Dining With Russel Hlongwane
Balancing work and pleasure is often a problem for working class people, that is when Russel Hlongwane (24) who is the founder of the Fork, Knife and Diners club saw an opportunity to create a balance between the two.
Fork, Knife and glass is a dining for young professionals who love socializing and fine cuisine. It is however not a club in the traditional sense of the word. “There is no joining fee and no forms to fill in” says Hlongwane. This has been done in order to streamline access to the club. Hlongwane gets into contact with different restaurants owners to make your fine dining experience memorable. He organizes the venue and negotiates a good price for a three course meal which does not go above R120 per head.
But dining is what Hlongwane does for leisure. Having studied at the Institute of Chartered Shipbroker (London based) he just recently got his Diploma in Dry Cargo Chartering & Shipping.. He is employed by one of the biggest shipping liners in the world, Hapag Lloyd (Germany) and his duties are transport in West Africa agency.
Speaking on why he started the dining initiative Hlongwane highlighted his keen interest in different types of food. “I love good company and good food”, Hlongwane said. The idea hit him two years ago as he went to different restaurants every month to enjoy different cuisines, but the plan came into action this year. To him it’s a hobby as he is not getting paid for this work. “It’s my contribution to the arts, adding value to people’s lives and adding balance between work and play” he says, “It’s not a business network, it’s exclusively for conversation and heightening peoples feel of fine dining, but whichever direction the conversation takes it’s not entirely up to me”, added Hlongwane. The idea is to bring people together regardless of their age, race and profession but most of the people who are regulars in the club are between the ages of 21 and 26.
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