Contemporary Braai-inspired Eatery, BarQGrill, Opens

BarQGrill brings contemporary braai-inspired eatery to the East Rand. Inspired by the love South Africans have of cooking over an open flame, which was ignited even further during lockdown — restaurateur, Pari Xenophontos, opened BarQGrill — a contemporary braai meets Mediterranean-style eatery in Boksburg in January this year.

restaurant tables

The Menu

BarQGrill specialises in a tantalising selection of braaied meat, such as their signature honey-mustard basted chicken sword, coal-grilled pork ribs and Wagyu beef burgers, all cooked perfectly over an open-coal fire.

BarQGrill specialises in a tantalising selection of braaied meat.

Apart from grilled meat options, the eatery also offers a diverse menu of sushi, poke bowls, pasta and a variety of salads — ensuring there is a dish for all palates and moods.

The eatery also offers a diverse menu of sushi.

The menu also offers a wide selection of signature, classic and build-your-own cocktails, and soon to be launched signature jugs. Also new to the menu is Greek dish, Vaflaki, consisting of 12 mini waffles served with a variety of toppings.

A wide selection of signature, classic and build-your-own cocktails.

Contemporary yet Casual

The eatery’s interior features a neutral colour palette accented by greenery and rich textures, such as the feature timber slats. Although the design projects a sophisticated feel, BarQGrill is a casual eatery, providing good food and value for money, in a contemporary, yet homely environment.

A contemporary braai meets Mediterranean-style eatery.

BarQGrill is home away from home. With our friendly staff and managers, delicious food and inviting ambience, I truly want our patrons to leave our eatery having had the full BarQGrill experience we have worked so hard to create”,  comments owner Pari Xenophontos.

BarQGrill recently introduced weekly specials, allowing diners to enjoy their favourite dishes at a further reduced price.

Location: 141 North Rand Rd, Beyers Park, Boksburg
Orders: Mr D Food (within a 5km range from the restaurant)
Reservations: 010 534 7533 or book online at their website.

*For more information and specials, follow BarQGrill at their social media accounts below. | Facebook | Instagram

Willow Creek Olive Estate Puts Mother Nature First 

Mother Nature is Willow Creek Olive Estate’s greatest supporter. In an effort to give back to the environment, Willow Creek takes great pride in conducting all their harvesting, processing and bottling operations in a sustainable manner.

Willow Creek’s Hand-Harvesting Technique

During their harvest season from March to August, Willow Creek prefers a hand-harvesting technique rather than an automated method. This technique involves stripping each individual branch of olives with a rake, almost like combing hair! This allows them to create approximately over two-hundred seasonal work opportunities for their local community.

Willow Creek HarvestThis hand-harvesting technique reduces Willow Creek Olive Estate’s overall fuel consumption while increasing product quality and community benefits, and as one of their company principles states, Willow Creek wants to create win-win situations for both their company and their loyal customers.

Willow Creek Harvest

Willow Creek’s Sustainability Initiatives

Willow Creek’s sustainability initiatives are not only limited to the agriculture sector but also play a large role in their manufacturing process. Willow Creek’s famous Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil attests to this.

Willow Creek Olive EstateThis product’s unique bottle is made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and is reinforced with an oxygen scavenger and UV barrier. While creating the same shelf-life protection capabilities as glass, its lightweight structure is also carbon-neutral and easier to transport. The PET bottle and Aluminium/Linear Low-Density Polyethylene pourer caps are also 100% recyclable!

Willow Creek Olive EstateIn other words, every time you purchase Willow Creek Olive Estate products, you not only take care of yourself but you also support Mother Nature. Pretty cool, right?

Pampoenkoekies with Willow Creek Blood Orange, Naartjie & Thyme Caramel Sauce

What better way to welcome the season of autumn, than with an authentically South African pampoenkoekie recipe with a Willow Creek twist? Pampoenkoekies are traditionally made with pumpkin, but Willow Creek decided to turn to another member of the gourd family — butternut.

The blood orange olive oil complements the naturally sweet butternut fritters with a pleasant bitter note, while ensuring you get that satisfying golden brown exterior.

To top it all off, the beautifully fragrant naartjie and thyme hints in the caramel sauce ooze decadence and deliciousness.

Willow Creek FrittersWillow Creek Olive EstateFritter Ingredients

750ml Butternut, cooked, mashed and cooled
2 Eggs
500ml Self raising flour
15ml Baking powder
5ml Salt


Place the cooked butternut, eggs and salt in a stand mixer and whisk until well combined.
Add the flour and baking powder and mix through.
Fry teaspoon fulls of batter in medium hot oil until golden brown. Pour hot sauce over before serving.

Sauce Ingredients

250ml Sugar
250ml Cream
750ml Full cream milk
100ml Butter
10ml Vanilla essence
2 Tangerines, zest and juice
10g Fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stalks
50ml Willow Creek Blood Orange Flavoured Olive Oil


Place the sugar, cream, milk and butter in a saucepan and heat to boiling point.
Boil for 10 minutes on a low heat and add the vanilla, tangerine zest and juice, thyme leaves and olive oil.
Pour over the fritters just before serving. | Facebook | Instagram  | Twitter

FEMALE CHEFS IN SOUTH AFRICA: Basalt Restaurant’s Feni Malebye-Lutalo

It’s Women’s Month and given that we love food, we want to celebrate the powerful female chefs of South Africa. These women represent what it means to rank their own needs second or even third by facing obstacles under high pressure, working long hours, and getting a few cuts and burns that comes with working in a kitchen. We want to thank these female chefs for continuing to push their restaurants to top-tier status and for sharing their passion for food with us.


