Chefs who share box YCA_composingOpulent Living has announced the seven Finalists for its Young Chef of the Year 2015 competition, with six of the Finalists working at Western Cape restaurants and one in KwaZulu-Natal.

The forty entries were evaluated by a panel of judges, consisting of Chef Lentswe Bhengu, Chef Tracey Younghusband, Silwood Vice-Principal Carianne Wilkinson, Food24 editor Tessa Purdon, cooking celebrity Naz Moosa, and Opulent Living’s Florian Gast. They evaluated the entries received from young chefs under the age of 30 years, who were tasked to design a canapé costing no more than R25 each, having to send their recipe, photograph, and costing of their dish. The competition entry forms were sent to 75 top restaurants around the country, with an invitation (more…)

imageThe Beverly Hills Hotel Pastry Chef Jodi Gillespie is a very talented creative lady, and has put the pink hotel in Umhlanga on the map as serving the most creative High Tea in KwaZulu-Natal, and even in our country! I was lucky to check into the hotel yesterday afternoon, in time to see the High Tea, and enjoy a taste of it, the most creative High Tea display I have ever seen.

Chef Jodi is from the Durban area, and studied at the Christina Martin Culinary School. From there she moved to Dubai, working at (more…)

imageOn my third day in the Durban area I had almost given up the hope of finding a near-perfect foodie place in the city. My heart started beating with excitement when I entered Old Town Italy in Umhlanga, which opened   (more…)

imageThe Sweet Service Award goes to Apricus Locanda B&B in a tiny village called Apricale in Liguria in Italy, just over the border of France, and its vivacious Dutch owner Jeanette. I was introduced and driven to the establishment by Jan restaurant Owner/Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen with his mother, one of his favorite places to get away from his high-pressured lifestyle. On our way there, Chef Jan took us to see the Cours Saleya market in Nice, and stopped at various spots for us to see Nice, St Jean Cap Ferrat, and Monaco. B&B owner Jeanette has a great decor touch, her breakfasts over the five days were excellent, she was informative, her rates are reasonable, she is located in a very quiet area overlooking green hills, and even asked her husband to drive me to the nearest train station in Ventimiglia without accepting payment for it! (more…)

imageIn my quest for finding the near-perfect restaurant in KwaZulu-Natal, Harvey’s Restaurant close to the Oyster Box in Umhlanga was recommended.  It was a massive disappointment in all respects, with an absent owner Chef Andrew Draper, and very expensive.

On Monday evening I was dropped off at the restaurant by the hotel’s limo service, not having made a reservation. The driver went in with me to check if there would be space, and it was no problem, only four tables in total being occupied in the time that I (more…)

imageI was privileged to spend a part of yesterday at the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine outside Hilton, where former Eat Out Top 10 Chef Jackie Cameron has been teaching and training a handful of chefs since April to enter the restaurant industry through an 18 month theoretical and practical course.

Chef Jackie showed me around her School, and expressed gratitude to (more…)

imageIn my search for the top restaurant in KwaZulu-Natal, Katie Friedman, Lisa Woodhouse, and I had dinner at 9th Avenue Bistro, one of Durban’s best-known fine-dining restaurants, and a regular on the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant list six years and longer ago. Despite the warnings one had read about the restaurant’s unfortunate location in a shopping centre car park, it was the interior decor and poor (more…)

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Despite the Rand reaching its lowest level ever to the Pound, at just over R20, and weakening further against the Dollar, no positive impact of the exchange rate is visible in terms of tourism enquiries from the UK and the USA!

*   SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzimi has advised the tourism industry (more…)

imageYesterday I visited two coffee shops created by MasterChef Season 3 Finalists in Morningside in Durban, demonstrating how good the amateur chef competition has been in stimulating entrepreneurs to open businesses.

Spoonful Eatery

It was a delight to meet Roxi Wardman, winner of MasterChef SA Season 3, who opened her Spoonful Eatery inside Anthology shop in (more…)

imagePrior to going to the Women’s Day Divas Unite concert last Sunday, my friend Jenny and I had lunch at the new Rustica restaurant in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel. We experienced a restaurant that serves inexpensive ‘Italian-inspired‘ home-style comfort food.

The restaurant space used to be half of The Banting Kitchen, which closed down before I could write the review, riding the Banting craze last year. The other half will become Café Royale, which opens tomorrow, serving the hotel (and outside) guests breakfast and lunch, as well as cakes and coffees, which responsibility is that of Rustica until the end of today.  (more…)

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