Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekend away

This time next week I'll be in the airport, boarding my flight to Amsterdam, so the husband and I can begin our European honeymoon adventure.
I expect to gain at least 5kgs from all the amazing food, beer and wine I'll be indulging in over the two weeks that we're travelling from country to country.

And speaking of indulgences, tomorrow morning I'll be heading to Haute Cabriere in Franschoek for a sumptuous breakfast followed by a cellar tour. http://www.cabriere.co.za/
I've been a fan of their Chardonnay Pinot Noir blend for years, but have never visited the farm before, so expect a post on this soon.

Franschoek is going to be buzzing this weekend with the Uncorked festivities, so if you haven't made any plans yet, head out that way for some gourmet food and wine tasting. For more info, click here
or check out the website: http://www.franschhoekuncorked.co.za/

I won't be hanging out in Franschoek though (sadly), but will be heading further up country (about 2 to 2 and a half hours drive from Cape Town) to the town of Swellendam for a bit of garagiste wine tasting, a five-course meal inspired by pomegranates and a luxurious stay over in a heritage-site boutique hotel run by an old work colleague.
Also expect a post on this soon...

Have a good weekend all, and as usual, I think the first day of 'Spring' will be rainy and cold, so stay warm (with the help of many glasses of wine)!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Have you heard about Restaurant Week?

La Mouette
Cape Town Restaurant Week runs from 22-29 September and during this time, Cape Town food lovers get to eat out at their favourite restaurants for just R125 for a 3-course lunch or R200 for a 3-course dinner. Take note however of the fact that some restaurants carry the DiningCity Star next to their name. These restaurants have a surcharge of R50 per menu because they are in a higher price category. The 3-course lunch is R175 and the 3-course dinner is R250.

List of restaurants includes legends such as The Roundhouse, Pigalle, La Mouette, 5 Rooms, The Duchess Of Wisbeach, Planet Restaurant and many more...


 
Plus a number of restaurants in the winelands such as Mange Tout and Haute Cabrière...
Read more about Restaurant Week at http://www.restaurantweek.co.za and book your reservation asap, before the restaurants are all sold out.

The Roundhouse

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm getting married!!!!!!

I'm getting married this weekend...




So, adios amigos!!! Next time you hear from me, I will be a MRS!!

September Food News Pages for House & Garden magazine


Cape Townians can especially look our for:

FROM ROOFTOP TO TABLET

WOODSTOCK’S UPPER EASTSIDE
HOTEL IS CELEBRATING ITS NEW HERBFILLED
ROOFTOP GARDEN THROUGH
CHEF SIMON KEMP’S SPRING MENU,
WHICH FEATURES DISHES USING
THESE FRESH, ORGANIC GREENS.
UPPER EASTSIDE HOTEL

ORGANIC WHITES to stock your fridge with

From left: Elgin Ridge 282 Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – named after
its organic grapes grown 282-metres above sea level Elgin Ridge
079 433 9400; Reyneke Reserve White 2010 – Sauvignon Blanc
aged for 15 months in French oak Reyneke Wines 021 881 3517;
Silvermist Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – the only organic wine
farm in Constantia Silvermist Organic Vineyards 021 794 7601;
Lazanou Chardonnay 2011 – with 30-per-cent on French oak
for nine months Lazanou Organic Vineyards 083 265 6341

Watch chefs in action — for a superlative
eating experience book the Chef’s Table for
dinner at the Planet Bar, Cape Town. From an
alcove in the kitchen you can watch Rudi
Liebenberg create his spectacular springbok and
beetroot dish, plus indulge in the Chocolate
Table exclusive to this experience.

There is a defi nite nostalgia-fuelled return to old haunts like Pizzeria Napoletana in Sea Point and Nelson’s Eye in Cape Town.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My adoration for Tokara Restuarant



I had one of the best food experiences of my life the other night, when my fiance and I went to Tokara Restaurant for dinner.
I have read so much about Richard Carstens – I like to sometimes think of him as SA's Heston Blumenthal – although his style is extremely unique and original.
Tokara is also such a gorgeous setting, and heading out towards the Stellenbosch winelands doesn't take much convincing, particularly when there are winter specials on.
Each day Tokara presents a new menu for the day, consisting of 7 courses.

This is what we had the other night:


-Frozen sorrel dome, caviar, chilli with yoghurt and butternut 
-Duck prosciutto, pressure-­cooked sesame seeds, daikon, goji berries, coconuttiradito and yuzu
-Prawn ravioli and prawn chorizo, edamame, kingklip with saffron mussel sauce
-Dry aged roast carrot, gorgonzola, yoghurt, curry oil, orange, macadamia, white chocolate & herbs
-Intermezzo 
-Springbok, sweet potato, pears, jerepigo and pepper sauce 
-Coconut sorbet, ginger mousse, litchi parfait, granita and white chocolate
-Three minute chocolate tart, vanilla crème and grand marnier icecream

It's the perfect restaurant for a birthday treat, anniversary or seriously impressive first date. The service is first class and the waiters are well informed about the food.