Feni Malebye
Feni Malebye

In the seventh instalment of our Women’s Month series, we spoke to Basalt Restaurant’s Head Chef, Feni Malebye-Lutalo. After qualifying from premier Italian school of cooking, the ALMA la Scuola Intenazionale di Cucina Italiana, Feni landed her first role in the kitchen of ‘Stagista,’ a One Michelin Star restaurant located in Siena. There Feni established skills in traditional Italian cuisine infused with modern flair.

Upon returning to South Africa in 2015, Feni joined acclaimed The Test Kitchen under the skilful guidance of Owner/Exec Chef Luke Dale-Roberts and Head Chef Ivor Jones. That role eventually led to a position at La Colombe, where Feni further excelled under the mentorship of Exec Chef James Gaag, eventually being promoted to the role of Chef de Partie.

By this stage having worked in some of South Africa’s best fine-dining restaurants, and under several of our most internationally acclaimed experts, Feni decided to expand her horizons into the luxury lodge industry by joining the Singita international group. Based at Singita Sabi Sand, Feni worked under Chef Liam Tomlin (S.A. Chef of the year 2017/18), where his encouragement saw her achieve the role of Sous Chef at Singita’s enviable Castleton Lodge.

Moving back to Joburg to be closer to her family in late 2018, Feni joined Freddie Dias (ex-Head Chef, Pot Luck Club) as his Sous Chef, where together they collaborated the launch of Basalt Restaurant in Sept last year, a casual fine-dining restaurant set within the well-established Peech Boutique Hotel of Melrose. There Feni initially worked under Freddie Dias (ex-Head chef, Pot Luck Club) as Senior Sous Chef, and has since been promoted to Head Chef of both Basalt and The Peech Hotel’s in-house Garden Restaurant as of 1st August 2020.

Feni Malebye-Lutalo launched her new Spring Menu at Basalt as of 28th of August. Basalt Restaurant will participate in the upcoming SA Restaurant of the Week series throughout October this year.


Why did you become a chef?

I tried to follow the conventional corporate route by attending law school. However, I quickly realised that I wouldn’t be fulfilled as a practicing lawyer. So I did the sensible thing and dropped out in my 3rd year to pursue my love for the culinary arts. I found a way to express myself creatively through food and seeing people’s sincere appreciation for my art further fuelled this passion. I enrolled in culinary school and never looked back.

When are you happiest at work?

I come alive during the rush of dinner service. That’s the pressure that keeps me on my toes. I am forced to be on my A-game because that’s where my performance is truly measured. Bringing the greatest satisfaction to the greatest number of people in a single given time.

What’s the most valuable attribute of being a great chef?

There are a few key attributes in my opinion, to name a few I’d say:

  • Organisational skills.
  • Ability to handle a high-stress environment and the pressure that comes with it.
  • Curiosity and desire to learn more; as a chef at any level, you literally never stop learning.
  • Mental, emotional and physical stamina, as this job is highly demanding of all three.
  • Creativity and meticulous attention to detail.

What has been your most meaningful, memorable meal?

I’ve given a lot of thought to this question, wondering if it was at a couple of Michelin star restaurants in Italy or even at the top-rated restaurants in South Africa. But no, I’m a simple girl. My most meaningful and always memorable meal is anything prepared by my grandmother. She makes the most perfect pap which cannot be replicated (many in my family have tried!). I don’t eat Ting Ya Mabele (coarse sorghum meal) unless it is cooked by my grandmother. One can literally feel the love in every meal she makes and each one is just as memorable as the last, particularly when we all eat together as an extended family. She cooks simple yet hearty dishes that are full of love and comfort.

A very close second, however, is the meal I had at La Colombe in 2016 when I still worked there. I took my parents out for the full dining experience and Chef James Gaag took such excellent care of us throughout that meal that my parents said they finally understood what I do and can see the value in the pride I take in my work. That was a phenomenal experience.

What’s the most valuable thing you have learnt in the kitchen that translates into your life outside of the kitchen?

Adapt or die! The pressure will always be immense, as in life outside the kitchen. You have to learn to adapt to every situation handed to you and keep calm even in the chaos. Taking a step back to think the situation through logically (if you have the luxury of time) you will always reap more reward than when you are frantic. “The devil is in the detail” so be wide awake at all times and pay close attention to every detail around you and in situations that present themselves to you in life. The professional kitchen teaches all this. And when it all gets incredibly overwhelming, be kind to yourself and take a step back to allow your mental health to ‘reboot’ as it were.

What has been your experience during lockdown and how have you had to evolve your business/kitchen.

Lockdown has been the absolute worst experience for everyone but the restaurant and hospitality industries have suffered immensely. On a personal level, my major depressive disorder and anxiety were continually spiralling, what with all the uncertainty around the future of our jobs and industries as a whole. As Basalt Restaurant is on The Peech Hotel property, we rely heavily on international travel guests, so the closure of borders knocked us down hard. And it has been that way for most of the lockdown period. We have slowly started seeing a slow but steady increase in local business and now leisure travel (since the Level 2 restrictions have given our industry some hope) We adapted our menu offerings, creating much smaller more intimate menus for guests instead of a huge offering which would leave us with loads of wastage.

There are a lot of differing opinions about “Best Female Chef” awards versus awards that recognise achievements in the industry with no gender attached, with good arguments for both sides – do you have an opinion on this?

Indeed I do. I would love to see a chef being recognised and celebrated based on their merit, where they’re awarded the title of best chef and it’s a representation of their capability across the board. In my opinion, creating gender-specific awards implies that female chefs can’t compete with male chefs. It creates an undue superiority complex among male chefs, who end up thinking that all they need to do is to be better than their male peers and not even see us, women, as their competition.

