Entries tagged with “Anelde Greeff”.


Eat Out produce2014nr2-2269 (1)The winners of the 8th annual Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards were announced at the Stellenbosch Slowmarket yesterday.  The Eat Out media release states that the quality of produce was excellent this year, and that it was not easy to choose the overall winners.

Judges were Deena Naidoo, MasterChef SA Season 1 winner, Eat Out Top 10 Chef Jackie Cameron of Hartford House,  Chef Vanessa Marx of Dear Me, Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly, and Eat Out Editor-in-Chief Anelde Greeff.Eat Out Produce AWards 2014 judges produce2014-2534

We are delighted that the Oranjezicht City Farm has received recognition for its excellent work, in winning the South African Heritage Award.  Anel Potgieter’s ‘Life is a Zoo Biscuit’ won Best Local Food Blog for the second time.  Farmer Angus has been a pioneer for organic meat and egg production at Spier, and has been a previous winner too.  It is no surprise that Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants has received the ‘Outstanding Outlet’ award for the Cape area, having been the former 2013 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant judge, yet it is surprising in that the outlet is in a dive location, and the service arrogant and poor – we are still waiting for the calf’s liver we ordered more than a month ago!

The 2014 Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards winners are: (more…)

Burrata Pick me Up dessert Whale Cottage PortfolioOne of the changes New Media Publishing has introduced for Eat Out‘s 2014 edition is that its printed Restaurant Guide will only list 500 restaurants, as opposed to 1100 last year.  The method of selecting the included restaurants has changed too.

The process commenced with Eat Out announcing that it was looking for applications from restaurants to be included in the 2014 Eat Out Guide, such applications closing on 30 June.  It described the application process as follows: ‘This call to action turns up the heat and shifts the onus onto the restaurant to put themselves forward in a simple process‘.  The restaurants that wanted to be considered for inclusion had to complete a (more…)

Cape Town and the Western Cape once again showed their strength in dominating the Eat Out DStv Food Network Produce Awards 2013, at a function held at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill last night, winning seven of the sixteen awards.  KwaZulu-Natal came a close second, with four awards.

The judges of the Eat Out Produce Awards were 2012 Eat Out Top Chef Margot Janse of The Tasting Room, Chef Jackie Cameron of Hartford House, Anna Trapido, MasterChef SA judge and Chef Pete Goffe-Wood, and Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly, evaluating products which were nominated by the public.  ‘These small poducers are all doing their bit by bringing the very best quality produce to our shopping baskets and tables’, the Awards booklet shared.  The Awards celebrate outstanding food producers, and great home-grown tastes and flavours, Eat Out’s Content Director Anelde Greeff said, and reflects producers, chefs, home cooks, bloggers and food lovers sharing and eating together

The 2013 award winning Eat Out DStv Food Network producers are the following (more…)

I should have known that going to the Stellenbosch Slow Market at Oude Libertas yesterday would bring on claustrophobia, it being the fullest I have ever seen this popular market, and one that I had sworn that I would never go back to again.  The announcement of the winners of the 2012 Eat In DStv Food Network Produce Awards was the reason for my visit, and once I had received a copy of the magazine with the winners’ names, and tasted some of their produce, it was a good time to leave.

Given the increased passion for food preparation, spurred by cooking programs such as MasterChef Australia and now our own South African reality TV cooking show, as well as the recession reducing the frequency of eating out, buying healthy produce to use and eat at home is becoming increasingly popular.   Five years ago Eat In, sister publication to Eat Out, which presents the annual Top 10 Restaurant awards, was launched by New Media Publishing. The magazine’s Awards ‘aim to acknowledge and celebrate outstanding independent South African producers for their integrity, passion and innovation’. The crucial criterion is that the produce is South African grown, and added criteria were that the products are produced ethically in terms of the workforce, and in an environmentally responsible manner.  The winners were judged (more…)

The shock discovery that Abigail Donnelly awarded the Eat Out Boschendal Style Award to her client Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House in Stellenbosch is still being talked about, and it appears that Mrs Donnelly did not obtain permission to do consulting work from her bosses at New Media Publishing.  The conflict of interest in this award must have caused the publishing company, the Eat Out staff, and Mrs Donnelly severe embarrassment, and it has severely dented the credibility of the Eat Out restaurant awards, which determine chef reputations and shape restaurant incomes for the year ahead.

There has been a deafening silence from New Media Publishing generally and from Abigail Donnelly specifically since we wrote about her Majeka House involvement, and no one in the industry has dared comment publicly, for fear of being victimised (this happens, a chef telling me that he provided feedback some years ago, and never made the Top 20 list again!).  Until the Eat Out Awards ceremony on 20 November I had nothing but the highest regard for Mrs Donnelly and her integrity, and even defended it when I heard mutters about Mrs Donnelly being the sole Eat Out Restaurant Awards judge this year.  We thought she could pull it off without controversy, but it appears we were wrong.

