Entries tagged with “Durban”.


FitChef Mediterranean fresh veg Whale CottageLast night I was invited to the first media launch in the country of FitChef, a new service of healthy meals and smoothies delivered into one’s home, as per one’s chosen mealplan.  A range of options is offered, including Banting/LCHF, detox and weight loss, vegetarian, and wellness. More than 50000 meal portions and 35000 smoothies are sold around the country monthly.

Developed by founder Wayne Kaminsky, who told us that he was a superfit sportsman, participating in Ironman and Cape Epic challenges, and needing to find a more healthy eating pattern to lose weight.  He was using antibiotics, and could let them go when the benefits of the ‘clean eating’ came to the fore.  He moved more and more to healthy foods which he enjoyed cooking, making a batch of portions over weekends, and finding them selling well when he posted photographs of them on Facebook.  He started FitChef three years ago, and the Cape region was opened a year ago.  Wayne has tremendous energy, and his food preparation skills were impressive, preparing our dinner simultaneously at 10 food stations, at each of which a different dish was prepared.  He had prepared some of the dishes, and talked us through each food preparation station, each containing a different set of ingredients for a dish to be made. I noticed that a lot of ingredients came from Woolworths, but Wayne said that they prefer to use Pick ‘n Pay products. I questioned Wayne about his use of some Robertsons products, and he said that it was just for our dinner, and that they use fresh herbs in the factory food preparation. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Chef Roger Jones of Michelin star restaurant The Harrow in Little Bedwyn in the UK,  is set to pop-in and pop-up at a number of dining events in the Cape in January next year.  He will be seen in action at the Vineyard Hotel on 9 January, offering a 6-course dinner with a South African and Australian premium wine pairing.  He will also be at 96 Winery Road with Ken Forrester and other top local winemakers, and is doing a ‘foraging dinner’ with Adi Badenhorst. The chef is known for his wine knowledge as well as cooking skills.

*   Low-cost Condor airline will increase it direct flights between Cape Town and Frankfurt from two to three a week from 6 November.

*   Wesgro and Cape Town NPC, the company organising World Design Capital 2014 for Cape Town, will present Cape Town’s design industry at 2014 Vienna Design Week from 26 September – 5 October.  Local designer Heath Nash will represent Cape (more…)

Hayden Quinn 11 Midlands More Cows

It was ironic that episode 11 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ last night focused on the Natal Midlands, and that a large part of the half-hour episode focused on farmer Kevin Lang’s Fairfield Dairy Ayrshire farm, given our Blogpost yesterday about the new defensive Woolworths ‘Good Food News’ supplement in the Sunday Times.  

The episode started off with Hayden having a cooling swim near the Howick Falls, which have a 105 meter drop.  Once refreshed, he met Chef Jackie Cameron, then Executive Chef of Eat Out Top 10 restaurant at Hartford House, but who has left toHayden Quinn 11 Midlands Jackie and Hayden at Market Whale Cottage establish her Jackie Cameron School of Food and Wine, which opens in Hilton in January.  Chef Jackie was identified as a WWF-SASSI Trailblazer Chef.  They met at the Karkloof Market, which is just outside Hayden Quinn 11 Midlands Rob SymonsHowick, and here Jackie introduced Hayden to farmer Rob Symons of Broadleaze Organics, offering unusual herbs such as Vietnamese coriander. Dutch cheesemaker MJ Mook of Just Cheese introduced Hayden to and allowed him to taste her special cheeses.  The market seemed a jolly space, with fresh vegetables, herbs, meat, flowers, cheeses, and more. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines 

*   Distell has created a wine marketing subsidiary in the UK, called Distell Vineyards & Estates, which is also marketing its wines in Germany, Holland, and Finland.  UK sales are £ 32 million. CEO Carina Gouws emphasised the importance of the UK market: ‘The UK remains the most important market globally in terms of positioning premium brands.  Wines that perform well in there are noticed by the rest of the world’.   The company is planning to aggressively increase its market share four fold, focusing more on independent retailers and the on-trade in the UK.

*   A review of the MyCiTi Bus performance has shown that the service surpassed its target by over 2 million ‘passenger journeys‘, reaching 7,4 million in the past financial year. The recent introduction of the N2 Express to Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain has boosted the passenger numbers to over 1 million per month.  Changes to be made to routes include culling the Waterfront Silo extension from the Civic Centre on the Camps Bay route (which we criticised from the outset when launched a year ago).  Route 113 along Ocean View Drive from Three Anchor Bay to Fresnaye will be cancelled on 6 October, due to low demand.  One wonders why market research was not conducted to check demand for the service.

*   World Travel Market Africa will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 15 – 17 April next year, (more…)

Borage Bistro Interior 2 Whale CottageAn unusually high number of new restaurants has opened or will do so in the next month or two.  There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers!  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Borage Bistro has opened in Portside, with Chef Frank Marks, previously of The Fat Duck, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, La Colombe, The Test Kitchen, and The Pot Luck Club

*   Chef Chris Erasmus has opened his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek, having previously been at Pierneef à La Motte.