I understand that honouring female chefs separately was initiated to build a platform to highlight the women achieving excellence in an industry, which otherwise lacked diversity and marginalised them but the way I see it, every industry is male-dominated. We cannot reach genuine gender parity in the restaurant sector by creating a separate playing field for women. Chef awards are based on food. None of this has anything to do with gender. This isn’t like in sports where the male physique gives them an unfair advantage over the women. We don’t need gender attached to awards. Let the best chef be the best chef period.

Why is it important to have women in the field?

Representation matters. When I see women achieving groundbreaking milestones in this industry, it pushes me to raise the bar for myself and what I can achieve as well. We are constantly pushing ourselves. Our work ethic is unparalleled. We work twice as hard to get half the recognition that our male colleagues receive. Even though we can be as hardcore and ambitious as the men, we have the natural advantage of empathy, care and understanding, you know… the soft skills that we use to lead and bring out the best in our teams. I’m not saying men, don’t have this, but it comes more naturally to women. There are a lot of female chefs who have played a crucial role in the growth and development of younger, up and coming female chefs in the industry.

In my experience, it’s the female chefs who make the time to teach and mentor their subordinates, which is so important when we think about how skill and knowledge is transferred to the next generation of chefs. The role and contribution of female chefs in this industry is key to its continued development. It’s key to opening doors and diversifying the industry. On the other hand, we cannot have discussions about the importance of women in the field without having equally important conversations around how we are still failing to close the gender pay gap. If we are contributing as much, working as hard, and raising the bar of excellence, then surely it’s time we get paid the same amount, no?

What is the future for female chefs in SA?

I see a very promising future for female chefs in SA. We have phenomenal chefs running great restaurants, we have chef Jess van Dyk from Protege, Nando Cardoso from Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, Chef Charné Sampson from Epice who have all been recognised as movers and shakers in this industry.

I’m seeing strong female sous chefs coming to the forefront, and it’s very promising to see the progress we’ve made in the industry. A couple of years ago, having this many female head honchos running the show would have been unheard of. We still have a long way to go, but If we keep having conversations that matter, like closing the gender pay gap, mentoring and transferring skills to the next generation of great chefs, creating equal opportunities, then perhaps we will see a future where the having a female head chef is the norm and the South African culinary stage is a global force to be reckoned with.

If you enjoyed reading about Feni Malebye-Lutalo, make sure to check out our interviews with La Petite Colombe, ProtegeEpiceHazendal, and Tjing Tjing’s female head chefs and of course, culinary powerhouse Zola Nene. | Instagram

Wine Farms Close Due To Coronavirus

Many wine estates have made the difficult decision to close down their facilities to the general public after a member of a Dutch wine tour, which did a multi-farm wine tasting and visited over 30 estates and venues, tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend. However, many wine farms have also closed their doors for precautionary measures due to the virus. We have compiled a list of wine estates that have closed their doors and some estates that have decided to remain open.



Steenberg: Following international guidelines and erring on the side of caution, both the tasting room and Bistro Sixteen82 will remain closed for 14 days from date of exposure as a proactive measure after it became known that one of the members of a visiting Dutch tour group tested positive for the virus.


Klein Constantia: In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, as a precautionary measure this wine farm will close until. further notice. This includes their Tasting Room and The Bistro at Klein Constantia.


wine farms close

Boschendal: Over the next two weeks, Boschendal will stage a phased shutdown so that by the end of March all operations on the property will close for a minimum of two weeks. Their intention is to re-open operations on Wednesday 15 April 2020 and will review this date closer to the time.

wine tasting in Franschhoek

Leeu Estates: After a guest tested positive for the virus, the hotel (and all other elements of the Estates) will shut with immediate effect, to limit exposure. The situation will be reassessed at the end of the month with a hope to reopen on Friday 03 April.

wine tasting in Franschhoek

Anthonij Rupert and L’Ormarins Estate: In light of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, Anthonij Rupert Wyne and L’Ormarins Estate have made the proactive decision to restrict all visitors to the Estates as a measure to protect both its guests as well as its employees from the spread of the virus. This wine farm will be closed until further notice.

wine farms close

La Motte: As a precaution against COVID-19, the La Motte tourism experience will be closed till Monday, 23 March 2020. The closure follows information from a guest who visited the estate on 9 March and who since tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. But don’t worry! You can still order your much-loved La Motte wine! Order 6 bottles or more online and they’ll deliver for free!

wine farms close

Leopards Leap: As a precaution, all the popular guest experiences at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards will be closed till Monday, 23 March 2020. The closure follows information from a guest who visited sister estate, La Motte during the previous week and shared his positive test results for COVID-19 on Sunday, 15 March.



Delheim: Their hospitality sector of the business (restaurant, picnic area and wine tasting facilities) will be closed until 27 March thereafter they will reassess the situation. Your favourite Delheim wines are still available in stores nationwide or simply order online and they will ship your wines to you!

wine farms close

Kanonkop Wine Estate: Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, they have decided to close their tasting room facility for wine tastings until further notice. They will, however, be open for wine purchases.

Tokara: In the light of the recent confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Africa, Tokara has made it a top priority to be proactive and have taken all necessary precautionary health and safety measures – not only to safeguard their visitors but also their staff. They have closed the wine estate until March 24th.


Vrede en Lust: This wine farm will most likely to be shutting their doors down in a couple of days but you can still buy your favourite Vrede en Lust wines online.

