Sister restaurants La Colombe and La Petite Colombe both excelled at last night’s Eat Out Awards, cementing their place in the South African fine dining landscape by being awarded third and fifth place respectively. Says Executive Chef of La Colombe, James Gaag, “I am incredibly proud of my team and what we have achieved. I work with an amazing group of people and I feel all of our success is largely due to the hard work and passion each and every one of them put in every day.” Rising from seventh place last year, to third this year, La Colombe was placed in the top tier of these prestigious awards, behind only The Test Kitchen and The Restaurant at Waterkloof. In the judge’s feedback, they described their meal at La Colombe as “beautiful, quirky, clever. Sublime simple dishes; superb cooking.” It has been a particularly busy year for the La Colombe team, with the restaurant recently reopening after a major revamp, and James Gaag now in the position of Executive Chef, bringing with him a philosophy of balanced flavours and delicious, uncomplicated food. Not celebrating alone, La Petite Colombe is now an award-winning restaurant in its own right, having won the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year in 2017, and debuting in the Top 10 this year, clinching fifth place. Described by the judges as “an absolutely delightful meal, cooked with such delicacy”, there was much celebration from the extended La Colombe team - comprising La Colombe, La Petite Colombe, Foxcroft and Protege - at GrandWest’s Grand Arena last night. Says John Norris-Rogers, Executive Chef at La Petite Colombe, “To go from new restaurant last year to number five this year - we’re just incredibly grateful and privileged to be here. It all goes to my team and everyone behind the brand. We couldn’t be happier with the work we’ve put in this year.’’ It was then only fitting that the evening’s final course featured the skills and talents of the greater La Colombe team, who . . .
The winner of the inaugural South Africa Wine Industry Innovation Challenge is Jan Thomas and team from Ask-Jean, with a winning concept of an app which innovatively predicts your wine preferences. He was chosen by a panel of judges from 7 outstanding pitches presented at the Stellenbosch University LaunchLab on Friday, 2 November. The second place went to Torsten Babl from Ackerview, with an idea that uses data to save time and money for farmers. There was also a student award that went to Martha Mukama Asiimwe from Vino Tea, with an innovative tea using grape agri-processing waste which produces quality tea. Winetech, together with the LaunchLab and the Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University, went on an entrepreneurial drive to invite business pitches for their first Wine Industry Innovation Challenge in South Africa. This was a major opportunity for South African entrepreneurs and students with excellent business/product/tech ideas that could transform their concepts into a start-up businesses which will support the Wine and related industries in South Africa. The judging panel consisted of wine industry representatives as well as business leaders and technology experts who are familiar with the entrepreneurship journey, namely: Adriaan Oelofse (Winetech) Lucinda Heyns (Winetech) Audrey Verhaege (SA Innovation Summit) Marius Lambrechts (Head of Innovation at Distell) Joubert de Wet, (Technology Transfer Manager Innovus) MJ Freeborough (Faculty Manager of Agrisciences) Albert Strever (Stellenbosch University, Winetech) Aidan Morton (Viticulturist at Tokara) Selected winners will now continue into LaunchLab programmes according to the needs of the startup, and LaunchLab will ensure that the continuous growth, acceleration and valuable connections are made for these startups. “The wine industry is ripe for disruption. A report released earlier in 2018 noted that only 14% of wine brands in South Africa make enough . . .
