Friday, December 21, 2012

20 December 2012 Main Ingredient's MENU - On Line Shop, holidays, Kirstenbosch carols, Waterkloof MW dinner

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 229 1172

South Africa's national flower, a young Protea cynaroides, the King Protea

In this week’s MENU:
*       On Line Shop
*       This week’s Product menu   
*       Our market activities
*       Holidays
*       Kirstenbosch carols
*       Cees van Casteren MW dinner at Waterkloof
*       and a wonderful Christmas and New Year to all
*       Wine and Food Events in 2012 & 2013
*       Wine courses & cooking classes

To take a look at our Main Ingredient blogs, follow the link: because to tell our whole story here would take too much space and you can also read earlier blogs. We are constantly surprised at how many of the older blogs are still being read. Google Analytics tells us how many people are reading them and where they are. There is something special about seeing that our ramblings are being read in China or South Korea. Readers in Europe, The UK and North America are a good percentage, but the surprise always comes from the countries outside our normal reach. Click on underlined and Bold words in the text of this edition to open links to pictures, blogs, pertinent websites or more information. Follow us on Twitter: @mainingmenu

Main Ingredient's On Line Shop is performing very well. We are continuing to update it with new products and with photographs of products. E had a small glitch when we removed our bank details and this prevented a few of you from placing an order. We have corrected this, but - Do not pay until we have confirmed availability and invoiced you. Use the form on the website to email us your order and we will send you the final invoice.   Click here to see the shop.
This week’s Product menu    Christmas treats are the order of the day: Lynne's puds and cakes, chestnuts, sweet and savoury, patés, mustards and all sorts of other delicacies. If you want something delicious for your Christmas dinner without having to spend the day slaving in a hot kitchen, our cans of confit duck will save you effort and give you a meal to remember. Check them in our online shop. We have also had orders for other delicacies, which we can provide frozen to special order, such as frozen croissants (case lots only), scallops and frogs' legs.
Fresh truffles are still available to special order. We need to know your requirement as soon as possible after you receive this, so that we can quote you and receive your payment in time to send your order to the supplier. Burgundy is the most affordable and orders must be in multiples of 50 grams. The truffles will be airfreighted. We can source white truffles from Alba and black truffles from Perigord but the price is significantly higher. Send us a message if you wish to order.
Christmas cometh whatever we may do....     Lynne has been baking her individual mini Christmas cakes and full-sized Christmas puddings this week. Send her a message if you’d like to place an order.
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  Come and visit us at the Old Biscuit Mill’s wonderfully exciting, atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday and every Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00. Tip: Some visitors tell us how they struggle to find parking. It’s quite easy if you know how. Click here for a map which shows where we park.
Cape Point Vineyards Market in Noordhoek is where we'll be again next Thursday evening, December 27th. Come and buy some New Year treats, enjoy some of their stunning wines and have a picnic while you watch the sun go down.

Holidays     Well, most of you will have packed it in at work and are taking a holiday. Because of the way the dates fall, it is possible that you are taking a lovely long break for only a few days of leave. But some of us have to work and make money. We see super photos of where you are on Facebook, walking on beaches, in the mountains, braaiing and eating enormous crayfish, or dosas in India. We just work. We are envious. It is a rewarding time of year, being able to supply all our customers with the luxuries they need for Christmas and New Year and getting paid for doing so. But we SO need a break away from all this. Lynne is fantasizing about walking along an empty beach soon. Maybe March.
Our Internet shop is showing great results and we hope to add lots of new products to it in the New Year. Luckily the social work events calm down a lot in December so we do find ourselves with days off with little to do, except work from home. We hope you have been able to take time off to be with your family and loved ones; that you will have a great break and a Happy Christmas and New Year or whatever celebration is appropriate to you and makes you happy. We hope we see lots of you next year.ope we
Carolling in key, but in the dark     This week we managed to squeeze in a visit to Kirstenbosch for Carols by Candlelight, an annual event which we love and try not to miss. Sadly, it is now Carols by Glowstick, safer for the little ones we realise, but it has lost a great deal of its charm and atmosphere and the glow sticks do not give that much light, so we found it quite hard to read the hymn sheet without a torch. But we enjoyed a good bellow, a lovely picnic and lots of lovely carols. And the grass is always spotless when everyone leaves, which is impressive. Would that all who go to our coastline could leave it as clean… Click here for some photos

