Entries tagged with “Rene Redzepi”.
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Wednesday 13th November 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* SAA says it will not be making a profit before it takes delivery of more eco-friendly aircraft in three to four years time.
* A new app has been launched to guide tourists around the Cape Peninsula, and Cape Point specifically. Developed by Tourism Radio, the Cape Point Route app contains information about 80 tourism facilities on the route, including restaurants, accommodation, and cultural and historic attractions. (received via e-mail from Cape Point Route)
* World leading chefs Rene Redzepi, David Chang and Alex Atala will appear on the front cover of Time next week, in a story with the headline: ‘Gods of Food: Meet the People who Influence what (and how) you eat’. Chefs Dan Barber and Albert Adria also feature in the article, as well as ‘farmers, activists, bureaucrats and businessmen’.
* The Cape Times reports that the City of Cape Town Liquor By Law allowance to offer ‘champagne’ breakfasts in hotels and restaurants before 11h00 is ‘culturally discriminatory’, in not allowing ‘traditional’ drinks to be (more…)
Sunday 10th November 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* Distell has handed over a whale disentanglement kit to the NSRI in Hermanus, funded by monies raised at the Whale Festival.
* Fewer flights leaving the UK are delayed.
* Cape Town has a new ambassador in Katie Holmes, Tweeting from Table Mountain with a photograph yesterday: ‘Beautiful day in Cape Town’.
* The SA Brandy Foundation has recognised the contribution of a number of its product drinkers, and has inducted them into the Brandy Guild of SA: Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, Warren Haefele, Schalk Burger, Wini Bowman, Peter Pitsiladi, Mike Meyers, and Amaro Fernandes. (received via Manley Communications)
* Carlos Santana will be performing at the Grand Arena in Cape Town on 25, 26 and 27 February, his first Cape Town appearance ever.
* About 41000 visitors from around the world attended the World Travel Market (WTM) in London earlier this week.
* World Travel Market (WTM) is massive, offers poor quality (more…)
Thursday 7th February 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Speaking to some of the chefs whose Eat Out Top 20 restaurants were bashed by blogger Bruce Palling in the past few days, a new picture emerges, in that he appears to have enjoyed our South African wines so much that he seems to have made a number of errors in his ‘reviews’ of the restaurants, writing about them six months after visiting them, misspelling wine and dish names, and even getting the meat types he was served wrong! He has done our country’s restaurant industry great damage and harm, and demoralised our country’s best chefs.
Palling had two bottles of wine per meal on average, and four bottles per day, on each of 15 days, a total of 60 bottles he blogged proudly, now an expert on South African wines too! Some of Palling’s faux pas were the following:
* Ordering Steenberg at Planet Restaurant, which he called ‘Steenburger’!
* He couldn’t spell Biesmiellah and denningvleis, even though he Tweeted about his (private) meal directly from the restaurant!
* He got the Vriesenhof variety he BYO’d at Makaron Restaurant incorrect, mistaking (more…)
Tuesday 5th February 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Poor New Media Publishing. They are bravely trying to fix the image of what was once their prestigious restaurant awards, given the radical decision two years ago to cut the committee which helped editor Abigail Donnelly judge our top restaurants, and has commendably embarked on a journey to engage with the industry to hear its feedback and suggestions. Now its judge for the 2012 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant awards, the UK blogger Bruce Palling, is posting a blow by blow review of each restaurant he was sent to by Mrs Donnelly, for evaluation as a Top 20 restaurant. Not even Mrs Donnelly has sat with the Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant Awards shortlist chefs, to pass on feedback to them.
To save face from the judging debacle of 2011, when Mrs Donnelly chose to fire her judging committee of many years, and appoint herself as the sole judge, New Media Publishing decided that they needed an international judge to give the publication credibility for the 2012 awards. Whoever at New Media Publishing chose to appoint Bruce Palling should be fired, for his vindictive and unprofessional utterings whilst he was in our country as their guest, and currently, seeming to take great joy in slating almost everything about our restaurant and wine industry after having been in our country for a (more…)
Saturday 2nd February 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Given that the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards were presented two months ago, and that its controversial international judge Bruce Palling tasted his way around the country five months ago, it was a surprise to see the article he has written about South African cuisine for British Airways Highlife, published yesterday, now claiming to be an expert about our country’s cuisine, wines, and even its accommodation!
The magazine article, which was sent as a scan from London, differs somewhat from the internet version of it, and has some text, but the most interesting part is the restaurants which Palling praised, and those that he slated. The article bills him as an expert on South African cuisine, given that he ate 200 dishes and drank 60 wines at 30 restaurants in Cape Town, the Winelands, Johannesburg, and KwaZulu-Natal in a period of 15 days, to score Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly’s Top 20 restaurant shortlist.