Wine pairings are optional too, so ask about these – and try the Tokara wines, Miles Mossop (winemaker) makes a great Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc and dessert wine if you can get your hands on any. Ask to try the Miles Mossop Saskia (chenin viognier) – it blew our minds and has become one of my favourite white wines.

I also got to peek inside Richards kitchen and meet some of the chefs who work under his guidance.



My fiance and I both decided that we'd never had food quite like Richards before, and that we can't wait to go back again.

For reservations, call +27 (0) 21 885 2550
or email reservations@tokara.com

The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesdays to Sundays and for dinner Tuesdays to Saturdays. Please note: Tokara Restaurant is a non-smoking area.

http://www.tokararestaurant.co.za

My interview with Heston Blumenthal


For the September issue of House & Garden magazine, I got to interview Heston Blumenthal – a true gastronomic legend and international celebrity chef. How did I get so lucky?
Well, he happens to be heading to the Good Food & Wine Show Joburg on (Sorry fellow Cape Townians!!)... but he does have a lot of good things to say about Cape Town... and who knows, he may pop in for a visit again soon...

Here is the interview:

What keeps bringing you back to
South Africa? It’s simply one of
the most beautiful countries in the
world — I get withdrawal symptoms.

What’s your take on South African cuisine?
South Africa is gifted with an incredible wealth
of produce, such as great meat and wonderful
seafood. Its rich multicultural influence, from
Portuguese to Cape Malay, also intrigues me.
More traditional offerings are of the carnivore’s
delight on the braai, like boerewors.

What foodie discoveries did you make during
your last trip to South Africa? When I was
at the Cape Town Good Food & Wine Show
last year, I visited some incredible restaurants
in the winelands. These passionate chefs
are working with small local producers,
encouraging them to grow different varieties
of fruit and vegetables, as well as rear organic
or free-range meat and poultry.

Where in Joburg will we find you when you’re
not at the Good Food & Wine Show? In every
restaurant I can physically visit! Also, if time
allows, I would like to visit a game reserve.

What’s your most memorable restaurant
experience in South Africa? There are too many
to pin-point just one — eating crayfish on the
beach at Fish Hoek, an extravagant four-hour
tasting menu, enjoying a glass of wine and a snack
on top of Table Mountain while watching the
incredible African sunset, having a braai in the
dunes at Bloubergstrand ... When I visit the Cape
I also love to go to Camps Bay for a big plate of
seafood and watch the waves crash between the
palm trees — it was my late father’s favourite
thing to do, so it’s a special moment.

Which South African ingredients do you find
stimulating and have you incorporated them in
any of your own dishes? Rooibos tea — which
I drink in the UK when I can — and also curing
fish, which I use in our The Sound of the Sea
dish, which is made up of sand, seafood and
the ocean waves, which you listen to through
an iPod in a shell. Oh, and I do find it hard to
resist a brown paper bag with great biltong.

Have you ever attempted to recreate a
typical South African dish? I hadn’t thought
about it, but there’s no reason why it could
not go on the radar as a future target. I love
Bobotie. It reminds me of Cape Town, the
same way guava does — the first time I ate
guava was in Cape Town.

What do you have in store for the Good
Food and Wine Show? I will take audiences on
a journey as I create my iconic dishes such as
The Sound of the Sea with edible sand, logicdefying
Hot and Iced Tea, my famous Snail
Porridge and my epic Mock Turtle Soup.

Here are the deets:
Visit the Good Food & Wine Show at the Coca-Cola Dome from 21 to 24 September and book a VIP package with Heston Blumenthal. Good Food & Wine Show, www.goodfoodandwineshow.co.za

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ice Cream and Wine Pairings this Spring



With Spring around the corner, it's a great time to head outdoors and try something quite unique in the winelands... Clos Melverne's Ice Cream & Wine Pairings.

The tastings including four ice creams and wines, starting with the Snow Pea, Mint & Lime ice cream matched with the estate’s Sauvignon Blanc; Gooseberry & Macadamia nut ice cream with the lightly wooded Clos Malverne Chardonnay; Carrot Cake ice cream with the popular coffee-style pinotage, Le Café; and lastly finish with the Lavender & Honey ice cream paired with the Clos Malverne Pinotage Reserve.



The tastings are from 1 September until the end of November. These pairings are served from Tuesdays till Saturdays between 10h00 and 16h00. Pre-booking is essential, so plan now for your Spring winelands outing. Tastings are R55 per person.

021 865 2022
www.closmalverne.co.za

Friday, August 10, 2012

High Tea now offered at Longridge Estate


Longridge Wine Estate and Restaurant between Stellenbosch and Somerset West launched their new High Tea series on Women’s Day, yesterday.

