INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANT AWARD PUTS THE SOUTHERN KALAHARI ON THE CULINARY MAP – RESTAURANT KLEIN JAN HONOURED AT LA LISTE AWARDS 2022 AS ‘INTERNATIONAL HIDDEN GEM’
Cape Town, 3 December 2021; Kalahari is proud to announce that Restaurant Klein JAN was honoured at the prestigious gala evening in Paris on 29 November 2021. With South Africa’s first Michelin-star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen at the helm, the restaurant was awarded as the ‘International Hidden Gem.’
Described as a ‘restaurant worth going an extra mile for’, Klein JAN is situated in the middle of South Africa’s largest privately owned reserve dedicated to conservation and research. Klein Jan was launched in April 2021 and is an exciting collaborative project between chef Jan Hendrik and Kalahari.
Creating Restaurant Klein JAN at Tswalu has been the South African-born Jan Hendrik’s great homecoming project. Growing up on a farm, he felt an instant connection to the vastness of the Kalahari and knew that the time had come to return the spirit of JAN – his Michelin-star restaurant in Nice, France – to home soil. The Kalahari felt like a blank canvas with unlimited possibilities, he said.
Every taste at Tswalu Kalahari is a reminder of South Africa’s culinary heritage, interpreted in a fresh, modern way. Tswalu’s executive chef, Marnus Scholly, and Jan Hendrik spent two years delving into the authentic flavours, heritage foods and ingredients in the Northern Cape.
“The idea behind Klein JAN is to celebrate local and foster a sense of community. Our suppliers are the real heroes and have become part of the greater Tswalu family, which includes the talented teams behind Klein JAN and Tswalu. Being recognised as the world’s Hidden Gem will keep on motivating us to do better, to learn more from nature, and to keep searching for authentic stories from the Kalahari to tell. It is a privilege to convey the Kalahari’s unique sense of place to the world.” – Marnus Scholly, Executive Chef, Tswalu Kalahari
In true ‘hidden gem’ fashion, the restaurant has a magnificent root cellar at its core. This subterranean storehouse is stocked with all the ingredients destined for the plate, many of them cured, preserved or pickled in-house. Storytelling is a fundamental aspect of the dining journey, bringing to life all these region-specific ingredients on a multi-course, seasonal menu.
Dining at Klein JAN is a culinary adventure from start to finish with different courses – visual works of art – served in theatrical, interactive spaces. As part of their stay, Tswalu’s guests get to enjoy one complimentary dinner at Klein JAN, adding a unique dimension to a safari of a lifetime in the southern Kalahari. With the addition of this destination dining room to the guest experience, the culinary traditions and ingredients of the Northern Cape have become the shining stars of a seasonal menu rooted in local culture.
The wide, open spaces of Tswalu Kalahari have long drawn those seeking a deeply layered, immersive safari. Transformed by summer rain, the green Kalahari is nature at its most diverse and surprising, and to spend time here is to be touched by exuberant, soulful beauty.
Through a vision of restoration and biodiversity conservation, Tswalu Kalahari is striving to protect this breathtaking wilderness for future generations. A commitment to celebrating local provenance, heritage and culture, as part of Tswalu’s journey towards greater sustainability, makes the reserve the perfect home for Klein JAN.
Chefs Warehouse Tintswalo Atlantic was voted ‘Africa’s Best New Restaurant’ in the 2021 World Culinary Awards. Earlier this year it was also included in the coveted Condé Nast Traveller Readers Awards 2021 as one of the Best New Restaurants in the World.
Sister-event to the World Travel Awards, the World Culinary Awards serves to celebrate and reward excellence in the culinary industry and aims to foster growth, innovations and best practice on a global scale. The programme recognizes the full spectrum of the global culinary sector with categories ranging from Best Culinary Destination and Best Hotel Restaurant, to Best Rooftop Restaurant and Best Landmark Restaurant.
Few places in the world offer dining so close to the wild Atlantic Ocean as Chefs Warehouse Tintswalo Atlantic. On site at the iconic Tintswalo Atlantic boutique lodge on Cape Town’s Chapman’s Peak Drive, it boasts a breathtaking location on the shoreline within the Table Mountain National Park.
Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic features Liam Tomlin’s fine-dining quality global tapas concept, brought to table by Head Chef Braam Beyers. Ingredients are fresh, local and sustainable, paying homage to the ocean at its doorstep. As a multi-sensory dining experience on the sprawling wooden deck, here guests may immerse themselves in the idyllic views and fresh sea breeze, or dine in the contemporary dining room in cooler weather. The décor is elegant and understated, allowing the ocean, mountain, fynbos and the unique food and wine experience to shine as the star attractions.
