MstrChf 3 Sipho and RoxiTonight will see the MasterChef SA Top 2 assistant train driver Roxi Wardman and domestic worker Sipho Mdlankomo fight it out in the kitchen for the honour of winning MasterChef SA Season 3, in a three-part duel which will be adjudicated by Chef Marco Pierre White, who owns Michelin-star restaurants in the UK.

In the past two Seasons the Final 2 did a cook-out in front of their fellow finalists, who were flown back to the MasterChef SA kitchen at Nederburg.  This year the two finalists will be cooking on their own, and the finalists were not told who won the last episode we will see this evening.  The Top 2 finalists will meet up with the rest of the Top 12 finalists, who gathered in Johannesburg yesterday, in preparation for the big announcement tonight.   The programme will run for 90 minutes in total, the last half an hour being a live crossing to Johannesburg, for the announcement of the winner.

So how did Roxi and Sipho stack up over the past 16 episodes of MasterChef SA Season 3?  We have summarised which dishes they (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Tim Harris has been appointed as the new CEO of Wesgro, the trade, investment and tourism promotion agency for the Western Cape, for  three year period Minister Alan Winde announced today. Harris currently is the Investment Officer of the City of Cape Town, and will replace Nils Flaatten from 1 January. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)

*   Despite doom and gloom, South Africans enjoy eating out at restaurants and buying food at take-away outlets, according to a survey by Statistics SA.   October was the third best month in respect of food and beverage expenditure in the past four years, with a total expenditure of almost R4 billion.  R1,8 billion was spent at restaurants and coffee shops, and R1,5 billion at take-away and fast food outlets.  Catering made up the balance.  The food and beverage industry grew by 11,5% year on year, with the take-away/fast food side growing at 15%.  Total expenditure on the food and drink industry was R43 billion in the past year.

*   Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown has requested Eskom to communicate its loadshedding schedules more (more…)

Telegraph Cape-Town_3129517bCape Town has done it again, being named Best City in the World in the Telegraph Travel Awards 2014 by its readers for the third year in a row!  Vancouver and Venice follow in second and third position, respectively, this year. The motivation for Cape Town’s top position is written by Pippa du Bruyn, who is a Cape Town-based local travel writer and ‘destination expert’, including author of a ‘Frommer’s Guide’ to South Africa, and of  ‘A Hedonist’s Guide to Cape Town’.  De Bruyn surprisingly exaggerates our restaurants as ‘Michelin-rated‘ fare, and in describing Dyer Island near Gansbaai as being in Cape Town.  Her laudation for Cape Town follows: (more…)

Cassis 2A chance mention in a Tweet attracted my attention yesterday, Andrea and Patrick Moreau announcing their departure from the Cassis Paris business that they built up since 2008.

The announcement on Facebook was as follows: ‘It is with heavy hearts and sadness, Patrick and I announce our departure from our “baby” Cassis Paris. We thank our loyal customers for their support and our staff for all their hard work and loyalty. Without you, Cassis would not exist. Sometimes, as with any bad relationship, you have no choice but to walk away. When your (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Etihad Airways has been named as World’s Leading Airline for the sixth consecutive year.   Ecuador was named as the World’s Leading Green Destination.

*   The Robben Island ferry Sikhululekile has experienced regular damage in the Island’s harbour at low tide from an ‘underwater rocky outcrop’, a survey conducted by the Council for Geoscience has found.  Purchased at a cost of R26 million, the ferry was not tested for suitability inside the harbour prior to purchase!  Now the Robben Island Museum is looking to sell the ferry.

*   The Stellenbosch American Express Wine Routes has launched a Wine Tourism Visitor Centre at 47 Church Street, offering (more…)

Bedside lightsOn Kfm yesterday I heard a news broadcast, with its leading story being that SA Tourism has admitted that loadshedding is affecting tourists, making the announcement more than a month after loadshedding returned with a vengeance.

SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima said that loadshedding affects all sectors of the Tourism industry, including getting tourists to attractions on time, influenced by traffic lights not working.  He added that we are not the only country with power outages.

For the accommodation sector, which he did not mention, loadshedding from 8h00 – 10h30, as we have experienced in our guest (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The image of the late Nelson Mandela was projected onto Table Mountain on FridayMandela on Table Mountain and Saturday evening, to commemorate the passing of our country’s former leader on 5 December 2013.

*   Despite its promise of no more loadshedding in December, Eskom’s severe Stage 3 loadshedding kicked in on Friday, and continue this weekend, meaning twice-daily outages or more per day in most areas.  Eskom says it is building up power reserves for the week ahead!

*   Goldfish fans can win four tickets to their Submerged Sundays concert at Shimmy Beach Club tonight, and will be driven by the (more…)

Kauai banner Whale CottageWe were invited to attend the opening of the 150th branch of KAUAI, a second in the V&A Waterfront, on Thursday.  An in-house marketing job, it was a PR fail.

I managed to find the Marketing Manager Leeanne Jefferies by chance, and she told me that the area in the shopping centre where Cape Town Fish Market and their outlet is will be transformed into an H&M clothing store, widely popular in Europe and originating from Sweden.   Instead of waiting until February to open their new outlet, and to move out of the existing outlet, they decided to open the new outlet behind the Big Wheel near FNB, very hidden, there being no signage to guide one to it at all, whilst trading in their existing outlet, to make the most of the holiday season.

The launch function was scheduled for a most impractical time of 9h45, and we were reminded the day prior to be punctual in arriving by Retail Junior Retail Manager Samantha van Wyk. She addressed us in Hawaiian, using the word ‘Aloha‘, and ending it off with ‘Mahalo’, which I assumed to be her name, my Hawaiian being a bit rusty!  The switchboard answers the phone with a Hawaiian greeting too.   Leeanne told me that the aptly named co-founder and ‘Chief Innovations Officer‘ John Berry grew (more…)

Lions Head fire Whal CottageThe Sweet Service Award goes to the 130 Cape Town Fire Department firefighters and the Volunteer Wildfire Services, which were instrumental in combating the fire on Lion’s Head and Signal Hill on Tuesday, and from spreading to the houses of De Wet Road in Bantry Bay, despite an unusually strong South-Easter.  Fighting subsequent fires this week, fanned by the South Easter, in Kommetjie and other areas of Cape Town, is also commended.  (more…)

MasterChef 16 Top 4Last night’s two-hour episode was a bundle of nerves for both the Top 4 finalists as well as for MasterChef SA fans, with difficult food challenges.  With Ian Young and Philippa Robinson sent home, Sipho Mdlankomo and Roxi Wardman will be fighting each other for the Top slot.  The programme was divided in two halves, filmed on two different days.

Cake Challenge

The Top 4 were to bake a cake ‘fit for a queen‘ in the first hour, it not being known initially that a Finalist would be eliminated in each half.  Roxi was happy, desserts and cakes being her forté. Pastry Chef Lorraine Meaney from the Cape Grace hotel, a guest in Season 1, joined the kitchen, and set the challenge of a Cardamom Lemon Chocolate gâteau.  Chef Lorraine was the Head Pastry Chef (more…)

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