Celia and Rayno Rabie bid Burgundy farewell after 4 years

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Burgundy Restaurant has certainly seen its fair share of changes since it was built in 1876 and 2014 is marked with further change when Celia and Rayno Rabie hands over the reins of this Hermanus landmark. Four years since the enterprising couple took over as new owners of one of Hermanus’s most popular restaurants it is time to move on.  
Celia and Rayno regards ownership of the Burgundy as the ultimate experience for a local restauranteur “the cherry on the Hermanus eat-out scene” and feel that they have restored the reputation of this golden oldie to the stature it deserves.  Four years ago they saw the potential offered and worked hard to awaken all the happy memories shared by different generations of Hermanus visitors.

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Lazy days at the Burgundy

Clients remember the Cyprus Tea Room with fondness and the Burgundy is currently an establishment where friendships are rekindled and memories made.

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This is a restaurant that is not only about serving good food it is also about community, development and involvement. Well entrenched in the community with more than 60 staff members, an involvement and an interest in the business community has made Burgundy and its people a tourism interface for the region. Burgundy employees have remained with Burgundy through ownership changes with the longest employment record being 26 years and the average employee working at Burgundy for 10 years.

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Celia says that she will miss her staff as much as she will miss the clients “our clients and staff were our world”. 
The 1st of August will celebrate the four year anniversary of the Rabies taking over as new owners of Burgundy but it is also time to hand over. With the Rabies remaining in Hermanus they look forward to the tables being turned and having time to sit down and enjoy Hermanus hospitality placing orders.

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How to … make pasta










Off days in the restaurant industry are few and far apart. Although feeding people is one of my main joys in life (hence the restaurant) standing in front of the stove for hours on those few and far apart days off aren’t.  That and the fact that the guest usually sit in the living room catching up while I miss out!

We bought a pasta machine a while back and soon after making the first batch a light bulb when on. If I can’t join the party, why not bring the party to me? I invited a couple of friends over one night to test my new idea. I made a big batch of sauce and pasta dough just before our guests arrived and left it in the fridge to rest. My only instruction on the invite (leaving many guests clueless) was to each bring an apron.

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Upon arrival they were buzzing with questions of why they had to bring an apron but I decided to keep them wondering for a while longer. Laughing, we just poured some wine and told them to relax and have a glass first. The fun will start a bit later. After finishing our wine I told them it’s time to get those aprons on so the cooking can commence. They loved it! Letting everyone roll out their own pasta fills the kitchen with warmth and laughter replacing my usually sulky mood (because I usually missed out on all the new gossip) with excitement! Some were shy at first but the shyness faded quickly after the first dough was rolled.

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As everyone rolled their pasta we hung it out. I got a pot of boiling water on and just tossed the cooked pasta through the warm sauce.

A week later our guest still can’t stop talking about the ‘Pasta Party’. My only regret about that night is not taking any photos, not only was the surfaces and bits of the floor covered in flour but some even had flour in their hair and smears on their faces. Never the less it was loads of fun and for once my FOMO (fear of missing out) was side-stepped. Next time we plan to have pizza party night. What do you think? The seafood pasta recipe below is super easy so the stove hours is reduced even more. Hope you enjoy your first pasta party night!

Easy pasta recipe
Serves 4

400g bread flour or ‘OO’ flour
Pinch of salt
4 eggs
2 tbsp olive oil

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1. Stir the flour and salt together and make a well in the centre. (You can do this in a bowl or on a clean surface.)
2. Add the eggs and oil to the well. Gently whisk with a fork, using your other hand to secure the walls. Draw in the flour as you go.
3. Bring the dough together and knead for 5-7 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for atleast 30 minutes to rest.
4. Divide dough in 4 portions amd flatten slightly. Set the pasta machine on the widest setting and flour the dough and machine well. Feed through the machine while turning the handle. Fold each short end of the dough into the centre to form a smaller rectangle.  Repeat process twice.
5. Reduce width of machine rollers by 1 setting. Dust the dough with flour and feed it through the machine. Repeat until dough is 1.5mm thick. Place the cutting attachment on the machine and feed the sheets through. Drape over a clean broomstick handle or a pasta drier. Repeat with remaining pasta.