The Marine Hotel in Hermanus is celebrating World Vegan Month (November) with a new, plant-based menu created by Executive Chef Rudi Blaauw. Part of The Liz McGrath Collection, The Marine is one of South Africa’s most spectacular seaside hotels and is a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
The 1st of November is recognised globally as World Vegan Day to mark the establishment of the Vegan Society in 1944. It was in those early days that the phrases ‘vegan’ and ‘veganism’ were first coined. Now, more than 70 years later, the benefits of veganism for humans and the natural environment are widely known and chefs all over the world are preparing creative vegan menus to meet the increasing demand from health-conscious diners.
Newly appointed as Executive Chef at The Marine’s famed Origins Restaurant, Rudi Blaauw says he focuses on the quality of the produce, letting that shine and allowing creativity to follow. Blaauw brings with him extensive experience gained at two Relais & Châteaux properties, including five years as Executive Sous Chef at Delaire Graff Estate’s famed Indochine Restaurant in the Cape Winelands, followed by his most recent tenure as Executive Chef at Ellerman House in Cape Town.
The vegan a la carte menu at The Marine includes options such as Tandoori cauliflower steak with spiced black lentils, sultana relish and chickpea crisps; or Quinoa & baby beetroot salad with apple, walnuts, fennel, mustard vinaigrette and celery as starters.
For main course diners may choose between Ancient grain risotto with roast pumpkin, arugula, pomegranate seeds, pecorino and broccoli; Grilled baby kohlrabi, artichoke gratin, miso velouté, baby fennel and heirloom tomato; or Spinach, sweet potato, chickpea dhal, coriander raita, tomato salsa and poppadums. A selection of vegan-friendly wines is available for perfect pairings.
A choice between a selection of Sorbets with seasonal fruit and coconut gel; or Coconut frozen gateau with date & pecan crust and pina colada gel, ends a light, healthy and delicious meal on a sweet note.
2021 saw the dawning of a new era for The Liz McGrath Collection with the appointment of talented new head chefs at each of the three hotels. This has raised the culinary bar within The Collection to the point where The Cellars-Hohenort in Constantia (Cape Town), The Marine in Hermanus, and The Plettenberg in Plettenberg Bay, are now individually recognised as gourmet destinations in their own right, offering world-class dining in unique settings that are nothing short of breath-taking.
As proud members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, each of the three 5-star hotels boasts a unique location, intriguing history, splendid design, and amenities and services that are second to none. They are known for their individually designed, sophisticated interiors, the most luxurious accommodations, award-winning gardens and the warm South African hospitality which has always been synonymous with The Liz McGrath Collection.
Tronette Dippenaar has been appointed as Executive Chef at The Cellars-Hohenort restaurant, The Conservatory in Cape Town. It is her first appointment as Executive Chef, and a continuation of a celebrated career within the Liz McGrath Collection, having worked at each of the three sister-hotels over the past 13 years. Her charismatic and energetic approach to food and service inspires her team as they work on seasonal offerings, as well as the much-loved, signature dishes that include the founder, the late Mrs McGrath’s famed Boland Cheese Soufflé with Gin Cheese Sauce.
She says her food philosophy may be summarised as ‘fresh is best’. ‘My menu is uncomplicated and unpretentious, and my dishes are full of flavour. I stay true to South African cuisine, which I like to present with a modern twist. Growing up on a farm gave me a deep appreciation of produce and where it comes from, including the time and effort invested into growing nutritious vegetables and fruit.’ She chooses a hearty, meaty dish as her favourite on the new menu at The Conservatory. ‘Taste of the Overberg’ is proudly South African, comprising lamb served three ways: slow braised lamb shoulder; grilled cutlet of lamb; and pulled leg of lamb; served with silky, creamed potatoes, minted pea puree, baby carrots, ratatouille, black garlic and lamb jus.
At the The Marine Hotel in South Africa’s whale-watching capital, Hermanus, newly appointed Executive Chef Rudolph Blaauw is in charge of the kitchens at its famed restaurants Origins and The Pavilion. He brings extensive experience gained at two Relais & Châteaux properties in South Africa.Paying homage to its spectacular seaside location, The Marine supports ethical fishing and buys from local fishermen who catch fish by the line. ‘My new menu is inspired by our suppliers and the local produce. I like to have stories attached to dishes and create a menu that’s exciting for diners, but also for our chef team too, encouraging them to experiment with flavours and learn new techniques’, Chef Blaauw says.
