Thursday, October 18, 2012

18th October 2012 Main Ingredient's MENU - Klink Awards, La Bohème Lunch, Plaisirs de France launch, George Jardine at Jordan, Kathy Raath trade tasting, Veritas, Expressions of Swartland & Darling, Pasta al Limone

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

Kokerboom (aloe dichotoma) on the rocks at Clifton

In this week’s MENU:
*     Products
*     Our market activities
*     Klink Awards
*     Lunch at La Bohème
*     Plaisirs de France launch in Franschhoek
*     George Jardine at Jordan
*     Kathy Raath trade tasting
*     Veritas tasting
*     Expressions of... Swartland and Darling
*     Pasta al Limone
*     Events and Restaurant specials
*     Wine courses & cooking classes
To take a look at our Main Ingredient blog, follow the link:
because to tell the whole story here would take too much space. You can also click on underlined and Bold words in the text to open links to pictures, blogs, pertinent websites or more information
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This week’s Product menu   Jenny Morris’ series on Morocco continues to raise interest in North African Food. We heard her talking about Orange Blossom Water this afternoon on Cape Talk. We now have two versions: one locally bottled at the right strength for use and a concentrate made by Nielsen Massey who make all the wonderful extracts you’ll find in our Product list. We have also added their concentrated Rose Water to our range, in addition to the standard version. Other products we sell which are used in North African cooking are Ras el Hanout spice mix, preserved lemons and the lovely, aromatic Argan oil.
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 26th October from 09h00 to 16h00. We look forward to seeing you there.
Countdown to the first ever Klink Wine Tourism Awards continues     Get your votes in now for these awards as nominations close SOON. Vote for your favourite restaurant on a wine farm, your favourite wine festival, your favourite wine farm Deli and many other categories. The Klink award winners are the first to be based solely on your, the consumer’s, experience and feedback is received via email, SMS, Facebook or Twitter. Any nominee could win. Check out Wine Tourism SA sites, see who is nominated and VOTE. Check out the awards on the Wine Tourism South Africa website or on Facebook and you could win a prize. Remember, the voting closes at midnight on October 24th, so make the most of this last week.
Sinful Lunch at La Bohéme     Although we were trying hard to put Menu ‘to bed’ last Thursday, we were sidelined by a good friend who invited us to join him for lunch at La Bohéme in Sea Point, our neighbourhood restaurant. We can never resist him or a meal there. It turned into a long, long lunch and we had a wonderful time, even if we had to stay up really late finishing off the newsletter. Check out what we ate and drank here. It is so reasonable and the food is absolutely delicious. The menu at this bistro changes every day, so you check out their chalk board when you arrive. You must book as it is also one of the most popular places to eat in Cape Town.
LAUNCH OF PLAISIRS DE FRANCE IN FRANSCHHOEK     Franschhoek Wine Valley invited Chef Florent Boivin from the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon to come and help them celebrate this new festival, which started in Franschhoek this week and features events in towns and cities across the country. The reciprocal South African Season in France will take place from May to December next year (2013). This Franschhoek part of the SA-French Seasons programme will run from 15th October to 15th November with establishments in and around Franschhoek offering an assortment of French inspired foodie delights. Click here to see the details.
We were invited to the launch on Monday, held at Leopards Leap, and we watched Chef Boivin and some of the best Franschhoek chefs in action as they prepared a wonderful selection of canapés while we drank local MCC bubblies and then got to tuck into the superb food. His sweet potato infused with black truffle, coated with black bread crumbs was a favourite in the room and the chefs loved his dessert canapé, a chocolate mousse wonton with strawberry coypus, topped with a fresh strawberry slice. Click here if you want to make your mouth water and see what we were offered.
Jenny Prinsloo, CEO of Franschhoek Wine Valley, told us about the festival and French Consul Antoine Michon was there to formally open the event. Hein Koegelenberg of Leopards Leap welcomed us to this very large and impressive tasting room, demonstration kitchen and venue and we were able to wander among the chefs while they prepared the food, to see what they were making.
The lineup of local chefs included Margot Janse of Le Quartier Français, Chris Erasmus of La Motte, Simoné Rossouw of Babylonstoren (all finalists in the 2012 Eat Out Awards), as well as Neil Jewell from Bread and Wine, Matthew Gordon from French Connection, Darren Badenhorst of Grande Provence, Ryan Shell of Haute Cabriere, Oliver Cattermole from Dish at Le Franschhoek, Mauritz Jacobs from Reuben’s and Makhi Maki from Mange Tout.
Our talented local chefs produced really inspired canapés, comparable to those produced by Chef Boivin. Superb is such an over-used word, but here it is very appropriate. It was a delightful function and bodes well for the festival. We discovered that many of the chefs would have liked to have had more interaction with Chef Boivin while he was here and hope that a future occasion can be arranged where they can exchange ideas and show him more of our restaurants, excellent local ingredients and cooking ethos. The students from The Culinary Academy (TCA) also helped to make the function seamless.
Touring is such a pleasure     John took two American tourists on a wine tour last Sunday. They are friends of clients who have used our services twice previously and who instructed him to take their friends to Cape Point Vineyards and to George Jardine’s restaurant at Jordan. Such hardship to go to some of our favourite places and be paid to do so! Despite the dodgy weather, they had a great time. Click here to see what they saw and ate. John is always available to do wine tours for your visitors. He is a certified wine tour guide; just contact him to check availability and his fees. Our VW Sharan is very comfortable indeed and can take up to 6 passengers.