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Seafood pasta
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Grated zest of 1 lemon
200g calamari tubes, sliced
12 prawns, cleaned and deveined
1 cup dry white wine
12 mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
1/4 cup red pepper pesto
1 cup cream
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
400g cooked pasta
1 large handful parsley, roughly chopped
Grated parmesan, to serve

1. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and lemon zest and fry until soft and translucent.
2. Add the calamari and prawns and fry for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, add the mussels and leave to reduce by half. Discard all the unopened shells.
3. Stir in the pesto and cream and bring to the boil. Season to taste. Toss through the cooked pasta and serve with parlsey and grated parmesan.

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Things we like to do in Hermanus: Abagold – Abalone farm











Chatting happily on our way to Abagold we were not quite prepared for how blown away we would be when we get back into the car. I always thought Abalone was very simple creatures but I couldn’t be more wrong! Greeted by rows and rows of tanks when you enter the gates at Abagold you can’t help but too look back in awe.

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Our tour guide, Anzél du Plessis, explained that the “tour” is located only in one room at the beginning of the farm because no unauthorised personal are allowed on the farm itself. They are also HACCP approved so all the staff wears appropriate clothing and needs to wash and rinse their boots and hands when entering the farm to prevent contamination.

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History:

It all started a while back when Abalone was still readily available but Dr. Pierre Hugo, a veterinarian at that stage, realised that it won’t be so freely available for much longer. In 1984 he started researching the cultivation of abalone in captivity. The breeding started in the Old Harbour in Hermanus where in 1991 a pilot hatchery was set up. They received a permit in 1994 to cultivate, harvest and sell abalone. (It’s a felony in South-Africa if you are found with a life Abalone in your possession.) In the same year 500 000 abalone larvae were released into the Old Harbour for re-seeding.
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In 1995 the business was incorporated into Hermanus Abalone (Pty) Ltd where in 2002 R35m was raised through share issue and bank loans to finance the purchase and construction of Bergsig abalone farm. By 1998 they had grown so much that they moved to the Sea View abalone farm with a 60 tonne per annum capacity in the New Harbour. In 2003 the first 1000 tanks were placed on Bergsig and the company changed its name from Hermanus Abalone (Pty) Ltd to Abagold (Pty)Ltd. From 2004 to 2008 the staff grew from a staggering 120 people to 240 becoming the second largest entity after the municipality to employ people in Hermanus. They also believe in uplifting the community so they encourage and train their staff to work harder for higher positions within the company itself.
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Abagold unveiled an alternative energy plan in 2012 using “Wave Energy Converter design” which would lower their electricity bill considerably as well as reduce their carbon footprint. They had a record growth in 2013; 29% higher than that of 2012. Abagold also won the inaugural South African Premier Business Award for Exporter of the year as well as Cape Chamber of Commerce Innovation Award.

The reason I added all this extra information is just to brag a little with them and to show what an amazing company it is.

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FUN FACT: Abalone can grow as old as humans. This shell is 45 years old!

 Production:

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The tour started with a look at the different sites on the farm, where exactly everything is based and how the breeding processes work. Abalone usually spawns during spring when there is more oxygen in the water. They are not asexual and therefor need a male and female partner to breed with. A female Abalone has a grey sex organ

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The dark grey area on the right-hand side is their reproduction organ. As you can see it is a grey colour indicating that it's a female Abalone.

 where males have creamier ones. The partners are left in tanks filled with extra oxygen until they spray out their eggs or sperm (the blow holes are located in their shell)

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The blow holes are located on the top-side of the shell

It is then collected and placed together in tanks filled with plastic sheets with algae on them. image

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When looking closely you can see the baby Abalone on the plastic sheet covered in algae.

Fresh filtered sea water circulates through the tank every hour to ensure the perfect living conditions.

