OUT TO LUNCH
A Chef’s Table with Chef de Cuisine Victoria Stott at the exclusive, urban chic resort One&Only Cape Town with Cape Legends and Le Bonheur’s Winemaker Lauren Snyman
Executive Chef Jason Millar, who will be opening the new Waldorf-Astoria in Beijing, said his goodbyes and introduced us to their Candidate Chef Michele Jeftha and Candidate Wine Steward Tinashe Nyamudoka with Reuben’s sterling Chef de Cuisine Victoria Stott and Winemaker Lauren Snyman. Jason has been a thoughtful and caring mentor to our ‘One&Only Reaching for Young Stars’ students and we wish him luck in his exciting, new position.
THE INTER HOTEL CHALLENGE
WITH ONE&ONLY CAPE TOWN
AND LE BONHEUR
Ten of Cape Town’s most gorgeous, most luxurious and most socially aware hotels, deeply involved in upliftment programmes, are enthusiastically taking part in The Inter Hotel Challenge, which embraces their initiative providing a fresh platform for home grown talent and nurturing building of skills. They arrive, often with little education and few skills, at the bottom of the ladder. These trainees, representative of our multi faceted cultures each with their unique culinary heritage, provide the backbone of our hotel kitchens and beyond. From these small beginnings to successful careers! Click here to find out more about the challenge.
Candidate Chef Michele Jeftha tells us, "You would find me in the kitchen as a little girl cooking with my mother and my grandmother. My mom died when I was 12 years old and I became responsible for the household. I had to ensure there was food on the table for my 6 year old sister, my aunt and granny as well as my dad when he came home after work. I can’t say I had a normal childhood. Life was tough, but it made me stronger."
Michele’s love of cooking grew and so did her interest in law. "When I turned 18, I thought I would study cheffing and then law. Not a chance, this is a consuming job! After completing a hospitality course I joined a guesthouse in Bantry Bay. A great experience as it was only their Head Chef and myself. Onto the UK, an eye opener, working in a huge kitchen, understanding the requirements to succeed as a chef."
When One&Only Cape Town opened its doors she became Demi Chef for their signature restaurant Maze and 18 months later became Chef de Partie. The Inter Hotel Challenge is her first competition. "Not only are we representing ourselves, we also have Chef Vicky and the One&Only Cape Town to live up to. It’s exciting but daunting," says Michele.
Candidate Wine Steward Tinashe Nyamudoka grew up in a culture that knew nothing about wine. "During my first interview as a waiter, I didn’t even know you got red and white grapes!" His five year ongoing learning experience has been intense. He showed great enthusiasm and a passion to learn. Over time he did one wine course after another, putting himself through the Cape Wine Academy. Now he is training to become a Sommelier and working with veterans such as Andre Bekker, Eric Botha and Luvo Ntezo.
"I like to think I have borrowed a little from each of their personalities, developing a style of my own. When I arrived at the One&Only, there were almost 6000 bottles of wine and a wine list more than 40 pages long. Each time I went into the cellar I found there was something more to learn and read about."
"I’m looking forward to my ‘one on one’ experience with Lauren Snyman at Le Bonheur with Carolyn Miller-Krogh," says Tinashe.
Carolyn Miller-Krogh Brand Ambassador for Cape Legends with Robin Thomas Resort Manager, One&Only Cape Town. Gwen Job Brand Manager of Le Bonheur with Marketing Manager Ross Sleet and newly appointed Winemaker of Le Bonheur Lauren Snyman.
One&Only Cape Town, part of a worldwide group of One&Only ultra luxurious hotels, is becoming a much valued part of the landscape of Cape Town. Stylish, warm and hospitable where charismatic Reuben Riffel has his signature restaurant, Reuben’s, host to the annual ‘One&Only Reaching for Young Stars’. This competition is an integral part of dynamic General Manager Clive Bennett’s vision for the nurturing of up and coming chefs and wine stewards in the hotel industry, recognising the role that hotels play in providing a platform for aspirational and focused young people, future culinary ambassadors for South African Tourism.
Winners of the Rapid Fire quiz with John Maytham on 567 Cape Talk Dylin Kuni and Rodney Hess enjoying a glass of Desiderius Pongrácz Méthode Cap Classique. Annette Kesler Editor Showcook.com with Dagmar Schumacher representing Süd-Afrika Magazin, Marco Polo Travel Guide and Architektur und Wohnen and Katelyn Williams of Expresso Breakfast Show.
Hostess par excellence Debbie Hall of The Hall Collection being welcomed at the Vista Bar with Bridget Pautz Executive Manager, Human Resources of One&Only Cape Town with Helena Masters and Romi Stoch of Chef! and food and wine writer Jane Broughton.
Setting the scene at Reuben’s Restaurant, Tinashe Nyamudoka, Ian Manley of Manley Communications and Aubrey Ngcungama Celebrity Foodie and Brand Ambassador for One&Only Cape Town.
Out to lunch with Bridget Pautz, Ross Sleet and Dylin Kuni with Gwen Job over a glass of Le Bonheur which partnered Victoria Stott’s exquisite menu.
Le Bonheur, meaning ‘happiness’, dates back to the 1790’s. An enthralling estate on 163 hectares along the slopes of the Klapmuts Hill in the northern reaches of the Simonsberg ward. Le Bonheur remains internationally acclaimed and continues to receive prestigious awards. Here, new winemaker Lauren Snyman, mirroring the chateaus of France, ensures that the grapes are picked and sorted by hand - leading to their moto ‘hand picked by us and hand picked by you!’
A delicate salmon sashimi with mizuna and watercress salad served with purple radish, shaved asparagus and toasted sesame paired delightfully with Le Bonheur Sauvignon Blanc. Vibrant green in colour, the bouquet was floral mingling with tones of guava, grapefruit and hints of green pepper. A crisp refreshing wine with tropical fruit highlighted by a good acidity.
Le Bonheur Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Tender confit of Elgin chicken breast served with field mushrooms, edamame and a light mushroom froth. Elegant and complemented by Le Bonheur Chardonnay. A luminous pale gold with a slight hint of green. Scents of vanilla, a hint of topical fruit with accents of lime on the nose while the taste has a subtle creamy liveliness, balanced by gentle oak notes. Medium bodied and, although good for enjoying now, will develop over the next few years.
Le Bonheur Chardonnay 2012
Pork belly ravioli with sweet and sour grapefruit purée, braised cabbage topped with crisp leeks and pearl onions paired with two vintages of a Le Bonheur gem, Prima. Interesting to compare the 1999 to 2008! A premier elegant wine. Rich ruby in colour with the bouquet of ripe prunes, hints of blackcurrant and a gentle spiciness coming through. Velvet in texture with the soft notes of prunes and cherries mingling with oak, a combination of new French and American. Ready to drink now but ageing superbly over the years to come.
Lauren Snyman says, "The Prima 2008 is quite young and robust, the fruit beautiful coming through strongly. There is great potential to mature and develop into the elegance of the 1999, the fruit and tannins which have softened into a classical winner."
Le Bonheur Prima 1999 and 2008
Le Bonheur Tricorne 2009 - 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc and 30% Shiraz - an excellent match for the rich dark chocolate tart served with Crème Chantilly and fresh raspberries. A bouquet of berries, vanilla and slight hints of white pepper accent a rich velvet mouthfeel with bright flavours which give a liveliness to the softness of this subtly fruited wine.
Le Bonheur Tricorne 2009