Entries tagged with “Paarl”.


MasterChef 3 14 Final 6Last night the MasterChef SA Season 3 Top 6 finalists returned from Mauritius to a treat in Johannesburg, being lunch at South Africa’s number 2 Eat Out Top 10 restaurant five hundred, at the Saxon Boutique Hotel, a restaurant on my bucket list!  Returning to the MasterChef SA kitchen at Nederburg, the finalists had to replicate each of Chef David Higg’s dishes, Abigail Mbalo leaving the MasterChef SA kitchen, having forgotten to plate some of the elements.

For the second time in a few weeks episode 14 started more than 10 minutes late, without warning or apology by M-Net, not even on Social Media.   We saw the Top 6 Finalists arrive at five hundred, and they were seated at the Chef’s Table.  A screenMasterChef 3 14 five hundred opened to the kitchen, and Chef David welcomed the Finalists, saying that they would be served a 6-course lunch to congratulate them on getting so far in the competition.  The dishes presented would be those that have been the highlight of the five hundred menu in the past 18 months.  He mentioned their rooftop garden, which was planted in the same time period.  Chef David also said that they do things differently at five hundred, the chefs serving the diners.

Nederburg wines were to be paired with each course, but we only saw the sommelier pair the first course of pressed prawns with broccoli coral, mayonnaise, and nori soil, with Nederburg The Anchorman (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The price of petrol could drop by 69 – 72 cents per liter on 3 December, the Automobile Association has forecast.  The declining international oil prices will benefit motorists.  ’Petroleum prices have dropped by more than ten percent over the past 15 days and the exchange rate has weakened only slightly in the same period‘.

*   The organisers of World Design Capital (WDC) 2014 have condemned the vandalisation with graffiti of the ‘Perceptions’ Ray-Ban glasses sculpture on the Sea Point Promenade.   The art work has generated a huge debate about its suitability in its perceived commercialisation, by promoting the glasses brand.  The organisers said: ‘As WDC 2014, we condone creativity and condemn in the strictest sense, lawlessness. It is a sad day when public debate is substituted with vandalism‘.

*   KWV is hosting ‘Brandy Sensations‘, a ‘long table dinner‘ to be held at the KWV Sensorium art gallery in Paarl tomorrow. (more…)

Chefs who Share Lanzerac 7 chefs 2 Whale CottageIt was a unique experience to meet seven chefs who have worked or are currently working at Michelin star restaurants (10 Michelin stars awarded in total) in Austria and Germany for breakfast at the Lanzerac on Tuesday.  While it was an early morning start, it was energizing being in the company of the ever-bubbly Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast of Opulent Living, who had extended the invitation to a number of writers.

We were seated at one long table intermingled with the chefs, and a half way swopping of seats was clever too, so that we could get to chat to at least three of the seven chefs for a longer period of time.  Opulent Living, organisers of the charity Gala Dinner ‘Chefs who Share‘ in the City Hall this evening,  Chefs who Share logowelcomed the seven chefs, who had all flown in from Europe to Cape Town on Monday.

Tonight seven teams of two local chefs each, a local sommelier, and one of the German-speaking chefs, will prepare a four course dinner for 36 guests who have paid R3000 each to attend, a total of 250 guests not only eating delectable food, but also drinking excellent local wines, and interacting with the three chefs looking after their tables.  Last year Opulent Living raised R1,2 million through the charity Gala Dinner, and decided to raise the bar this year by flying in the seven German-speaking (more…)

Hayden Quinn 4 Huguenot Monument Whale CottageLast night’s episode 4 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ was good marketing for Franschhoek, known for its food and wine, combined with its beauty, being filmed on a perfect summer’s day.  There was minimal, if any, Woolworths punting in the episode!