Plaisir De Merle: They have closed their estate until further notice. ‘We aim to embrace all the qualities that our guardian, The Griffin, embodies as we continue our daily lives in this changing reality. We will have the vision, strength, and courage to work together to protect and care for one another. Even in isolation, will we act as guardians to one another to face this challenging time together.’

best pre-packed wine farm picnics in cape town

Noble Hill: They have decided that due to coronavirus that their restaurant and wine shop will be closed from March 16-31. However, you can still enjoy their delicious wine by ordering online.

wine farms close

Rupert & Rothschild: The restaurant and tasting room from Monday, 16 March until Wednesday, 25 March 2020 will be closed in order to prevent any potential contact of COVID-19 amongst its guests and staff. The situation will be monitored and reassessed in a week, after which an updated status will be communicated.


wine farms close

Gabrielskloof: After hosting a group of Dutch wine professionals on March 11th, one of whom has subsequently tested positive for the virus, they have decided to close their doors. The wine farm feels a social responsibility to protect both their valued customers and their staff by closing the doors to get the relevant people tested and isolated.Their tasting room and restaurant will remain closed until Tuesday, March 24th pending further communication.


wine farms close

Bosman Family Vineyards: Following the decisive measures implemented by the government they are unified in their response and regret to inform you that our hospitality doors at Bosman Family Vineyards in Hermanus will be closed for the following week for assessment.


wine farms close

Almenkerk: Contacted by a visitor to advise that he has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The visitor was part of a group of 38 wine professionals from The Netherlands that visited them on 10 March. As a precaution, they will be avoiding all close contact as a family and business for the next 7 to 10 days, and will inform you if any of them show symptoms. They are trying to get tested so that we can be sure. Almenkerk Wine Estate will be closed to the public until further notice.

Please note: this information was accurate on the date of publication and will be adjusted as and when we receive further communication from estates. If you are a representative of a wine estate and wish to be included on this list – please email us the relevant details

What you should do if you suspect you may be infected

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has a toll-free number for the public that deals with Covid 19 related issues or questions: 0800 029 999. The line is operated 24 hours a day.

Celebrate in Style at the Wade Bales Cap Classique & Gin Affair

The Wade Bales Cap Classique & Gin Affair is a celebration of summer, mixing over 70 of the best craft and international gins with more than 50 of the country’s finest Cap Classique hosted at The Grand.

Wade Bales Cap Classique and Gin Affair

Summer In Style

Now in its 5th year, and taking place on the 26th & 27th of October, prepare to enjoy and meet the people behind your favourite bubbly and craft gins, surrounded by great music, spectacular views, and a sophisticated crowd. This celebration, on the beachfront, is sure to be a summer affair with an unforgettable vibe.
Wade Bales Cap Classique and Gin Affair
Taking place at the fabulous Grand Africa Café & Beach (next to the V&A Waterfront), Wade Bales has not only become a name synonymous with fine wine and spirits, but also some of the most sought after “sold out” events in town – be sure to book your tickets soon to avoid missing out.

Wade Bales Cap Classique and Gin Affair

Bubblies include the likes of Boschendal, Krone, Pongracz, Plaisir de Merle, Silverthorn, Steenberg and Villiera. Local and international gins include Autograph, Distillery 031, Juniper Moon, Inverroche, Tanqueray, Whitley Neill, Arbikie, Hendrick’s and Monkey 47.

Event Details

Dates: Saturday 26th October & Sunday 27th October
Time: 13h00 – 17h00

Tickets on sale at R380 per person, include a complimentary champagne glass, unlimited tastings and six fresh oysters.

Book via Quicket now. For more information contact Patricia on 021 794 2151 or email

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Reuben Sandwich with Homemade Corned Beef and Russian Dressing

Findus June 2017 Carrots LeaderboardA classic New York sandwich made at home. Making your own corned beef makes all the difference and crispy bread and creamy dressing just finishes it off in style – we love this!

Serves: 4
Difficulty: EASY
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours + 2 hours cooling time

Corned Beef

5 C (1,25 L) beef or vegetable stock
200 g Findus Baby Carrots, chopped
½ (80 g) onion, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
1.4 kg corned beef


1 C (250 ml) French-style
3 Tbsp (45 ml) tomato sauce
3 Tbsp (45 ml) gherkins, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 ml) red onion, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) horseradish sauce
1 tsp (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp (5 ml) parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic
pinch smoked paprika

To Serve

8 thick slices of rye bread
100 g salted butter
8 (140 g) slices Emmentaler cheese
1 C (250 ml / 240 g) readymade sauerkraut
500 g Rosemary potato wedges, cooked
handful chopped parsley (optional)
1 x packet Findus Rosemary Potato Wedges, cooked to packet instructions

Reuben Sandwich: Corned Beef

Heat the stock, carrots, onions, mustard seeds and bay leaves in a large pot over medium heat until warm. Add the meat, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes. Turn the meat over and simmer for a further 45 minutes. Allow the meat to cool in the cooking liquid for at least 2 hours.

Russian Dressing

Combine everything in a food processor and blend until fine.
Preheat the oven to 180 ºC.

Potato Wedges

Spread the Findus Rosemary Potato Wedges onto a baking tray (line with foil for ease of cleaning). Bake until golden brown and cooked through.

To Serve

Spread each slice of bread with butter and turn each slice over. Add a slice of cheese to 4 of the bread slices (the unbuttered side).

Thinly slice the cooled meat. Add 4 slices of meat on top of each slice of cheese. Add another slice of cheese, a dollop of sauerkraut and a tablespoonful of the Russian dressing to each sandwich. Close each sandwich with the remaining slices of bread, butter side facing up.

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and carefully fry each sandwich for 2-3 minutes per side until the bread is crisp and golden and the cheese has melted. Scatter with chopped parsley, if preferred. Serve each sandwich with a side of Findus wedges and more Russian sauce on the side for dipping.

TIP: For a quick cheat’s version of the homemade corned beef, simply replace it with thinly sliced Pastrami that can be found at the deli counter of your preferred supermarket.