Kathy Raath’s Trade wine tasting was held at Big Route Pizzeria in Green Point on Monday afternoon and, as usual, we tasted some great wines. Special indeed was the Semillon from Dornier. They have made a very limited quantity of only 1000 bottles, but it is an absolutely classic expression of the grape and we hope that more will become available in future. We also loved the Chenins from Teddy Hall and the Chenin Viognier from Johan Kruger at Sterhuis and both their MCC bubblies. Sadly, Johan says he has difficulty selling his excellent Chenin blanc and he had none for us to taste. None of their wines ever disappoint. The Sterhuis Shiraz is a cracker as is the Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay. Eikendal Chardonnay has always been excellent and their Classique red blend and Shiraz have improved immensely.  Brewers And Union were also showing some really good unfiltered and unpasteurised beers, a good palate freshener after tasting all the wine. Because most commercial beers are pasteurised, many people take it for granted that that is the way they should be, yet they would never pasteurise their wine. If beer is unfiltered and not killed by pasteurisation, it will last a very long time on its lees. John opened a bottle of his own beer on his daughter’s 21st birthday, which he had bottled the day she was born. The only problem was that it was too small!
This year’s Veritas Awards tasting     This open tasting was held at the CTICC on Tuesday and Thursday this week. We attended on Tuesday evening and attempted to taste all the double gold wines, plus a few more. One of the highlights of such an evening is the opportunity to taste museum class wines and this year KWV opened one bottle each of three old bottles of Hanepoot Jerepigo. The 1973 was awarded Gold, the 1969 a Double Gold and the Limited Edition 1933 Double Gold. We managed to taste minute portions all of them and they just got better and better. The 1933 was like sticky toffee mixed with very aged balsamic vinegar. Lynne confesses that she got as much out of the glass as possible by licking her fingers; it was so delicious and different. The aromas so stuck to the glass that, despite washing out the glass several times, it became necessary to change glasses the bouquet was ever-present when tasting other wines. Bloemendal’s 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, made for them by Rianie Strydom is very deserving of its Double Gold, as is Buitenverwachting’s Hussey’s Vlei 2012 and the Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2011 shone, as it always does. David Finlayson’s Edgebaston Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 was Lynne’s favourite red from a bouquet of stunners. There were so many great wines we cannot name them all and wish we had had the time and capacity to taste many more than we did. Click here to see a few photos. There will be tastings in Johannesburg on 24th October, in Durban on 7th November, in Port Elizabeth on 13th November and in Knysna on the 14th and 15th November. See our Events Calendar for more details.
HOWEVER… CTICC Catering is still atrocious. Why does this very profitable organisation (see their latest annual report results in the newspapers this week) allow it to be shown up by bad food? At Veritas, their staff walked around with plates of very scary greasy things. One example of several bad items: they took perfectly good Chinese dumplings, obviously “bought in” frozen, like most of the things on the plate. They then deep fried them in oil which was not up to temperature, so it soaked up the grease (they should have steamed them) and then they overcooked and burnt them! You could have thrown them against a wall and they would have left a hole. We do so hope that the Veritas organisers will refuse to pay for these horror offerings.
Expressions of... Swartland and Darling     Don’t forget to book now for the November Expressions of... Swartland and Darling tasting and dinner at the Taj Hotel on November 1st. 
We had a fun tasting there on the 4th of October, when Constantia wines were showcased. There is no charge for the pre-dinner tastings and it is a lovely experience, meeting the wine makers and tasting the wines of the area. Sadly, we were not able to stay for the dinner afterwards, paired with Constantia wines, and cooked by Brad  Ball of Bistro 1682 at Steenberg, which we hear was a great success. Click here to see some photographs of the tasting.
Lynne is still having fun experimenting with recipes from the Ottolenghi Jerusalem cook book, but this week’s Recipe is
Pasta al Limone
We were heavily criticised by a reader for having the temerity to suggest that artichoke should have been added for texture to the pasta with lemon at Ragu, because, he said, it would ruin a classic. Ragu’s was no classic. We thought that, this week, we would give you to try one of the classic versions of this recipe, which we often make. It turns out that all over Italy they have different variations. In Amalfi, they add cream; in Rome, chilli; in the north, herbs and in Sicily, sometimes, breadcrumbs – for texture. So, as long as you don’t serve something bland, it seems that you are allowed regional variations.
500g thin Spaghetti or linguine, fresh if possible – 75 ml good green extra virgin olive oil – Zest of 1 and Juice of 2 lemons – 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – 1 T chopped flat leaved parsley
If you have time, let the zest marinade in the olive oil in a covered bowl. Boil the pasta in lots of salted water till just al dente. Mix the oil, lemon juice and cheese in a serving bowl. Drain the pasta and put into a serving bowl and mix, taste and add salt and pepper to taste; then stir in the parsley and serve immediately. Variation: You can fry a little garlic gently first in some of the oil. Serves 4.
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.
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.
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 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.

18th October 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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