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West Coast oysters in The Living Room

The waters of Saldanha Bay are rich in nutrients, a fact demonstrated by the abundant sea life which includes; cormorants, seals, and penguins.

oysters

The reason for this is a term called ‘upwelling’ and it is when the Benguela current passes the Cape peninsula pushing off surface water and carrying it into the cold, deep waters of the bay. This creates nutrient rich plankton for the oysters to feed on, and it’s what gives the West Coast oysters their characteristic sweet flavour.

Come and try a plate of these beauties in The Living Room—with, of course, a bottle of Môreson bubbly.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Ingredients, The Living Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

“My door is always open”

Aphiwe Nkonyane went from being a trainee in The Tasting Room, to graduating at Hurst yesterday where he received the top marks for his practical. Now? The world! We chat to him about his journey; and also what it’s like to have Chef Margot Janse as his mentor.
What does it mean to you to be graduating from Hurst today?
I am passionate about what I am doing, and it’s also one of the top schools in SA, in terms of good quality education that they provide. It means I’m ready to take on the best with an internationally recognised diploma behind my name and continue my journey through the culinary world.
Can you tell us a bit about the journey to obtain the bursary?
When I was young I started working part time and shadowing in the local kitchen during school holidays. In Grade 8 I had to do a project for school about ‘food gourmand’ and contacted a friend of mine whom is part of the Kusasa Project, he advised that I should contact Chef Margot, which I did. We spent an hour together going through the questions for the project and she offered that I should come and spend a day in The Tasting Room’s kitchen to get the feeling and a better understanding of how things work. I did this and I was amazed how everything operated as I didn’t know the full behind the scenes operation; after that I was hooked!
When I was 19 I signed a trainee contract with The Tasting Room, after 8 months the kitchen team suggested that I visit the Hurst Campus to see if I would like to study through there, which I did, but I was stuck as to how I would get a bursary. I then went to see Doug the Co-Founder of Kusasa and he suggested a face-to-face chat (Doug always taught us that to be taken seriously – eye contact is essential) with Chef Margot because of her role in the industry and charities. I met with Chef and told her that I wanted to go study so that I have a qualification that will help me in the future and she called Rebecca, the owner of Hurst Campus, to discuss what could be done. I then went back to Hurst and submitted an essay about myself, my goals and why I had chosen Hurst Campus; having worked with Karen van Wyngaard, Chris Erasmus and Margot Janse (both Karen and Chris have studied through Hurst TCTA) it gave me the advantage and feel of the school.
After an interview process they promised to call if I had received the bursary, 3 days before the school June intake started they called me and told me I got the bursary.
I was happy! I didn’t want to take any time off school after matric; I was pushing myself to get a bursary and was so pleased and happy that things were going my way.
When I told my mom she was very happy but nervous because there were fees involved for accommodation – I told her I would make a plan, which with Margot and Susan’s assistance and determination we did.
This taught me that “In life you must turn up for your own good and if you want something you must work hard and show love and care about what you want to achieve in life”.
What’s it like to be mentored by someone like Margot Janse?
“My door is always open – anytime” is one of the first things she told me. I asked myself “do they need me? Or do I need to prove myself by doing what other people don’t think they can do at my age?”
She taught me the basics, but I was hungry to learn and wanted to do all the tricky stuff – she taught me though, that you should always master the basics.
She was always open with me in terms of how I must in turn be open and communicate as this is vital in the kitchen. This took me a long time to be more myself and have confidence because I was the only young man in the kitchen and I’m fairly quiet!
After doing research and speaking to industry friends about Margot and Le Quartier Français – I knew it was the right place.
Margot taught me to do things with love and care – with this recipe you won’t go wrong in life; and for this lesson I will forever be grateful to Margot.
Any special or funny memories from your time at Hurst you’d like to share?
A top memory is being the only one who got the consommé right on our first attempt in class – I knew at this point I had learnt from the best and was so happy I had not forgotten the basics that I had learnt at the beginning of my career.
One of my worst memories was when we had to remove the skin from a side of fish – I did mine and even went on to help my colleagues; however when I served the fish to my lecturer he found that the skin was not removed and I got marked down! I couldn’t believe it and that taught me I must check everything I do to make sure it is done perfectly. I felt like I had dropped my standards and this was not what I had learned during my time with Chef Margot.
Now what? What are your plans after graduation and how do you see them coming true?
For now I just want to learn, learn and learn. I also want to travel and explore the different types of cuisine – England and Spain are top of my list.
I want to keep learning for the next few years and when I am in my mid-twenties have a clearer idea of if I want to specialise in Fine Dining or Bistro style cuisine and then look into opening my own place.
By staying true to myself and then being willing to learn as the days go by, being loyal to myself and those who have invested in me, by doing everything I do with love and care – that is how I plan to accomplish my goals.