What Palling neglected to write in the article was that some of the restaurants he went to were for his private dining, and were not evaluated for Eat Out (e.g. Biesmiellah and (more…)
Wednesday 10th October 2012 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Franschhoek is upping its gourmet game, with two local chefs having spent some weeks at Noma in Copenhagen, the number one restaurant on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and bearing a 2-Michelin star rating since 2008, in the past three months. Both Chef Shaun Schoeman from Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms-Delta and Chef Chris Erasmus from Pierneef à La Motte returned inspired and have fine-tuned their menus and cooking to incorporate Nordic cuisine into their local gourmet offering.
The restaurant’s philosophy is on the homepage of its website:
“In an effort to shape our way of cooking, we look to our landscape and delve into our ingredients and culture,
hoping to rediscover our history and shape our future.”
Chef Chris Erasmus, Pierneef à La Motte
Yesterday I met with Chef Chris Erasmus, a week after his return from Noma, at which he had spent close to a month. I asked him why he had taken the time to leave his post as Executive Chef, and start from scratch at Noma. Chef Chris said he wanted to study how Chef René Redzepi had taken a restaurant which had been laughed at initially for focusing on Nordic cooking, initially not very exciting and then synonymous with ‘whale blubber and fish eyes’ (like Bobotie would be for South African cuisine, he said), and taking it to the number one restaurant in the world, and having kept it there for three years running. What Chef Chris does at Pierneef à La Motte, in foraging from nature, and in cooking what one has, is reflected at Noma too. Chef Chris has Daniel Kruger growing a range of unusual herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers for him at La Motte, with only one of 13 items in the salad farm grown, and the balance foraged, while Noma is supplied by specialist producers.
Chef Chris was impressed by the systems of the restaurants, each person working for the restaurant knowing what is going on. A meeting is called by the Restaurant Manager prior to service, in which they discuss any specific dietary requirements of guests, so that the chefs are prepared for this upfront, and not told about them when the guests arrive. The Restaurant Manager, from Australia, is in the running for a Restaurant Manager of the Year Award in Denmark. Chris said that his knowledge is amazing, having spent so much time with the chefs to get to know the dishes that he can cook them himself. There are 45 kitchen chefs, with another 25 volunteers unpaid and just there to learn more from this leading restaurant. Only two of the chefs are Danish, the others coming from the USA, Australia, Germany, and Mexico in the main. The rules are strict, and one is expected to follow them 100%. A mistake made a second time will lead one to be told to leave. Staff are treated politely, even though Chef René can lose his cool on occasion. No dishes are allowed to be photographed or distributed via Social Media by staff or volunteers.
There are three kitchen sections that the volunteers go through, starting with the Preparation Kitchen, foraging produce, and getting them ready. Chef Chris spent less than a week here. The second level was the Hot Kitchen, dealing with the restaurant service, and here Chef Chris gave more than expected, already coming to work at 5h00 in the morning (instead of 9h00), and usually getting home to the hostel he was staying at at 2h00 instead of the usual 23h00. This allowed him to work with the other chefs and learn from them, and to show them how eager he was to learn, so that he could move through the three kitchens. The third kitchen is the experimental Test Kitchen, which has two scientists and a chef, creating new dishes. Lactic acid fermentation is the foundation of many of the new dishes, a natural process bringing out the Umami in food, eradicating the need to add salt or sugar to food. There is no salt on the restaurant tables, nor is it added to food. The maximum sugar content of any dish is 12%. They make their own Miso paste too, taking a few months, ant purée, fermented crickets, and more. Chef Chris shared that he tasted bee larva, having a very rich creamy wax taste.
Chef René greets each guest as they arrive at his restaurant. He works seven days a week, even though the restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Chef Chris came to work on Mondays, again to learn as much as possible. Noma has an excellent Head Chef and Sous Chefs, on whom Chef René can rely while he is busy with the guests, and spends time in the Test Kitchen. The chefs serve the guests. Waiters cannot work at Noma if they have not studied to be a waiter for three years at a local college. The role of the waiters is to explain the dishes to the guests. Guests are served 16 ‘snacks’ as a start to the Tasting Menu in rapid succession over 12 minutes, literally a mouthful each. This is followed by four courses, the size of our starters, being a vegetable dish, a meat dish, a fish dish, and a dessert, at a cost of about R2250. The restaurant is flexible in what they serve, to allow for dietary requirements. The Test Kitchen’s role is to add new dishes to the menu, and Chef Chris saw five new dishes being developed in the time that he was there. One of the dishes developed while Chef Chris was in the Test Kitchen was ‘Lacto Plum and Forever Beets’, served with lemon verbena and fennel soup, the beetroot being roasted for three hours, and its leathery skin then peeled off, the inside tasting like liquorice.
To learn from each other, especially the visiting chefs, they have Saturday night ‘Projects’ after service, in the early Sunday morning hours, presenting their own dishes, which are evaluated by the fellow chefs and the scientists. Chef Chris missed the opportunity to present a dish.