For more delicious recipe inspiration subscribe to the Findus newsletter.

reuben sandwich Findus June 2017 Carrots Leaderboard

Fire Things up with Cape Herb & Spice Cajun Steak Tacos

cajun steak tacos article bannerWant a 20-minute dinner-winner that the entire family will love? Then tacos should be a pantry cupboard go-to. Crispy par-baked taco shells, now widely available in many supermarkets, need just a few minutes in a hot oven to come to life. Then, it’s time to stuff them and we mean ‘STUFF’, because when it comes to building these Cajun steak tacos, more is definitely more! A bit of spice, a bit of crunch and a tasty dollop of something lusciously creamy is what we love.

Thin steak strips are a no-brainer, especially when tossed with loads of Cape Herb & Spice Louisiana Cajun Rub. Into a hot pan they go along with sliced tri-colour peppers. Then it’s time to build. Shredded lettuce makes an appearance, so too, fresh coriander. But the real pièce de résistance is thick homemade guacamole. In-season, avocados are at their very best and most affordable right now, so there’s no need to skimp. Why not make extra, it’s brilliant on toast for breakfast too.

cajun steak tacos

What you need:


Ripe avocados, mashed
Finely diced red onion
Minced garlic
Finely diced tomato
Chopped coriander leaves
Lemon or lime juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
A generous pinch of salt
A sprinkling from one of the Cape Herb & Spice Chilli Tins (optional)


Beef steak, cut into very thin strips
Red, green & yellow peppers, thinly sliced
Cape Herb & Spice Louisiana Cajun Rub
Olive oil
Taco shells
Shredded lettuce
Fresh coriander
Sour cream or plain yoghurt for drizzling (optional)

What To Do:

Make the guacamole first as it needs time for the flavours to develop. Simply mix all the guacamole ingredients together. The only non-negotiable for a good guacamole is nicely ripe avo. How much you use in the aromatics department (garlic, coriander, chilli and lemon) is up to you, so play until it’s just right for your taste buds. Lemon helps to keep the guacamole from discolouring, so too does limiting oxygen contact. Simply cover the surface with cling film and refrigerate until you use it.

To make the steak filling, generously sprinkle the steak strips with Cape Herb & Spice Louisiana Cajun Rub and give it a very generous glug of olive oil. If time allows, let it rest for at least 15 minutes.

Stir fry the beef over high heat in a non-stick pan, remove and set aside. Tumble the peppers into the same pan and fry until they just start to soften. Stuff the taco shells, topped with lettuce and coriander and serve with loads of guacamole and lemon wedges on the side.

Love this recipe? Check out this recipe for Korma Beef Shin & Potato Pie | Facebook

cajun steak tacos article banner


Nederburg has done it again!  The Paarl winery again features in the esteemed World’s Most Admired Wine Brands top 50 list by Drinks International, a UK-based publication, for a third consecutive year. And in 41st position, Nederburg is the highest placed of the three South African wineries featured on this year’s list.

World’s Most Admired Wine Brands

World’s Most Admired Wine Brands Judges

The judging panel comprised a broad spectrum of global wine professionals, including commercial buyers, importers, wine professionals, masters of wine, journalists and wine educators.

Last year, Nederburg was the only South African winery to appear in this globally-recognised ranking, and in 2016, the first time the winery was featured, it shared the honour with one other South African wine brand.

According to the organisers, to make it into the international line-up of the top 50 wine brands demands consistent or improving quality; a reflection of region or country of origin; a responsiveness to the needs and tastes of target audiences; excellent marketing and packaging; and a strong appeal to a wide demographic.

In Good Company

This achievement puts Nederburg in the company of several of the world’s famous names in wine, including Spain’s Torres, Chile’s Concha Y Toro, the USA’s Robert Mondavi, Argentina’s Trapiche, Australia’s Penfolds, Italy’s Antinori, and French icons Chateau Margaux, Chateau Lafite, Chateau D’Yquem and Chateau Latour.

World’s Most Admired Wine Brands
World’s Most Admired Wine Brands

“Nederburg’s success as one of South Africa’s most pedigreed names in wine, is built on a rich history and tradition of winemaking excellence spanning more than 200 years, and driven by zeal, innovation and sense of ongoing discovery,” says Robyn Bradshaw, global marketing spokesperson for the brand.

“Being highlighted in this prestigious international list of top global wine brands for a third time in a row is a great privilege and honour. Such high-level affirmation for Nederburg is a huge boost as we build the brand’s global presence and profile to retain its relevance, appeal and popularity amongst a wide spectrum of wine consumers.

“The world continues to take note of Nederburg.  Just recently, the 2013 vintage of our Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded the coveted Warren Winiarski Trophy for the best Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2017 International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), judged alongside equivalents from various wine producing countries. The 2014 vintage of the same wine was selected as the “Red Wine of the Year” in the 2018 edition of Platter’s By Diners Club South African Wine Guide, considered the most authoritative guide to South African wine.

“These are some of the accolades we’re very proud of.  There are others too, such as the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards platinum award for the best South African Chenin blanc priced at over £15, achieved by Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes The Anchorman Chenin Blanc 2016,” Bradshaw explains. “This wine commemorates Nederburg’s founder, Philippus Wolvaart, who bought the farm in Paarl in 1791 and planted Chenin blanc, amongst other varietals.”

Join in the Fun at Bot River Barrels & Beards 2018

Run with the bull this year at none other than Bot River Barrels & Beards on Saturday, April 21, when – for the first time ever – this most majestic beast takes centre stage at a Cape Winelands shindig like no other.

