Bollinger Service Excellence Awards to be announced at Swartland Revolution in November

The following sommeliers have been identified that will compete for the Boliinger Service Excellence Awards:

Gauteng

Francis Krone – The Saxon Hotel
Mike Buthelezi – Signature Restaurant
Erick Sikhosana – Hyatt Hotel, Rosebank
David Bronner – Ciao! Italian Mediterranean Kitchen
Brilliant Mathelumusa – Southern Sun Fourways
Sean Trollip – Kream Restaurant
Tebo Buthelezi – Casalinga Ristorante
Gareth Ferreira – The Saxon Hotel
Isaac Kubheka – The Butcher Shop & Grill
Ane Erwee – Brasserie de Paris

KZN

Kerry Bartlett – 9th Ave Bistro
Haroon Haffajee – Harvey’s Restaurant
Graham Steyn – Harvey’s Restaurant

North West Province

Mercy T Zendera – Makanyane Safari Lodge, Madikwe

Western Cape

Carl Heinz Habel – Mount Nelson Hotel
Josephine Gutentoft – Grande Roche Hotel
Philip Erasmus – Cape Grace Hotel
Wayne Kolevsohn – Le Quartier Francais
Gidi Caetano – French Toast Wine & Tapas Bar
Pieter Brahm Steenkamp – Sofia’s at Morgenster Estate
Kris Snyman – Delaire Graff Estate
Nick Botton – Kitima at Kronendal
Eric Botha – One&Only Hotel
Gregory Mutambe – The Twelve Apostles Hotel
David Nell – La Colombe at Constantia Uitsig
Dominic Bowers – The Table Bay Hotel
Howard Booysen – Aubergine Restaurant

Eastern Cape

Shaun Abbott – Amaze Restaurant
Sbonelo Hasa – La Cuisinette
Stanton Hammond – La Cuisinette

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WHAT DAVID DID NEXT

By Anelde Greeff – Wednesday, June 22, 2011

“Sorry, it’s chaos here. Going from a 50-seater to a 500-seater restaurant is a change, I can tell you. Logistically it’s a nightmare!” So said David Higgs, Eat Out Chef of the Year 2010 and, until recently, executive chef of Rust en Vrede, during a hurried phone interview on day two of his new job.

Said new job is senior chef of the 110 square metre Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel in Johannesburg. David was approached by the hotel earlier in the year and jumped at the opportunity to work in Johannesburg – a city whose dining scene has been under much debate this past year.

“It’s a very exciting, diverse city, and I’ve always been one to challenge myself. Plus, I’ve never worked in a hotel. I’ve had experience in almost every other part of the industry – from working in a restaurant, to industrial catering and catering for Woolworths, a school and weddings. I’ve literally done almost everything, and I really do think I have something to offer here.”

In addition to overseeing all the hotel’s food, David will be heading up itsCentral One Bar & All Day Restaurant, which will undergo a major aesthetic and culinary facelift. He will draw inspiration from multiple Michelin-starred chef Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier brand.

“We’re going to warm it up a little bit. Joburg has a big after-work crowd, and we need to be able to give them some great cocktails and really good music. And, obviously, we want to try and entice them to stay in the restaurant. That’s your biggest challenge in hotel restaurants: getting people in, and then keeping them in.”

David and his new employer are still busy finalising the menus, but we can expect modern comfort food – not fine dining – at breakfast, lunch and dinner. David is extremely excited about his new challenge, albeit a bit emotional about leaving South Africa’s number one restaurant.

“It was the dream job! Rust en Vrede is such a wonderful restaurant and I had carte blanche – owner Jean Engelbrecht left me to do whatever I wanted to, as long as it worked. It was difficult to leave, but sometimes you feel like a bit of a change. After all, it’s not just about creating the food – you can create the plate that the food gets served on; you can create the restaurant around the plate. The whole creative process can expand. Which is really nice and where I am at the moment.”

 

Amorim MCC Challenge: a judge’s view

21 June 2011  by Amorim Cork South Africa
With juding of the Amorim WINE Magazine MCC Challenge to commence next month, the five judges are preparing their palates.
The judging panel is chaired by Allan Mullins, Cape Wine Master and consists of Christine Rudman, CWM, wine writer Neil Pendock, sommelier Miguel Chan and Heidi Duminy CWM. We put some questions to Ms Duminy.

You judge an array of wine styles. As a judge, what do you look for in MCC?

Sensory analysis follows the same basic ritual with the obvious important additional consideration and assessment of the bubble quality and its behaviour. This would include the evidence of the bubble in the glass with particular note to size, speed, persistence, formation of a crown or ring and then the aesthetic experience in the mouth and across the palate to finish and aftertaste.