Chef Chris has been inspired by his experience at Noma, and changes are already being made to his current menu. He has added Lacto-fermented Porcini broth to his menu, inspired by Noma, made by adding salt to the mushrooms and vacuum-packing them, until they ferment at ambient room temperature. This creates enzymes which break down the bad bacteria, bringing out the natural savoury flavour. The summer menu will be much lighter, with far more foraged herbs and flowers, and some unique vegetables grown for him by Daniel. Artichokes, peas, and broadbeans are at their best right now, and Chef Chris showed me the some of his vegetables and herbs, which had been picked for him at 10h00 yesterday morning. They are only using Raspberry Vinegar now, instead of vinaigrettes. He will focus on only using vegetables and herbs from the La Motte garden.
Chef Chris has invited Chef René to visit (he was in Cape Town for what seemed literally a flying visit in February when he addressed the ‘Design Indaba’). He was inspired by his experience, and it is visible in his big smile, and new passion for his craft. While others may not have had such a good time, he said that ‘you get out what you put in’. He lost 15 kg in the time, just working and sleeping for a short while. He can’t wait to go back in a winter time, to see how they use all the preserved foods they prepare in the summer months, such as pickled rosebuds, and fermented plums. Having had to start at the bottom at Noma, he has a better understanding of his staff, yet expects ’150%’ of them, Chef Chris said. One of his American co-volunteers at Noma started at The Test Kitchen in Cape Town this week.
Chef Chris’ Noma experience, coupled with the fantastic vegetable and herb garden on the farm, are sure to earn Pierneef à La Motte an Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Award in November!
Chef Shaun Schoeman, Fyndraai, Solms-Delta
In June, Chef Shaun Schoeman of Solms-Delta’s Fyndraai Restaurant spent two weeks working in one of the kitchens at Noma. Chef Shaun’s feedback was that the simplicity of Noma’s menu, which lists items like ‘pike perch and cabbage’, ‘cooked fava beans and beach herbs’ and ‘the hen and the egg,’ belies its sophisticated appeal, as evidenced by the backlog of keen diners waiting for bookings. Noma is known for its contemporary reinterpretation of Nordic cuisine. This includes a return to the traditional methods of pickling, curing, smoking, and fermenting as well as the integration of many indigenous herbs and plants. Redzepi himself has worked with the world’s best, having spent time at both El Bulli in Spain (when it was the world’s number one restaurant), and the French Laundry in California’s Napa Valley.
“There are many similarities between the kinds of indigenous elements we use here at Fyndraai and what chef Redzepi has become known for in his cuisine,” said Shaun, who felt that he could only benefit from doing a stint at the world-famous Noma. After his acceptance as a stagier, he packed his bags and flew to Copenhagen, where he joined a production kitchen staffed by over 50 chefs from around the world, all there to learn the philosophy and techniques of this influential chef. “Everyone who works at Noma, no matter what their experience, starts in the production kitchen,” explained Shaun, where the standards for preparation and hygiene are exacting and the hours extremely long, with shifts of up to 14 hours. Only after three months will Chef Redzepi consider moving a stagier into the main service kitchen. Every morning, a group of the production kitchen chefs go out to the nearby seaside to forage for fresh wild herbs and leaves, like nettles, wild rocket, sea coral, and wild garlic. Upon their return, they set to work on their pickings, cutting leaves into uniform sizes, all done on a tray kept over ice. “Temperature is extremely important as the herbs must be kept cold, but never below the temperature of the fridge.”
For a Franschhoek-born and bred native, it was an amazing experience for Shaun. He was overwhelmed by the incredible fresh fish and seafood that came through the production kitchen daily, including live crabs and luscious sea scallops still in their shells. All vegetables were organic and specially grown for the restaurant. A great example of Noma’s high standards was the daily sorting of fresh green peas into varying sizes! But aside from the differences in product and handling, when it came to the indigenous plants themselves, Shaun found that they were not dramatically different from the plants he relies on at Fyndraai, which are grown in the estate’s Dik Delta Garden. “We have many versions of the same plants, the major difference being that the Scandinavian herbs have more subtlety. South African indigenous herbs are sharper, which means that you really need the knowledge and training to harness their flavour without overpowering dishes.” Shaun returned from Copenhagen infused with energy and appreciation for the wide variety of herbs he has at his discretion, which collectively he refers to as “my baby.” He uses only indigenous herbs grown on site, so management of ingredients is crucial. That said, he feels he has a great deal of flexibility – one of the perks of a kitchen garden – and is always able to find a pleasing substitute if one herb is temporarily depleted. The ingredient he’s most crazy about is citrus buchu, which he says is the most fantastic herb he’s ever worked with. “It’s got a sexy, citrus flavour that really lifts everything it touches. It works equally well with savoury dishes or desserts, and can be used in anything from infusions to a flavouring in bread rolls.”