This Spring not only marks the start of a new season, but also the one-year anniversary of La Petite Colombe, nestled alongside Leeu Collection’s Le Quartier Français Hotel in the beautiful winelands town of Franschhoek. Under the leadership of Head Chef John Norris-Rogers, the past 12 months have already seen La Petite Colombe receive its fair share of nominations and awards, including Conde Nast’s Best Hotel Restaurant, a nomination from American Express Diners Club, and the title of Eat Out’s Best New Restaurant in 2017. Says Norris-Rogers, “Being the sister restaurant to the world-renowned La Colombe comes with a certain amount of pressure. Set against exceptionally high expectations, I’m particularly proud of what our team at La Petite Colombe has accomplished, and the skills each team member brings to the restaurant. We have had a great year to date and were completely humbled by the response to our opening, and will continue to strive to deliver the very best guest experience.” Norris-Rogers is quick to emphasise the role each of his team members has played in their success and representing the philosophy behind La Petite Colombe – with Andrew Duff proving to be instrumental in his role as Front of House Manager, and Andrea Bruce’s influence as Head Pastry Chef extending well beyond her section. Taking inspiration from each season and the best available produce, the La Petite Colombe team has been working on a fresher menu for Spring, with a lighter touch that suits the warmer days ahead. Comments Norris-Rogers, “I’m currently developing a fresh oyster dish using elements of gazpacho, jalapeño and shiso that I can’t wait to share with diners.” Norris-Rogers concludes, “Personally, this year has had it all! Challenging, exciting and a true eye-opening experience. It’s been a fantastic year of learning and I look forward to what is in store for La Petite Colombe in the future.” La Petite Colombe 4-course Spring lunch special R425 per person | . . .
South Africa, Stellenbosch; OLDENBURG VINEYARDS MERLOT 2015 has been awarded a coveted 5-Star rating from the Platter's South African Wine Guide. A Platter's 5-star rating is one of the most acclaimed achievements, reserved for wines scoring 95 points or higher. Proprietor Adrian Vanderspuy is immensely pleased by this accolade, saying “this 5-Star Platter rating demonstrates clearly that we are on the right path with our intense focus to garner even greater quality from this rare terroir. A number of new interventions will continue this quest and take us closer to the vision to unlock the immense potential of this rare 50ha site in the Banghoek valley with Rondekop as its centre piece, producing exceptional world-class wines in the process.” Earlier this month, the same vintage of Oldenburg Vineyards Merlot received further international recognition by taking the Merlot Trophy at the IWSC competition, and two days before, the 2014 vintage was awarded the Merlot Trophy at the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards. Oldenburg Vineyards Merlot 2015 is a true expression of the cultivar and where it is grown - a wine with a tangible sense of place, created in the belief that great wines can only come from the best quality grapes. Minimal intervention in the vineyards allows the wine to reflect the full potential of the unique terroir of the Oldenburg site. This rare site is the result of the confluence of 8 Natural Elements that have a remarkable influence on our ability to produce exceptional grapes: the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the mountain ranges, our own mountain amphitheatre, our elevation, the winds, the soils and the magical 8th element - Rondekop itself. Continued investment and commitment to quality production will see a brand new, state-of-the-art cellar commissioned for the 2019 harvest, by Nic Van Aarde who joined the team in mid-October. The Vineyard team has also spent the winter learning new pruning techniques under the guidance . . .
Catch the beat of alternative Afrikaans music when Spoegwolf performs at the annual Summer Picnic Concert at Overhex Winery & Bistro near Worcester on Saturday, 26 January 2019. Let Spoegwolf provide the soundtrack while you enjoy the picnic style setting, chilling to the upbeat sounds of these local indie music legends. They have been recording and performing for audiences across the country since 2012. Fans will be thrilled to hear that Spoegwolf’s fourth album, Koma, will be released in February 2019. As a sneak preview, they will be releasing a track off their highly anticipated album as a single in December, so keep an ear out! The popular Overhex Balance, Survivor and new Mensa wines will be available for purchase to enjoy with your picnic at their concert in January. Spoegwolf