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Let’s talk about the (Black) Elephant in the room…

Enjoy the food & wine pairing on the Ryan's Kitchen terrace

Born out of synchronicity, fortuitous friendships and a love of wine, Black Elephant Vintners has extended that passion into partnering its wine collection with a crafted menu dégustation. The result is a food and wine collaboration with Ryan’s Kitchen, situated at 1 Place Vendôme in the Main Road. Available Monday to Saturday at lunchtime (12h00 and 15h30), patrons have the option of a four- or seven-course taster menu, created exclusively by Chef Ryan Smith.

The wine and food collaboration is hosted in the Tasting Studio situated within Ryan’s Kitchen. Each wine and food combination has been masterfully selected and paired by owners of Black Elephant Vintners, Kevin Swart and Jacques Wentzel, together with Chef Ryan. The menu dégustation displays the chef’s ability to seamlessly create taste and flavour sensations.

The four course menu dégustation (R235) consists of:

  • Fox and Flamingo Rosé served with fish sashimi, radishes and a seaweed stock
  • Two Dogs, a Peacock and a Horse served with a green pea, gooseberry miso gel
  • Timothy White served with souse vide buttery baby potatoes and snoek and fresh chives
  • Nicholas Red served with parmesan cheese croquets and smoked eggplant

The seven course menu degustation (R330) consists of:

  • Black Elephant Vintners MCC served with an octopus apple ceviche
  • Fox and Flamingo Rosé served with fish sashimi, radishes and a seaweed stock
  • Two Dogs, a Peacock served and a Horse served with a green pea, gooseberry miso gel
  • Timothy White served with souse vide buttery baby potatoes and snoek and fresh chives
  • Nicholas Red served with parmesan cheese croquets and smoked eggplant
  • Amistad Pinotage served with pan fried line fish, mole and coriander
  • Amistad Syrah served with braised lamb rib, peanuts and spices

Black Elephant Vintners focuses on identifying and procuring estate-grown grapes cultivated within the Franschhoek Valley and its surrounding regions from which it produces and crafts quality wines. “We’ve chosen to take the pomp and ceremony out of winemaking; focusing on demystifying the process for all enthusiasts and injecting true enjoyment into every sip of wine,” says Swart. “Our wines represent our sincerest endeavours to bring the Franschhoek experience to all wine lovers around the globe for the sole purpose of enjoyment and as an expression of our appreciation for our good life.”

Their diverse brand portfolio enables BE Vintners to provide a range of wines with unique physical characteristics that appeal to different desires, tastes and occasions. They even offer wine and music pairings aptly named Wine Unplugged at their cellar.

For patrons who only want wine tasters, the Tasting Studio will be open Monday to Saturday from 11h00 to 16h30. Four wine tasters cost R75 and seven R125. (R235 and R330 if served with the menu degustation.) Bookings for the Black Elephant Vintners Tasting Studio are essential.

2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards winners

Alisha Erasmus, Lee-Ann Fouche-Wessels, Nick Oosthuizen and Chris Erasmus of Foliage at the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.

South Africa’s best culinary talents were honoured at the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards on Sunday, 20 November. Franschhoek restaurants didn’t win any of the big prizes, but were well represented with three claiming places among the top 10.  They are: The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français (4th), The Kitchen at Maison (8th) and Foliage (9th).

For an unprecedented fifth consecutive year, The Test Kitchen was named Restaurant of the Year.

Gregory Czarnecki of The Restaurant at Waterkloof won the coveted title of Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year.

La Colombe was recognised for maintaining the highest level of service with the Eat Out Nespresso Service Excellence Award and the first-ever Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service, which was awarded to front-of-house manager Jennifer Hugé.

The much-admired chef, restauranteur and author Peter Veldsman was the winner of the Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star Award went to Angelo Scirocco of Urbanologi in Johannesburg for his promising talent, and the Eat Out Wine Service Award for a top sommelier was won by Tinashe Nyamudoka of The Test Kitchen.

In another industry first, The Table at De Meye in Stellenbosch was the recipient of the inaugural Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award, which recognises a restaurant that is making strides towards sustainability by implementing environmentally and socially responsible practices and being cognisant of the importance of higher animal welfare.

Foxcroft, the new restaurant opened by chefs Scot Kirton and Glen Williams of La Colombe, was named the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year. Marble in Rosebank, Johannesburg, received the Eat Out Boschendal Style Award for its show-stopping interior design and décor. The winner of the Woolworths TASTE Eat Out Bursary was Ayanda Matomela, who was selected for his passion and enthusiasm.

Haute Cabrière: New Vintages of Pioneering Wines

With the bright days of spring here, Haute Cabrière has recently released the 2016 vintage of its much-loved Chardonnay Pinot Noir blend and its elegant Unwooded Pinot Noir.

1693 Restaurant Not Stuffy At All!

I have to say that I’m not used to having chefs throw food at me – especially at media lunches – yet that is pretty much what happened to me recently!  Happily it wasn’t done in anger and was all part of the spectacle at what was a most memorable lunch at the 1693 pop-up restaurant in the historic 1693 cellar at Bellingham Estate.

GlenWood Grand Duc Noblesse

GlenWood is home to some of South Africa’s hidden wine gems. One of these is their maiden vintage Grand Duc Noblesse – a noble wine indeed.

New Head Chef at Lust Bistro & Bakery

Award-winning restaurant, LUST Bistro & Bakery, has announced the appointment of Johan van Schalkwyk as new Head Chef. Upholding a high cooking standard, the new chef’s aim is to focus on fresh and organic produce.

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