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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Main Ingredient's MENU - Glen carlou, Low carb diets, Restaurants, wine courses, products, Valentine's, picnics, restaurants and great events

MENU
Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods, Ingredients & Fine Wines
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
Click on anything underlined and Green to open a link to pictures or more information
Queen Mary 2 in Cape Town harbour

In this week’s MENU:
*     Market let down and disappointment
*     Glen Carlou tasting and lunch
*     Restaurant bookings
*     Cathy Marston wine courses
*     Low carb diets and recipe
*     Masterchef at Nederburg
*     Products
*     Valentine’s Day at restaurants and wine farms
*     Our market activities, events and restaurants
A REAL LET DOWN     Our week started really badly when Triangle Square Market’s director EB Amien (can others see the irony in that name?) cancelled the Cavendish Square markets, which were held on both Fridays and Saturdays, with one day’s notice. We were only there every second Friday, because of our commitments at Long Beach and the Neighbourgoods Market. This is the same person who cancelled the Long Beach Market with one day’s notice on the 18th of December 2010. People skills or ethics seem not to be a part of his ‘management’ skills and he has, in one swoop, taken away the livelihoods of several of the smaller market stall holders and some of his own staff. He also cancelled the Eden on the Bay market with very short notice. “To Let” signs were up on the empty shop in Cavendish, which he’d used as a base, the week before, so he obviously had plenty of warning. We are still happily working at our other two markets, Long Beach Mall (we’ll be there tomorrow) and the Biscuit Mill, and growing our trade on the Internet and from home, but a sudden loss of part of our income hurts badly. We, personally, do not intend ever to do business with Mr Amien again and we hope others get the message. He is apparently starting up a market in Somerset West Mall soon and currently has a market in a shop in Blue Route Mall.
Watch this space for news of ethical markets.
Glen Carlou for lunch and a seriously good wine tasting     Our wine club, the Oenophiles, decided that it was time for us all to have lunch at a wine farm during harvest and, because Glen Carlou has a very interesting range of wines from the other Hess Collection farms in Argentina, Australia and the USA, which are available for tasting, we went there on Sunday. While Europe froze, we sweltered in up to 39.5°C heat and, thank heavens, Glen Carlou’s huge thatched roof tasting room/ lounge/ restaurant is well air-conditioned. The Art Gallery is even cooler and people were dashing in there to cool down. We had arranged a set menu to follow the tasting and they really came to the party. (see the rest of our review here, with photos)
Booking dilemma     Restaurants get very irritated by people who book and then don’t turn up, but this week we encountered the other side of the coin. We needed a booking for lunch at a good restaurant and could not get one. Obviously, the top restaurants are not feeling the pinch of the recession. So we had to go on the waiting list for several. What would you do if you suddenly got onto more than one? Who would you let down? We couldn’t get into Babel or Overture or a couple of others but we did, finally, get a table today at The Test Kitchen, Luke Dale Roberts’ venue at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. We promise to write a great review for next week, but do not have the time today as this must go out tonight, but we can show you a few pictures. We did have a splendid meal.
Cathy Marston, whom many of you will know from her late, lamented The Nose wine bar and currently as wine editor of food24.com is about to launch WSET Wine Courses for serious students of wine. The UK-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) wine courses are recognised as the international standard for wine courses with Approved Programme Providers in over 55 countries around the globe teaching WSET to their students. You can see more details and contact her on her website. (Ctrl/click here to access it). Cathy will also start another in her less serious series of wine courses on Wednesday, February 28th. Relax, chill-out and UnWined with the sociable wine course which combines education with good times, good friends and good wines! Cathy has been running her hugely popular informal wine courses for more than 8 years now and the combination of great winemakers, her friendly and informative teaching style and some of SA’s top wines has proved to be a winning one. You can read more and enrol here.
Tim Noakes’ Low or No Carbohydrate diet?     We are following this closely, because we have a vested interest in finding out whether this is another healthy alternative or a lifestyle change to make. Let us know if you have had any experiences with this sort of diet. Strangely, everyone we have met recently who has lost a good bit of weigh has told us they did it by giving up carbs. Lynne is trying it out as she really needs to slim down a bit.
Lower Carbohydrate Coleslaw and Feta salad
As you are encouraged to eat cabbage and lots of proteins, fats and nuts,  Lynne came up with this quick salad.  Yes, carrots do have carbs in them but we are in transition so they worked for us. You could substitute apple or, better still, finely sliced peppers.
Half a small white cabbage – 2 grated carrots – 20g chopped nuts – 2 T good mayonnaise – 100g cubed Danish feta – sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Finely slice the cabbage, add the carrot, mix in the mayonnaise, season, taste, adjust and then toss in the nuts and the feta and serve with grilled fish or a good chop.
Nederburg for Masterchef
We are delighted to hear that Masterchef SA is going to be filmed at Nederburg which, when the programme is shown overseas, will do amazing things to showcase our beautiful winelands. And it will be a great place for all the contestants and other people involved to stay. The show will start broadcasting on MNet in March and they are filming now.
Products   We are still waiting for goose fat, but we have new stock of the wonderful balsamic 10 year old raspberry vinegar. We also have our new range of salts for you to try and our exotic spice mixtures are selling very well. Flavour is obviously what you are looking for. If you are looking for anything, have a look at our product list and tell us what you want. We are battling with the setup of our online shop, mainly because we are having difficulty integrating Payfast with the American web software we use. Paypal (unless we change banks, which we don’t want to do) is inaccessible because it does not work with our VAT system. But you will be able to access it through our website. If you can’t find what you need, let us know and we will try to find it for you. Until it is ready, drop us an email and we will help you.
We have a lot of fun putting MENU together each week and, of course, doing the things we write about, but making it possible for you to enjoy rare and wonderful gourmet foods is what drives our business. We stock a good range of ingredients and delicious ready-made gourmet foods. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our website. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa.
Our market activities We will be at Long Beach Mall on Friday, 10th February. We will be at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, exciting and atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00 and every Saturday.
There is a huge and rapidly growing variety of interesting things to occupy your leisure time here in the Western Cape. There are so many interesting things to do in our world of food and wine that we have made separate list for each month for which we have information. To help you choose an event to visit, click on our lists for January, February and March. All the events are listed in date order and we already have exciting events to entertain you through into the new year. Click here to access the list. You will need to be connected to the internet. We also have a long list of special Valentine’s Day activities, which you can open here.
Some restaurants have responded to our request for an update of their special offers and we have, therefore, updated our list of restaurant special offers. Click here to access it. These Specials have been sent to us by the restaurants or their PR agencies. We have not personally tried all of them and their listing here should not always be taken as a recommendation from ourselves. If they don’t update us, we can’t be responsible for any inaccuracies in the list. When we have tried it, we’ve put in our observations. We have cut out the flowery adjectives etc. that so many have sent, to give you the essentials. Click on the name to access the relevant website. All communication should be with the individual restaurants.
Summer time is picnic time and several wine farms offer picnic facilities. We have put together a list of wine farms who can provide you with a picnic, We haven’t put in much detail, just where it is, phone number, email address and a link to the website. The latter is where you will find all the important information. Go and check it out.





8th February 2012

Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our product list for details and prices.
PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information
Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169
Postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. Have fun while you learn more about wine and how it is made! Tours can be conducted in English, German, Norwegian or Dutch flavoured Afrikaans.
Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters are ©John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.
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