He’s also extremely partial to spekboom, a small-leaved succulent also known as ‘elephant bush’, which is very versatile. At Fyndraai, it receives various treatments, from a quick stir-fry to lightly-dressed salad greens, and from pickling to its use as an ingredient in a cold cucumber soup. In its pickled form, it’s one in a range of signature Dik Delta products Shaun has recently started producing and selling on the farm. Some of the others are lemon and wild rosemary chutney, lemon and gemoedsrus (fortified Shiraz) marmalade, and wild herb rubs. Customers love taking these products, which they cannot find elsewhere, home to their own kitchens to experiment with. “The indigenous herbs play sometimes starring, and more often supporting roles in the food we create at Fyndraai, depending on the nature and flavour of the plants themselves,” Shaun said. The key is quantity, and knowing how much to add to a dish, and when to add it. Sometimes they are added directly to dishes, at other times infused into sauces, used to create syrups which provide complementary flavours to a dish and even as flavourings in ice cream! The plants are propagated at Dik Delta, the large ‘kitchen garden’ on the wine estate. The two-hectare veld garden is overseen by a team of trained Solms-Delta residents. It yields crops of dynamic herbs, many of which were on the verge of extinction before the birth of this valuable culinary-bio project.
Today, the garden is the restaurant’s source for everything from wild asparagus to spekboom to makatan, an indigenous melon which Shaun cooks into one of the Dik Delta preserves. The garden is in full spring flower, with sunny yellow patches of honeybush, which flowers will be picked and dried for honeybush tea, and the dark mauve flowers of the Bobbejaantjies (little baboons) or Babiana. While this striking flower is most often used as an ornamental plant, it has a highly nutritious bulb or corm that can be eaten raw or cooked; it tastes a little like a potato and can be used as a vegetable in stews or in salads. Since Fyndraai opened four years ago, cooking with these plants has been an ongoing learning process for Shaun as well as his staff, all of whom were initially kitchen novices. This had many advantages, because they had no preconceived notions or bad habits to break. He is extremely proud of his kitchen crew, who handle the complex menu and its preparations with confidence and expertise.
Pierneef à La Motte, La Motte, R45, Franschhoek. Tel (021) 876-8000. www.la-motte.com Twitter: @Pierneeflamotte
Fyndraai, Solms-Delta, Delta Road, off R45, Franschhoek. Tel (021) 874-3937. www.solms-delta.co.za Twitter: @Solms_Delta
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Thursday 19th July 2012 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Our list of latest restaurant openings and closures fortunately lists more openings than closures, and is updated continuously, as we receive information.
* Tamboers Winkel has opened on De Lorentz Street, just off Kloof Street, Gardens (photograph)
* Luke Dale-Roberts, Eat Out Top Chef, is to open a real test kitchen, called The Kitchen of Dreams, a private experimental place to develop new recipes, at the Old Biscuit Mill
* Chef Luke Dale-Roberts is opening a pop-up Pot Luck Club in Swiss ski resort Verbier, at the Hotel Farinet, from 8 December – April, to be run by Chef Luke, his chef Nicolas Wilkinson, and front of house Selena Afnan-Holmes.
* Col’Cacchio has opened a new outlets in Westlake, and a new one is coming in Claremont too.
* A new Vida é Caffe has opened on Prestwich Street, and a new branch is to open on Maindean Place in Claremont, and one in the new Wembley Square 2 development. Two more branches are planned for Mauritius, it is said.
* Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro has opened its dinner theatre, performing ‘Kaapse Stories’, on Main/Glengariff Roads in Sea Point, owned by Richard Loring and Roland Seidel
* Honest Chocolate is opening a second outlet with a ‘production kitchen’ in the Woodstock Industrial Centre
* Moyo is to open where the Paulaner Braühaus was in the V & A Waterfront in summer. It has taken over the tearoom at Kirstenbosch already.
* Josephine’s Cookhouse has opened in Newlands, belonging to the Societi Bistro owners
* Keenwa has opened the P.I.S.C.O Bar above its restaurants, open Thursdays – Saturdays from 5 pm
* TRUTH Coffee has opened on Buitenkant Street
* Liam Tomlin Food Studio and Store at Leopard’s Leap in Franschhoek is opening a Deli, the date to be confirmed
* FEAST is to open where Franschhoek Food Emporium was, in Place Vendome
* Deluxe Coffeeworks has opened where Reuben’s Deli used to be in Franschhoek.
* Okamai Japanese restaurant has opened at Glenwood wine estate in Franschhoek
* Cavalli restaurant is said to open on the stud farm on R44, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, this year or next
* The Slug & Lettuce has opened where Beads was on Church Street in Stellenbosch
* Stables at Vergelegen Bistro has opened as a lunch restaurant in Somerset West. Its Lady Phillips Restaurant is being given a make-over by Christo Barnard, and will open in November with a new name called The Vergelegen Restaurant. The new chef will be PJ Vadas, previously of The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.
* Coopmanshuijs in Stellenbosch is opening a restaurant.
* Chef Johan van Schalkwyk has left the Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Winery, and has opened his own restaurant Twist Some More in Wellington.