Appearance, Aroma and Palate assessment are all equally as important as when judging any still wine. The 20 point scoring system is applied in this competition. A top scoring wine will display purity of fruit and deft use of varieties, outstanding balance, complexity, freshness, integration, leesy richness, autolytic intrigue, optimal maturity, intricacy, luminosity and potential.

The category is growing locally – among producers and consumers. What has led to South African consumers fondness for MCC?

Value. I would dearly like to believe that the style and quality of MCC provides faith strong enough to be first choice, but all things being equal, I believe that the consumer would still be reaching for the champagne. The motivation for drinking plays an important role in this purchasing decision and it is undeniable that the majority of consumers still drink brands rather than wines. MCC offers a fantastic more casual value proposition although it is still the consolation prize in the shadow of the big C.

There has been a surge in producers releasing very small volume boutique cuvées that make for great intrigue and interest, but shall take some time before becoming commercial contenders. The tremendous growth in the category has peaked and is now seeing a retreat

Can you name major areas of improvement in MCC wines that you have noticed over the past, say, 10 years?

There has been huge progress in creating definitive styles with the categories now emerging as more obvious. Vintage is showing substantial depth and dimension with more leesy intrigue and richness instead of being made as an uncomplicated NV that happens to be made of base wines from the same year.

There has also been less use of random varieties with the classic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (and even Pinot Meunier) now dominant. Rosé MCC has also come along tremendously across styles. Beneath the cork and beyond the glass, technical experience and better understanding of the category in a Cape context has allowed better work to preserve inherent fruit, supported by leesy complexity whilst still retaining natural freshness for better balance and vibrancy.

Although diversity is joy, what are the non-negotiable characteristics of a good MCC? 

Balance and bubble quality are critical – a good MCC should be well integrated with a detailed core of pure fresh fruit enhanced by an easily evident autolytic character balanced by a fresh natural acid line and a persistent fine mousse.

Are there any inherent characteristics/ features embodied in MCC that distinguish the category from other countries’ bubbles?

The fruit profile. In the Cape, harvesting for MCC needs to happen early enough to retain natural freshness, yet still at optimal phenolic ripeness not to be lean and dilute. This often comes at the cost of complexity and/ or freshness in SA, making the fruit too rambunctious and clumsy. Even when perfectly balanced, elegant and restrained, MCC reveals a pronounced fruit profile as a pose to more mineral savoury characters common in other sparkling wine.

Note to MCC producers: entries are now open for the Amorim MCC Challenge, and producers should have received their entry forms. Closing date for entries is 15 July. Judging commences on 10 August, with the awards ceremony being held at Bosmans Restaurant at the Grande Roche Restaurant in Paarl on 15 September.

Remembering Robert Mondavi

Posted by http://www.snooth.com/articles/wine-reviews/remembering-robert-mondavi/

Napa Valley Visionary

A legend. A visionary. An icon. Three words that describe perhaps the most influential figure to ever grace the wine world. Robert Mondavi would’ve turned 98 this June. In true Mondavi fashion, there are celebrations all month long with food, art, and a worldwide commemorative toast at his namesake winery and on Facebook.

No person other than Robert Mondavi has been more closely associated with California’s wine revolution. Likely because he pioneered it. Considered by many to be the father of modern American winemaking and the creator of America’s wine culture, Mondavi set an industry standard that has yet to be surpassed. To this day, no other winery in California can claim almost four decades of 90+ scores for its Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, with the 2006 and 2007 vintages receiving 96 and 95 points respectively.

Seizing upon Napa Valley’s unrecognized potential, Mondavi built his winery in 1966. The landscape of California’s wine industry was yet unformed and with an unwavering vision to craft wines that could rival Europe’s finest, Mondavi began carving a path that would inspire generations of winemakers to reach heights no one thought possible. A decade later at the Judgment of Paris, Mondavi’s belief was validated as the world’s attention turned to the Napa Valley and America’s wine culture emerged.

Deeply rooted in Italian tradition, Mondavi regarded the sharing of good food and wine with family and friends as one of life’s greatest pleasures. This appreciation remains evident today as thousands of visitors continue to walk through Robert Mondavi Winery’s open arch each year, sharing in Mondavi’s winemaking passion and embracing his “gracious lifestyle” philosophy.

Mondavi is remembered most for his generous spirit. Instead of keeping winemaking secrets, he told everyone how he thought wine should be made. If you needed a truck, he’d lend you one. Grapes? No problem. He’d even press them for you. Mondavi was there for every vintner who wanted to do something in the Napa Valley, believing that the more good wines that came out of the area, the better it would be for everyone. His generosity also extended far past the confines of the wine business. The Robert Mondavi Winery has hosted an annual concert series for more than 40 years, donating proceeds to charitable organizations, local music education and event-related charities.