Aphiwe Nkonyane went from being a trainee in The Tasting Room, to graduating at Hurst yesterday where he received the top marks for his practical and a prize of a Kitchen Aid! Now? The world! We chat to him about his journey; and also what it’s like to have Chef Margot Janse as his mentor.

aphiwe and margot

What does it mean to you to be graduating from Hurst today?
I am passionate about what I am doing, and it’s also one of the top schools in SA, in terms of good quality education that they provide. It means I’m ready to take on the best with an internationally recognised diploma behind my name and continue my journey through the culinary world.

Can you tell us a bit about the journey to obtain the bursary?
When I was young I started working part time and shadowing in the local kitchen during school holidays. In Grade 8 I had to do a project for school about ‘food gourmand’ and contacted a friend of mine whom is part of the Kusasa Project, he advised that I should contact Chef Margot, which I did. We spent an hour together going through the questions for the project and she offered that I should come and spend a day in The Tasting Room’s kitchen to get the feeling and a better understanding of how things work. I did this and I was amazed how everything operated as I didn’t know the full behind the scenes operation; after that I was hooked!

When I was 19 I signed a trainee contract with The Tasting Room, after 8 months the kitchen team suggested that I visit the Hurst Campus to see if I would like to study through there, which I did, but I was stuck as to how I would get a bursary. I then went to see Doug the Co-Founder of Kusasa and he suggested a face-to-face chat (Doug always taught us that to be taken seriously – eye contact is essential) with Chef Margot because of her role in the industry and charities. I met with Chef and told her that I wanted to go study so that I have a qualification that will help me in the future and she called Rebecca, the owner of Hurst Campus, to discuss what could be done. I then went back to Hurst and submitted an essay about myself, my goals and why I had chosen Hurst Campus; having worked with Karen van Wyngaard, Chris Erasmus and Margot Janse (both Karen and Chris have studied through Hurst TCTA) it gave me the advantage and feel of the school.

After an interview process they promised to call if I had received the bursary, 3 days before the school June intake started they called me and told me I got the bursary.

I was happy! I didn’t want to take any time off school after matric; I was pushing myself to get a bursary and was so pleased and happy that things were going my way.

When I told my mom she was very happy but nervous because there were fees involved for accommodation – I told her I would make a plan, which with Margot and Susan’s assistance and determination we did.

This taught me that “In life you must turn up for your own good and if you want something you must work hard and show love and care about what you want to achieve in life”.

What’s it like to be mentored by someone like Margot Janse?
“My door is always open – anytime” is one of the first things she told me. I asked myself “do they need me? Or do I need to prove myself by doing what other people don’t think they can do at my age?”

She taught me the basics, but I was hungry to learn and wanted to do all the tricky stuff – she taught me though, that you should always master the basics.

She was always open with me in terms of how I must in turn be open and communicate as this is vital in the kitchen. This took me a long time to be more myself and have confidence because I was the only young man in the kitchen and I’m fairly quiet!

After doing research and speaking to industry friends about Margot and Le Quartier Français – I knew it was the right place.

Margot taught me to do things with love and care – with this recipe you won’t go wrong in life; and for this lesson I will forever be grateful to Margot.

Now what? What are your plans after graduation and how do you see them coming true?
For now I just want to learn, learn and learn. I also want to travel and explore the different types of cuisine – England and Spain are top of my list.

I want to keep learning for the next few years and when I am in my mid-twenties have a clearer idea of if I want to specialise in Fine Dining or Bistro style cuisine and then look into opening my own place.

By staying true to myself and then being willing to learn as the days go by, being loyal to myself and those who have invested in me, by doing everything I do with love and care – that is how I plan to accomplish my goals.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Chefs, Le Quartier Français, Margot Janse, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Restaurant Week 2014

Brilliant news folks, Bread & Wine is once again taking part in Restaurant Week, taking place from 23 October to 2 November 2014. Bookings open on 7 October, and please remember to book in advance as the slots are filled quickly! Pay just R95 for lunch.

charcuterie


Selection of breads, olive oil & balsamic
Soup-a cino
Charcuterie board, potato salad, lettuce & onion

The menu
Selection of breads, olive oil & balsamic

Soup-a cino

Charcuterie board, potato salad, lettuce & onion

Plus, ‘Restaurant Week has partnered with Uber to offer all guests a free first ride up to R200! Arrive in style at your favourite restaurant by using the promo code ‘RestaurantWeekSA

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

The Sour Fig Caipirinha

We’ve taken Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha and have made it local! Margot Janse’s favourite cocktail from The Living Room, the Sour Fig Caipirinha is made with a unique South African ingredient that grows wild locally in Franschhoek. It’s the fruit of a succulent known as the suurvygie (sour fig) and gives the drink a delicious and unusual savoury-saltiness.
Margot uses this ingredient in a variety of ways in a number of dishes too.