recently collaborated with Mensa for the launch of this ultimate book club wine, taking storytelling to the next level as the first South African wine supported by an augmented reality app. The new Mensa range comprises three beautifully crafted wines for everyday enjoyment. Balance, the easy drinking range, resonates with life’s lighter moments offering a wide selection of wines for every taste. Survivor proudly reflects the free spirit and rich terroir of the Swartland, one of the country’s most dynamic wine regions. Tickets to the Overhex Summer Picnic Concert are priced at R250 per person and include a picnic basket filled with delicious goodies. Tickets will be available at the cellar from 1 November 2018. For more information call Tel: (023) 347 5012 or email email@example.com. For further enquires visit Overhex Winery & Bistro on Facebook. Diary listing information: Date: 26 January 2019 Time: gates open at 18h00 Tickets: R250 per person Venue: Overhex Winery & Bistro, Worcester CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
How fast can you run downhill? King of the trails, Ryan Sandes, has turned the tables and instead of taking you up a mountain, has announced that he will be hosting a first of hopefully many to come, Downhill Run Events. The inaugural event will be taking place at Meerendal Wine Estate on Wednesday 14 November and is open to all levels of fitness and abilities. “I am super excited about this event and having the chance to have some fun on the trails with the local Cape Town runners,” says Ryan Sandes. “Downhill running is gaining huge momentum in Europe, and I honestly believe that with all of our incredible mountains we can have just as much fun as they are having.” Ryan will release the 3.4km downhill Strava segment which descends less than 300m, via social media the day before the event. In order to take part, runners need to register a Strava profile on www.strava.com, and then take the plunge at Meerendal between 5:30pm and 7:30pm on the evening of the 14th to set their fastest time. “The route we have chosen is currently only open to mountain bikers, but will be closed off for the event,” explains Ryan. “We are so thankful to Meerendal and their mountain biking community for allowing us to use their trails for this event.” The downhill route will finish at Carlucci’s in Meerendal where runners can celebrate with their family and friends, rehashing their war stories. Megan Mackenzie and some of the Salomon Running Ambassadors will also be at the event and are happy to chat about techniques and trail running advice! Entry is free and all are welcome to join in the festivities. For more information on the event please follow Ryan Sandes on social media. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
What better way to end off a fabulous 2018 than at SA’s premier social calendar highlight, the annual Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival, ‘The Magic of Bubbles’, presented by Sanlam Private Wealth. Stylish attire complemented with some of SA’s finest Méthode Cap Classiques (MCC) and Champagnes are guaranteed to be the talk of the village during this two-day event, which takes place on 1 and 2 December. The iconic Huguenot Monument serves as the spectacular backdrop for the weekend’s festivities, where you’ll have no excuse but to sit back, relax and sample the wide range of local MCC’s and select French champagnes on offer. The grand marquee – the place to be seen – will be oozing style, elegance and sophistication, as you mingle with local MCC producers as well as a handful of international brands. Adding to the superb offering will be a selection of delectable delights, on offer from some of Franschhoek’s world-class eateries. ‘We’re excited to be part of this luxury lifestyle event,’ says Carl Roothman, CEO of Sanlam Private Wealth. ‘It provides us with an ideal platform to collaborate with fellow masters of their craft and create an exclusive experience for guests. Over the two days, the same characteristics that inspire and drive us to grow and preserve wealth – such as practice, patience, meticulous attention to detail and even the need to take calculated risks – will also be evident in the delectable MCCs, champagne, dishes and music on display.’ The theme for this year is Black and White, with a prize awarded to the Best Dressed Couple on each day. What better excuse to indulge in some retail therapy beforehand to find that perfect outfit. Tickets cost R395 per person and include access to the festival, which is open daily between 12pm and 5pm, as well as a complimentary tasting glass as well as MCC and Champagne Tasting coupons. Additional vouchers can be purchased on the day. Children under 18 years will be allowed free entry to . . .