* Chef Bjorn Dingemans is to open up The Millhouse Kitchen restaurant on Lourensford wine estate in Somerset West.
* Grilleri (ex-Mediterrea) has closed down, and Chef Shane Sauvage (ex-La Vierge) is now heading the re-named La Pentola restaurant.
* Ali Baba Kebab (renamed from Laila) has opened as a small beef and lamb kebab take-away and sit-down outlet, next door to Codfather in Camps Bay
* Gibson’s Gourmet Burger and Smoked Ribs has opened as a 70-seater restaurant in the V&A Waterfront, taking part of the Belthazar space. Owned by the Belthazar/Balducci group.
* Giorgio Nava is said to be re-opening his Down South Food Bar, previously on Long Street, in the Riverside Centre in Rondebosch
* Ou Meul Bakery from Riviersonderend is said to be opening a bakery in Long Street
* Deluxe Coffeeworks has opened a roastery at 6 Roodehek Street to service all its outlets
* The Deli on the Square has opened at Frater Square in Paarl.
* David Higgs (ex Rust en Vrede) is opening a new 30 seater restaurant in The Saxon in Johannesburg.
* Big Route Top Gourmet Pizzeria has opened on Main Road, Green Point, next door to Woolworths, serving 52 different pizzas, salads and crêpes.
* Cousins has opened in the Parliament Hotel, where Il Cappero used to be.
* Aces ‘n’ Spades Bar has opened on Hout Street
* 6 has opened at Schalk Burger & Sons wine estate in Wellington, run by the ex-owners of Oude Wellington
* Café Dulce is to open a new branch in Tygervalley Centre
* Gourmetboerie is to open at the bottom end of Kloof Street, where Depasco used to be, in October.
* Kushi Indian Restaurant has opened a branch on Main Road in Sea Point
* Abantu Restaurant and Bar has opened on the corner of Wale and Buitengracht Street, where Time & Place used to be
* Make Sushi Bar has opened in Sea Point
* Thai Café is opening on Plein Street, Stellenbosch
* Simply Asia has opened in Paarl
* Restaurant @ Zomerlust has opened in Paarl
* Christina’s has opened at Van Loveren in Robertson
* Bellini’s is said to open on Greenmarket Square in October
* Sapphire has closed down in Camps Bay
* High Level Restaurant in Bo-Kaap has closed down
* Caveau on Bree Street and Gourmet Burger on Shortmarket Street, belonging to the same owners, have been closed down.
* Sabarosa in Bakoven has closed down.
* Mob Inc Tattoo Bistro has closed down in Sea Point
* Sunbird Bistro in Camps Bay has closed down
* Limoncello in Gardens has closed down, but is continuing with its pop-up restaurant truck
* Paparazzi has closed down on St George’s Mall
* Wicked Treats in Franschhoek has closed down.
* Casa Nostra has closed down in Sea Point, until it finds a new venue.
* Bistro on Rose in Bo-Kaap has closed down as a restaurant, continues as an entertainment venue.
* The Kove in Camps Bay has closed down, its space to be incorporated into sister restaurant Zenzero
Restaurant staff/venue changes
* Il Cappero has moved from Barrack Street to Fairway Street in Camps Bay.
* Table Thirteen has reduced in size in Green Point and will open in Paarden Eiland later this year.
* The V&A Waterfront Food Court is closed for renovations until November. A sign outside the construction area lists the following businesses moving into or returning to the area: Primi Express, Anat, Carnival, Nür Halaal, Royal Bavarian Bakery, KFC, Boost Juice, Simply Asia, Steers, Debonairs, Subway, Marcel’s, and Haagan Dazs. Nando’s is also opening.
* Chef Darren Badenhorst is the new Executive Chef at Grande Provence.
* Chef Shaun Schoeman of Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms Delta has the amazing honour to be working at Noma in Copenhagen for two weeks. Fyndraai will move to another building on the wine estate in November, and will offer fine dining. The current restaurant will serve light lunches and picnics.
* Reuben’s, which was said to be moving its Franschhoek branch, appears to be staying at its existing venue.
* Emile Fortuin has been appointed as Executive Chef at Reuben’s Robertson
* Josephine Gutentoft has left Grande Roche, and has moved to Makaron at Majeka House as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier.
* The Reserve has changed its name to Reserve Brasserie. Seelan Sundoo, ex Grand Café Camps Bay and ex La Perla, is the new consultant chef and GM.
* Café Dijon has closed its restaurant on Plein Street in Stellenbosch, and has opened in the Rockwell Centre in Green Point, Cape Town, opposite Anatoli’s, in which Camil Haas once had his Bouillabaisse restaurant.
* Chef Andrew Mendes from ex-Valora is now at Nelson’s Eye restaurant, where they are setting up a lunch section and cocktail bar upstairs.
* Miss K Food has closed down in Green Point. The new owner Maurizio Porro, with his chef Ernesto, has kept the staff and furniture, and most of the menu initially. They are now called Guilia’s Food Café Restaurant, and they are open for Italian-style lunch and dinner as well, but have retained some Miss K breakfast and pastry items.
