Thursday, September 06, 2012

30 August 2012 Main Ingredient's MENU - Masters of the Trade Routes, East South west travel, Klink awards etc

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods, Ingredients & Fine Wines
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 656 4169
Mount Currie, viewed from Peacehaven farm near Kokstad in the early morning

In this week’s MENU:
*     Products
*     Our market activities
*     Masters of the Trade Routes
*     Travelling East to South West
*     Klink Awards
*     Events and Restaurant specials
*     Wine courses & cooking classes
To tell the whole story here would take too much space, so click on underlined and Bold words in the text to open links to pictures, blogs, websites or more information
This week’s Product menu   We have a good range of tasters for you when you come to see us at the markets. The wonderful Prego sauce from Sense of Taste, Edmond Fallot’s strong Burgundian mustards, French sauces including Bearnaise and Bourguinon and the excellent Protea Hill Farm vinegars. The Nielsen Massey extracts are too strong to taste, but they smell wonderful and we have samples of those too. Come and taste them at Long Beach tomorrow and the Biscuit Mill on Saturday.. Not for tasting, but brilliant to make salad dressings, now that we are beginning to see signs of spring, we have a great range of oils and vinegars: not only the Protea Hill Farm raspberry and herb vinegars, but French shallot, tarragon, white truffle and Provencal herb vinegars, Italian white and red wine vinegars and balsamic and three Spanish sherry vinegars; oils include walnut, hazelnut, argan and truffle oils.
To see what else we have available for you, you can access our product list and see pictures in our website. If you can’t find what you need, let us know and we will try to find it for you. Until our online shop is ready, drop us an email and we will help you. We are very happy to see that traffic on our website is increasing and more orders are coming from it.
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.
We will be back at Long Beach Mall tomorrow, Friday 31st August from 09h00 to 16h00. We look forward to seeing you there.
THE MASTERS OF THE TRADE ROUTES      The V&A Waterfront has been running this culinary competition since the 1st of June to promote the Waterfront restaurants. It will be an annual competition in future. 27 of them took part and each had to serve a dish or meal which expressed the concept of the Master of the Trade Routes, showcasing the many international influences that have been infused into South African cuisine. We received a lovely hand-crafted spice cupboard at the beginning, filled with interesting spices and we told you about the competition and how you could take part in it. And then, last night, we were invited to the Gala finale and award ceremony, which was held on South Africa’s new Antarctic research ship SA Agulhas II, starting at 6 pm. What an impressive ship she is, even if boarding via the tall gangway staircase was almost a bridge too far for Vertigo Lynne.
We did treat ourselves to one of the restaurants in the intervening period and wrote about it here in MENU and were delighted to see that Den Anker made the top 8 restaurants. One of our readers won the award for voting for her favourite restaurant and meal.
We had been told to wear elegant dress with suitable shoes for the ship but, sensibly, most of us were dressed in layers against the cold. Sheltered under a canopy on deck, we were very glad to see space heaters as the wind was a bit piercing. The excellent bubbly and wine came from Groot Constantia and some canapés were served while we chatted, made new friends and waited for the announcements. We watched from a distance as the chefs prepared the dishes in a roped off area inside the ship. The judges were chef, Festival director of Taste SA shows and food stylist Justine Drake, CapeTalk’s John Maytham and Food24 editor Caro de Waal. While we were enjoying the wine, we watched them being served all of the 8 dishes so they could vote on them. At 8 o clock they let the hungry horde of guests and a few media loose on the food, in taste-sized portions, and we were told we had 45 minutes to try them all after which the awards would be announced. Well, we tried! Click here for the photos and descriptions of the dishes.
The judges felt that the winning restaurants would be those which really addressed the spice route theme. The second place went to Dash restaurant at the Victoria Hotel for their offering of pan-seared magret duck breast on a spiced Elgin pear purée with sage and quinoa - R98 (Chef Craig Paterson) while the overall winner was Signal restaurant at the Cape Grace Hotel with their tender, succulent and spicy De-constructed Bobotie - Bobotie spiced springbok loin, roasted parsnip, pickled mango purée, almond crumble and curried lentil jus, also R95 (Chef Malika van Reenen). Both dishes were excellent and fully addressed the spice criteria and the trade route past South Africa brief. There were other dishes the guests really loved like the sushi from Willoughby’s, the asparagus risotto with a scallop from Den Anker and the Guinness and steak pie from Reuben’s at One and Only which contained seriously good tender steak. Sadly, the cold and long wait did negatively affect some of the food, but the chefs worked tirelessly to produce lots of great hot food.
After the awards, a groaning dessert table was offered by Meloncino and good coffee was served before another hairy climb down the gangplank and home.
A VERY BIG ADVENTURE INDEED     We have our replacement car at last. Thanks to friends Chirag Lakhani and Elaine and Angela of Food Fanatics we were able to continue to do business in the meantime with the loan of a Jeep and a bakkie, but we finally found our replacement car in Durban. It was going to cost R5500 to send the car to Cape Town and a clever friend suggested we go and fetch it and have a break driving it down. Well, not quite a break, as we have had to really push it to get back in four days of serious driving through some of the most beautiful scenery and some of the most scary driving we have ever seen. Our drive through the Transkei on the second of the four days gave new meaning to the concept of danger. Passing on double white lines with blind rises and corners is so commonplace that one could believe that the locals think a double line means it is safe to pass. We will be attaching blogs to the next MENU, so you can see the great places we stayed at on the way and some of the sights we saw.
Because we spent four days driving this marathon, we have had very little time to concentrate on writing, so this is a very short edition of MENU and there has been no time to research a recipe for you. We’ll have one next week.

VOTE NOW! The Klink Wine Tourism Award nominations have just been announced. Now YOU can vote for your favourites.  We were part of the panel involved in choosing these category nominations. Click here to place your votes for your favourite nominated winery, wine farm experience, wine festival, tasting room, restaurant and many more categories. You stand a chance to win fabulous prizes for your participation.

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 CalendarYou will need to be connected to the internet.
Learn about wine and cooking We have had a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wineCathy 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.
Restaurant Special offers. Some more restaurants have responded to our request for an update of their special offers and we have, therefore, updated our list of restaurant special offersClick 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.

30th August 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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