star Charlize Theron.

*   2011 MasterChef Australia contestant Hayden Quinn, and cook, writer, and presenter,  is coming to South Africa to film ‘Hayden Quinn South Africa, a 13-episode series which will be broadcast on Continue reading →

Celebrity Chefs bring the world of food to Cape Town this week!

Food Hospitality World logo Whale Cottage PortfolioIt was by chance that I saw a programme for the ‘Food Hospitality World Conference’ when I registered for the Good Food & Wine Show.  With the e-mail from Wired PR came the Conference programme, with a fascinating list of talks by local and international food and wine speakers, bringing the world to Cape Town, and giving our industry a taste of what lies ahead for the Good Food & Wine Show running at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 29 May – 1 June. What was unbelievable was the poor attendance in the exhibition hall in general and in the ‘Conference’ venue too, tiny in taking about 50 attendees, many of them hospitality students.

Yesterday’s list of talks was food and wine focused, and due to guest house commitments I arrived right at the end of Miguel Chan’s talk on Chenin Blanc, which ‘has gained a surge in popularity recently’, the programme notesFood Hospitality World Miguel Chan Whale Cottage Portfolio revealed. Chan is a wine buyer and sommelier at the Tsogo Sun group of hotels. He has promised notes about his talk, which I will add to this blogpost when received.

Very surprising was the talk by Michelin 2 star Chef Carlo Cracco from Italy, where he owns Ristorante Cracco in Milan.  He is unable to speak a word of English, so fired away in Italian, without it being explained to us that his colleague (we think) would translate batches of sentences for us.  On the TV screens photographs of his book, his Continue reading →

Vegetarian Pizza wins SA leg of Global Pizza Challenge 2014/15!

Global Pizza Challenge winning pizza 2For the first time a vegetarian pizza has won the South African leg of the Global Pizza Challenge, Colin du Plessis from the Lady Grey restaurant in McGregor having been named as the local winner at Hostex at the Cape Town International Convention Centre last week.  He has won cash, as well as a trip to Melbourne in March next year, to participate in the Global Pizza Challenge, being one of 16 international finalists from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Namibia, Italy, UAE, and Thailand.

Pizza makers from around the country, working in restaurants, stand-alone pizzerias, takeaway outlets, and hotels sent in their pizza recipes. A panel of internationally-recognised chefs evaluated the entries, and judged them on originality, balance, creativity, as well as their ‘excitement factor’.   The finalists were selected on the basis of their recipes, and the top 30 were invited to prepare their pizzas in a three-day cook-off held on the Global Pizza Challenge stand at Hostex.  Pizza lovers could enter in one of five categories:  poultry or meat, seafood, vegetarian, speciality, and dessert Colin’s winning pizza is named ‘Mary Queen of Scots’, reflecting the Scottish theme of his Lord’s Guest Lodge, Continue reading →

Cape Town International Convention Centre Sweet Service and Franschhoek Literary Festival Sour Service Awards!

Convention CentreThe Sweet Service Award goes to the Cape Town International Convention Centre and to Sollie van Wyk, the manager of its coffee shop.  Yesterday afternoon, just before 17h00, I asked for a cappuccino and water at the restaurant, waiting for Fine Brandy Fusion to open at 17h30, and couldn’t believe seeing the ‘Closed‘ sign, as a number of patrons were still sitting at the tables and chairs, and a large collection of staff still being on duty.  A waitress had promised that a coffee could be made, but it did not arrive.  Sollie told me that the restaurant had closed, that the coffee could not be made, and that I should go to Marimba on the other end of the building.  When I asked him for the name of his manager and Tweeted my frustration at not being able to order coffee (there was nothing to order to eat or drink inside the Hostex exhibition, ironic as it is a show for the hospitality industry), the cappuccino arrived.  Two further groups of patrons were eventually served coffees after they too had to beg for them!   My friend Bettie joined me after 17h00, and Sollie made her a coffee too.   We were chatting so much that we did not notice that the staff had departed and had not charged for the coffees.  The Convention Centre did follow up via Twitter. Continue reading →