With such a rich history of innovation and generosity, it’s understandable why Robert Mondavi Winery takes time each June to reflect upon Mondavi’s extraordinary accomplishments. In addition to the month-long celebration, this year on Friday, June 17, Margrit Mondavi along with Director of Winemaking and Wine Enthusiast’s 2010 Winemaker of the Year, Genevieve Janssens, will salute the 98th anniversary of Mondavi’s birth by hosting a toast at 2 p.m. PDT. Those who can’t attend are invited to be a part of the live event at Facebook.com/RobertMondavi.

Read more: http://www.snooth.com/articles/wine-reviews/remembering-robert-mondavi/#ixzz1PVmFP7vu

 

South African groms will get full bodyboarding kits

Tuesday, 14 June 2011 09:39
South Africa groms: the future pros

The young bodyboarding fans from South Africa have been awarded R210 000 in full wetsuits, flipper socks, fin tethers, boards with leashes and fins, as a result of a Kumba Iron Ore sponsoring project.

The Lambertsbay and Saldanha regions, on the West Coast of South Africa, have been chosen to get this bodyboarding development project. Together with Reef SA and Boland Bodyboarding, an open contest will be also run.

Fourty kids will smile with their new riding kits and the support brings a huge amount to the health and wellness of the community.

SonSurf, a Christian non-profitable surfing organisation in the Western Cape, runs a weekly Friday afternoon competition to keep the development effort sustainable and to help the kids grow in each area of the sport. The same approach will be followed in Saldanha.

Development clinics introduce the kids to concepts like environmental preservation, pollution, exercise, camaraderie and of course respect for the ocean. Fifteen Boland coaches and their support team will be present at each of these development clinics.

Boland believes that by assigning two or three riders to one trainer, they will absorb and learn much more in a short period of time. Reef SA and Boland Bodyboarding will make four trips to Saldanha to deliver the development clinics.

A fifth trip is planned to bring the 40 Lambertsbay and 40 Saldanha kids together for a 80 rider contest. This is going to be a spectacular event with lots of fun, laughter and great prizes. This contest will form part of the launch of the new Kumba branding.

Kumba takes bodyboarding to the next level in South Africa.

Kumba Iron Ore announced at the 2011 West Coast Classic earlier this year, that they will be sponsoring a Bodyboarding development project worth R210 000 for the Lambertsbay and Saldanha area, on the West Coast of South Africa. Together with REEF SA and Boland Bodyboarding, this project will deliver a refresh of the current Lambertsbay bodyboarding kit as well as an open contest for the kids in Lambertsbay. 15 Boland guys will be running the contest for the kids. They will hit the water with brand new Kumba branded wetsuits and try and impress the judges with their skill and ability to win some of the great sponsored prizes. The Kids will also be treated to a boerewors braai and some Coka Cola drinks.

In Saldanha, Kumba has made it possible to supply kit for 40 new development riders which include a full wet-suit, flipper socks, fin tethers, a bodyboard with leash and a pair of fins.

Kumba has seen that the previous development programme they sponsored in 2009 was very successful and that it contributed a huge amount to the health and wellness of the community. These kids are now in a position to enjoy the ocean much more and the competitive sport of bodyboarding. SonSurf, a Christian non-profitable surfing organisation in the Western Cape, runs a weekly Friday afternoon competition to keep the development effort sustainable and to help the kids grow in each area of the sport. The same approach will be followed in Saldanha.

Development clinics introduce the kids to concepts like environmental preservation, pollution, exercise, camaraderie and of course respect for the ocean. 15 Boland coaches and their support team will be present at each of these development clinics. Boland believes that by assigning 2 – 3 riders to 1 trainer they will absorb and learn much more in a short period of time.

REEF SA and Boland Bodyboarding will make four trips to Saldanha to deliver the development clinics. A fifth trip is planned to bring the 40 Lambertsbay and 40 Saldanha kids together for a 80 rider contest. This is going to be a spectacular event with lots of fun, laughter and great prizes. This contest will form part of the launch of the new Kumba branding.

Please keep your eyes posted on future articles and pictures as we progress with the project. You just might find your next IBA star hidden in this development squad.

“We do it prone, dropknee, or standup while we get barreled” – djbstyles

Frans Lombard (BBA)

LVMH HAS ANNOUNCED OCTOBER 15TH AND 16TH AS ‘BEHIND-THE-SCENES DAYS’

LVMH HAS ANNOUNCED OCTOBER 15TH AND 16TH AS ‘BEHIND-THE-SCENES DAYS’.