The Makaron Restaurant consulting non-disclosure by Mrs Donnelly is completely unacceptable, and therefore I contacted the Managing Director of New Media Publishing, but the e-mail to Bridget McCarney was returned, stating that she is on a sabbatical for a few months.  I was advised to send the e-mail to the two directors Irna van Zyl and John Psillos, and it was Ms van Zyl who quickly and honestly answered, having sought Mrs Donnelly’s input too.  We publish the communication between ourselves and Ms Van Zyl below, and one can read Mrs Donnelly’s anger in her reply.  My last and the ultimate question which Ms van Zyl did not answer was if Mrs Donnelly had sought permission to do the consulting work, this being the New Media Publishing policy.  The non-response is a deafening admission that this did not happen:

From: Whale Cottage Portfolio

To: bmccarney@newmediapub.co.za

Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 1:40 PM

Subject: EAT OUT

Dear Bridget

I want to ask you what the policy is about your staff, and Abigail Donnelly specifically, consulting for restaurants? I am very perturbed about Abigail’s position as sole Eat Out judge, and the conflict of interest that has arisen with Makaron Restaurant having made the Boschendal Style Award shortlist, as well as it winning this category.  I have also picked up that its owner won the Review of the Week on the Eat Out newsletter last week.  Can we expect Makaron to be the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant next year? Can we please receive a declaration of all the restaurants to which Abigail consults?

From: Irna van Zyl

To: Whale Cottage Portfolio

Cc: Anelde Greeff ; Abigail Donnelly ; John Psillos ; Bridget McCarney

Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 4:29 PM

Subject: Re: EAT OUT

Dear Chris

I’ve discussed your concerns with Abigail Donnelly in her capacity as Editor of Eat Out and Anelde Greeff, Content Director of Eat Out. As you have probably gathered Bridget, our MD, is on a mini-sabbatical but I will endeavor  to reply to your questions as well as I can.

Here are the facts:

Abigail did a once-off consultation with Makaron before the restaurant was opened and made it clear to the owners at that time that because of her involvement the restaurant would not be eligible for any of the Eat Out Awards that involved food. At the time the chef that she was consulting to left the restaurant without implementing Abigail’s menu. The Style awards was not judged on the food. It was judged, as Abigail explained at the Eat Out Awards, on the setting, the detail in the wallpaper, the underfloor lighting of the bathrooms, the beautiful chairs, handmade crockery and the overall beautiful look of the restaurant, to which she had no input as a consultant.  In terms of the Review of the Week Anelde Greeff explains that in order to be representative countrywide they choose a review from a specific area each week as the “winner”. It is their policy that the “winning” review should be one with a positive slant. It is unfortunate that the review was the one written by the owner but completely coincidental. The choice of Review of the Week has nothing to do with Abigail, who is not involved in the website in an editing capacity.  Just one last comment: the Top 20 shortlist of restaurants is decided on after careful consultation and consideration of the input of all Eat Out’s 20 countrywide reviewers, reader opinions throughout the year and other opinions from foodies. At Eat Out we were just following the example set by Lannice Snyman years ago as the founder of the restaurant guide, who acted as the only judge of the awards for several years before Sam Woulidge became the editor and a panel was appointed to assist her.  I hope this clarify things for you.

From: Whale Cottage Portfolio <whalecot@iafrica.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2011 17:09:56 +0200
To: Irna van Zyl <irna.vanzyl@newmediapub.co.za>
Subject: Re: EAT OUT

Dear Irna

I appreciate your speedy and detailed reply. My information is that Abigail

*    designed the current menu at Makaron, which has been inherited by the new chef, who told me this directly

*   called a supplier just a few days before the Eat Out Awards on 20 November, requesting a specific type of product from the supplier for Makaron Restaurant.

In general, if you go to Makaron, you will not see what has been written about it to justify it winning the Style Award.  Most of the description relates to the M Lounge (their bar), which is across the passage, and is not part of Makaron restaurant, with a different name and a vastly different decor style.  The accolade is completely over-written, in my opinion, and one senses that it was written by Abigail, gushing to please a client. I have always held Abigail in high esteem, but I think that it is absolutely not acceptable that she consults to any restaurant in any capacity at all whilst she is editor of Eat Out and the sole judge of the Award winners.   She, Eat Out, New Media Publishing, as well as Majeka House have lost credibility through this. You have not answered as which other restaurants she consults to.