Starters include fresh seafood, whilst main courses are divided into specialities from ‘The Sea’ and ‘The Land,’ with dishes highlighting the produce of the Overberg area. Rounding off the menu is a selection of mouth-watering desserts, including the chef’s personal favourite – Wesley’s Fynbos Canelés de Bordeaux with Madagascar vanilla ice cream and honey gummi bears of the region.
Further along the coast on the famed Garden Route, Kyle Macaskill has been promoted to Executive Chef at Plettenberg Bay’s landmark boutique hotel, The Plettenberg. He has worked his way up the ranks within The Liz McGrath Collection, having spent the last eleven years in the kitchens of sister property The Cellars-Hohenort.
Macaskill says he finds it deeply satisfying to create art on a plate. ‘I enjoy experimenting with food and my aim is to execute the perfect marriage of flavours, using local produce to create dishes that will entice the senses. From sight to smell to taste, I like to create a memorable experience for the diner, leaving them wanting to come back for more.’
The Restaurant at The Plettenberg is renowned for its ocean bounty, drawing inspiration from the rich marine life that can be found in Plettenberg Bay. New signature dishes include Klein Karoo springbok loin with fynbos cream potatoes, red cabbage marmalade, slow-roasted baby tomatoes, field mushrooms, string beans and a port reduction, or Sesame-encrusted Norwegian salmon served with black garlic risotto, citrus rocket salad, umami beans and an orange-teriyaki reduction.
Dining at any of the three hotels within The Liz McGrath Collection, guests have the opportunity to enjoy modern South African cooking with menus that cater for all tastes, including vegetarian and vegan options. Expert wine pairing is available too, featuring an extensive selection of South Africa’s top vintages, as well as some international favourites.
Reservations are also invited from non-resident guests for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as well as High Tea and picnics.
Tintswalo Safari Lodge is retaining its spot as one of the Top 20 Resorts in South Africa, while Tintswalo Atlantic was included in the Top 30 Hotels in Southern Africa list for the first time. Earlier this year, Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic also received international recognition when it was named one of the best new restaurants in the world on the Condé Nast Traveller Hot List 2021.
The Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. In this year’s competition, more than 800,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the globe.
Tintswalo’s bush and beach boutique properties are situated in some of South Africa’s most magnificent, unspoiled locations. Lisa Goosen, the CEO of Tintswalo Lodges says: ‘Tintswalo is a small, family-owned and managed conservation tourism company and we have some of the best management and staff in the luxury safari and travel industry on our team. We are delighted to add the prestigious 2021 Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards to our growing list of accolades and are proud to offer our guests a unique Tintswalo experience to showcase our beautiful country.’
In the local Shangaan language, the name Tintswalo means ‘the intangible feeling of love, gratitude and peace bestowed upon someone offering you a meaningful and worthy gift.’
THE LIZ McGRATH COLLECTION HOTELS INCLUDED IN TOP 30 HOTELS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA (2021 CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS)
Condé Nast Traveler has announced the results of its prestigious 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards, and once again, each of the three hotels within The Liz McGrath Collection was voted one of the top hotels in all of Southern Africa.
This year, Hermanus’ favourite boutique hotel, The Marine, made great strides moving into 4th place with a score of 99.28, while sister-hotels The Cellars-Hohenort retained its spot at number 15, and The Plettenberg holding the 24th place.
The Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. More than 800,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the globe to provide a full snapshot about the places they can’t wait to return to next. The 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards are published on the Condé Nast Traveler’s website and celebrated in the November issue of the magazine.
‘The results of the 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards demonstrate the travel experiences that international readers longed for most when they couldn’t travel, and decided to do first once they could. These accolades come at a most important time while we are preparing to welcome back more international guests to South Africa’, says Jacqui Elliot, CEO of the The Liz McGrath Collection. ‘We are very appreciative of these votes, as well as the loyal support we have had from the local market during the last year. We are seeing a pick-up in reservations enquiries from the international markets and are looking forward to a good summer season.’
TALENTED EXECUTIVE CHEF TRONETTE DIPPENAAR APPOINTED TO ‘RUN THE PASS’ AT THE CELLARS-HOHENORT’S RESTAURANT, THE CONSERVATORY
Tronette Dippenaar has been appointed as Executive Chef at The Cellars-Hohenort restaurant, The Conservatory in Cape Town. The appointment is a continuation of her celebrated career within the Liz McGrath Collection, which started in 2008 when she first joined the group as Chef de Partie at The Marine in Hermanus.
