Master Chefs, Fine Food and Master Cars at the Mercedes-Benz AMG Performance Tour

October 27, 2014 in Food News



I got to have a mouth-watering lunch at the Twelve Apostles last week (I’ll share details later) and had a chat with the executive chef, Christo Pretorius.  He mentioned his experience at the Mercedes-Benz AMG Performance Tour.  They got to cook, interact with the people and most of all, they got to drive the cars.  How fabulous is that?

The AMG Performance Tour started on the 1st of October in Century City before making its way around key dealerships in South Africa’s biggest cities with the third stop taking place on the 17th of October at South Africa’s top Mercedes-Benz dealership, NMI-DSM in Umhlanga.

These fine dining events showcased three of South Africa’s top chefs and gave them the opportunity to create exquisite gourmet meals that are both visually beautiful and of the finest quality, just as Mercedes-Benz owners are accustomed to! Chefs Christo Pretorius, Pieter de Jager and Bertus Basson demonstrated to specially invited guests’ what revs their engine with a skillful culinary display that was an impressive entrée to the main event.


More about the Chefs:

Christo Pretorius – The award-winning chef hails from Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal but is currently the sous chef at Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. After completing his training at 1000 Hills Chef’s School in Durban he spent some time abroad honing his skills before working his way down the coastline and finally settling in Cape Town where he tantalises the taste buds of locals and visitors to the Mother City.

Pieter de Jager – Hails from Pretoria where he grew up cooking in his father’s restaurant. He completed his studies at the South African Chefs Academy before going on to spend some time cooking up a storm in some fine European kitchens. Currently patrons of Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards in the Franschoek area can benefit from de Jager’s skills as he spends time doing demonstrations and presenting cooking classes at the vineyard.

Bertus Basson – popularly known as a judge on The Ultimate Braai Master, Basson is also famed for establishing the immensely successful restaurant Overture at Hidden Valley in the Western Cape. This popular restaurant has been voted as one of South Africa’s Top Ten restaurants by Eat Out for the past six years in a row and it comes as no surprise thanks to Bertus’ commitment to using traditional South African cuisine as a base for producing more progressive dishes.  Continue reading…….


New Championship Boerewors Advert and a Boerewors Chakalaka Pita Recipe

October 23, 2014 in Recipes



And the 300th post goes to……..Sizzle Sizzle!

I’m totally loving the new Championship Boerewors ad (see feature video), more especially the radio ads.  By the looks of it, I’m not the only one.

The Championship Boerewors campaign represents what I believe in, it brings the people of our country together.  It has been an honour to be part of the campaign.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Throughout the competition we have seen South Africans from different parts of the country enter their boerewors recipes.

There’s entertainment for every member of the family at the judging events.  If you’ve never been to one, make sure you attend next time.  Have a look at some pictures from the KwaZulu Natal provincials here

Some of the contestants ask for feedback after the judging session but unfortunately judges cant remember the numbers and they don’t know the person behind the number.  I jotted down some tips for those who want to enter next year:  Continue reading….


The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Awards: Meet the Finalists

October 22, 2014 in Beverage News

2014 Bollinger Exceptional Award finalists

We often hear of food service awards but not so much on wine service……

Background on the awards

The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Awards is an annual competition, which is aimed at enhancing and recognising the calibre of local sommeliers and wine service staff, was launched in 2011 and proved to be a resounding success.

Champagne Bollinger is a proud sponsor of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award.  The competition is a joint initiative between Vinimark The Wine Company (importer of Champagne Bollinger and South Africa’s largest independent specialist wine wholesaling company), and The Reciprocal Wine Trading Company, importers and distributors of Riedel Glassware.

5 Bollinger Styled Pack Shot

Ginette de Fleuriot, Marketing Manager at Vinimark The Wine Company and organiser of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award comments, “This industry-wide initiative was established to advance the interests of all of the country’s fine wine producers, as well as those who make their living from the sale of wine in hotels, restaurants and wine bars.  The sponsors and organisers trust that this competition will continue to act as a catalyst for the hospitality industry to expand training facilities and support local sommeliers and sommeliers-in-training, in the interests of all those who enjoy dining out.”

Neil Grant, Chairperson of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA), states: “Wine service has a poor history in South Africa and only with incentives such as these will we find an improvement within the industry.  Chefs in South Africa over the past 10 years have proved how good they are and now wine stewards/sommeliers need to be part of this movement so we can challenge the international markets.” SASA has committed to mentoring the winning candidates to further assist in guaranteeing continued professional wine service of an international standard.  Continue reading……


World Osteoporosis Day – Taking Care of Your Bones

October 20, 2014 in Uncategorized



Today is World Osteoporosis Day ……

In the days of our youth, it is seldom that we get sick as a result we take health for granted.   A lot of people live for the moment and do what’s good for them right now forgetting to invest in the future…. Then we experience difficulties later in life….. A bit of knowledge and discipline go a long way……

What is Osteoporosis?

“Osteo” means bones and “porosis” stands for porous / weak

Osteoporosis is a bone condition affecting bone structure and strength thus making them thinner and fragile because of reduced bone density.  Osteoporosis is often called a “silent disease” …..Continue reading……

Cooking from the Heart 2nd Edition Cookbook Launched – Homemade Ice Tea Recipe

October 17, 2014 in Recipes

CFTH2 cover_Oct2014

Health statistics show that about 130 heart attacks and 240 strokes occur daily in South Africa.  This means that 10 people will suffer a stroke and five people will have a heart attack every hour.   According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA, a staggering 80% of cardiovascular diseases could be prevented through modified behaviour – like reducing salt.