From: Irna van Zyl

To: Whale Cottage Portfolio

Cc: John Psillos ; Anelde Greeff ; Abigail Donnelly ; Bridget McCarney ; Claire Buchanan

Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2011 11:43 AM

Subject: Re: EAT OUT

Dear Chris

Herewith Abigail’s comments as requested by me. I think it’s quite clear from her replies that Makron (sic) did now implement her original menu and is changing it. She also does not consult to other restaurants. Thanks for your feedback, we always welcome it. Best regards

Irna

Hi

I am not sure where she gets her facts. I called Angus from Spier when the ex chef was still at Makaron requesting beef cheeks well before the Eat Out Awards. The new chef has taken it off the menu and replaced with oxtail and I mentioned yesterday is already putting her own menu together. If I showed favouritism then I would have judged them but the owners knew this when I consulted. They are also aware that I am unable to judge them next year until Tanya has her own menu. I have never written anything about the style award for Makaron only the comment I wrote was for the magazine which was about the chairs, crockery and the feeling of the restaurant. I am not consulting for any other restaurants. There is absolutely no favouritism I awarded a restaurant with the best style.

Thanks
Abigail

From: Whale Cottage Portfolio <whalecot@iafrica.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 14:06:21 +0200
To: vanzyl <irna.vanzyl@newmediapub.co.za>
Subject: Re: EAT OUT

Dear Irna

One question remains: What is the policy of New Media Publishing about its staff consulting – e.g. Abigail/Makaron, Etienne Hanekom/Makaron? Thank you

From: Irna van Zyl

To: Whale Cottage Portfolio

Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2011 7:31 PM

Subject: Re: EAT OUT

Dear Chris

The policy is quite simple: staff members have to ask permission to take on any freelance work and it then is in the discretion of their manager to grant the permission or not. Etienne Hanekom is on a freelance contract and the same rule does not apply to freelancers. But it is something that you have highlighted now and we will look at this carefully in future.

From: Whale Cottage Portfolio

To: Irna van Zyl

Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2011 7:34 PM

Subject: Re: EAT OUT

Thank you Irna.  Apologies for belabouring the point – did Abigail have permission to consult to Majeka House?

No reply was received to the last e-mail, sent a week ago!  Two weeks ago I was astounded to see in the Eat Out newsletter that Majeka House owner Karen de Quecker won the Eat Out Restaurant Review of the Week for her review of Pane e Vino, a lightweight four-line feedback about how much she enjoys eating there, a restaurant which belongs to her friends the Dalla Cias, and so the conflict of interest continues!

Mrs Donnelly has been under severe observation from chefs and restaurants this year, after she announced her decision to let go her judging committee, and to become the sole Eat Out judge.  I have heard how early or late she came to judge candidate Top 20 restaurants, how much and what she ate, and the glowing praises she heaped on each chef.  Many chefs were disappointed when the Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant shortlist was announced.  I am sure that the industry would join me in insisting that Mrs Donnelly cleans up her act, to become squeaky clean, and to not create any conflict of interest by consulting to restaurants!

POSTSCRIPT 18/7: It is heartening to see that the Eat Out Boschendal Restaurant Style Award judging will be done by VISI magazine’s editors, the magazines being sister publications at New Media Publishing.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Increasingly consumers are entertaining their guests at home, by shopping at a select number of specialist food shops and delis, and preparing something last minute.  This is partly due to the recession South Africans have experienced in the past two years, as well as the general shortage of time, and this has stimulated the production of wonderfully healthy and creative food products for in-home use.   It also reflects the greater time that consumers spend on shopping for produce and ingredients than they do cooking or preparing it.   This was said by Anelde Greeff, editor of Eat In, at the announcement of the winners of the 4th Eat In Produce Awards, which was held as a Night Market at the Old Biscuit Mill on Thursday evening. 

The Best New Product winner of the 2011 SAB Eat In  Produce Awards, as judged by Anelde Greeff, Justine Drake (previous editor of Eat In), Pete Goffe-Wood (an Eat Out  Top 10 restaurant judge), Anna Trapido (an Eat Out  Top 10 restaurant judge) and Michelle Barry (principal of the Christina Martin Cookery School in Durban), is Totally Wild’s Aloe and Baobab Juice, which contains calcium, iron and vitamins.   The South African Heritage Award went to Enaleni Farm in KwaZulu-Natal, and this selection was motivated as follows: ”This KZN farm is preserving our heritage by keeping a herd of Nguni cattle, endangered Zulu sheep, growing rare, local maize varietals and the traditional ibhece melon”.

The other 2011 SAB Eat In  Produce Awards winners, with the motivation for their selection, are the following:

*   “Best Organic Product: Kimilili’s Witzenberger cheese:  Made in the Swiss Appenzelltradition, using nothing but cheese cultures, microbial rennet and salt, the tangy, six-month matured Witzenberger had the judges carving off slice after slice.
 
*   Small Produce Award: Paddock – Chuck and Bobs:  Creating a small range of bacon, salamis and hams, Chuck and Bobs’ produce delighted the judges, as did the small-scale, hands-on way in which they make their charcuterie.
 