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) is opening a steak restaurant in Muizenberg in November.

*   Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht (of Burrata) are opening a new restaurant Bocca on the corner of Bree (more…)

MasterChef SA 3 ep 2 Tomatoes 2The pace in last night’s episode 2 of MasterChef SA Season 3 was a little slower than that of the first episode, but irritating was the judges whispering amongst themselves in evaluating the contestants, so softly that one could barely hear what they were saying.  The episode was designed to reduce the 24 contestant from Bootcamp 1 to the 12 Finalists going to the Nederburg MasterChef SA kitchen, ending off with a last-minute scone-baking competition.

The 24 contestants were still in the Cape Town harbour for Bootcamp 2, but now inside a warehouse, with cooking stations set up for each of them, and a Woolworths pantry too.   The brief for the Invention Test sounded easy enough, in preparing their choice of dish within 60 minutes. The pantry would be closed down during the episode, the contestants were told.  Chef and judge Pete Goffe-Wood said that the pantry was so well stocked that ‘if you can dream it, you can cook it’.  One contestant was looking for tomatoes for her dish, and was surprised that there were none. Midway a curved ball was introduced, Chef and (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  At the SAACI Congress Wesgro has been named as South Africa’s best Convention Bureau, and the Cape Town International Convention Centre the country’s best Convention venue. (via Twitter)

*   Hanneli Slabber, SA Tourism Country Manager for India, has received the Best Professional in Marketing‘ award at the Safari India National Tourism Awards. Since her appointment in India, there has been a marked growth in tourists from India to South Africa.

*   Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom has praised the role of Business Tourism as well as of Events, in addressing the SAACI (South African Association for the Conference Industry) Congress today.  He said that this sector of Tourism, which has an above average spend when visiting (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Constantia Glen was recognised as Wine Producer of the Year at the recent SA Wine Index (SAWi) 2014 awards, and Beyers Truter of Beyerskloof was named the Wine Legend of the Year, recognised as a pioneer of the South African wine industry. DeMorgenzon won White Wine Producer of the Year, and Kanonkop Red Wine Producer of the Year. Best South African Brandy Producer went to KWV.  Top scoring wines, at 99 out of 100, were Hamilton Russell Chardonnay, Saronsberg Full Circle, Rijks Pinotage, and Kanonkop Paul Sauer.   The event was held at Grootbos, which is exclusively offering the full range of SAWi Grand Wines Collection scoring 93+ points out of 1oo.

*   The Local Grill in Parktown in Johannesburg has won the Wolftrap Steakhouse Championship 2014 for the second year running, with The Godfather from Centurion in Pretoria taking second place, beating 140 steakhouses around the country, and then a shortlist of five, which included two steakhouses in Cape Town.   The judges selected the Local Grill on the basis of its expertise in ‘meat, consistent service, and accurate grilling‘.   The steakhouse opened a branch in Woodstock a few months ago.  Chefs Pete Goffe-Wood, Reuben Robertsons Pop-Up and Pop-In Riffel, and Arnold Tanzer were the judges, all associated with MasterChef SA Season 3. (received via media release from Hazell PR and Wine Consultants).

*   Jordan Estate Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2013 won the Decanter International Chardonnay Trophy, having won the same (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  The Tourism Business Council of South Africa has welcomed the appointment of new Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom, and has thanked the former Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk for his contribution to growing the Tourism industry in his ten year tenure.  Minister Hanekom previously served as Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, and most recently as Minister of Science and Technology. (received via media release from the Tourism Business Council of South Africa)

*   South Africa is against an Africa Tourism Tax, the Ministry of Tourism has stated, deeming it to be an ‘unworkable plan’. Taxes are country-specific and cannot be levied across the continent, the department said.  Last week the African Union called for a tourism levy on flights and accommodation, which has also been opposed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.  IATA has added its voice, saying that the proposed taxes would make travel within Africa even more expensive.

*   SA Tourism has admitted that the number of visitors to Indaba earlier this month had declined (more…)

Wesgro PosterDurban and Cape Town have had a gentle rivalry when it comes to attracting tourists, which has never been overtly competitive and has been largely collegial, with a joint campaign on National Geographic to market the two cities, to save marketing monies. Now the relationship appears to have reached rock-bottom, with an angry Durban Tourism attack on Cape Town for its alleged ‘ambush marketing‘ of Indaba 2014, the tourism expo held in Durban, which drew to a close on Monday.

In the past other South African cities, but Durban in particular, have been annoyed that Cape Town attracts the bulk of international tourists, and that this is reflected by SA Tourism, in that it proudly features Table Mountain in much of its tourism communication, being a national icon for our country.  SA Tourism and Durban were irked that World Travel Market Africa was held in Cape Town a mere week before the start of Indaba, funded in part by the City of Cape Town, and attracting a fair number of exhibitors and visitors, and receiving praise for the event.  SA Tourism made a point of confirming that it would only support Indaba, there not being enough capacity for two tourism trade shows in our country, in its opinion.

Philip Sithole, head of Durban Tourism, appears to be paranoid about Cape Town, complaining to Southern African Tourism (more…)