Monday, November 26, 2012

22 November 2012 Main Ingredient's MENU - Abundance, Helderberg Wine Festival, Buitenverwachting trade tasting, Doolhof lunch, Wine and Food Events in 2012 & 2013

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 83 229 1172

The Buitenverwachting owl
In this week’s MENU:
*       This week’s Product menu   
*       Our market activities - new Cape Point Vineyards Market
*       Abundance
*       Helderberg Wine Festival
*       Buitenverwachting trade tasting
*       Doolhof lunch
*       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. 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
This week’s Product menu    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. Orders must be in multiples of 100 grams. The truffles will be airfreighted. Be warned, the price is high, but we can source white truffles from Alba and black truffles from Perigord and Burgundy. Burgundy is the least expensive. Send us a message if you wish to order. Christmas cakes are available now and Christmas puddings are made to special order Prices are in our product list. Send Lynne a message if you’d like to place an order.
Chestnuts, mustards and other delights     We have even more chestnut products and the delicious French Fallot mustards - mustards with flavour and attitude - are back in stock with additions like the amazing blackcurrant mustard. Look for the items in red in our product list.
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 will be this evening from 4.30 till 8.30 pm. Come and buy some Christmas gifts, enjoy some of their stunning wines and have a picnic while you watch the sun go down. This will be a weekly market, but we will have to miss it next week because of other commitments.
Please note, we are not able to be at Long Beach Mall market this Friday due to other work commitments but we will be there on Friday 30th from 09h00 to 16h00. We look forward to seeing you there. Please note that, in December, we will only be at Long Beach Mall on Friday the 7th, so that will be the only December day for Christmas shopping at the Long Beach market if you live in the “deep South”.
A Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers. We wish you health, much happiness and a wonderful celebration with your families and friends.
Abundance      Marlene van der Westhuizen invited us to the launch of her new cook book, Abundance, which was held at The Book Lounge last Friday evening. She had laid on a magnificent spread of food from recipes in the book and we listened with interest to the chat she had with Barbara Joubert of Media 24 - the new way of reviewing books. The book features Cape Town, where Marlene and her husband Deon live for part of the year, and her recipes, but this is not strictly a South African recipe book; just filled with recipes she likes to cook and which remind her of certain places in our interesting city. There are some lovely photographs by Johan Wilke. Click here to see the event and the food.
Helderberg Wine Festival      This annual festival was held over four days this last weekend and, this time, was held on many different participating farms in the area, rather than the Taste of the Helderberg event we attended in June at the Lord Charles hotel. We went on Sunday and decided to go to places we had not previously visited. This turned out to be a great idea, as we discovered some really nice wines, one of which was a stunner, and met some lovely people. We had a most enjoyable lunch at La Masseria – a place that has had one or two previous incarnations - and we really enjoyed the classic Italian food with the added pleasure of the old fashioned fun of singing along to Italian popular songs, being serenaded by the owner and two accordion players (a professional and a talented amateur). We tasted and bought some wine and met some really nice young people in the wine industry. And we got to enjoy some real French Champagne - the Millesime from Guy Charbaut, with M. Charbaut - as well as some great MCCs and fabulous new wines at Chabivin and re-tasted some old acquaintances at The Post House. Click here to see the photographs and read what we found.
Buitenverwachting held their annual trade evening in their courtyard on Monday. It was a balmy and fun evening. Edgar Osojnik, the restaurant's chef, produced platters of scrumptious canapés to go with the wide selection of wines . We began the evening with a search for the resident owl in the oak trees and were delighted at several sightings. At one point there was an owl perched on each side of the gable but, sadly, John was not in time to get the shot as one flew off as he arrived. We inspected the new coffee shop and roastery, The Coffee Bloc, which adds to the Buitenverwachting experience, as you can drop in for coffee and snacks now as well as book a meal at the restaurant and enjoy sampling the wines in the modern and comfortable Tasting Centre - even buy some of the very glamorous jewellery made by Lars wife and a partner at Maack and Martin. We do enjoy the Buitenverwachting wines, so it was great to taste this year’s releases plus two new labels just released by Brad Paton – a 2010 Chenin blend The Loose Cannon (named affectionately after Cellarmaster Hermann Kirschbaum, Lars implied) and a wooded Viognier 2011, The Third Time Around - these two wines are only available on the farm and are limited in quantity. Click here to see the photos.