Join Grande Provence at the Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival Celebrate the start of the festive season in style by joining Grande Provence at the annual Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival during the first weekend of December. Explore the magnificent trio of Grande Provence Méthode Cap Classique and savour the ultimate taste experience with fresh oysters at the festival. Grande Provence will showcase their shimmering Brut, enchanting Rosé and ultra-elegant flagship Vintage Brut 2011. The popular Grande Provence MCC Brut and Rosé will be on sale for a special festival price of R150 per bottle to enjoy with fresh oysters at R25.00 each. ‘The Magic of Bubbles’ continues at the Grande Provence Tasting Room for visitors not attending the festival. Their MCC & oyster pairing is offered daily at R180 per person. Additional fresh oysters are available at R90 for three. The oysters are shucked directly from the Grande Provence oyster tank and garnished freshly at the oyster bar in the Sculpture Garden. Tickets for the festival, open between 12h00 and 17h00 on 1 & 2 December, are priced at R395 per person via www.webtickets.co.za. Diary listing information: Dates: 1 & 2 December 2018 Time: 12h00 till 17h00 Venue: Huguenot Monument, Franschhoek Cost: R395 per person Booking: www.webtickets.co.za CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Vegan & Vegetarian menus burst with flavour at Bistro Sixteen82 Bistro Sixteen82, Steenberg’s popular cellar door restaurant in Constantia welcomes vegans and vegetarians this summer with dedicated menus bursting with freshness and flavour. Known for uncomplicated bistro-style food and tapas that is seasonal and flavourful, Chef Kerry draws on experiences during her travels to find new inspiration and authentic ingredients, so evident in the constant evolution of the Bistro Sixteen82 menu. Vegans have plenty to choose from for starters and mains on the lunch menu. The broccoli tataki of marinated shimeji mushrooms, chilli, corn, spring onion and wild rocket is a must drizzled with Chef Kerry’s signature soy vinaigrette. A house salad and delicious marinated artichoke salad with beetroot, grilled courgettes and pumpkin seeds complete the selection of starters. Chef Kerry’s famous vegetable stack of pan fried veggies, roasted butternut, assorted mushrooms, tender greens and red pepper, all melded together by her delicious smoked paprika vinaigrette is one of three choices for mains. Other options are a warm vegetable quinoa salad of artichoke, courgettes, peppers, wild rocket and a red pepper coulis, or the avo and wild rocket Tempura Vegetables. The vegan dessert is a light and breezy bowl of fresh summer berries, juicy citrus and a berry coulis. The vegetarian menu features variations of these dishes as well as a few extras including a panko crusted cheese fritter for starters, followed by a risotto of the day and mushroom and gorgonzola ricotta gnocchi for mains. Don’t miss out on these delicious creations and visit Bistro Sixteen82 before the summer rush. The outside terrace framed by water features and spectacular mountain views is the ultimate setting for enjoying Steenberg’s outstanding bubbly and fine selection of wines. For more information and a full range of menu options visit www.steenbergfarm.com/bistro1682. Be sure to follow . . .
Seven Engen sponsored bursars proudly received their graduation certificates at the Work4You Spring Stakeholders celebration in Salt River on October 24th. Cape-based NGO Work4You offers crucial work-training opportunities for persons with cognitive disabilities, significantly boosting employment of these young adults in the formal labour market. Engen has supported Work4You for the past 6 years. Over the past three years, 32 Engen sponsored bursars have benefited from this initiative, many of whom have entered the work place. Eleven bursars are currently being trained and will graduate in 2019. Lynn D’Alton, Work4You Operations Manager and occupational therapist, says Engen’s commitment has allowed the organisation to dramatically increase their impact on young adults with intellectual disabilities, who may otherwise never have afforded the training costs. Work4You focuses its attention on people with intellectual disabilities aged 18 to 30, acting as a bridge between the end of special needs education and supported employment in the open labour market. D’Alton says they boast high commercial employment rates, thanks to their skills and personal development programme, which is delivered by a team of professionals. To date, says D’Alton, 111 members have been placed in the open labour market. Of the 21 bursary candidates that graduated in 2016 and 2017, 19 have contracted employment. “We are very positive that the results for 2018 will be as successful as previous years. This is a success rate of 90.5%”. Engen Corporate Social Investment Manager Adhila Hamdulay says the company is fully committed to supporting people with disabilities. “We know this is a key area of need, and are humbled to play a part in seeing these young people gain relevant work experience and life skills, and then hopefully permanent jobs,” adds Hamdulay. It is Engen’s support has really enabled Work4You to continue advancing the employment of youngsters with . . .