* Rob and Nicky Hahn have left Proviant in Paarl, and now run eat @ Simonsvlei on the Old Paarl Road
* Karl Lambour is the new General Manager of Grande Provence.
* Virgil Kahn is the new head chef at Indochine at Delaire Graff Estate
* Having bought the farm about 18 months ago, Antonij Rupert Wines has taken over the Graham Beck Franschhoek property. They will re-open the tasting room in October, initially offering all its Antonij Rupert, Cape of Good Hope, Terra del Capo, and Protea wines to taste. They are renovating the manor house, to which the Antonij Rupert and Cape of Good Hope wines will be moved for tasting at a later stage.
* Orphanage is expanding into a property at its back, opening on Orphan Street, in December, creating a similar second bar downstairs, and opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920′s style music by live performers
* GOLD Restaurant has moved into the Trinity building
* Opal Lounge has closed down on Kloof Street, and has moved into Blake’s Bar building, renaming it Dinner at Blake’s. A wine and tapas bar has also been opened, called Bar Rouge.
* Mano A Mano has opened on Park Street, where Green’s used to be.
* MondeVino Restaurant at Montecasino in Johannesburg, the MasterChef SA prize for the next two years, is to be renamed Aarya, and is to be run by Chef Deena Naidoo from November onwards.
* Chef Ulli Stamm has left Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro.
* Bizerca is moving into the ex-Gourmet Burger space in Heritage Square on Shortmarket Street.
* Co-owner Abbi Wallis has taken over the running of The Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Winery in Wellington.
* Roodehek Restaurant has changed its name back to The German Club, after the departure of the previous owner.
* Marcelino has left Marcelino’s Bakery, leaving the control with Mr Zerban. A Zerban’s style restaurant is being added onto the bakery, and is said to open in September.
* Chef Chris Erasmus from Pierneef à La Motte is doing a stage with Chef Rene Redzepi at Noma, the number one World’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World, in Copenhagen in September
* MasterChef SA runner-up Sue-Ann Allen is joining South Africa’s number one Eat Out Top 10 restaurant The Greenhouse as an intern for a month, from 21 August.
* Vintage India has moved out of the Garden’s Centre to the corner of Hiddingh and Mill Street, around the corner.
* Nook Eatery in Stellenbosch has been sold, with new owners taking over in September
* Crêpe et Cidre has closed down in Franschhoek. Gideon’s The Famous Pancake House is taking over the main road space in September.
* Liam Tomlin Food is to relocate from Leopard’s Leap in Franschhoek to Cape Town in November.
* Brampton winetasting bar on Church Street, Stellenbosch, is undergoing renovations to treble its current size, planning to reopen in the first week of September. Also said to be opening a winetasting venue at the entrance to Franschhoek.
* Juno Café in Paarl no longer belongs to Fairview
* Noop restaurant in Paarl has new owners
* Constantia Uitsig is taking a winter break from 25 June – 24 July.
* The River Café is closing for a winter break from 13 August – 4 September.
* Nguni in Plettenberg Bay closes from 1 May – 31 July
* The Kove in Camps Bay will be closed from 1 May – 30 August
* Olivello at Marianne Estate will be closed from 30 July – 21 August
* Grande Provence is closing on Sunday evenings until the end of September.
* Pure Restaurant at Hout Bay Manor will be closed from 23 June – 3 August
* Pane e Vino is closed from 1 – 31 July
* Bistro 1682 at Steenberg is closed from 1 – 26 July.
* The Kitchen at Maison is closed until 3 August
* Massimo’s Pizza Club is closing from 23 – 31 July
* Rust en Vrede is closed from 8 July – 6 August
* Reuben’s Franschhoek is closed from 16 July – 1 August
* Dear Me Foodworld is closed until 3 August
* Warwick wine estate’s restaurant is closed from 6 – 20 August
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage
Tuesday 1st May 2012 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Chef Rene Redzepi’s noma restaurant won the World’s 50 Best Restaurants for the third time last night, the tenth year that the Awards ceremony has been held. The event was sponsored by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, was held at The Guildhall in London, and was attended by 600 of the world’s top chefs and restaurant judges. A shock was that, for the first time in many years, no South African restaurant made it onto the Top 50 list.
The Top 20 World’s 50 Best Restaurants are the following (with last year’s ranking in brackets), from The Telegraph :
1 (1) Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
2 (2) El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
3 (3) Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
4 (7) D.O.M., Sao Paolo, Brazil
5 (4) Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
6 (10) Per Se, New York, USA
7 (6) Alinea, Chicago, USA
8 (8) Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
9 (-) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK
10 (24) Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
11 (22) Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
12 (14) L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Paris, France
13 (5) The Fat Duck, Bray, UK
14 (34) The Ledbury, London, UK
15 (9) Le Chateaubriand, Paris, France
16 (19) L’Arpege, Paris, France
17 (16) Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, France
18 (13) L’Astrance, Paris, France
19 (18) Le Bernardin, New York, USA
20 (57) Frantzen/Lindeberg, Stockholm, Sweden
France narrowly leads with seven awards on the top 50 list, followed by six for the USA, five for Spain, and three each going to Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français fell to its lowest ranking, at number 57, after a ranking of 36th last year, and 31st in 2010. Chef Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen made 74th position – two years ago he reached the astounding 12th place whilst still at La Colombe. Last year La Colombe made 82nd position, but did not make the top 100 list this year. Last year Chef David Higgs’ Rust en Vrede achieved a ranking of 61st, but sadly he left the restaurant two months later.
The Award-winning restaurants were evaluated by 27 panels around the world, each with 30 members. In South Africa the panel is chaired by Tamsin Snyman, stepping into the shoes of her late mother Lannice Snyman. Members of the local panel are known to include Jos Baker, MasterChef SA Judge and Chef Pete Goffe-Wood, and owner of GOLD restaurant Cindy Muller. Panel members had to evaluate four restaurants in their own country and three elsewhere in the world in the past eighteen months.
William Drew, editor of Restaurant magazine, organisers of the awards, said that the trend was to ‘much more diversity, both geographically and in terms of style. We’ve seen twin trends. There’s globalization, in the sense that if someone in Japan is doing something interesting now, someone in South America may know about it quickly. Yet at the same time there’s a move toward local cooking’.
Attending the event was Ferran Adria of El Bulli, which he closed down last year. The restaurant was named the World’s 50 Best Restaurant five times in the past ten years. He said of the award: “There is no doubt the World’s 50 Best Restaurants has changed the history of gastronomy“.
In addition to announcing the World’s 50 Best Restaurants (and the 51 – 100 restaurants bubbling under), three additional awards were made last night. Elena Arzak from Arzak restaurant in San Sebastian in Spain was named as Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef. Thomas Keller, founder of Per Se and French Laundry in Yountville in California, won the San Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement Award. The Slow Food UK Award went to Steiereck in Vienna, awarded for the first time last night.
What has been interesting over the past years has been the disparity between the performance of South Africa’s best restaurants on the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants and on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant lists, Le Quartier Français always performing better on the international than on the local restaurant awards list.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage
Tuesday 6th March 2012 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Two-star Michelin noma restaurant in Copenhagen has been named the top in the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards for two years running. Its founder and chef René Redzepi paid a literal flying visit to Cape Town last week, addressing the Design Indaba conference. It appears that he spent little time in Cape Town and did not connect with local chefs. Delegates that were lucky enough to hear his address were impressed with his passion for food design. ‘Design and food go hand in hand’, he said.
Chef René believes that the food should be served by the chefs who created it, making this the focus of noma, and the interior design is of lesser importance, being simple, reflecting the ‘essential simplicity’ and ‘purity’ of the ‘Nordic gourmet cuisine’ which they serve. His 20-course Tasting Menu costs R2000 a head, and one can expect to eat celeriac and unripe sloe berry, white currant and douglas-fir; dried scallops and beech nuts, biodynamic grains and watercress; pickled vegetables and bone marrow; wild duck and beets, beech and malt; and pike perch and cabbages with gooseberry juice.
Chefs are not as important as the farmers who supply the ‘freshly foraged ingredients’, allowing the kitchen team to create original dishes, he said. His stage prop for the talk was a dead duck, and he asked what ‘was the last image flying through its head’. A chef’s challenge is to create food for now, ‘projecting time on a plate‘. His challenge is to create new flavours, a team effort incorporating the food growers, those that cook the food, and those that present it on the plate.
Last year Chef René organised a MAD Food Camp, and the only South African to attend was Cape Town blogger and urban farmer Matt Allison. He shared his experience with the Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club. Through the Food Camp, noma demonstrated its international leadership in food usage in restaurants, and highlighted to the chefs attending that the more one understands about the history of food and its culture, as well as of the latest food science, the better one will cook. These views were not only shared with the 250 food lovers selected by Chef René to attend the Food Camp, but with his 25000 Twitter followers too. Chef René is an active Tweeter, sharing many photographs of his beautifully presented dishes. He did not Tweet about Cape Town or its restaurants and chefs, only writing about his presentation: “I spoke to a crowd of 3000+ people for the first time today. Thank you South Africans for taking my virginity gently”.
