The slow months of the winter season can often usher in changes in the restaurant industry. Closures, renovations, relocations and new openings are part and parcel of this time of year.
As our dynamic industry grows, newcomers are welcomed and old legends are celebrated. We’ve seen Chris Erasmus, former executive chef at 2013 Top 10 restaurantPierneef à La Motte, move on to pursue his dream of opening his own spot. We really look forward to seeing what Chris has in store at forest-to-table-themed Foliage.
Another hot bit of gossip was around the opening of a new bistro in Cape Town’s Foreshore. With a chef who trained under Heston Blumenthal and worked at The Fat Duck and The Pot Luck Club, Borage is getting some worthy attention.
The movers and shakers in the culinary world tend to be a hot topic at dinner parties, sometimes leading to unfounded and off-the-mark rumours. To help you get your facts straight, we’ve rounded up a list of confirmed openings, closures and other changes at notable eateries around the country.
Rumour has it
Contrary to some unfounded rumours, Bistrot Bizerca is alive and well in its new spot on Heritage Square.
Borage, a new restaurant on the Cape Town’s foreshore, is not owned by Heston Blumenthal as talk would have it. Rather, head chef Frank Marks worked under Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck (former no. 1 restaurant in the world) and at The Pot Luck Club before opening Borage.
Movements and closures in Johannesburg
The Four Seasons Hotel will be opening at the end of 2014 in Johannesburg. There will be five new locally inspired restaurants, bars and lounges. The culinary team will be presided over by executive chef Dirk Gieselmann, a native of Germany and most recently of the three Michelin star L’Auberge de I’ll in Illhaeusern, France. Passionate about seasonality and local provenance, Dirk is currently foraging the farms and markets of the city and surrounding countryside and acquiring the best possible ingredients on which to base his menus.
Caffe Milano in Kloof Street will close at the end of May. Chef Giorgio Nava is planning to reinvent this space as Carne Bistro. The change comes in order to meet the demand for lunches and to handle the dinner overflow from Carne SA, which is a smaller space. The new menu will include daily specials and the fare will be somewhat lighter than that of Carne SA.
Harbour House Group has welcomed Spanish chef Andres Condé as group executive chef from June 2014. Condé worked previously at elBulli, where he was second in command to Albert Adrià. More recently Condé was Head Chef at the Michelin-starred Tickets tapas restaurant and the adjoining 41° Bar in Barcelona, both owned by the Adrià brothers.
La Colombe will end its tenure at Constantia Uitsig at the end of June due to the estate being sold to new owners. La Colombe will move to new premises in Constantia and plans to be up and running again by September. Watch this space.
The Five Flies has closed down after unsuccessfully changing owners.
Mr Pickwicks has closed its doors in Green Market Square and opened in Kloof Street.
Newport Market and Deli in Mouille Point has closed down.
River Café on the Constantia Uitsig estate closed at the end of April. Neil Grant of Burrata has confirmed that he will be taking over, changing its name (still a secret) and opening the doors again in September or October.
Barouche in Stellenbosch will be closing down on 31 May.
No. 10 restaurant Pierneef à La Motte has appointed Michelle Theron as executive chef as from May 2014. (She takes over from Chris Erasmus, who resigned to open his own forest-to-plate restaurant called Foliage.)
At Overture, Adele Grewar, who was chef Bertus Basson’s sous chef at our no. 7 restaurant, has moved on from the restaurant to pursue a career in Australia.
Temporary closures (for winter or renovations) in the Western Cape
Balducci’s at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town will be closed for renovations for a month from 29 June until end-July.
Country Kitchen on the Mont Rochelle estate will be closed for refurbishment until August 2014. (The estate has been bought by Virgin and added to the brand’s Limited Edition collection of luxury hotels.)
The Bungalow at Clifton in Cape Town will be closed for winter until 1 September.