It is with a fair degree of nervousness and trepidation that we approach this our very first blog. Nails bitten to the quick, a few espressos and grappas under the belt and here we go.
This blog is being added to our revamped website as part of growing the brand, Café del Sol.
Our journey from an unfashionable strip mall in Olivedale to the must be seen areas of the Northern suburbs feels like it happened in the blink of an eye. The scary reality is that thousands of services later our first store in Olivedale, and now branded as Classico (to reflect the cooking style) and the foundation of the group has just turned nine!!! In a few months Botanico and The Landmark will have their second birthdays and in a few weeks we will open restaurant number three, in Parkhurst Johannesburg, which will be called Tre!!! How could we not? To reach this point has required determination and passion that can only be expressed in expletives and the support of our loyal patrons. You together with our team are the real heroes.
So what is this blog all about?
Well, our objective here is to share our passion with you, our dreams and ideals. Most of all we want this be a foodies destination, where we will talk about food and wine, why we enjoy it, what Italian cuisine means to us and yes we might even share some our secrets, but not too often!! We will share recipes which we think you can use at home and on this forum we will be able to pass on tips to make your own cooking experience more exciting. Here the amateur cooks who participate in our Anyone can Cook Program can tell you in depth about their experience as well as share their own cooking secrets. In addition we plan to introduce some new and exciting interactive cooking and baking opportunities, so stay tuned.
To reach this point our team has grown rapidly and lately there have been a few new additions. Most notably the family appointed Jonathan Duiker as the Group Executive Chef, Donna Kroutz-Duiker in charge of Groups Operations and Inge Hugo Group Marketing and Communications Manager. Most recently Jonathan was the Executive Chef on Desroches Exclusive Luxury Private Island (Forbes Top 10 remote destinations in the world). As is often the case on these islands husband and wife are a package deal and so Donna was the Executive Assistant to the GM and the F&B Events team. Inge is from Cape Town (ah shame) where she acquired a B.Com degree from Maties and has worked in the wine and restaurant industry, including stints at the restaurants Rust en Vrede, Ernie Els and Guardian Peak Wines and later at Pierneef at La Motte Wine Estate.
The new manager for Tre is Pamela El Khoury who will assist Etienne van Schalkwyk whom you will know from Botanico. Etienne is moving to Tre to ensure the seamless opening of this exciting venture. We wish them all much success in the Café del Group.
So much for housekeeping, let’s get on with eating and drinking!!
“Mangiare bene e vivere bene! (Eat well and live well)