Food and Bloggers’ Club

The new Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club, which has its first meeting at the Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School in Cape Town next Wednesday 19 May from 18h00 – 20h00, will pair a Food Blogger and a Wine Blogger at each of the monthly meetings of the Club.

The Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club was formed to reflect the tremendous growth in and power of food and wine blogs in forming opinion about food, restaurants and wines.  Most bloggers do not have any formal training in blogging, and learnt from others.   The Club will give fledgling as well as experienced bloggers the opportunity to learn from each other and to share one’s knowledge with others.

Michael Olivier is the first Food Blogger (although he could equally be speaking about Wine Blogging),  writing blog Michael Olivier, to speak at the Bloggers Club.  He trained at the London Cordon Bleu Cookery School, and is a well-known Cape Food and Wine guru.   Michael was a highly regarded restaurateur (Paddagang in Tulbagh, Burgundy in Hermanus, Parks in Constantia), worked at The Lanzerac Hotel, was PR Manager for Boschendal, and has written three books: “A Restaurateur Remembers”, “crush” and “The People’s Guide – navigate the winelands in a shopping trolley”.  He has been a consultant to Pick ‘n Pay on wine retailing, and presents a daily programme on Fine Music Radio (”Michael Olivier Talking Wine”) and a weekly on-air winetasting programme on ClassicFM.   Michael’s Blog focuses on People, Places, Wine and Food.

Michael will share the platform of the opening meeting of the Bloggers’ Club with Anel Grobler of SpitorSwallow, a unique “website for wine enthusiasts who visit a lot of wine farms.”   Not only is the cellar door experience rated from a winelover’s perspective, but also restaurants, weddings, accommodation and other events on wine estates are rated too.  Anel started her blog with her partner Jan Laubscher 2 years ago, and won 3rd place in the 2009 Bloggers’ Awards, in the Food & Wine Category.  The site has 650 active users, and 2000 reviews of wine estates, from which a monthly eagerly-contested Top 10 list is announced.  Anel herself has visited 260 out of the 600 wine estates in South Africa, and hopes to visit the remaining ones!   She started the www.winetimes.co.za website earlier this year, with local wine news.

Other writers that will be talking about their Food Blogs include Peter Goffe-Wood of Kitchen Cowboys, The Foodie, Dax of Relax-with-Dax, Sam Wilson for Food24 blogs, and Clare Mack of Spill, while the Wine Blogs of Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck, Hein Koegelenberg of La Motte, Simon Back of Backsberg, Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick and Vilafonte Wines, Rob Armstrong of Haut Espoir and Emile Joubert of Wine Goggle will also be presented at Club meetings on 1 July, 28 July, 18 August, 22 September, 20 October and 24 November.  Attendees can ask questions, and get to know fellow bloggers attending.   Only 20 bookings will be accepted for each meeting, on a first come, first served basis.

Bloggers will be able to experience a pairing of the snacks prepared by renowned international chef Liam Tomlin, owner of the new Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School, at 50 New Church Street in town, with the wines brought along by the wine blogging speaker.   The cost of attendance is R 150.  Bookings can be made by e-mailing info@whalecottage.com.

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