We’ve taken Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha and have made it local! One of Margot Janse’s favourite cocktails from The Living Room, the Sour Fig Caipirinha is made with a unique South African ingredient that grows wild locally in Franschhoek.

It’s the fruit of a succulent known as the suurvygie (sour fig) and gives the drink a delicious and unusual savoury-saltiness. Margot uses this ingredient in a variety of ways in a number of dishes too.

The plant aka vygie in flower

The dried fruit of the plant

The dried fruit of the plant

cocktail

The Sour Fig Caipirinha

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Franschhoek, Ingredients, The Living Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

The American Express Fine Dining Awards 2014

Last night at The American Express Fine Dining Awards 2014 both The Tasting Room and Bread & Wine came home smiling.
‘In recent years, we have seen a re-definition of fine dining for modern times,’ said Victor Strugo.  Strugo is a ‘long-time restaurant critic for the Saturday Star and convenor of the American Express® judging panel since the inception of the awards 16 years ago’.
“Restaurateurs and diners are acknowledging that the cornerstones of excellence can – and indeed should – exist across a wide spectrum of styles, ethnicities and ambiences and not only in “classic” or “formal” establishments.’
The annual awards saw a number of records broken:
• the highest number of awards in a single year – 95 – up from 83 last year
• the highest number of new entrants receiving awards – 17 – in any single year since the inaugural awards of 1998
• 7 restaurants received their 10th Award and were added to the Roll of Honour
• the widest footprint to date: the awards now cover 7 of South Africa’s 9 provinces
Gerald van der Walt of The Tasting Room commented: “We’re thrilled with awards and it’s always good to catch up with all the chefs and industry people!”

Last night at The American Express Fine Dining Awards 2014; both The Tasting Room and Bread & Wine came home smiling.

american express 2

Eleanor & Gerald looking chuffed with their awards.

“The awards continue to reflect the country’s rising culinary spirit and serve as a catalyst in championing the enhancement of the fine dining industry and experience in South Africa. As the exclusive issuer of American Express in South Africa, we are honoured to be associated with this initiative as it not only celebrates South African restaurateurs but also promotes fine dining,” said Pamela White: Head: Corporate Card Services at Nedbank.

“The 2015 list of restaurants has stabilised considerably after the restaurant industry saw a lot of movement within the top echelon of restaurants in South Africa. This has persuaded us to revisit our judging criterion, which has been in place since inception.”

Gerald van der Walt, head chef of The Tasting Room commented: “We’re thrilled with awards and it’s always good to catch up with all the chefs and industry people!”

The Tasting Room's award

The Tasting Room's awards: they were also recognised for having 'reached the prestigious milestone of their TENTH American Express® Platinum Fine Dining Award'

Bread & Wine's award

Bread & Wine's award

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Awards, Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Margot Janse’s FOUR Magazine #ChefTakeover on Instagram

We just got something exciting in the mail… This Friday, Margot Janse takes the reins of FOUR Magazine’s Instagram for her #ChefTakeover!

margot

“Satisfy your foodie needs on FOUR Magazine’s Instagram all day this Friday and go behind the scenes as Margot Janse posts photos from Chef Alyn Williams’s annual culinary event, CHEFstock and her time in London.”

While you’re at it – follow us on Instagram too for updates from the heart of LQF.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Margot Janse, Travel, magazine,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

The night that was: CHEFstock 2014

Last Tuesday night, Chef Margot Janse teamed up with Chef Alyn Williams for CHEFstock 2014 hosted at in his eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant at The Westbury ‘to create an extraordinary one-night-only dining experience’.
Margot Janse said prior to the event:  “We’re cooking with sour figs, baobab, marula nuts and fynbos. We’re introducing Africa to London! I haven’t cooked with Chef Alyn Williams before—and I’m very excited to do so.”
Here is Margot and Alyn’s menu from the night as well as a couple of snapshots from the gourmet affair.

Last Tuesday night, Chef Margot Janse teamed up with Chef Alyn Williams for CHEFstock 2014 hosted at in his eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant at The Westbury ‘to create an extraordinary one-night-only dining experience’.

Margot Janse said prior to the event:  “We’re cooking with sour figs, baobab, marula nuts and fynbos. We’re introducing Africa to London! I haven’t cooked with Chef Alyn Williams before—and I’m very excited to do so.”

Here is Margot and Alyn’s menu from the night as well as a couple of snapshots from the gourmet affair.

margot-janse

margot and alyn

dish 2

dish 3

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: London, Margot Janse, Travel,
comment-notesComments: 1


  

Street Smart’s annual Christmas raffle

StreetSmart’s 4th annual Christmas Raffle is coming up on on 11 December 2014. Bread & Wine have shown their support by giving away a lunch for two, with a bottle of Miss Molly bubbly!

bread and wine

“All funds raised through the StreetSmart restaurant partners are handed over to our beneficiaries. These funds have a direct impact on the lives of vulnerable children and children at risk. The running costs of the organisation are covered by donations and projects, such as raffles. Proceeds will be for the administration of StreetSmart.”

Visit their website for more info: www.streetsmartsa.org.za; and enter the raffle here.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Getting to know the LQF family: Margot Janse

Over the next couple of months we’ll be interviewing members of our team, to not only show them off, but to gain insight into all the special details that make up Le Quartier Français.
First up, is our Executive Chef, the one-and-only, Margot Janse.
What’s your nickname?
You’d have to ask the team… Not sure I want to know [winks].
What’s your favourite thing about working at LQF?
The fact that it is a constant evolution.
Your favourite piece of décor?
I love the hanging fish light in The Tasting Room
Describe yourself in three words?
Determined,  compassionate and a tad sarcastic
Tell us a Franschhoek secret?
One of my favourite things to do is to enjoy sunset on the pass with a glass of bubbly in-hand. To remind ourselves how fortunate we are.
What is a must-have dish from The Living Room?
My Mama’s Meatballs
What is a must-have cocktail?
The sour fig caipirinha

Over the next couple of months we’ll be interviewing members of our team, to not only show them off, but also to gain insight into all the special details that make up Le Quartier Français.

First up, is our Executive Chef, the one-and-only, Margot Janse.

margot 1

What’s your nickname?
You’d have to ask the team… Not sure I want to know [winks].

What’s your favourite thing about working at LQF?
The fact that it is a constant evolution.

Your favourite piece of décor?
I love the hanging fish light in The Tasting Room.

Describe yourself in three words?
Determined,  compassionate and a tad sarcastic

Tell us a Franschhoek secret?
One of my favourite things to do is to enjoy sunset on the pass with a glass of bubbly in-hand. To remind ourselves how fortunate we are.

What is a must-have dish from The Living Room?
My Mama’s Meatballs

What is a must-have cocktail?
The sour fig caipirinha

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Le Quartier Français, Margot Janse,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Bread & Wine has been nominated for the #KlinkAwards 2014

Bread & Wine has been nominated for the #KlinkAwards 2014 in the ‘Beyond Expectation Awards’ ‘for Great Food and Excellent Wine’!
To enter, simply hop on over to their site to vote or you can enter by submitting photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook Easy by simply using the #KlinkAwards hashtag!
All participants will be automatically be entered into weekly draws to win ‘unforgettable wine experiences – a meal at a wine farm restaurant, a night at a wine farm guesthouse, a special wine pairing tasting experience, or, of course, the fruits of the vine itself’.

Bread & Wine has been nominated for the #KlinkAwards 2014 in the ‘Beyond Expectation Awards’ ‘for Great Food and Excellent Wine’!

To enter, simply hop on over to their site to vote or you can enter by submitting photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook  by simply using the #KlinkAwards hashtag! Find Bread & Wine on Twitter at @BreadandwineFH

All participants will be automatically entered into weekly draws to win ‘unforgettable wine experiences – a meal at a wine farm restaurant, a night at a wine farm guesthouse, a special wine pairing tasting experience, or, of course, the fruits of the vine itself’.

klink awards

Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant specialises in artisan charcuterie as well as inventive country cuisine. Think, hand-crafted bacon, a smorgasbord of cured meats, hams and sausages all incorporating local ingredients, including unique products, like the delectable Waygu bresoala.

Neil’s philosophy is to use only the best ingredients, this coupled with his insatiable creativity makes for a lunchtime menu that celebrates wineland’s cuisine. Feast on dishes such as; bacon wrapped springbok, butternut granola & sour fig, West coast mussels, Café de Paris butter, Brussel sprout, white onion & pancetta pizza and so much more.

Here you can learn from the masters, on offer are bread-baking and charcuterie making courses. There are plenty of unique products to take home too.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant,
comment-notesComments: 0


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