Feasting with Cees van Casteren MW at Waterkloof     On Monday night we were invited to a function at Waterkloof restaurant in Somerset West. Cees van Casteren has become the 301st Master of Wine and is only the second one from the Netherlands. His dissertation was on Chenin and many of the people in the South African wine industry were invited to answer a questionnaire he wrote as part of this; and we were two of them. He generously provided a superb dinner, told us about the Master of Wine examinations, which are extremely difficult and take several years to complete. He also provided some absolutely amazing wines from his own cellar and put on two quizzes during the meal. Click here to see the pictures and what we ate and drank.
We drank local Chenins and other wines with our dinner and we had one "stand up" quiz, where we all tasted the same wine blind and then Cees asked us various questions like: “Is the wine you are tasting local or foreign?” Then all those who thought local had to sit down. And so it went until there were only two people left standing: Tyrrel Myburgh and Rijk Melck. They both managed to identify the wine we were all tasting as a Bordeaux left bank St Julien and, finally, Rijk won by a nose. During the second quiz each table got a carafe of wine to identify amongst themselves, and each table had a different wine. Our table managed to come second. These are great fun quizzes to do with your wine club and we had wine left over to drink with the food.

This week’s Recipe     There is no recipe this week, as we are sure you all have had your Christmas meal planned for weeks. If you want to know what to do with the leftovers, watch the Food channels, they seem to have countless ideas this month.
And finally…
There won’t be an issue of MENU next week or in the first week of January; we will be taking a tiny rest, but we wish you all a very, very Happy Christmas and an even better 2013 to come. Drive safely, drink wisely and well. Above all, have a wonderful time.
Food and wine (and a few other) events for you to enjoy
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 Events Calendar. All the events are listed in date order and we already have a large number of exciting events to entertain you right through the year. Click here to access the Calendar. You will need to be connected to the internet. We have a new calendar for 2013. Check it here.

Learn about wine and cooking We have had a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine. Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details here.
Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here. Pete Ayub, who makes our very popular Prego sauce, runs evening cooking classes at Sense of Taste, his catering company in Maitland. We can recommend them very highly, having enjoyed his seafood course. Check his programme here. Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has cooking classes in Fish Hoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details here.

Sadly, refreshing our restaurant specials list takes more time than we have, especially at this time of the year, so we have set it aside for now. There are numerous special dinners listed in the above-mentioned events calendar.

13th December 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.

This electronic journal has been sent to you because you have personally subscribed to it or because someone you know has asked us to send it to you or forwarded it to you themselves. Addresses given to us will not be divulged to any person or organisation. We collect them only for our own promotional purposes and keep our mailing list strictly confidential. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please click here to send us a message and if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please click here to send us a message.

Carols at Kirstenbosch

The crowds gather early and find comfortable places on the sloping lawn
and are entertained by the bands while lights come on over the city
glow sticks are not as much fun as candles, but phones are also quite handy
with much enthusiastic waving of the sticks, safer but not anywhere close to being as much fun as real candles.
A look down at Llandudno in the light of the new moon on our way home
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cees van Casteren MW dinner at Waterkloof