Bot River Barrels & Beards 1 x 56No, of course there won’t be any actual el-toro running in the Pamplonic sense (although the antics of the valley’s famously game winemakers may qualify). This whole shebang is an invitation to party, party, party; make new friends; celebrate the end of another bountiful grape harvest; and, do some good in the process.

Bot River Barrels & Beards 2018
Bot River Barrels & Beards 2018

The History of the Bull

The bull referred to here, is the bull in the Bot River Wine Route logo: the link to Bot River’s very foundation. Amongst the Khoisan people, the valley was once called Gouga – the place of cattle; the Dutch made the connection to butter, which led to its modern name. In this sense, the bull represents fertility, virility, leadership and strength. More importantly, it connects the history of all inhabitants of the region for possibly over 1 000 years; a symbol of the meeting of diverse cultures; and, the sense of place offered in every glass of Bot River wine wherever it may be enjoyed around the world.

For Bot River Barrels & Beards this year, the region’s wineries have grabbed the proverbial bull by the horns and incorporated the Taurean theme in every aspect of preparations. It’ll be all barrels, beards and bulls, if you will (perhaps fortuitously, there are no china shops in Bot River as yet).

Bot River Barrels & Beards 2018 1 x 56

The Participants

The amphitheatre for all this pomp and ceremony is Wildekrans Wine Estate, home of excellent wine and hospitality, and features an all-star cast from: Anysbos, goat farmers with a weakness for wine; Arcangeli, a wine producer with a wild Italian heart; Barton, whose Blue Crane logo reflects its eco-farm approach; Beaumont Family Wines, home to the region’s oldest wine cellar; Eerste Hoop; Gabriëlskloof, the courtyard on a koppie; Genevieve MCC, a uniquely Bot River bubbly; Goedvertrouw Wine Estate, the intimate gem of energetic, teetotaller winemaker Elrieda Pillmann; Luddite Wines, champion for dry-land farming; Maremmana Estate, a blend of great wine and an idyllic farm lifestyle; Momento; Paardenkloof Estate, the single vineyard-single variety winery; Rivendell Estate, a blend of Austrian and South African wine tradition; Thorne & Daughters, simple wines with a modern edge; and, Villion Family Wines, a wine producer “tempting fate with faith”.

Bot River Barrels & Beards 2018 1 x 56

The Beneficiaries  

The occasion centres around the auction: the sale of truly special Bot River wines. The auction benefits various school-level educational projects in the region. The meal itself, known as the Botriviera dinner, is a feast of local produce.

This year guests will be able to feast on the food of the valley with tables brimming with local produce and specialities.

Having served as a valuable waystation for centuries, modern Bot River and the Overberg remains an extremely fertile area and in many ways, is still an agricultural breadbasket of the Western Cape.

As for the beards, the tale of how infuriating stubble became tradition begins like most – by chance. The grape harvest waits for no-one – when the fruit is ripe, it must be picked and taken to the cellar. There’s little time for sleep, but it’s a festive time nonetheless as Mother Nature reveals the proof of the preceding season’s work. Time-consuming activities like shaving must take a backseat too, so beards in the vineyards and cellar are not unusual at this time of year.


Bot River Barrels & Beards 2018
Bot River Barrels & Beards 2018

We are traditional

Some eight years ago, Luddite winemaker Niels Verburg declared a challenge to his colleagues in what might also be known as The Great Bot River Beard-off. The challenge has stuck and become a tradition. Now, the winemakers of the close-knit wine region deliberately undertake a self-imposed shaving ban during harvest in preparation for the annual Beard Parade – a contest of great inconsequence and almighty mirth. Some (gasp!) may even cultivate a particular style for this climax of Barrels & Beards.

At the appointed time, a panel of dour and determined judges pluck and pull, stroke and measure. They comb through the phalanx of extended goatees, van dykes, balbos, garibaldis, mutton chops and imperials to finally announce the year’s Best Bot Beard.

Bot River Barrels & Beards 1 x 56Once done, the feast sets in and the shaving ban ends. Hair today, gone tomorrow as they say.

 “We look forward to the Cut the Bull-theme for Barrel & Beards this year, an event to literally let your hair down and meet the winemakers of Bot River in one festive location,” says Bot River Wine Route co-ordinator Melissa Nelsen, the bubbly personality behind Genevieve MCC.

Bot River lies a mere one hour’s drive up the N2 highway from Cape Town. A divine country getaway, the region has long been known for its wine pioneers and mavericks. There are 13 wine farms, most of them family-owned and run, producing world-class wines. Often underestimated, Bot River is also renowned for its conservation initiatives.

Location: Wildekrans Wine Estate
Date: Sat 21 April
Time: 17h00
Tickets: quicket

For enquiries and pre-bookings contact Ilse Henderson at Wildekrans Wine Estate at 028 284 9488 or email

Now cut the bull and get over to Bot River!

Whisky Wednesday’s With Ginja

Calling all whisky fans to a unique Whisky Series Master Class!

Ginja, at the V&A Waterfront, is hosting a whisky series with a difference. #WhiskyWednesdays is a monthly whisky and food pairing tasting session.

This unique event will be hosted by their very own Master of the Quaich, Mr Pierre Meintjes, fondly known as “Mr Whisky”, who will present a selection of blended and single malt whiskies.

Executive Chef, Stefan Muller, has crafted ingenious food combinations for some of the exclusive whiskies that will be presented at #WhiskyWednesdays. Imagine a tasting that includes some of the single malts that make up the recipe for a famous whisky blend.  Add delicious food pairings and you have all the ingredients for pure enjoyment.

For passionate whisky lovers, a fantastic competition will also run throughout the series for entrants to win individual prizes and to be entered to win one grand prize at the end of the series:  a trip to Scotland to see and enjoy whisky distillation first hand.