Live spawning video:

After 3 months their eyes become light sensitive and they tend to move from the shallow rock pools (in nature) deeper into the sea where it’s a lot darker.
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An extra “salt solution” is added that sedates the baby Abalone so they can be moved. The solution is added as it is impossible to move each Abalone by hand because (a.) there are too many of them and (b.) their shells are too soft to touch. Abalone also gets anxious very quickly and if the anxiety overwhelms them they tend to die quite quickly.

The Abalone in placed in dark cones and left for another 6 months, they are then moved to larger tanks for the remainder of their lives.  
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The cone is made in such a way that it resembles their natural habitat.

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Abalones are herbivores and live on kelp, alva and organic artificial feed (produced solely by Abagold). They have “graters” located in their mouths with which they grate the seaweed to consume it. Abagold uses about 6-9 tons of kelp per week to feed the Abalone, the task of gathering the seaweed is outsourced to locals who harvest the kelp in kelp forests.

FUN FACT: Kelp can grow up to a meter a day and by harvesting it regularly it stimulates the growth.

The larger tanks are filled with what looks like trays that they slide into the tanks.
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The tanks are built into rows and each row has a team and supervisor responsible for feeding them, taking care of them and making sure that they do not cross-contaminate.
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They are harvested at 5 years old where they are then sorted by size and weight and either tinned, dried or packed to be exported.

A list goes out every day to notify staff which tanks are ready for harvesting.
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The tanks are then brought into the factory where the Abalone is shucked, cleaned and weighed. They are then salted and then rinsed in machines that resemble dryers or cement mixers. The eyes and mouths are removed and then go for a final washing process. The clean Abalone is blanched for a few minutes (no more than 5) at 80°C, if the temperature is too hot the Abalone will become tough. As soon as the Abalone is cooked for the first time they plump up to a beautiful shape showing off all their sexiness.
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They are then sorted again into weight and place into tins. The tins go through a final cooking process before being labelled.
 
Grading and Quality:

Abalone is graded by looking at the colour and weight. The creamier the colour and the bigger the size of the Abalone the higher the grade and the more expensive it is. In China it is seen as a very high commodity and is usually bought as a sign of wealth or given as a gift to show honour and respect in the wealthier communities. It was always illegal to sell fresh Abalone but it can be exported fresh with the right documentation and permits.

FUN FACT: The inside of the Abalone shell depends on the type of food they eat.
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Afterwards we went for coffee and people must have thought we were Abalone crazy because it is all we seemed to talk about. It was worth the trip and I would recommend anyone to take the tour, you walk out a richer person.  

For more information contact Abagold +27 (0)28 313 0253 or visit their website http://www.abagold.co.za/. You can join the tours from Monday to Friday at 11am. R50/person.

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Santé to New Years Resolutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year

On the 31st of December when the bubbles are flowing and everybody is merry we tend to love making New Year’s resolutions but after the New Year’s dust has settled and the holiday guests are starting to leave the reality of our New Year’s resolutions set in.

How many of us actually follow through on them? Good question because old habit die hard and new ones take some time to get use to! Never the less we want to know if you’ve made any New Year’s resolutions this year and are you actually planning to stick to them?

Like everyone else we decided to set certain resolutions (to us also known as goals) for Burgundy and we would love for you to help us succeed. Here are some of our resolutions for 2014:

–          We would love to increase our Facebook likes to a 1000. Please invite all your friends and become a true Burgundy ambassador.

–          Increase out Twitter followers to 500.  Don’t be scared to try Twitter it really is fun and can become a little addictive! Ask us we know. Set up an account here www.twitter.com

–          Become part of a community project that will uplift our staff as charity starts at home. This will include extra training in wine and other useful skills. We believe that if our staff is happy our customers will get the best experience possible.

–          Consistently provide great experiences for our customers through fantastic service and delicious food right through the year.

–          Focus on relationship building with our customers, staff and suppliers because we are an intricate Burgundy community that cannot function without one of the links.