Guests gather in the Waterkloof restaurant and we examine a fridge full of great wines
Renée Daneel, Francois Naude and his wife Magda
Rows of tables automatically divided us up into teams
Norman McFarlane and Andre van Rensburg heading for a look at the wines
What a sensational view from the restaurant
Our host, Cees van Casteren MW
Teddy Hall of Teddy Hall Wines and Andre van Rensburg of Vergelegen, discussing the finer points of winemaking
The amuse of duck liver paté with crumbs and a mango emulsion
Duncan Savage of Cape Point Vineyards with Tierhoek winemaker Roger Burton
Duncan with Philip van Zyl, editor of the John Platter Guide, and David Trafford of de Trafford wines
A selection of stunning wines
Norman McFarlane of The Bolander and his wife Eppy
Waiting for the dinner to begin
We were intrigued by this amazing collection of old wines and a port that is as old as Lynne. They did appear later in the dinner as part of a quiz
The kitchen, getting ready to present the first course...
...  lime cured Fisantekraal trout with roasted beetroots, a wasabi cucumber sorbet,
a creamed horseradish sauce and a sesame crisp
Cess van Casteren MW tells us of his path to becoming Holland's second Master of Wine and his thesis on Chenin Blanc
Head chef Gregory Czarnecki, originally from France, on the pass.
He places emphasis on using superb produce, sourced locally
A rapt audience of wine people listens to Cees explain how the quiz will work later
Fellow guests at our table included Roger Burton of Tierhoek wines and his charming wife and Duncan Savage
Chef Gregory Czarnecki  explains the night's menu
Smiling Valley Marron, Revisited “prawn cocktail” is the menu description. 
A marron is a fresh water crayfish, now being farmed here, and this was served with a marie rose sauce, a slice of avocado, a lovely lemon cream sauce and very interesting fritter containing marron meat and dipped in a very sweet syrup, a sweet and savoury koeksuster?  Some loved it (us), some did not
A view from the gallery of people chatting while awaiting the next course
John sat next to Richard Hilton of Pax Verbatim wines, Lynne sat next to Nora Sperling Thiel of Delheim, who is next to her husband Erhard Thiel. Opposite them are Duncan Savage, Ginny Povall of Botanica Wines, Norman McFarlane and Epi McFarlane
Cees discusses Chenin with Richard Hilton
Ginny Povall chats to Duncan Savage
Muratie owner Dr Rijk Melck, the winner of the first stand up quiz, who guessed correctly that we were tasting a left bank Bordeaux wine - 2008 Chateau Gloria from St Julien - and just pipped Joostenberg's Tyrrel Myburgh to the post
The wine we all had to guess and there were some very interesting conclusions..
Rijk received a very nice prize of a bottle of Château Branaire, St Julien 1986
Chef Gregory doing the rounds and getting some very good feedback
Main course was the most tender springbok fillet with aubergine caviar and a cream and brandy sauce with roasted hazelnuts
Grand Cru Chateau La Lagune 1968 Haut Medoc, one of the wines opened for the second part of the quiz, where each table had to guess the identity of the wine they were given to taste blind. 
Another wine tasted was Chateau Duhart Milon Rothschild 1978 Pauillac Grand Cru Classé
Cees van Casteren MW reads out the table quiz results.  Our table came a creditable second, correctly guessing that the wine we tasted  was from Italy and Tuscan, mainly due to the Sperling end of the table. It was Lagerla Rosso di Montalcino 2007. We were way out on the vintage, believing it to be much older. The winning table, which included Mr & Mrs André van Rensburg, Francois and Magda Naude and Philip and Cathy van Zyl MW, correctly guessed theirs. It was a red blend from Chile, and they cracked the vintage: 2006.
Next came the cheese course, a 9 month matured Healey's cheddar, served with a spiced pear tarte tatin
Duncan, looking happy after all the wonderful wines we had tasted
The waiter pours our dessert wine, Rudera noble late harvest
Our first dessert was a Tellicherry Pepper Panna cotta , Cape gooseberries, smoked pear sorbet, and muesli soil
Lynne got to taste and take home the empty bottle of Hutcheson Port Colheita 1947 for our cellar. There was a lot of ullage and sediment and many of the flavours were suppressed by age, but you could still taste the tawny port character.
Our second dessert was coriander macaroons, fresh mango with a mango spuma and mango gel with a lavender cake
Our urbane, friendly and attentive Malawian waiter, Jaco Male
And finally, friandise: wicked dark chocolate truffles, citrus pastilles, and tiny shortbreads
The line up of wines for the second part of the quiz
A view of the very modern Waterkloof restaurant and Circumstance winery as we departed, with the lights of Somerset West in the distance
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2012