November 29, 2019

Celebrate this time, come on!

Every Friday is a reason to celebrate. Last Friday I met a fellow food-lover for a light bite at the relaunched Lou-Lou’s in Green Point. I chatted to owner James Truter. “Here the food is fresh and good, we cook everything from scratch, and there is something for everyone, ” said James. There is an Italian emphasis on the menu, seen in dishes like the Caprese salad that was devoured by my friend. Asian touches are obvious too, well represented in the tuna starter that I chose.

James calls it, “A gastro-pub, with simple fare like burgers and a little element of fine dining. She changes clothes after dark, puts her lipstick and high heels on and then it all happens, to music. I just want it to be welcoming, to be fun.” The promise of fun is seen in an entire page of shooters, with ‘Ginger Jess’ dedicated to his much-loved dog. A lively restaurant on the piazza, hums by day and heaves by night in the forthcoming festive season.



I could feel the festive spirit in the V&A Waterfront, and took respite after work at Den Anker with friends from the Netherlands. For them it feels like home. We kicked off the evening with bubbles and delectable tapas. It was a veritable feast of prawns, bitterballen, slices of tuna with a touch of wasabi and crispy triangles of crumbed, fried cheese. Everyone did justice to mains that varied from rabbit to fish and chips. Here there is something for everyone with the most captivating mountain and harbour view, and sterling service. And of course, the Belgian beers…



After a 5km walk from home up a hill with a tad of huffing and puffing, we arrived at Dinkel Bakery on Kloof Nek. It is a treasure trove, all those gorgeous German goodies and edible gifts, plus a book store. They are currently running gingerbread-making sessions for children aged six to 99 years! Here we watched children at work over coffee and a healthy breakfast. Instead of walking home we ventured further down Kloof Nek to the Olive Branch Deli, our community grocer. It is an Aladdin’s cave of culinary delights from all corners of the globe. After perusing every shelf, we left clutching a bag of goodies too heavy to drag home, so the return journey was courtesy of an Uber!



Currently writing a series of articles for Country Life, it was my joy to venture out of the city to Stellenbosch this week to interview chefs. Carolize Coetzee of Tokara whisked me off to her veggie garden where we snacked on warm berries and the last of her fresh asparagus.  A chat to Virgil Kahn of three-plated Indochine before sampling some of his culinary expertise with their dynamic PR manager, Tanja von Arnim, over lunch, and I could say sincerely, wow I do love my job! Watch out for their full articles in the February and March editions of Country Life.



To be able to say that I still love my work after 25 years is a blessing. I have an attitude of gratitude, and negative amnesia! This weekend I shall take some time to reflect as I celebrate a quarter century of this business. It started simply, with R500 and a fax machine. Initially a PR and promotions company, it evolved due to my love for writing, into a series of business books that were brought alive at workshops countrywide. It was daunting to rise to this challenge. There were many others…

There were many highlights. Conceptualizing and running the Woman of Worth awards for a decade and working with Hospice for more than two decades, are two. They provided the privilege of working with people who are community-focused, committed and inspirational. Writing a weekly career and brand column in the Cape Times, also for a decade, gave me exposure and the opportunity of training diverse teams. Working with individuals in building their personal brands, continues to be an honour.

Working on the JHP Gourmet Guide™ and going back to my roots has afforded me the ability to combine my studies and my passions (food and words). Travelling and meeting like-minded people is a joy, but there’s nothing better than returning, to recognize and reward consistent excellence in our unique restaurant Plate Rating.

The true rewards lie in working with and for incredible people. You know who you are, I salute and thank each of you, too numerous to list. I also thank my long-suffering friends and family. I raise my glass to you – here’s to the next 25 – cheers!


Order a copy of the 2020 JHP Gourmet Guide™, a showcase of SA’s plated restaurants and awarded chefs, overflowing with delicious recipes, now. We’ll gift you the 2019 and 2018 guides – a collection of keepsake recipes from top chefs in our country. All three for R299 plus courier fees. Email us on by Friday 6 December.