Hayden started his Franschhoek journey at the Huguenot Monument, erected in honour of the French Huguenots, ‘exiles‘ who picked Franschhoek to grow vines viewers were told, a bit of creative licence, as they were given the land.  Hayden explained that the village name, which he pronounced close to perfectly, means ‘French Corner’.  He  said that the monument represents peace, agriculture, and viticulture, copywriting nonsense, as the monument (erected in 1948) represents religious freedom, something the Huguenots could only experience in Franschhoek, having to flee France.  The village was previously called Olifantshoek, after the elephants roaming in the valley. The main road of Franschhoek was shown, and Hayden referred to it as having buildings with ‘French style architecture‘ (sic)! (more…)

Hayden Quinn 2 Fritz and Hayden MosbolletjiesPoor Hayden Quinn!  Trying to be clever, the promo for last night’s episode 2, which was flighted on SABC3 on Sunday evening, had Hayden proudly sharing that he was going behind the ‘Boerewors Curtain‘ in Stellenbosch, to meet artisanal baker Fritz Schoon of Schoon de Companje.  The Tweet left Hayden with dough on his face, in making what he called a ‘joke‘, in poor cultural taste!

In reaction to a Tweet about his incorrect information (the ‘Boerewors Curtain‘ is a less than complimentary name for the residents of the suburbs of Parow/Bellville/Durbanville, to describe their love for braai-ing, in preference to most other activities, which means that they rarely leave their area, and that the area smells of braais from Friday evenings to Sunday lunch times on weekends),  Hayden replied: ‘I guess the little joke was lost haha just referencing stellies (sic) as a (sic) Africaans (sic) town‘.  His producer Riaan Badenhorst quickly jumped to his defence, explaining that Boerewors is ‘proudly heritage food‘, which was not the point of the Twitter exchange!

Hayden Quinn : South Africa‘ was first flighted on SABC3 last Monday,  doing a great job in making Capetonians proud of their beautiful city and its fresh produce bounty.  Hayden was a MasterChef Australia finalist in 2011, but did not win the series, and has managed to sign up the series about our country’s sustainable food production.  The programme is sponsored by (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Mercedes-Benz South Africa will be taken for a ride by the V&A Waterfront for the next 12 months,  as a member of the V&A Waterfront Partners Programme, which comes with a number of exclusive rights to connect with the V&A’s visitors, including receiving their e-mail addresses, using their venue for events, outdoor advertising, and business to business campaigns.  The V&A sees the advantage as being increased footfall, which it overclaims at 23 million per year!   For Mercedes-Benz the deal is an opportunity to become ‘visualised at the V&A Waterfront to aspirational consumers‘.

*   Fodor’s Travel has written a comprehensive article entitled Wine Lover’s Guide to South Africa, praising our country for its excellent terroir suited to wine farming, and becoming ‘world-renowned’, especially our indigenous Pinotage.  Linking food and wine, the Western Cape is becoming increasingly associated with food excellence too. Wine tasting in Stellenbosch is recommended, at Kanonkop, Tokara, and Waterford Estate, while Indochine, Delaire Graff Restaurant, and Jordan are recommended restaurants.   In Franschhoek La Petite Ferme, Haute Cabrière, Môreson, and the unique Franschhoek Wine Tram are recommended.  The Tasting Room and Bread & Wine are recommended restaurants. In Paarl KWV is recommended, with Bosman’s Restaurant, which is overpraised as ‘one of the best restaurants not only in South Africa, but in the world’ (sic)!  Groot Constantia is mentioned as being the oldest wine estate, and La Colombe and The Greenhouse are recommended restaurants.

*   A clever and cheeky reply to EFF Commissar Andile Mngxitama, who wrote to Sir Richard Branson, saying that the (more…)

Tracy van Maaren Tracy Whale Cottage PortfolioLast night I attended the first Tracy van Maaren Wines Trade Tasting, representing a handful of select fine boutique wine estates, held at Auslese. Each of the wine estate’s wines offered for tasting was personally paired with a canapé designed by Chef Harald Bresselschmidt of Aubergine.

Tracy started her wine career by working as PA to Dana Buys at Vrede en Lust.  She then moved into the clothing industry, but regretted this move.  She returned to the wine industry, working at Jordan.  Almost nine years ago she started her company, her first wine clients being Vriesenhof, Raats, and Catherine Marshall.   She represents her clients’ wines in the ‘mid to top restaurants’ and independent retailers (e.g. Caroline’s, Wine Concepts, and Vino Pronto) in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, with Paarl and Franschhoek.