*   Small Produce Award: Earth – The Drift Farm’s range of organic fruit and veg:  Specialising in rare vegetables like black Aztec corn, fingerling aubergines and candy-striped beets, this family-run farm also goes to great lengths to be environmentally friendly. 
 
*   Small Produce Award: Bakery - The Foodbarn’s ciabatta and rye bread:  Made using locally produced stone-ground flour, natural yeast and water, the texture and freshness secured The Foodbarn’s woodfired loaves a place at the top of the bakery list.
 
*   Small Produce Award: Dairy – Swissland St Maure cheese:  The judges were blown away by the character of Fran Isaac’s fromages; most notably the soft, wood-ash-coated St Maure log, with its slightly salty, nutty taste.
 
*   Small Produce Award: Grocery – Quality Pickles’ range of chutneys, atchars and pickles:
This home-based kitchen produces 11 delicious sauces and seven stupendous pickles, including fragrant Mebos Chutney, crunchy pickle, and dhania.
 
*   Merit Award: The Kitchen Garden sprouts:   Joseph Feigelson offers the largest selection of edible sprouts in Africa, and supplies the country’s top chefs.
 
*   Best Markets and Stores: 
North – Braeside Meat Market and Pretoria Boeremark:   The judges commended Braeside for their commitment to sourcing the best, most ethically-reared meat. Owner Caroline McCann shoots her own venison, offers braai classes and is even breeding local turkeys.  Family-friendly Pretoria Boeremark meanwhile, was commended for its warmth, its unaffected charm and its amazing range of fresh farm produce. 
 
South: Get Stuffed Enterprises’ The Real Cheese and Neighbourgoods Market :  Valerie Elder’s range of South African cheeses is hard to beat and is illustrative of her dedication to our local cheesemaking talents. Running since 2006, the Neighbourgoods Market has grown into a hub of fabulous produce which has transformed Woodstock into a sought-after foodie destination.
 
East: Everfresh La Lucia and The Food Market :   With the widest range of products, from imported truffles and cheeses to indigenous beans and mfenu, Everfresh La Lucia goes to great lengths to promote fresh, indigenous produce.  Established by Emma Dunk, Nick Papadopoulos, Eric Edwards and Karen Brokensha, The Food Market showcases the most superb produce in KZN. 
 
Central: The Valley Market :  In the foothills of the Magaliesberg, The Valley Market show off both the area’s natural bounty and the pioneering artisan produce of its residents. There is even an online box scheme delivering to Joburg” .

The 2011 edition of Eat In magazine was launched at the event, the tenth issue, with 850 listings in categories such as bakeries, butcheries, cheese suppliers, delis, cooking schools, kitchen tool suppliers, ‘exotica’ (being spice and imported product suppliers), fish suppliers,  farm stalls and markets, organic food suppliers, caterers, olives and olive oils, and tea and coffee suppliers.  For the first time quick and easy recipes are provided as well.  

For the first time the Eat In Produce Awards were held with a ‘Night Market’ at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill, with many of the regular stall holders and past Eat In Produce winners selling their wonderful products.  I was pleased to meet Richard Bosman  (left), making an excellent quality and packaged range of cured meats using pasture reared pork.  I bought lovely mozzarella products from Puglia Cheese, and loved the stand for Buffalo Ridge in Wellington, buying their mozzarella too, and trying their yoghurt.   It was good to see La Motte’s Farm Shop have a stand too.

To co-incide with the Awards, S A Breweries launched two craft beers at the event – a Newlands Extra Special, and the Sunset Wheat Beer. A lovely sparkling Newlands Spring water was also available to drink at the launch.

As an invited guest to the Awards, it was disappointing that there was no name tag on arrival, despite my RSVP.  The media and “VIP” guests were herded into the back section of the market hall, but there was no one to guide one to the SAB table for the beer, and there was no wine available if one was not a beer drinker.  No food was served (ironic for a food-related event), and invited guests had to buy their food.  The whole function seemed a little amateurish in its execution, and I had to ask for the media pack on my departure, no New Media Publishing staff member proactively ensuring that all guests received such a pack.  The media pack consisted of a selection of SA Breweries beers, a lanyard and the Eat In  magazine, but none of the award-winning products!   Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly, who was attending the event as a colleague, and who was one of the writers for the magazine, was most hospitable and helpful, even though it was not her function, and not her duty to do so.  New Media Publishing’s Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards’ events have a far longer history, admittedly, but are slick and almost without hiccups, in contrast to what we experienced at the SAB Eat In  Produce Awards.  Parking anywhere reasonably close to the Old Biscuit Mill remains a challenge, even in the late afternoon.

Eat In 2011 magazine.   www.eat-in.co.za

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage