Friday, September 14, 2012

6th September 2012 Main Ingredient's MENU - Our great trek, Expressions of Franschhoek, Seductive Sauvignons, Franschhoek Uncorked, Morvino trade show, Fish book launch, Winemakers Guild Showcase, Chicken pasta with truffle

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
A still life in Peter & Yvonne Bayly’s farmhouse kitchen, Calitzdorp

In this week’s MENU:

*     Products
*     Our market activities
*     Our great trek from Durban
*     Expressions of Franschhoek at the Taj
*     Seductive Sauvignons
*     Franschhoek Uncorked & lunch at Maison
*     Morvino trade show
*     You Can With Fish book launch
*     Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase
*     Chicken pasta with truffle
*     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   This week’s addition to our range is an interesting gingerbread mustard. 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 on Friday 14th September from 09h00 to 16h00We look forward to seeing you there.
And just when you think you couldn’t get busier...     This week’s MENU is a little longer than usual, because we did so much last week and had very little time to reflect on it. Our trip from Durban started on Sunday, when we drove to Kokstad, where we had a very comfortable overnight stay at Peacehaven guest farm. On Monday, we traversed the Transkei. Horrifically, frighteningly, bad driving and stoppages at one-way sections of the N2, which is being rebuilt. We spent that night in Port Alfred. Tuesday saw us driving to Calitzdorp, the Port capital in the Karoo, where we had very comfortable accommodation at Spekboom Cottages and had supper with Peter and Yvonne Bayly on their farm, home of Peter Bayly Port. Next morning, Wednesday, we visited Boplaas after breakfast, where Carel Nel and his lovely winemaker daughter Margaux gave us an extended tasting of their wines and ports (see pics here). Then we were off to Axe Hill, where Mike Neebe gave us a tasting of his red wines and his Ports. That done, we hit the road for home and arrived at 5.30. We unpacked the car, changed and at 5 past 6 boarded SA Agulhas II for the V&A Waterfront Master of the Trade Routes function. Frenetic! The rest of the week has been very similar, rushing from one function to another and it doesn’t look as though it will let up anytime soon. Click on the highlights to see the relevant blogs and websites.
Expressions of... Franschhoek     On Thursday, we attended another of these excellent opportunities to taste the wines and food of a wine-producing area at a prime Cape Town hotel… The Taj.  Wines from Cabrière, La Motte, Haut Espoir, Holden Manz, Moreson, Noble Hill and Mont Rochelle were there for tasting. Chef Michelle Theron from Pierneef à La Motte’s restaurant cooked the dinner for us and we had a chance to taste some of the valley’s wines paired with the food.. Click here to see the photos and read about the food.
Seductive Sauvignons     Mike Duggan and Corlien Morris of Wine Concepts put on this really successful exhibition of their choice of good Sauvignons Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignons at the Vineyard hotel each year. We were delighted to see so many older Sauvignon blancs being shown this year and they were delicious. One day, South Africa will realise that good white wines improve with a little age and we will find it hard to buy the bargains we currently get, as farms sell off their older white wines. It is unlikely that a wine released this year is showing its full potential and we would really encourage you to keep back some of your favourite wines to see how good they become in a year or two. Many farms had their current releases alongside an older wine so it was valuable to see what a new wine could become with a little age. There were also some really good Cabernets for tasting. Where else can you taste this many good wines for so little money and effort?
Lunch at Maison, Franschhoek Uncorked     We had been invited to this festival in Franschhoek and have had so many good reports of Maison’s restaurant The Kitchen at the Tasting Room, that we decided it was time to try it for ourselves on Sunday. We were not disappointed; in fact, we think we have found another gem. The chef is talented Arno Janse van Rensburg of Ginja and Myoga fame. It is not cheap, the venue is smartly designed and comfortable, as expected - it is owned by Chris Weylandt of the eponymous furniture and homeware stores. There is a lovely garden overlooking the vineyards with huge tables under the trees, which look fantastic for large family gatherings, and a huge basket swing the kids love, as they do the family of chickens roaming the lawns. It was a very relaxing lunch.
And then there is the food. It is a small menu, but there is also a chalk board with the daily specials. The food is locally sourced, fresh and beautifully cooked. We had two courses each, benefited from the tastings going on in the front room for the Uncorked festival, as we could try the three wines on offer for tasting with our starter and then chose a glass each for our main course. John ordered Duck, so he went for the quite robust and chalky tannin Shiraz while Lynne favoured their elegant dry Blanc de Noir with her choice of tongue. Click here to see what we ate, where we ate it and the descriptions of the food at the festival. We paid R553 for two courses with a glass of wine each and service.
It was a lovely day, the sun was out and, despite snow on the tops of the far mountains, we felt Spring might finally be on the way. We were delighted to see lots of you at the various places we visited, enjoying the festival atmosphere and the wines and food.
We paid a brief visit Noble Hill and picked up our passes. Their restaurant, Cosecha, is modern and open with reasonably priced Mexican themed food next to a pretty dam. It looks like a definite Summer place to return to. Then to Leopards Leap to see the modern tasting room and Liam Tomlin’s cookery school and shop. We hear he is now moving back to town, but the venue will continue. At La Bri we tasted a lovely 2011 Viognier and met a wonderful soppy Labrador puppy. They were doing their chocolate and wine pairing, but it was late in the day and we didn’t have time to do it. Another time, Irene.
Morvino Trade wine show at Vineyard hotel on Monday evening; we tasted some interesting wines. Favourites of the night for Lynne were De Morgenzon’s full and many layered Chenin Blanc, Almenkerk’s 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Lukas Wentzel’s own, beautifully elegant, MCC 2008 bubbly, Aurelia (he is the winemaker at Groote Post) and Rudi Schultz’s 2009 Shiraz which still needs a few years. Sadly Morvino chose very spicy canapés with our wine...sigh.
Lucky lunch with Tamsin     We all know we should be eating more fish and canned fish is packed with nutrition and the essential Omega 3 oils that make such a difference to our health. Lucky Star is an iconic local brand that has been around for many years and yesterday we were invited to the launch of their third cookbook, “You Can with Fish” by talented Tamsin Snyman, who has taken over the task of writing and publishing these books from her late and great mother Lannice. They are divided into 10, 20 and 30 minute recipes, so no excuse about not having the time to cook.
We were treated to a lunch of many courses, all from the recipe book but, thankfully, each one was a small portion eaten, as the Americans say, “family style” at our table filled with media. As a welcome, Ginger beer was served in jam jars on the lawn of the Hotel School in Mouille Point, with two canapés: Sardine Samoosas and Pilchard Bunny chows, which were served on delicious crisp freshly baked bread served wittily in sardine cans. It was a glorious day, so it was a bit of a wrench to go inside to eat. The book and all the products are endorsed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa and it is available from all good bookshops and from Lannice Snyman Publishers. We are sure you will find recipes that delight you, as we did at the lunch and from these excellent books. This is the third in the series. Lynne is going to experiment with some of the recipes this week and we will publish our favourite one next week.
Winemakers’ Guild Auction Showcase tastings     Because of our hurried trip to Durban, we did not have time to cover these two phenomenal tastings, which took place on the 23rd August at the CTICC. The afternoon tasting for the trade and media is fast and furious, where we got to taste through 37 wines chosen to represent the auction wines. Each wine had a brief introduction by its winemaker and we tasted, spat and wrote about each of them in a very short period. They are a magnificent spectrum of what is best about the current South African wine industry.  After this tasting, we attended the public tasting downstairs where some of these and other previous vintages were available to taste.
It is hard to vote favourites when there are so many outstanding wines but Lynne’s top choices were Teddy Hall’s Hendrik Biebouw Reserve Chenin 2011, Kevin Grant’s Ataraxia Under the Gavel Chardonnay Reserve 2011; Rudi Schultz’ Hartenberg’s Loam Hill Merlot 2009; Etienne Le Riche’s Auction Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009; Nils Verburg’s Luddite “Oscar” shiraz Mourvedre 2009 (next year’s Birthday wine John?) and Jac Borman’s Boschkloof Bakhand Shiraz 2010. She scored these all 19 out of 20 and is very interested to see what they make at the auction.
All these wines and more will be available for purchase at the Auction which is to be held at Spier this year on Saturday 6th October. There will be another public tasting there the night before – you need to book, it is usually oversubscribed. You can now bid on line or by phone should you not be able to attend the auction, which is open to all serious bidders. Check out the website here for details of the wines and the auction.
Lynne always tries to take part in the silent auction that takes place on these evenings and was very fortunate to have winning bids for one bottle each of Duncan Savage’s Cape Point Isliedh 2007 white blend, Bernhard Veller’s Nitida Decorous 2010 Sauvignon Blanc and David Trafford’s CWG 2008 De Trafford Perspective. Money raised at this auction goes to sponsor the training of young students in the wine industry - a very worthy cause.
And finally, this week’s recipe: Because we have been travelling, Lynne has not had time to cook much and invent new recipes. We have been send a consignment of goods from Greece to see if we wish to become importers and there was a small jar of sliced black truffle which is where the inspiration came from. Linguine, angel hair, spaghetti or any pasta that holds sauce well will work with this recipe. Serves four. Add a good tomato, avocado and basil salad and a bottle of Viognier and you have a complete meal.
Chicken pasta with truffle
2 large chicken breasts, thinly sliced into 3 or 4 cm pieces – 1 T corn flour – salt and pepper – 1 t thyme – ½ T butter – ½ T olive oil – 1 shallot, finely chopped – 1 small leek, finely chopped, including the green top – 150 ml white wine – 100ml good chicken stock – 100 ml cream – pasta of your choice – slices of truffle – truffle oil
Coat the chicken pieces in the corn flour , seasoning and thyme. Fry the onion and leek in the oil and butter till soft, then add the chicken and fry gently for a couple of minutes until just cooked. Remove the chicken pieces and deglaze the pan with the wine. Boil to reduce to half and thicken, then add the stock and cream to make a good sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Meanwhile boil the pasta in well salted water till al dente, drain and put it into sauce. Add the chicken pieces and mix. Serve with a few slices of truffle on top and a drizzle of truffle oil.
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.

9th September 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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