To stand a chance to win you will need to attend every event.


31 May 2017
28 June 2017
26 July 2017
30 August 2017
27 September 2017
25 October 2017
29 November 2017
21 February 2018

Ticket Price: R295 per person

To book visit Webtickets or email: | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram (Hashtags #ginja #whiskywednesdays #newmark)

20 Restaurants, 20 Countries, 20 Months One Star Arrives in Cape Town

One Star House Party has landed in Cape Town as part of their mission to host 20 restaurants in 20 countries over 20 months. Chef James Sharman and his crew have set up camp in Woodstock to create a two-week only pop-up restaurant offering foodies in the Mother City a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience.

Cape Town is the eighth stop on the One Star House Party world tour, which has seen the team set up pop-up restaurants in China, Vietnam, Thailand, Oman, at the Everest Base Camp in Nepal and most recently on a float in Kenya.

The restaurant in Cape Town, set in a Woodstock loft, will open for dinner from Wednesday, April 26 until Thursday, May 11. The loft space can accommodate up to 50 diners a night and guests can anticipate a seven-course tasting menu, featuring the best local ingredients with a twist – with the details of the Cape Town menu to be revealed on opening night. Interested foodies are advised to book soon to avoid missing out.

Sharman and his team, which includes fellow chef Kevin McCrae and manager Trish McCrae, honed their culinary skills at leading restaurants, most notably Noma in Copenhagen, as well as The Ledbury and Tom Aiken’s in London. The team travels to a new destination each month, erects a pop-up restaurant, develops a tasting menu based on local cuisine and culture, and invites the public to an intimate dinner in their new home. This month it’s Cape Town, next month Florence.

“We apply the techniques we gleaned while working as chefs in some of the world’s best restaurants, to the local food of the country we are in and serve this to our guests,” explains Sharman. “There is a story behind every dish. In our interactive dining experience, there are no waiters. Trish, Kevin and I personally serve each course and share the story and inspiration for the dish with our guests.”

One Star House Party also invites young chefs to join them on their creative journey. Chefs may apply to join a pop-up. If chosen they are flown in to assist for the duration of the event. In Cape Town, the team will be joined by Paul Graham of Scotland and Ellis Maloney of Australia. Those who feel they possess the culinary skills to assist the OSHP crew can apply online via One Star House Party | Facebook

New LINDT Chocolate Boutique & Studio opens at the Silo, V&A Waterfront

LINDT opened the doors to its new Chocolate Boutique & Studio Concept Store at the V&A Waterfront’s Silo District this April. The Master Chocolatier’s new home houses both the classic LINDT Chocolate Boutique, as well as a world first LINDT Chocolate Studio concept, which offers customers a fully immersive chocolate experience.

Lindt Store Silo

Chocolate Connoisseurs in Cape Town will now be able to participate in a variety of exciting classes under the guidance of the LINDT Master Chocolatiers, where they will gain a greater understanding of the LINDT Difference, the chocolate making process, and learn to make their own confectionary treats like pralines, cakes or special desserts to take home Participants will also earn a 10% discount on their purchases from the LINDT Chocolate Boutique & Studio. 

Lindt Store Silo

LINDT Chocolate Classes make the ideal activity for team buildings, corporate or social events such as birthday parties. Special orders can also be arranged from the LINDT Chocolate Boutique.

The LINDT Chocolate Boutique & Studio is a chocolate lover’s dream. Over and above a wide range of LINDOR flavours available in our Pick & Mix display, beautiful gifting ideas for every budget, as well as a range of exclusive products, the new Chocolate Boutique & Studio will also offer visitors the chance to personalise their very own LINDT slabs with a range of high-quality ingredients such as caramelized almonds and hazelnuts, dried cranberries or sea salt. In addition, visitors to the Silo store will be able to delight in decadent treats like freshly made LINDT Hot Chocolate, LINDT Chocolate Shakes and a variety of delicious LINDT pralines, macarons and gelato flavours.

 Another exclusive Silo offering is the new LINDT Rhino, which is only available in South Africa. Lindt & Sprüngli South Africa and Rhino Africa partner to donate R5 each to the Wildlife Act for every Rhino sold.


Delve deeper into the world of LINDT Chocolate and experience the new LINDT Chocolate Studio concept for yourself by visiting the new store. Look out for their class schedule and the opportunity to make your own Lindt chocolates and goodies. | Facebook | Twitter

Crush Advent Calendar Day 19 Win With Benguela on Main

Fine dining restaurant, situated on the bustling Somerset West Main Road, Benguela on Main, incorporates a sophisticated approach to fine dining and wine, creating a haven for gourmands. At the hands of executive chef Jean Delport the regularly changing à la carte menu incorporates classic French and English dishes with a modern twist.

A culinary crusade, Delport ensures each dish has its own unique flair and flavour, integrating an interesting interpretation of delicious ingredients, using fresh, local produce. Every dish is exquisitely plated, with the greatest attention to detail and simply ensures diners are taken on a culinary journey of beautifully paired food and wine. The exclusive chef’s tasting menu is recreated regularly and paired with Benguela Cove wines for a unique gastronomic experience. Delport continuously succeeds in developing food and dishes that match the style of wine.

The renowned concept of wine pairing is perfectly situated at The Taster, on the second floor of the restaurant. A luxury tasting room and wine shop that boasts Benguela Cove wines from Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate situated in Walker Bay, Hermanus. Specifically selected, cheese and chocolate wine pairings are available at The Taster as well as Benguela Cove wines to order at cellar door prices.

