Crazy coffees and a new TV show for chefs

As I was rushing back to the office yesterday after the Chopped South Africa launch (more on that later), I bumped into a couple of Eat Out colleagues, copy editor Linda and editor-in-chief Anelde, who were gushing about a drink they’d just encountered.

Comprising a double espresso, spoonful of peanut butter, scoops of ice cream and sprinkling of white chocolate chips, it was called the Amy – named after Amy Winehouse, because it’s crazy, according to the waiter – and is yours for the taking at Hard Pressed Café.

One of the new additions to bustling Bree Street, in the spanking new Portside building, Hard Pressed Café is a very cool new coffee shop with wooden furnishings, board games and shelves of vinyl records. Its neighbours in the gorgeous glass structure include quite a few new bakeries, coffee shops (yes, another vida e caffe), and restaurants, including Borage and Active Sushi.

I visited Hard Pressed Café last week and was suitably impressed with their iced coffee, which was served in a jar with my name chalked on it. Icy, strong and topped with milky froth, it went down well – especially with the heavenly peanut butter, marshmallow and chocolate slice that I was treated to. I will be back for that, and to try the delicious double espresso-peanut-chocolate madness that is Amy.

The coffee counter at Hard Pressed Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The coffee counter at Hard Pressed Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Something I’m also looking forward to is the new TV series Chopped South Africa, as I love the American version. The local show will follow the same format, with each episode tasking four chefs with turning everyday ingredients into a fabulous three-course meal. After each course, a contestant gets chopped, until the last person standing claims the cash prize.

The contestants will be judged by food celebrities, including Jenny Morris (a judge of last year’s Eat Out Restaurant Awards)*. It’ll be great to see our South African chefs given a platform to shine. Tune in for the premiere next week Wednesday 23 July at 9pm on the Food Network.


*This blog was amended on Wednesday 16 July 2014 to remove reference to Reuben Riffel, who was originally announced by Food Network as a judge but does not appear in the show.

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