Over the past 13 years she has come up through the ranks, having worked at each of the three sister-hotels. After taking up her second position within the Collection, she was promoted to Head Chef at The Plettenberg. This was followed by her first stint at The Cellars-Hohenort, where she assisted the Head Chef for a few months before The Liz McGrath Collection took on the management contract of the historic Lord Milner Hotel in Matjiesfontein. Tronette and her husband Johan Dippenaar worked closely with the late Mrs McGrath to fine tune the Matjiesfontein product, managing a soft refurbishment and re-organising the kitchen, as well as creating new menus as the appointed Head Chef. At the conclusion of the three-year management contract, Dippenaar returned to The Marine in Hermanus as Head Chef, a position she held for the past five years, until she took up the reins at the Cellars-Hohenort.
Her extensive experience and long association with the Liz McGrath Collection places her perfectly to take The Conservatory to greater culinary heights. Her responsibilities include not only the popular Conservatory Restaurant, but also overseeing High Teas and picnics, as well as catering for the special occasions, weddings and private celebrations that the hotel is famous for. Her charismatic and energetic approach to food and service is set to inspire her team as they work on new seasonal offerings, as well as the much-loved, signature dishes that include the late Mrs McGrath’s famed Boland Cheese Soufflé with Gin Cheese Sauce.
After growing up on a farm in Robertson, Tronette Dippenaar attended Tygerberg Hotel School before embarking on her culinary career at The Agulhas Country Lodge. As an aspiring young chef, she kicked off her career by gaining two years’ international experience in Scotland at Relais & Châteux property, Kinnaird Estate.
She says her food philosophy may be summarised as ‘fresh is best’. ‘My menu is uncomplicated and unpretentious, and my dishes are full of flavour. I stay true to South African cuisine, which I like to present with a modern twist. Growing up on a farm gave me a deep appreciation of produce and where it comes from, including the time and effort invested into growing nutritious vegetables and fruit.’
She chooses a hearty, meaty dish as her favourite on the new menu at The Conservatory. ‘Taste of the Overberg’ is proudly South African, comprising lamb served three ways: slow braised lamb shoulder; grilled cutlet of lamb; and pulled leg of lamb; served with silky, creamed potatoes, minted pea puree, baby carrots, ratatouille, black garlic and lamb jus.
Reservations are available at The Conservatory, which is open daily for breakfast, lunch and Dinner, as well as High Tea.
For the second consecutive year, Brookdale Estate received the coveted Tim Atkin nod for its Chenin Blancs. Both wines in the stable scored above 90 in the 2021 report on South African wines, compiled by the renowned British Master of Wine, wine judge and commentator.
Flagship Brookdale Chenin Blanc 2019 retains a solid rating of 93 for the same vintage judged by Tim Atkin in 2020. It was however the Brookdale Mason Road Chenin Blanc which made great strides this year, the 2020 vintage having broken through the 90’s bar to walk away with a score of 91, improving last year’s score of 88 for the previous vintage (2019).
Brookdale is a very young estate, and winemaker Kiara Scott and her team is working hard at innovation and improving each vintage. A true Cinderella story, the farm was once overgrown and underused. The Rudd family, originally from the United Kingdom, recognised the potential of the property and acquired the 67-hectare estate in 2015. Their vision was to create a world-class country estate producing fine wines, starting with a single block of old-vine Chenin Blanc, currently estimated to be about 36 years old, which was saved to become the maiden release in 2017. New vineyards were planted on the estate, including more Chenin Blanc which has once again proved that it thrives in this terroir, set above Paarl against the dramatic backdrop of the Klein Drakenstein mountains.
The Marine Hotel in Hermanus has appointed Rudolph Blaauw as Executive Chef to oversee all culinary operations, including the famed restaurants Origins and The Pavilion. The Marine, a member of The Liz McGrath Collection, is one of South Africa’s most spectacular seaside hotels and is a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Chef Rudi brings with him extensive experience gained at two Relais & Châteaux properties, including five years as Executive Sous Chef at Delaire Graff Estate’s famed Indochine Restaurant in the Cape Winelands. During his most recent tenure as Executive Chef at Ellerman House in Cape Town, he worked alongside his mentor, Relais & Châteuax Grand Chef Peter Templehoff. Prior to Ellerman House, Templehoff raised the culinary bar at The Liz McGrath Collection during eleven years as Executive Chef at the award-winning Greenhouse at The Cellars Hohenort, sister property to The Marine and The Plettenberg.
