Food and Restaurant Digest #22, 23 June 2017 
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Drones Away!

Some of the biggest news on the international food scene last week was the announcement that Amazon would be acquiring the US-based grocery Whole Foods Market for a cool $13.7 billion. (Whole Foods calls itself "America's Healthiest Grocery", and as its name suggests, the focus is on organic, sustainable products.) 
With Whole Food Markets currently only located in the US, Canada and the UK, it’s a deal which won’t have any immediate impact on our local food scene (no drone delivered organic kale quite yet!), but there is speculation that it could have far-reaching consequences for the global food industry.
Alice Waters, founder of the iconic Californian restaurant Chez Panisse, took to Twitter to urge Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos to take the opportunity to "do the right thing for our planet" by insisting that "produce comes from farmers who are taking care of the land", and "to require meat and seafood to come from operations that are not depleting natural resources".

It’s a tall order to expect one technology giant to save the planet by acquiring an exclusive supermarket, and Waters admits that some people find her "idealistic and impractical". But it’s certainly drawn global attention to what we already see as a growing movement in restaurants around the world, including South Africa, which is precisely about honouring ingredients (and people) that sustain rather than deplete our natural resources. A recent meal at Wolfgat in Paternoster highlighted what is probably the extreme of that practice in this country, with practically every item on the menu hailing from a short radius around the restaurant.

We don't all have the luxury of being able to forage for our food, or even to shop at Whole Foods (it's apparently quite expensive), but let's hope we see more people in the food world - and drones! - moving in the right directions.
Bits and Bites
The great pizza debate: Correctly prefaced as a "scandalous idea for a scandalous time" is an amusing and impassioned argument that a pizza is, in fact, a sandwich. And while on the topic of scandalous ideas about pizza, it was recently reported that the man who "delighted, confused, and appalled diners worldwide" by inventing the "Hawaiian" pizza was actually Canadian.

Extinct Camembert: If you're a fan of real Camembert, which is to say the kind made in France using only raw milk, and stamped PDO (the official stamp for indicating "provenance from a specific region in France, made in a historically accurate way"), the bad news is that it looks like its future is in jeopardy.

Lorde, the onion-ring critic: In what some probably thought was a major journalistic scoop, the singer Lorde was recently outed as having a (not-so-)secret Instagram account which she used to review onion rings. The account was subsequently deleted.

Momofuku's Chang on Yelp: Like many chefs still are, David Chang used to be sceptical of Yelp (the crowd-sourced amateur review site). He's since changed his tone, and has even started hosting dinners for the so-called "Yelp Elite", believing that the future of the site is as a "north star for culinary guidance". (In other David Chang news, the chef has also collaborated with Nike to launch limited edition "Momofuku" skateboarding sneakers, because apparently food-and skate-cultures have a lot in common.)
Local news and events   

Gauteng: Coming soon to Jo'burg is a pop-up of Cape Town's The Pot Luck Club, now cleverly re-named the Pop Luck Club. It will be housed in The Marabi Club in Hallmark House in the trendy Maboneng Precinct. In addition to the jazz that The Marabi Club specialises in, diners can expect some Pot Luck Club favourites, but also new dishes created specifically for the new location, like duck spring rolls in hoisin dressing, and chef Dale-Roberts’ take on a classic Cuban sandwich. The Pop Luck Club at The Marabi Club launches on Thursday, 6 July, and runs until the end of September 2017. The restaurant will be open from 6-10.30pm from Thursday to Saturday, as well as 12-3.30pm on Sundays. For pre-opening booking enquiries, please email

Cape Town: If you're looking to escape the blustery weather in Cape Town, Eikendal Wine Estate is offering a wine and pizza pairing, wth three mini-pizzas served with three of the estate's red wines. This Winter Pizza & Wine Pairing Experience is on offer Tuesdays to Sundays between 12-4pm until 30 June and again from the 1st of August to the 30th of September. To book, contact Chantal-Lee at 021 855 1422 or send an email to

Speaking of escaping the chilly weather, here's a handy list of 28 restaurants iin Cape Town and Gauteng with fireplaces.

Finally, here's your chance to vote for the colour of the 2018 Platter's by Diners Club Wine Guide. If you vote, you stand a chance of winning the grand prize of an invitation for you and a partner to attend the private launch of Platter's South African Wine Guide 2018, a signed copy of Platter's South African Wine Guide 2018 edition, and a mixed case (6 bottles) of five star awarded wines from the 2018 edition. There are also five runner up prizes of signed copies of the new guide up for grabs.

And don't forget to follow Rossouw's on Facebook to keep up with these and other local events and specials.
Please share this newsletter with your food-loving friends, and feel free to email us with any queries, suggestions, or eating recommendations!
Copyright © 2017 Platter's SA Wine & Rossouw's Restaurants Guides, All rights reserved.

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