The Eat Out Restaurant Awards were held for the first time in three years today, an eagerly awaited event, given the impact of the Lockdown on the restaurant industry, and the change in the restaurant awards system, restaurants no longer ranked, but rated with 1, 2 or 3 stars.
It was a surprise to read a year ago that Eat Out would reintroduce its Awards this year, and that Abigail Donnelly was heading up the judging for the awards again, after an absence of a number of years. Continue reading →
Surprise news from Chef Bertus Basson is that fine dining restaurant Overture is closing down at Hidden Valley in Stellenbosch on 30 September, after operating for 15 years at the wine estate. It was the first restaurant Basson opened.
The informal restaurant The Deck at Hidden Valley is also closing down.
This reduces the number of restaurants which Chef Bertus owns in Stellenbosch to five. Continue reading →
I cannot resist writing a story about Chef Bertus Basson’s latest TV series, ‘In die Sop: Restaurant Evolusie’ on kykNet, a Gordon Ramsay-style ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ reality TV series in which restaurants are given 72 hours in which to be transformed. It is aired on Wednesdays on KykNet at 20h00, the first episode airing last week. The title of the series ‘In die Sop’ refers to restaurants being in trouble.
The irony is that Basson himself has been no expert in restaurant design when one considers his ‘crap’ Spek & Bone off Dorp Street (one of the most widely read reviews on my Blog), and De Vrije Burger on Plein Street, both in Stellenbosch. Surprisingly, Basson admits to his restaurant faults: ‘I’ve achieved great success, but I’ve also made a lot of mistakes and learned lessons that have cost me dearly. I want to share these insights with other restaurant owners.’! His admission should lead him to unban me from his restaurants! Continue reading →
Yesterday I published a post that focused on a number of leading South African chefs, in summarising what they are doing to maintain awareness for their restaurants, what they are posting, and how they are getting involved in helping their clients as well as the disadvantaged community. This Blogpost is a continuation of the story, focusing on the remaining restaurants which made the 2019 Eat Out Top 20 List. Continue reading →