Franschhoek Wine Valley

Tag Archive: protege

  1. Franschhoek’s Restaurants Bestowed With Industry Accolades

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    Not only is it the height of awards season for the wine industry, but it is also full steam ahead for restaurants. With the 2019 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards around the corner chefs in and around the country are on tender hooks as they await news as to who has secured the top spot.

    While we wait with bated breath there have also been a number of other awards – both local and international – bestowed on deserving Franschhoek eateries.

    Regarded as one of the most prestigious culinary competitions in the industry the 2020 American Express Awards announced their Top 24 Restaurants in South Africa, with six Franschhoek restaurants securing a spot on this coveted list. Participating restaurants were judged on food, service, wine, value and the X factor. The competition was only open to restaurants who accept American Express credit cards.  The restaurants to secure a spot on the Top 24 list were Babel at Babylonstoren, Foliage, Le Coin Français, La Petite Colombe, Protégé and The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal.

    Babel at Babylonstoren

    Franschhoek was yet again a popular destination amongst both local and international travellers with the announcement of the 2019 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards. Regarded as the world’s largest travel site, which enables travellers to unleash the potential of every trip, tourists from across the globe voted Le Bon Vivant as the 8th best restaurant in Africa, and the 4th best in South Africa.

    Le Bon Vivant, Franschhoek

    Adding to this already stellar performance was the announcement of South Africa’s 2020 Plated Restaurants and Awarded Chefs as published in the highly anticipated 2020 JHP Gourmet Guide. Most restaurants around the world aspire to a one, two or three-star rating, whereas in South Africa, restaurants aim for one, two or three plates. Three plates being the ultimate accolade. The guide celebrates the uniqueness of South African cuisine, from classic and conservative to daring and different. At the launch, 20 one-plated, 11 two-plated and five three-plated restaurants were awarded.

    Foliage and La Petite Colombe were each awarded a two plate status, with Le Coin Français, Chefs Warehouse at Maison and The Werf at Boschendal each receiving a one plate accolade. At the same event the prestigious Haute Performance Awards were awarded to those creating footprints in an industry that is people-centric, which saw Franschhoek’s Reuben Riffel receive the Haute Passion award. The 2020 guide will be available in leading bookstores, Woolworths and participating restaurants from November 2019.

    Chef Reuben Riffel

    Ending on a high note was the news earlier this month that Le Coin Français chef Callan Austin received the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility as voted for by Food Made Good, the internationally recognized voice on sustainability in food. This accolade secured a position for him as a finalist in the Africa and Middle East region of the S. Pellegrino Young Chef Regional Semi-Final. He together with the other three finalists will travel to Milan for the Grand Finale in May 2020.

    These latest accolades reaffirm Franschhoek as South Africa’s Culinary Capital, and even more reason to include a visit to one of these fine dining establishments when  next visiting the valley.

  2. Scot Kirton set to open Protégé, a casual-style restaurant at Leeu Collection’s Le Quartier Français, Franschhoek

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    Franschhoek, the world-renowned and picturesque food and wine capital of South Africa, is abuzz with the news that Leeu Collection’s Le Quartier Français boutique hotel has closed the Garden Room and Bar which will re-open as an exciting new casual-style eatery under the guidance of previous Eat Out Chef of the Year, La Colombe’s Scot Kirton.

    The refurbishment is due to be completed by late October 2018.  

    Scot is proud to be part of the process of recognising young talented chefs and giving them the opportunity to put themselves on the map. In keeping with this, the restaurant will aptly be named Protégé.

    Stephen Raaff will head the kitchen team with Rebecca Warner overseeing the front-of-house. Stephen has been part of the La Colombe group since 2013 and has been involved at both La Colombe and Foxcroft restaurants in Constantia, working closely with both Scot and Glen Williams, Chef proprietor of Foxcroft.

    Rebecca started working with Scot in 2009 in the kitchen of the River Café at Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate. A few years later she made the switch to front-of-house at La Colombe and has never looked back.

    Scot is planning an experience that is both casual, comfortable and very much one that the locals can call ‘home’. His philosophy and approach to food lies in the fusion of Asian and French cuisine and the pursuit of excellence and perfection on each plate, resulting in numerous local and international awards.

    The menu will be based on an à la carte offering where guests are free to select as many or as few courses as they desire. Stephen will be working with local suppliers to keep the menu as fresh and as seasonal as possible.

    “The opening of Protégé excites me,” says Kirton. “It’s all about the freshest local produce used in the simplest of ways – it’s comfort food I cook at home. I could not be prouder of having Stephen lead the team. He has given me so much over the years and now it’s time for me to help him achieve his dreams.”

    The restaurant space has been designed around the central show kitchen with al fresco dining planned at both ends of the restaurant. Interior design will be under the careful watch of Rotem Shachar and Megan Bond.

    “Food and beverage in the hotel and hospitality sphere has evolved to the point where hotel guests must be offered a unique and top-class dining experience and choice as part of their overall guest experience. Protégé will complete the Le Quartier Français transformation that has been ongoing for the past year,” says Analjit Singh, founder of the Leeu Collection.

    Protégé will be open for breakfast from 7am-10am, for lunch from 12:00 pm-2:30 pm and for dinner from 5:30 pm-8:30 pm. Hotel guests at Le Quartier Français will enjoy breakfast as part of their room rate.

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