Auslese is a renovated house, available to rent for functions, about two blocks from Aubergine.  It has a smallish kitchen, and the space was cleverly used to set up tasting tables for nine brands, with Pol Roger (Churchill’s favourite champagne) represented in the entrance hall by Great Domaines’ Derek Kilpin andTracy van Maaren Pol Roger Whale Cottage Portfolio their brand new French import Morgan Delacloche.

Arriving at about 18h30, there was no crush, and one could get to easily taste the wines and food pairings, chat to the wine representatives, and to the invited guests, which included John Maytham of Cape Talk, Mark Bland of Expresso, Mandi Jarman of Aquila, Chef Vanessa Marx and her colleague  Rumby of Dear Me, Catharina’s Manager Ronel Smidt, sommelier and consultant Jörg Pfützner, John and Lynne Ford, and Mike Duggan of Wine Concepts. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Mango is tightening up its credit card procedures, to prevent fraud, by demanding that tickets bought by credit card are verified with the actual card.  If the card is not with the passenger, he/she may not board.

*   ESKOM started load-shedding around the country today, without prior warning, the rain in Johannesburg allegedly wetting the coal and therefore affecting its supply!  The Cape has not been spared, with electricity cuts in Somerset West, Claremont, Durbanville, Tokai, Kenilworth, Parow, Elsies River, Wellington, and Hout Bay this morning, followed by Sea Point, Camps Bay, and many other Cape Town suburbs later in the day.  Our international visitors (other than those from other African countries) are shocked! (via Twitter)

*   Chef Chris Erasmus will leave Pierneef à La Motte in June, to open his own restaurant with his wife in Franschhoek in September.

*   The Bols Bartending World Champion Rusty Cerven chose Cape Town as one of his four world cities to visit, with Sydney, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro, as part of his prize when he beat 3000 bartenders from 66 countries.  In Cape Town he demonstrated (more…)

Bread at The Browmell Whale Cottage PortfolioThe Sweet Service Award goes to Bread at The Bromwell in Woodstock, and its manager Ivan da Silva, for his service recovery when I had lunch there last Saturday.  I arrived in the deli and bakery section without any staff present, and when a waiter did arrive, he called another colleague who was upstairs at the time, but was meant to man the section.  Ivan listened to my complaint about the unnecessary waiting time.  He also took immediate action when I challenged him on the menu description of the buttermilk pancake with ‘fresh seasonal fruit‘, which was hidden away inside the pancake instead of being on top, and was not fresh at all, being cooked pears and apples. He accepted that the description of the dish was misleading, saying that the fruit was fresh when it was cooked! His staff made a new portion, topped with a beautiful selection of fresh berries, strawberries, apples, and pears! (more…)

Wine Tourism South Africa HandbookMonika Elias of World Focus Media has done a great job over the past ten years in documenting the contribution of the wine routes, and the wine estates on them, to Wine Tourism South Africa, in helping to inform and educate locals as well as tourists about wine in general, and to boost wine sales.  Her 2014 edition of ‘Wine Tourism South Africa’ handbook has just been published , bearing the slogan of ‘sip, stay and play‘!

In her ‘Publisher’s Letter‘, Monika defines Wine Tourism as ‘…in the glass, on the plate, in the bed, around the vines, and for the planet’.  She writes about ‘winery atmospherics’, such as architecture, lighting, sound, temperature, and kinetics, playing an important role in creating a point of difference for wine estates in an increasingly competitive world.  Wine is becoming an increasingly important part of the Tourism experience, and most visitors to Cape Town and the Western Cape will be very likely to visit a wine farm to taste their wines, to eat at a Winelands restaurant, or visit an event linked to wines.

The Handbook evaluates top restaurants on wine estates, using chefs hats (three maximum) to denote how good or not they are;  and evaluates the winelists of the restaurants on the wine estates, by means of wine glasses (three maximum).  A price range indication is also provided for the Winelands restaurants.  The Handbook starts with tourist information and advice about car rental, taxis, trains, parking attendants, banking hours, VAT, the weather, tipping, and more.  It lists the winners of the fifteen categories in the 2013 KLINK Wine Tourism Awards, which received votes from 15000 consumers last year. (more…)