Elegant, modern décor sets the mood for diners to relax as they dine in the pristine contemporary restaurant. Benguela on Main offers diners an all-round experience and is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 12h00 to 14h30 for lunch and 18h30 to 21h00 for dinner. The Taster is also open for wine tastings and sales, Tuesday to Saturday from 12h00 to 21h00. | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate is situated in _ _ _ _ _ _ Bay, Hermanus.

Banner Advent


Crush Advent Calendar Day 14 Win With The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

The Hottest Table Under Table Mountain
Conventional wisdom states that if you can’t take the heat, it’s best to stay out of the kitchen, but at Belmond Mount Nelson, they think differently. In fact, the hotel’s chefs encourage guests to indulge in the famed cuisine in the heart of their kitchens. The Chef’s Table restaurant is an intimate and slightly edgy culinary encounter – chefs in their element, no pretensions – a truly memorable foodie experience.

The spectacle begins as you make your way “behind the scenes” to an area adjacent to the sizzling action-packed hotel kitchens. Here guests have the opportunity to watch the preparation and execution of many different dishes. Then, the chefs personally present your sublime plates, whilst remaining easily accessible to share cooking tips, anecdotes and the inspiration behind each dish. It’s raw, intimate and personal.

The Chef’s Table Restaurant is available to book for anywhere between one to twelve guests. Each Chef’s Table restaurant dining experience consists of a unique, five course menu, designed with local tasty ingredients – some are foraged, some are new on the market, all are seasonal and fresh.

This is perfect if you are looking for a distinctively different gourmet experience. A bespoke Chef’s Table restaurant lunch or dinner also makes an ideal gift for serious gourmands and bon vivants.

The Chef’s Table restaurant is open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner and reservations are essential. | Facebook | Twitter


How many courses are included in the Chef’s Table menu?

Clue: _ _ _ _

Cocktails in a bottle, introducing Original Mason’s

Cocktails in a bottle, introducing Original Mason’s, an ingeniously refreshing mix between cocktail and spritzer, Original Mason’s combines classic cocktail flavours and contemporary style like no other ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage on the shelves today. This exciting new range is launching with four of your favourite cocktail flavours:

Cuban Mojito, a refreshing Cuban classic infused with lime and mint. Best served on ice with a sprig of fresh mint.
Moscow Mule, a kick of fiery ginger cut with a dash of lime juice. Best served on ice with a slice of fresh lime.

Mule Cocktails in a bottle, introducing Original Mason’s
Mule Cocktails in a bottle, introducing Original Mason’s

Grand Cosmo, the perfect blend of fresh cranberry, orange and lime. Best served on ice with a twist of orange peel.
Piña Colada, the ultimate tropical mix of coconut and pineapple. Best served on ice with a wedge of pineapple.

Mason Cosmo Cocktails in a bottle, introducing Original Mason’s
Mason Pina Colada Cocktails in a bottle, introducing Original Mason’s

Original Mason’s will be available at select TOPS at SPAR stores across the Western Cape from mid-November. | Facebook |

SA Brandies Make the Test Kitchen Home

Six years since The Test Kitchen first opened its doors in Cape Town, this Best Restaurant in Africa and the 22nd Best Restaurant in the world has undergone a complete design metamorphosis. With a new sensory concept “dark” room and it’s elegant 40 seater “light” room that is now only open for dinner service, Luke Dale-Roberts has embraced South Africa’s finest brandies and added them to The Test Kitchen’s offering.

The Test Kitchen is where Dale-Roberts has showcased his skill and expert technique in the kitchen to pay homage to flavour and inspiration in the creation of unique dining that go beyond what is presented on each plate. The restaurant’s new offering will be an intimate dining experience that Dale-Roberts hopes will be a complete offering. “The new concept of The Test Kitchen is an all-in experience,” he says. “It’s like being invited to someone’s home.”

Part of that all-in experience is a chance for guests to enjoy the unique flavour of South African brandies.

With Test Kitchen performing consistently globally in the Top 50 restaurants, and Luke’s whole focus on local excellence, it is a natural fit for our top South African brandies.  Our brandies regularly perform exceptionally well on the global stage, and The Test Kitchen is a perfect space to introduce connoisseurs to our products,” says Christelle Reade-Jahn, Director of the SA Brandy Foundation.

“Brandy is the perfect way to end a meal,” says Reade-Jahn. “It is a natural digestif and pairs incredibly well with dessert and chocolates.  The aromas in our brandies will enhance the dessert offering and leave the guest with a glimpse into the world of brandy excellence.”


Served on a special trolley dedicated to these brandies, sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka will present guests with both blue chip South African brandies as well as Karoo Craft brands to round off their meal.

South African brandies continue to achieve top accolades on the world stage. I believe this is true testament to its quality and authenticity. At The Test Kitchen we also strive for quality and perfection,” says Nyamudoka.

The brandy offering is part of the new set menu on offer at The Test Kitchen and once guests have found the brandy they love, the bottle is theirs to enjoy as they round off their meal.

I try to showcase smaller distilleries,” says Nyamudoka about the selection of brandies on The Test Kitchen’s menu. “On the brandy trolley, I am able to offer some of SA’s finest Brandies varying in style and age. With it, I want to raise awareness about the quality brandy we produce in South Africa,” he adds.

To keep things interesting, we keep introducing new products to the trolley,” says Reade-Jahn. “For the launch event, the selection includes this year’s winners of the Best Brandy trophies at both the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) and International Spirits Challenge (ISC) in London, and then a selection of smaller producers”.

There’s something special about a product that has been locally produced, where you can tell someone has taken special care and put a lot of love into it,” says Dale-Roberts about his decision to welcome local brandies into The Test Kitchen. A decision that perfectly mirrors the special care and love that Dale-Roberts has poured into his culinary pursuit | Facebook | Twitter