From an early age Rudi Blaauw learned the tricks of the trade from his father, who also was a professional chef. The young apprentice cook completed his training at what was then known as The Mountain Manor Hotel in Franschhoek, now Le Franschhoek. During the past 20 years as a chef, he also gained valuable international experience working as a private chef in Qatar and the UK. When asked about his food philosophy, it’s an easy answer for this Chef who concentrates on the quality of the produce, letting that shine and believing that creativity will follow.
At The Marine’s Origins Restaurant, Chef Rudi has introduced a new a la carte menu, which includes what Chef Rudi describes as ‘everyday’ favourites that showcase local flavours. ‘My new menu is inspired by our suppliers and the local produce. I like to have stories attached to dishes and create a menu that’s exciting for diners, but also for our chef team too, encouraging them to experiment with flavours and learn new techniques.’
Paying homage to its seaside location, The Marine likes to support ethical fishing and buy from local fishermen who catch fish by the line. Starters focus on fresh seafood, followed by a section dedicated to a variety of interesting and healthy salads. Main courses are divided into specialties from ‘The Sea’ and ‘The Land,’ with dishes highlighting the produce of the Overberg.
Rounding off the menu is a selection of mouth-watering desserts, including the Chef’s personal favourite – Wesley’s Fynbos Canelés de Bordeaux with Madagascar vanilla ice cream and gummi bears of the region.
‘The idea behind our canelé dessert is for our guests to prepare the palate and enjoy a small honey tasting before they indulge in the dessert. The honey that we use is supplied by Wesley Abrahams, our very own Sous Chef in the kitchen, a beekeeper in his spare time, who oversees the honey production from start to the final product. The ‘honey gummi bears’ are created by using three different types of honey, from different regions. It starts with the multi-floral honey from Betty’s Bay, then Blue Gum honey from Stanford, and our favourite – fynbos honey from the Hemel-en- Aarde Valley. It brings a distinctive and delicious, playful element to this small French pastry as a showstopper dish with an intriguing element of local storytelling to it.’
The Marine has ongoing special offers and themed evenings that are popular with locals and visitors alike, including fresh Fish & Chips Fridays, Roasting Sundays, and Food & Wine pairing events to showcase the wines of the region. Believing firmly that the time to support local is now, Chef Blaauw invites patrons to enjoy his expertly prepared menu of ‘simple pleasures’. This celebration of the produce and talented artisans of the area comes together perfectly in a menu centred around the origins of fine food.
Kyle Macaskill has been promoted to Head Chef at Plettenberg Bay’s landmark boutique hotel, The Plettenberg. With 16 years of solid industry experience to his name, of which the last eleven years was in the kitchens of sister property The Cellars-Hohenort, this appointment, his first as head chef, demonstrates the excellent scope for career opportunities and progression within The Liz McGrath Collection.
Macaskill trained at the South African Chefs Academy and completed an Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts under Garth Stroebel and Paul Hartmann. His first four years of work experience was notched up in other leading fine dining restaurants in Cape Town, including The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, where he worked as Chef de Partie. This was followed by a stint as Head Pastry Chef at Bruce Robertson’s fine dining restaurant The Showroom, and Senior Pastry Chef at Mike Bassett’s Myoga restaurant at the Vineyard Hotel.
His tenure with the Liz McGrath Collection kicked off in 2010 with his appointment as Junior Pastry Chef at The Cellars-Hohenort. After a short while he progressed to Head of Pastry at the hotel’s famed restaurant, The Conservatory, and over the years, he worked his way up to Junior Sous Chef and then Senior Sous Chef, a position he held for the past three years.
Macaskill says he is dedicated to his craft and finds it deeply satisfying to create art on a plate. ‘I enjoy experimenting with food and my aim is to execute the perfect marriage of flavours, using local produce to create dishes that will entice the diner’s senses. From sight to smell to taste, I like to create a memorable experience for the diner, leaving them wanting to come back for more.’
New items on the menu at The Plettenberg include Chef Kyle’s Klein Karoo springbok loin with fynbos cream potatoes, red cabbage marmalade, slow-roasted baby tomatoes, field mushrooms, string beans and a port reduction. He predicts that his new Sesame-encrusted Norwegian salmon is destined to become a signature dish too, served with black garlic risotto, citrus rocket salad, umami beans and an orange-teriyaki reduction.
The Restaurant at The Plettenberg is renowned for its ocean bounty, drawing inspiration from the rich marine life that can be found in Plettenberg Bay. The indoor dining section offers beautiful views of the pool and ocean, while the outdoor terrace is perfect for alfresco dinners, with mesmerising ocean vistas – especially at sunset.