The noma website confirms that this restaurant has left behind foie gras, olive oil, black olives, and sundried tomatoes, focusing instead on the ‘revival of Nordic cuisine’, representing fine produce and the food heritage of the Scandinavian countries, with seasonal and regional foods. So, for example, they have sourced skyr curd and halibut from Iceland; as well as musk ox, berries and water from Greenland. Not only expensive ingredients are sourced, but also ‘disregarded, modest ingredients such as grains and pulses’, served in unusual form. Chef René and his team use the base of their culinary heritage to create something brand new. They experiment with interesting uses of milk and cream, and forage herbs and berries that others wouldn’t bother with, and which are not commercially available. They salt, smoke, pickle, dry, and grill all their own foods, make their own vinegars, and even an Eaux de Vie, a brandy made from fermented fruit juice. State-of-the-art kitchen appliances and techniques are used. Instead of cooking with wine, noma uses beers and ales, fruit juices, and fruit vinegars to create freshness and flavour in its dishes. ‘Greens take up more room on the plate than is common at gourmet restaurants’. Interesting is that noma’s 40-page wine list is classic in predominantly featuring wines from France, Germany and Italy. No South African or New World wines are listed.
Chef René said in an interview that it would be time for him to get out of the restaurant if he could not ‘reboot’, or see things with a new light, or with a breathe of fresh air. He is filled with inspiration, and focused in developing ‘the flavour’. His life ambition is not to make profit, but to keep searching, learning, and teaching.
Ferran Adriá, the owner of the previous top World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards El Bulli, which closed down in July last year, addressed the Design Indaba conference in 2009, at the height of his Modernist Cuisine culinary reign.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage
Monday 10th October 2011 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
If it had not been for Cape Town urban farmer, eco-activist and food blogger Matt Allison addressing us at the Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club meetings in August and September, I would not have known about the MAD (means ‘food’ in Danish) Foodcamp ‘Planting Thoughts’ symposium, which he attended in August, as the only South African in an elite group of 250 hand-picked chefs, food scientists, foragers, microbiologists, and policy-makers. The workshop resulted in an important appeal to chefs to change the world, by going back to the roots of food growing and sourcing.
The MAD Foodcamp was held in Copenhagen, and was organised by Chefs Rene Redzepi and Claus Meyer, co-founders of Noma (food photographs below from this restaurant), the top S. Pellegrino World 50 Best restaurant for two years running. Concerned about the projected shortage of food, showing that food production must increase by 70 %, to feed an estimated population of 9 billion by 2050, Redzepi invited applications for attendees at his MAD Foodcamp. Fellow 50 Best Restaurant chefs who presented included Michel Bras from France, David Chang from momofuku Noodle Bar in New York, Alex Atala from D.O.M. in São Paulo, Daniel Patterson from Coi in San Fransisco, Yoshihiro Narisawa from Les Creations de Narisawa in Tokyo, Andoni Aduriz of Mugaritz in Spain, Gaston Acurio from Café del Museo in Lima in Peru, and Ben Shewry from Attica in Melbourne, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.
The following key recommendations resulted from the MAD Foodcamp:
* Sourcing food locally is paramount, and it is available to chefs from their purveyors, and can be grown by themselves too. The impact of rising petrol prices on food prices will ensure that chefs seek more local food supply. But local food is not always desirable, and nations should become proud of their culinary heritage again.
* There will be a move away from meat, as it was in past generations. Meat production impacts on the soil, energy usage, water supply, and carbon output, and therefore a new balance between proteins, cereals and vegetables needs to be found. Chef Michel Bras said that vegetables should be made to be as important and as desirable as meat in restaurants.
* Soil plays a role too, and Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa serves a soup made from organic soil. Ideally, food planted should not have to be irrigated and spayed with chemicals. Monocultures are destructive to the soil. Rice, wheat, corn and potatoes supply 60% of calories, and chefs are challenged to make something new with them, but should instead look at finding bygone varieties.
* Food foraging is all the trend, and edible plants could help make up the shortage of food. Ethnobotanist François Couplan has identified 80000 varieties of edible plants, documented in 65 books he has written. Many of these have greater health benefits than the foods that we know. Author of ‘The Forager Handbook’, Miles Irving said that wild foods are the ultimate in being seasonal, local and sustainable, and that ‘there is treasure in the woods and fields’. Chefs who forage need to know which plants and other foods are plentiful, and which are scarce and endangered.
* Urban gardens are an answer to food shortages too, and we have seen Matt becoming a local urban farmer, renting unused land from the City of Cape Town to grow vegetables. It is estimated that New York could produce 3 million tonnes of food per year on city rooftops, in parks and in private yards. City beekeeping is being encouraged, and this honey is cleaner and healthier than that from the countryside, less contaminated with pesticides.
* Insects are a valuable source of protein, and can also be used to address food shortages. Chef Alex Atala encouraged delegates to eat Amazon ants, tasting of lemongrass and ginger. Other edible insects include ant eggs, grasshoppers, and termites.
* Farmers should return to the old-fashioned way of hands-on farming. Chefs are encouraged to connect with farmers, and to buy directly from them, rather than via agents or suppliers.
* The focus should be on children and to re-introduce them to non-processed food, to teach them ‘what real food tastes like’, said Chef Daniel Patterson.
Matt Allison was interviewed about the MAD Foodcamp by Katie Parla for the New York Times as well as for her Blog.
MAD Foodcamp: www.madfoodcamp.dk
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage