A Day in the Life of a Warehouse Chef

I have always been intrigued at what goes on behind the scenes of a top-notch restaurant. Braam Beyers, Junior Chef at Chef’s Warehouse, Beau Constantia, gives me the low-down on his first professional gig after graduating from the Hurst Campus at Backsberg in Paarl last year.

7:30am The team arrives on premises, we all greet each other with a great deal of excitement, even though we saw each other about eight hours ago.

 7:35am Bags are put in lockers and we head downstairs into the kitchen to be greeted by The Boss Ivor Jones (head chef) and Dave Schneider (sous chef).

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Crime Doesn’t Pay, if the Wine Buff Gets His Way

So there he was, the little twat, caught red-handed with an Apple note-book and iPhone. The burglar had audaciously slipped into an open side-door at six a.m., right in the middle of my morning’s meditating with spiritual support from Kenyan coffee and a Cohiba cigar.

We looked each other in the eye, and I was relieved and pissed-off: relieved that, being of Cape Malay descent, the intruder had not shown the slightest interest in the sin-laded contents of my wine fridge. But the fact that he had entered my property without an invitation – e-mail or printed – and was helping himself to some electronic gadgets of value, made my temperature rise. Put it this way, I was not going to waste time asking Gatiep, Faizel or Malooma for his aunty’s biryani recipe.

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Turning Listing Fees into a Win-Win

Along with leaf-roll virus and that cork vs screwcap debate, the issue of restaurants charging listing fees to procure wines for their wine-lists have been and will be around for a long time. My opinion on this is going to remain neutral. Just to say that listing fees are but one of many money-generating hoops wineries are asked to jump through if they want their wines sold by a restaurant or stocked on the shelf. If the vexed industry commentators looked beyond listing fees and saw the other shenanigans employed to get a restaurant or retail listing, they would be kicking holes in barrels of old Madeira.

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A Fine Mixed Bag from Jordan, Steenberg and Paul Cluver

While doing some exhaustive research so as to be of service to the informed readers of this publication, it was quite amazing to see how little has been written, spoken and sung about South African Merlot wine. There are reams of missives on Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc and little-known, trendy bottles made from weird grapes like Verdelho and Palomino, but the Merlot voices are largely silent.

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