wine prices in restaurants

There are many things we have done since starting the Foodbarn; one that we are exceptionally proud of is ensuring a very reasonable wine list. Knowing what restaurants pay for wine, we are often quite disullusioned when we eat out by the prices that some restaurants get away with. This has often caused us to question this strategy of keeping our wine prices so reasonable … but are glad that we have stuck to our guns. So, it is with great interest that we read a debate in the media ( lately about the exorbitant prices of wines in some restaurants. The prices also differ so greatly from restaurant to restaurant that you may find yourself paying almost double in some places in comparison to others. While it is true that not all suppliers charge the same for wine, we as an industry need to get real … How is it possible that some restaurants charge R125.00 for a bottle of wine that they paid R30.00 for? We challenge anyone to justify this.

Obviously, the consumer is allowing this and these establishments are also obviously keeping the wine prices in line with the cost of their food. Quite frankly, this is a bit disturbing. If we were to charge for wine based on the talents of our chef, the wines would be exorbitant and so would our food be. In an effort to make the overall experience affordable and fun, we have taken certain measures.
Firstly, Franck has paired each menu item to the appropriate wine on our list … this is our suggestion anyway and we welcome any discussion and/or suggestions regarding these. Each of these wines is available by the carafe where you get a third of the bottle for a third of the price. We don’t load the price to compensate for any potential wastage as we use the ‘Verre de Vin’ technology to keep the wine from oxidizing. How awesome is it that a table of two could potentially have a three course meal, each course with a different wine and effectively only pay for two bottles … this is what we are about people … making the tastes and textures of fine dining that much more accessible and affordable, and hopefully, enjoyable too!
We don’t have a sommelier to ‘sell’ you an expensive bottle of wine and we don’t have uber expensive wine cooling equipment but we do have awesome relationships with many wine farms with whom we love working. This affords us the opportunity to bring you amazing ‘house’ wines from Klein Constantia and Cape Point Vineyards at very reasonable prices. It also makes it possible for us to bring you our insane winter special with Steenberg Vineyards and Nitida Wines. Not to mention the fab food and wine evenings with passionate and entertaining winemakers such as David Nieuwoudt from Cederberg and Kevin Grant at Ataraxia.
Understandably, there are still guests who prefer to bring their own special bottle of wine and for this we do charge a corkage of R40 and one is not limited to how many bottles you may bring (some people still shamelessly arrive with a cooler box full but that is the minority).
And then there is the Deli where we sell a lot of the wines available on the restaurant wine list (and many others) at really affordable prices.
The bottom line is this; we are passionate about our guests enjoying the overall experience of the Foodbarn (whether you are dining in the restaurant, buying wine at the deli or enjoying a bowl of tapas) … we have the delicious food, the caring and relaxed service, AND the affordable wines … we look forward to spoiling you.

Pete & Franck

meet kerry

Everybody is familiar with the old saying: “Behind every great man…….” This is definitely the case at the Foodbarn and the case with Franck. Yes, he has an amazing wife, but this is about the other woman in his life- Kerry, head chef at the Foodbarn.
Kerry Warren has been working with Franck since 2002. This multi talented chef, who attended Kingswood College and went on to Silwood School of Cookery for her formal training is just a country girl at heart. Growing up on a farm, surrounded by pineapple plantations, Kerry always knew that her passion lay in the kitchen. It’s a good thing that she did because she excelled and competed in equestrian events at a very high level and we may have lost her to the horsey world.
Franck is not only one of the finest chefs in this country but he has another talent…he surrounds himself with a team of professionals that have the skill and natural talent to carry out his vision. After having worked with him for so many years, Kerry speaks his language and understands exactly what he wants to create. This 28 year old chef runs a well oiled machine and has trained dozens of chefs that have themselves achieved top results at Silwood. Kerry chose to help Franck and Pete to put the Foodbarn on the culinary map by making the decision to start something new after her stint at La Colombe.