Celia, Arthur & HerbertCelia, Arthur & Herbert

Celia, Arthur & Herbert

Setting goals are easy but keeping them up all through the year is the more difficult task. That’s why we need accountable partners that can keep us on track. That’s why we have you.

Thank you for all the support through the last year and becoming true Burgundy ambassadors. We celebrate and cherish every one of you! We’re extremely excited about 2014 and know that even though the bubbles have worn off and the holiday dust is settling we can’t wait to challenge this year with you.

Santé…to 2014!

Santé to 2014

 

 

Burgundy – Time to relax?

 


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This is the time of year that the Burgundy Restaurant Hermanus runs on double speed and craziness rule operations.  We have to juggle queues of holiday makers, make sure that all the orders for our fresh supplies can be delivered on time, stock the bar and…pray for less wind and more sunshine. However mad it gets Celia & Rayno need to take time out.  This is necessary to maintain sanity, refresh and make sure we are ready to receive the next batch of visitors to Burgundy.  The waves of visitors continue to arrive morning, noon and night.

So how do we at Burgundy recharge over the festive period?

  • we stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water – preferably with bubbles in
  • we make the most of short periods off duty by having a picnic at the beach
  • we escape to Cape Town – even if it is just for an evening
  • and…we love to spend time with our close friends

 

We also love stopping for a few seconds to personally say hello to new and old friends who visit our restaurant.

Celia & Rayno takes time out

Celia & Rayno takes time out

Burgundy celebrates the season

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THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY

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At Burgundy Hermanus this time of year is the time to go red and green and celebrate the end of another year.  There is no better way to celebrate than with good food, local wine and friends for company.  These 3 ingredients are mixed for good measure at Burgundy Hermanus and served in generous portions.  People come from far and near to relax and recharge. Their visits to the Burgundy are an integral part of their holiday.

Burgundy staff ready to celebrate the season with all our visitors

Burgundy staff ready to celebrate the season with all our visitors

Burgundy offers a familiar space with friendly faces where people know that a plate of good food can cure many ills.  This sense of community was felt yesterday with the commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s passing when the staff lined up and walked amongst the tables singing Asimbonanga.  This song was written specifically as a tribute to Nelson Mandela.

Mandela said it was music and dancing that made him at peace with the world and himself.  Lyrics of the song elude to “closing a distance between you and me” and at Burgundy Nelson Mandela’s legacy will be felt this season more than any other and we will always strive to close the distances, make the links and build the bridges.

We look forward to another festive season of serving our guests with friendship and our warm hospitality.  Thank you for visiting us year after year and extending your friendship to our establishment!

May you have a very blessed season!

Celia & Rayno & our extended Burgundy family team

Burgundy… Where the Whales are

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Whales, Swallows, we all love Hermanus

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Every year the whales visit Hermanus between July and November. This contributes to Hermanus tourist figures increasing rapidly.  At Burgundy Restaurant we certainly see our fare share of whale watchers as we have a perfect vantage from our front serving area.  The waiters at Burgundy are used to being asked “when will the whales be here?”.  Oh, the luxury of thinking you have a front seat at an aquarium with the benefit of enjoying great food and hospitality during the whale show.

Whales entertain visitors  right in front of the Burgundy!

Whales entertain visitors right in front of the Burgundy!

The whales are not the only migration that Hermanus experience.  Just before the whales start packing up for other shores the Hermanus Swallow returns for warmer weather.  These swallows don’t have feathered wings!  They rather fly in with VirginBritish Airways, KLM, Lufthansa and stay till before Easter.  Their stay is completely dependent on the warmer weather and the weak Rand.  While whales communicate using sonar, clicking, grunting and whistling sounds our Swallows seek the seats of Burgundy for their meet & greet sessions and catching up with Celia on life in Hermanus.  The food, the view, the company, the familiar staff and service draw our foreign visitors and they feel like family.  We hear about their family, children getting married and the antics of the new grandchildren. Every year we look forward to the return of our Swallows and we celebrate another year of growing wiser.