Entries tagged with “empanadas”.


Mount Nelson Rudi Liebenberg BloggersOn Sunday the Sunday Times had a lengthy article, entitled ‘Food Soldiers’, about the blood, sweat, and tears that go into the preparation of ‘fine food’ and the running of good restaurants. The article concluded with a denigration of ‘frikkin’ bloggers‘ by newly renamed Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel Chef Rudi Liebenberg, quite out of character of someone who comes across as gentle and kind.

I Tweeted the last paragraph of the article, and posted it on Facebook, and an interesting discussion arose on the latter forum, threatening to become a ‘Chefs versus Bloggers’ fight. Veteran Chef Billy Gallagher fully supported Chef Rudi, writing ‘I believe you write good stuff Chris and I follow your blog which is always interesting to say the least, having spent 40 years in the hotel business. It was hotel chefs that laid the foundation. The South African chefs Association created the platform for today’s South African chefs and this 40 years ago was a hotel chefs initiative.  Many of the top 10 restaurants are on wine estates which adds a wonderful backdrop to these very talented chefs. Let’s give Rudi his opinion right or wrong‘.   Twelve Apostles Executive Director Horst Frehse also wrote in support of Chef Rudi.   Susanna Tecklenburg of Oude Wellington wrote  ‘I eat, sleep, sitting on the loo social media between cooking and running my restaurant. It sure brings in business and you meet new people all the time and guests appreciated when you comment on their posts. Read all the blogs and specially yours Chris Von Ulmenstein and value your opinion. Thanks for all your input and info all the time. With my busy lifestyle you ‘frikkin’ bloggers help us to be in touch what’s going on out there!’.  Chef Anton Bekker of Taste Restaurant was critical of the effect of MasterChef SA on diners: ‘Social media keep my restaurant afloat! I do have problem when people watch masterchef and then think they know everything. Lol. Or when a food writer comments that the hollandaise needed some more cream. … haha’. Sarie Kos Food Editor Herman Lensing was the first to react to the Facebook post, stating that all diners have the right to express an opinion, and that chefs should cook for their customers and not for critics.  Amanda Brinkmann was very vocal about the subject, saying that due to the politics in food writing, she believes in and supports ‘citizen journalism‘.  Deon Schutte clearly wrote from a chef’s perspective: ‘I think that (more…)

The Sweet Service Award goes to the Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Association, for organising the Franschhoek Uncorked Festival last weekend, for organising the best weather ever in the history of the festival, and for bringing winelovers to the wine estates, the only organised event doing so once a year.   The majority of the participating wine estates gave it their best shot, being super generous and friendly.  Whilst a golden marketing opportunity was lost by each estate in not being more proactive in handing out information about their wines and restaurant, the event as a whole created goodwill for Franschhoek, and created awareness for the Franschhoek wine brands via Twitter and Blogging.

The Sour Service Award goes to the Planet Bar at the Mount Nelson Hotel.  I popped in for their wonderful mushroom empanadas and a glass of bubbly after a concert close by a week ago, a rare indulgence.   The barman did not know what “empanadas” are, asking me if they were a food item (they are on the bar menu), the waitress poured my glass of Simonsig Vonkel with the glass standing upright, and an empanada had an hair in it (luckily the chef came to explain that it was an hair from the pastry brush!).   When I asked the Planet Bar manager Patrick why the service had been so poor, he repeated after me “poor?”, as if all had been perfect.  One wonders why 5-star hotel staff, who do not deliver 5-star service, get to be so arrogant!

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at info@whalecottage.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.