“When Kerry is in the kitchen, you just know that everything is ok”…. These are the words of her colleague and close friend Debbie (maître d and assistant manager). When Kerry is in the kitchen, magic happens and everything is sprinkled with a bit of “Vooma”-not surprising since she is capable of running a marathon and has a fitness routine that would kill most ordinary people.
Although Kerry is the woman behind the vision, she is a creative chef in her own right. Anyone who is lucky enough to taste her creations knows that she is made up of the winning recipe- 1 part Franck, 1 part Kerry and 1 part natural talent.
With her infectious laugh and loud voice, everyone at the Foodbarn looks forward to birthdays because you just know that she has something up her sleeve and you are going to get spoiled rotten with cake, balloons, and singing and sometimes even wine. The novelty never wears out for Kerry. Her staff is of utmost importance to her even though some chefs have a reputation for being downright nasty in some kitchens. Kerry is the voice of reason and you always know where you stand as well as exactly what she requires of you. There is never any unnecessary abuse and throwing of plates. You produce a plate of perfection, and that is all Kerry expects.
If you are a client at the Foodbarn, this is someone who deserves a large part of the credit for those delicious meals you share with us. We are grateful to this crazy, loud, sweet, funny, hardworking, seldom scary chef and lady that very often makes the impossible possible.
On Monday night, we had the privilege of receiving our fourth award at the American Express Fine Dining awards. The Foodbarn is proud to be one of the 78 restaurants in the country to have the privilege. Thanks to Franck, Pete and Kerry, this restaurant is recognized by those with obviously excellent taste.
Kerry Loo, as we affectionately know her, we look forward to thousands more delicious plates of food!!! We love you.

iona winter wine evening

What does it take to create magic?

Special wines, special food and special people. That is why we have the pleasure of introducing the wines of Iona. The Gunn family first acquired this special farm in 1997 as a run down apple orchard. The Gunns, who can trace their ancestry to the time of the Vikings (that’s where the longboat emblem of Iona comes from), renamed the farm after the spiritual island of Iona situated on the west coast of Scotland. It is no coincidence then that Iona, situated in the Kogelberg Nature reserve, 420 metres above sea level, produces wines from the coolest vineyard, in every sense of the word. Winning a double trophy at the 2007 London wine challenge for best South African white wine and sauvignon blanc, you could say that the run down orchard is a distant memory to Andrew Gunn.

Join us for a special evening of food and wine on the 24th September at 7.00pm. Franck has been so inspired by the delicious wines of Iona that you will be treated to no less than 5 varieties of wines from this special vineyard. ‘The wines from the Elgin Valley are intriguing and delicious and Iona are leading the way; I have been dying to pair their wines to my food’ enthuses Franck as only he can.

Start the evening off with the Iona Sophie Rosa when you arrive. This is just a taste of what the evening will deliver. With the 2010 Sauvignon blanc, a Norwegian salmon terrine. This is followed by an asparagus and oyster mushroom cannelloni with prawns and white truffle cream to be enjoyed with the 2009 Chardonnay.

The Iona Gunner 2005 will compliment the beef fillet with confied oxtail and fine beans with a thyme jus. Finally, to end off this delicious menu, the 2007 Iona Noble late Harvest to warm your heart with fresh strawberries, almond sabayon and lemon verbena panna cotta.
The wine evening gives you an opportunity to meet the people that make these amazing wines. The cost is R250.00 including wine. For reservations, please phone 021 7891390 or book on our website on where the menu is available in greater detail. If you have attended these wine evenings before, you will remember that the pairings are indeed phenomenal and make us wonder how Franck does it (we will never understand).

We look forward to seeing you there!


Image courtesy of Iona

tapas @ the deli

Tapas! The word on everyone’s mouths at the Foodbarn.
The idea for Tapas at the Foodbarn was conceived quite a while ago and finally on Tuesday the 13th September, Pete and Franck’s new baby was born. Tapas at the Foodbarn deli in the evenings has started. If you want a glass of wine in the evenings with delicious tapas style food that’s a little bit different to what you are used to in the village, pop in and enjoy mouth-watering dishes prepared by Phil Mansergh and his team. Of course Franck had something to do with the food, in case you were wondering.

In the front of house, Mike Lemin, will welcome and spoil you in true Foodbarn style. The knowledgeable staff will be able to guide you in your selection (which is the stressful part because everything is delicious) of dishes ranging from calamari and prawns to chorizo and churros.

There is more good news. The shop is open in the evenings as well so no more having to travel for your daily essentials.
The deli will be open from a Tuesday to a Saturday night from 6pm to 9pm so join us for a glass of wine and some Tapas before heading home at the end of the day.
See you there!  Click here for the menu