Future high teas will be held during the weekends, so keep an eye on the website or contact them to find out when the next one is... items on offer include: finger sandwiches, scones with shiraz jam, cheeses, smoked salmon, rosewater marshmallows and a variety of cakes and pastries...  plus a glass of bubbles, loose leaf teas and coffee.






The view from the upstairs room, overlooking the winelands and all the way to Cape Town is simply stunning.

And who can pass of a glass of Longridge Chardonnay – it's one of the best around!

021 855 2004
www.longridge.co.za

New Uwe Koetter Jewellery store at Cape Quarter





A brand new and beautiful Uwe Koetter jewellery store has opened at the Cape Quarter in de Waterkant – and what a fab launch it was! I love the fact that the store has it's own wine and bubbly bar – thanks to Allee Bleue (www.alleebleue.com) – and an on-site bridal and events consultancy presented by the renowned Aleit Group.



Ultra luxe, tech savvy Vertu phones stocked at the new UWE KOETTER store
Being one of the only Cape Town jewellers who has a De Beers Trained Diamond Grading Expert on site, Uwe Koetter only select stones with the best qualities across Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat.

 www.uwekoetter.co.za
021 425 7770

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hemelhuijs - the ultimate Cape Town lunch spot

Today I went for lunch at Hemelhuijs... (I know, you're jealous right now) and it was not just any indulgent three-course lunch, but the launch of their new menu.

 I agonised over my choices, debating with the foodies around me on what to try. Eventually I settles on the beetroot salad with warm roast duck, celeriac, walnut praline and aged balsamic as my starter (R55) and the slow roasted pork neck with milk stout, Abraham lyle & son golden syrup, ginger and cauliflower (R120).
And then there were the desserts.... to-die-for... I was trying to squeeze bits of nougat, apple and peacan tart in with a mouthful of orange cake with caramel icing *groan*

beetroot and duck salad

pork neck

They have gorgeous freshly squeezed fruit juices – and I mean fresh – try the pear, carrot, apple and winter melon juice (R45 - 500ml).
pear, carrot, apple and winter melon juice

Other lunch hits were the aubergine with gorgonzola, olive cream and pear (R45 starter, R80 for main); the braised beef brisket with snails, garlic butter and parsley (R130 main) and the sichuan peppered calamari with lime mayonaise and green papaya salad (R85).

Chef and designer Jacques Erasmus, besides thrilling and filling us with his awesome food, he has made the most beautiful crockery and wooden serving bowls, which were simply gorgeous.


So make a turn next time you're in De Waterkant area for a luscious lunch...

021 418 2042
www.hemelhuijs.co.za
Check out these awesome zoo-biscuit style cookies, hand painted and available from Hemelhuijs

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Food Market at V&A Waterfront



I'd heard rumors about a full-on food market opening at the V&A waterfront last year already... and now it's been confirmed...

Plus for all those foodies wanting to peddle their wares, here are contact details and info for vendor applications.

Here are the deets:



The Market will be situated adjacent to the Nobel Laureate Square inside the historic Power Station (on the site of the Musica flagship store) in the Waterfront precinct. In what promises to be the largest fresh produce and prepared food market in South Africa, Market on the Wharf enables Cape Town to be on par with international cities in its offering of an authentic organic and fresh food destination.

As one of Africa’s most visited tourism sites, the world renowned V&A Waterfront is not only a premier destination for internationals, but also popular with locals and South Africans. With Table Mountain designated as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world and Cape Town as the Design Capital in 2014, the scene is set for a vibrant cultural and food tourism arena. At this point in time, Cape Town does not have an all-under-one-roof large fresh food market accessible to both locals and tourists.

Vendor applicants will be required  to complete Vendor Information Forms to be found on our website  www.marketonthewharf.co.za.  They may be required to  submit product samples at a later stage.

Daily rates will include security, marketing and PR as well as cleaning and waste removal of the common areas. Water, electricity, equipment and store fittings will be for the vendors account. Stall sizes for permanent vendors vary from 4 square meters upwards, available at a daily rate of between R350 - R550 per day (excluding VAT).

The V&A Market on the Wharf will be open for trading on Wednesdays - Sundays 9.00am - 19.30pm. The Market will be in operation 22 days a month, including public holidays.
The Market on the Wharf’s launch date is 1 November 2012. Its vendor mix will include a butchery, fishmongers, bakers, confectioners, dairy products, fruit & vegetables, olives, herbs & spices, delicatessen products, nuts, tea & coffee, condiments and other specialty stores, such as wine merchants, fresh fruit juices, flowers etc.  All vendors will have to meet specific standards for every produce item and guarantee the freshness of their products.

Please go to: www.marketonthewharf.co.za  for further information or call Ruth Munitz at 082 394 0015