|South African golfing star Ernie Els at is restaurant
It was an evening of celebration indeed this past January. Sporting legends, Durban shakers & movers, business personalities and members of the media turned out in full-force to enjoy the official opening of the Big Easy Winebar & Grill, at Hilton Durban, with host Ernie Els, South Africa's international golf star. This restaurant is the first Big Easy, outside of the original, flagship restaurant in Stellenbosch near Cape Town.
Els, who jetted in from Johannesburg between tournaments, moved easily amongst the crowd, excited to have him in South Africa's coastal city of Durban, bumping into old friends and chatting to guests at the party, many of who couldn't resist the opportunity of a "selfie" with the sporting icon.
Although the restaurant has been operational for three months, this was the first time Els had seen the final product...giving it his "stamp of approval," during his speech to the gathered audience.
He also praised the vision and innovation of the various partners involved in the project; the Hilton Hotel Group, the design team of Therese Virserius and the restaurant opening team.
With Head Chef, Janine Fourie at the helm, the restaurant's culinary emphasis is on fresh, locally sourced produce, free range and organic meat and fresh seafood. With a commitment to farm-to-table delivery, the menu is a taste sensation from across the nation, delivered to perfection. The Big Easy serves a fresh, seasonally driven menu, sourcing ingredients and produce from artisan suppliers and featuring classic dishes, authentic local specialties and Ernie's personal favorites.
Alongside Ernie Els signature wines, the bar is stocked with an extensive collection of selected quality wines, many of which are available by the glass, and feature up and coming wine-makers. Wine aficionados will also be able to enjoy the entire Ernie Els collection, comprising 10 wines, as well as Ernie Els Vintage wines from 2002 and 2006.
To complement the wine selection, a comprehensive portfolio of local craft beer, fine whiskeys, cognacs and cocktails is available, ensuring that there is something for everyone. Sommelier, Eric Botha is on hand to add his considerable knowledge and advice to the dining experience.
The interior of the restaurant focuses on comfort, with a contemporary South African aesthetic. The Chefs Table and tastefully appointed Private Dining Room are welcome additions, to the usual restaurant layout.
A lounge, with large screen TV monitors, for watching...golf (and other sporting events) and a large Bar with an impressive wine bottle display forming a dramatic floor to ceiling backdrop, dominates the space at the east end, while the dining area, looking onto the large Open Kitchen, is unobtrusively cordoned off by the "bottle wall."
The Els influence can be seen throughout with many personal touches, including custom-made furniture and a feature wall filled with memorabilia, replica trophies and images giving the venue a homely ambiance; while in the Private Dining Room, guests have the opportunity to sit down in comfortable style, as if in the company of "The Big Easy" himself.
Outside, the stylish Terrace is ideal for al fresco dining and chilling. A foliage wall, as well as locally sourced furniture and accents, honors South Africa's rich artistic heritage and natural beauty.
Over the coming months Big Easy Winebar & Grill will be introducing Sunday Jazz Sessions, regular events and wining and dining specials.
Big Easy Durban by Ernie Els
Tel: +27 31 336 8166
About Big Easy Durban by Ernie Els
The Hilton Durban has partnered with golf superstar, Ernie Els, with the opening of the Big Easy Durban by Ernie Els. Echoing Els' easy style, restaurant is unpretentious, yet sophisticated, and brings together all the elements that make a restaurant more than just a venue. Great food, amazing décor and a laid-back vibe...Big Easy-style.
Big Easy Winebar & Grill is the first Ernie Els inspired restaurant outside of Stellenbosch and takes its name from the champion golfer's nickname. Els is known as much for his effortless golf swing as for his big heart and philanthropic efforts and is synonymous with all-round excellence; pursuing the best in sports and leisure, while always staying true to his love of family and country.
About Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Founded in 1919 as the flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to build upon its legacy of innovation by developing products and services to meet the needs of savvy global travelers at more than 550 hotels across six continents. Hilton is the stylish, forward-thinking global leader in hospitality with Team Members shaping experiences in which every guest feels cared for, valued and respected. Access the latest news at www.news.hilton.com or www.hilton.com/offers for the latest hotel specials. Hilton Hotels & Resorts is one of Hilton Worldwide's 12 brands.