In the past, hypertension was associated with rich, developed countries or with wealthier sectors of society.  Today, high blood pressure is a condition that affects the majority of society, rich or poor, rural or urban.  Almost everyone we know will tell you their mom, dad, uncle or aunt is suffering from “high-high”.   Food is our life, it is the human body’s fuel, however, everything in life has to be moderated.  Too much of a good thing is bad and too little is bad altogether.   It is therefore important to obtain as much information as possible and be well informed in order to make better choices…..

A brand new edition of Pharma Dynamics’ flagship recipe book, Cooking from the Heart, in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA (HSF), was launched last week to mark National Nutrition Week (9 – 15 October), as a way to reduce the public’s risk of heart disease and stroke by adopting a healthy eating plan.

With more than 61% of South African adults overweight who are likely to be among the 6.3 million suffering from hypertension – a precursor for heart disease and other forms of serious illness – it has never been more important for South Africans to make healthy eating part of a healthy lifestyle.

Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics says the new cookbook comprises of more than 30 flavourful, no-fuss, heart-smart breakfast, lunch and snack recipe options to suit everyone’s pocket.  Continue reading and get the recipe…..




2014 ABSA Top 5 Olive Oils

October 15, 2014 in Food News



In an effort to support and appreciate olive oil producers and manufactures for the dedication and exceptional craftsmanship, as consumers we should take the liberty to savour the fruits of their efforts.  Award ceremonies present opportunities for us consumers to know which of these oils are the best.  With all that stated, I hope you are keen to know who produces the best olive oil in the country…..

The crème de la crème of South African extra virgin olive oils were unveiled at the Absa Top 5 Olive Oil Awards yesterday.  Groote Vallei, Morgenster, Rio Largo and Willow Creek were recognized as the winning producers, edging out an impressive line-up of leading olive oil exponents for the coveted Top 5 positions.

The Absa Top 5 accolades were awarded to: Rio Largo Premium Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Intense), Rio Largo Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Medium), Groote Vallei Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Medium), Morgenster Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Intense) and Willow Creek Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Medium), see featured image.  Continue reading…..

Black Bottle Tells a Story Dating Back from 1879

October 11, 2014 in Beverage News

Black Bottle pack and tube


There’s a new whisky on the block….the Black Bottle!

The famous Black Bottle blend of single malt and grain whiskies is living up to its name, bringing back its distinctive black bottle after a break of a century. In keeping with the history of the Aberdeen original created in 1879, the recipe has also been revised to bring it in line with the creator, Gordon Graham’s, original product.

The changes follow 18 months of development.

Black Bottle perfect serve styled

“The revised look and blend offer a more authentic version of Black Bottle’s history and was rigorously researched before the recent global introduction to rave reviews.  It won the World’s Best Relaunch Award at this year’s World Whisky Design Awards following its debut in Scotland a few months ago,” says SA brand spokesperson, Taygan Govinden.  Continue reading and have a look at the video here..

One&Only Reaching Young Stars 2014

October 10, 2014 in Food and Beverage, Food News



There was a lot of heat in the kitchens at One&Only Cape Town in September when four teams of young chefs from Silwood, International Hotel School, South African Chefs Academy and Cape Town Hotel School sharpened their knives and put their culinary thinking chefs hats on to create multi-course menus in the annual One&Only Reaching for Young Stars Competition. Now in its 4th consecutive year, it’s clear that this year has been another great success, giving young trainee chefs the opportunity to show their mettle in the kitchen.

The competition is organised by Annette Kesler and Chania Morritt-Smith of popular online food portal

Kesler is justifiably proud of what these young chefs are doing: “the standard has changed and improved dramatically which mirrors the improvement in South African cuisine that is beginning to come of age.”

These young chefs have “raised the bar tremendously” Kesler adds. And it is clear as course after course of immaculate plates are brought from the kitchen.  Continue Reading…..

Magnum Cream Liqueur: a Proud Recipient of a Gold Medal at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

October 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

2 MagnumBottleOnWhitewith medal smaller - Cropped


I recently got introduced to Magnum Cream Liqueur at a braai hosted by friends.  The hosts got us to try it out and everyone wanted a refill and another one…. It is therefore no surprise to know it is scooping up awards on an international scale….

Get to know more about this award winning beverage…..

Magnum Cream Liqueur, created from the finest Single Malt Scotch Whisky from Benriach Distillery and real Dutch cream, is a luxurious cream liqueur with delicious hints of caramel, chocolate and rich toffee.

Delectably rich, smooth and creamy with an alcohol content of 17%, Magnum Cream is a uniquely indulgent drinking experience; the gentle glow of whisky lingering on the palate as the cream gradually melts away.  Continue reading…..

Shoprite’s Basson takes the Plunge for Charity

October 9, 2014 in Food News


A lot of exciting events took place in Sun City last weekend.  Finals for the Championship Boerewors and the Huisgenoet Skouspel were just some of those exciting events…

Whitey Basson, CEO of Shoprite/Checkers, accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge after a nomination from Truworths’ Michael Mark and a number of other business associates.

In accepting the Challenge he donated boerewors in true retail fashion to the value of R100 000 and 99 cents to a number of schools in the country to use in fund raising events. “We need to create jobs in South Africa which we continuously do at Shoprite but I also believe we need to teach our children how to be entrepreneurs and create more jobs from a young age.”  Continue reading and check out the video here……

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