Happy Days at The Flagship – a dining experience with Chef Duncan Doherty & a tribute to the founder Chef Bruce Robertson

Happy Days at The Flagship – a dining experience with Chef Duncan Doherty & a tribute to the founder Chef Bruce Robertson

Chef Bruce launches & loves his Table d'Hote in Scarborough
Chef Bruce launches & loves his Table d’Hote in Scarborough

It all started with an email saying that top South African Chef Bruce Robertson was launching a Table D’Hote in his home in Scarborough.  I googled it and found it was a dine at home concept – so I interpreted it as a dine at home restaurant and immediately released a blog saying that he was launching a new restaurant in Scarborough.  Little did I know the chaos that blog would unleash!  The mayor and the police turned up to check it out and to tell him he could not open a “restaurant” in Scarborough!  He invited them in and while they were sitting at the dining table having coffee he told them that they were sitting in the “restaurant” – he planned to offer home dining!  I received a call to say “please take down the blog!”  ……….and oddly enough this started our friendship!  I am a foodie and had of course followed him through his various restaurants, but only got to really know him when I become a devotee of his Table D’Hote!  Being a foodie guide I swung as many foodies past his door as I could!   Soon the space in Scarborough became too small and Bruce and his partner started looking for a new home where he could host up to 16 people for a five course lunch paired with wines.   Being on the sea the theme was always fish, the use of local ingredients and sustainability.  The magic of the concept was the interaction with the chef due to his plating everything in front of you and introducing each course.  It was truly Happy Days for the Boat House and the new Flagship.

Bruce entertaining his visitors at the Flagship
Bruce entertaining his visitors at the Flagship

Sadly Chef Bruce passed away a few weeks ago very suddenly.  The impact was felt across the Cape Town foodie fraternity as well as by his huge group of his friends.  The man touched so many people and was truly loved by so many.  He was the most energetic and vital person I knew.  Quite simply he was 10 tons of passion and someone who could not sit still.  I know deep in my heart that Bruce would have wanted his legacy to carry on and I can actually picture him toasting his friend Chef Duncan for stepping up to the plate.

Welcome Chef Duncan Doherty to The Flagship
Welcome Chef Duncan Doherty to The Flagship

The Flagship offers visitors the opportunity to book for a 5 course lunch paired with 5 wines prepared by top local chef Duncan Doherty.  Duncan brings with him many years of experience and his own signature style.  During lunch you have the opportunity to relax and either watch the sea views or watch Duncan preparing and plating all of the courses in front of you.  Chef Duncan welcomes you to take photos or ask questions or learn more about the stocks and sauces and ingredients while you are there.

Chef Duncan continues the tradition of a seafood theme - but is showing his Franschhoek roots by serving the trout!
Chef Duncan continues the tradition of a seafood theme – but is showing his Franschhoek roots by serving the trout!

The last time I saw Chef Duncan was when he owned and cooked at his bistro called  Cotage Fromage in the Franschhoek valley.   It was always a favourite of mine.  Over the years he has had his thumb in a number of local Franschhoek restaurants.  He hails from Franschhoek ………..but if you dig further back, he departed from England 20 years ago and headed for our sunshine!  Never to return!

Chef Duncan introducing the Trout course at the Flagship
Chef Duncan introducing the Trout course at the Flagship

Duncan brings with him his own style of cooking, his passion for sustainability and fresh ingredients and a fabulous sense of humour!!

Locally sourced cheese from Ocean View
Locally sourced cheese from Ocean View

I am looking forward to many more lunches at the Flagship this summer!  I loved my experience there with Chef Duncan Doherty.  Happy Days Duncan.  I wish you lots and lots of hours of happy creativity in the kitchen at The Flagship.

To book you can either see live availability online.  To go to the website click here or Email: reservations@capeflagship.com  Tel: +27 21 786 1700

Note you can also check yourself into The Flagship – they have four gorgeous room downstairs.  This is the perfect place to Eat, Stay & Play.

NOTE THE FLAGSHIP CLOSed DOWN END APRIL 2016 – they were renting the property and sadly the owners gave them notice.   It is the end of an amazing foodie experience and Bruce’s legend. We miss you Bruce and hope you are having “happy days” in the skies above us.

The Flaghsip - Eat, Stay & Play....... a great idea for a staycation for us locals - beats drinking & driving!
The Flaghsip – Eat, Stay & Play……. a great idea for a staycation for us locals – beats drinking & driving!

3 thoughts on “Happy Days at The Flagship – a dining experience with Chef Duncan Doherty & a tribute to the founder Chef Bruce Robertson

  1. Hello, On my 1st trip to South Africa from the U.S. I had the pleasure of dining with chef Duncan just days before the flagship closed. I’m planning a return visit in late September and was wondering if Duncan has started a new venture yet. I NEED to taste some of his delicious food again! If you have any info I would really appreciate it. Thank you, Robyn Arena

    1. Hi Robyn. I am going to try and find out where Duncan has gone to! However – a similar concept has just launched in Noordhoek – so don’t miss out on experiencing it! It is called The Foodbarn Studio – Chef Nicky in collaboration with Famous chef Frank from The Foodbarn are doing a 5 course wine and dine experience on the hillside above Noordhoek -http://www.thefoodbarn.co.za/studio/

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