Doolhof lunch and wines     We have not been to an event at the Cape Grace for many, many years as they have kept themselves well off the radar, seemingly to concentrate more on foreign guests than on locals. But, on Monday, we were delighted to be invited to the launch of Doolhof’s new wine, Theseus, which celebrates the 300th anniversary of the founding in 1712 of the Wellington farm by Jacques Portier of the Dutch East India Company. A formal tasting of Doolhof wines was followed by a lunch, paired with the wines. We met the charming English owners, Dennis & Dorothy Kerrison, who bought the farm in 2003, and heard the explanation for the names of their wines, all connected to the name of the farm Doolhof, which means Labyrinth - so named because of the winding and intricate access to the farm through hill and dale and narrow valleys - its mythology, its history and its ghosts. Their small, very elegant, seven room Country House, Grand Dedale, is also a wedding and function venue and recently won a Klink award. Grand Dedale is the French name for a labyrinth.
The Kerrisons said, amusingly, that they had planned to only buy 5 hectares and be garagistes in their retirement but somehow were caught in the spell of Doolhof which is 398 hectares mainly consisting , Dennis Kerrison says, of fynbos and rocks, but they do grow a wide range of grapes on about 40 hectares. The history of the farm is interesting, involving Lady Anne Barnard and 44 orange trees she is purported to have planted, Thomas Baines who opened the Baines Kloof pass in the 1840’s and rumours of witches and ghosts of the past that haunt the farm. They are committed to Biodiversity, Fair Trade and staff upliftment.
Our favourite wine of the tasting was the Minotaur 2008, an interesting Cape blend of 21% Pinotage, 21% Malbec, 21% Shiraz, 17%Merlot, 11% Cabernet and the essential 9% of Petit Verdot which adds so much perfume of violets and roses to the rich and soft blend of black and red cherries with blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. R150 on the farm. But the best match was the wine which was paired with the main course of grilled chalmar beef with roasted garlic mash, wild mushrooms and truffle sauce – Theseus 2009, a classic Bordeaux blend, full of cassis, violets, vanilla and cedar wood, soft fruit and hot alcohol.  We found the food and wine pairing went very well together but would have expected nothing less from their award winning chef Malika van Reenen. 
The restaurant has changed somewhat from the modern feel it had when Bruce Robertson was there and now has rather a London pub feeling with lots of glass and wood window partitions. Click here to see what delicious things we ate and drank.
GIBSON'S Gourmet Burgers and Ribs     Yesterday, we received some vouchers for this new restaurant in the Victoria Wharf mall at the V&A Waterfront. Gibson's is inspired by a group in the USA. We happened to need some supper after a book launch yesterday evening, so we decided to try it out immediately. It is in the first main hall of the Mall, just before the exit to the Waterfront quayside. It is part of the Belthazar/Balducci's group and is in a rather narrow L shaped space. We were shown to a table for two immediately and we had a lovely friendly welcome and a great waiter. John decided on a burger while Lynne thought she should try two starters. This was a very good decision. The first one was char gilled baby squid with garlic and lemon and was perfectly cooked with a great smoky flavour and no toughness. The second starter was their pork ribs (you can order beef if you prefer) and they are probably the best ribs Lynne has had for many a year. A great sticky, spicy and flavour filled sauce, they fall off the bone without being too soft and pappy. As they are starters, they do not come accompanied by anything, but you can order both dishes as main courses and a variety of side dishes. John had a Vegas burger which comes with creamy pepper sauce and chips. The chips were the only disappointment. He specifically asked for crisp well-done chips, but they were very, very soft with an undercooked flavour. So the chef needs to know that many people will not appreciate the local favourite of “slap” (half cooked & greasy) chips – and this probably applies to 90% of all tourists. We had two beers and the bill came to R300 with a tip for these three dishes. We think this is quite steep, but we did enjoy the food very much. You can see where we were and what we ate here.
Honestly, NO WAY, No recipe this week     Lynne did invent and try out a recipe for Menu this week but it was not a success. It looked very good but was just not up to our usual flavour standard. It was an open tart with caramelised onions, tomato, olives, and mozzarella - topped with white anchovies, which were absolutely horrible. We don’t want to recommend them to anyone. So, sadly, no recipe this week and we know you will thank us for it.
Just some reminders of some really superb events you can attend in the next week.    
On Friday, at the Vineyard Hotel,  you can taste over 30 French champagnes at Wine Concepts' annual Champagne Festival. We would normally not miss this fabulous event for the world, but we do have a job of work to do that will earn us some money so, sadly, we will not be there. But we do hope you will be able to get to this glittering occasion.
WineX Select, the big wine show at the Conference centre, will be on Thursday and Friday next week and you can still buy tickets for this show on Computicket. A chance to taste many different and excellent wines from the different areas. We will be there on Friday and look forward to seeing you, if you couldn't make it on Thursday.
Box Wine Awards     Or, if you fancy dressing as Freddy Mercury, you can book for this event on Thursday next week to try out all the boxed wines on the market and vote for your favourite. Come and join us there.
Expressions of...Durbanville at the Taj      This excellent tasting of the area will now be held on Thursday the 6th of December at the Taj Hotel, instead of the original date on Thursday 29th, when it would have clashed with above two events. The tasting in the foyer of the hotel starts at 6 pm and is free. The dinner paired with the wines of the area held afterwards can be book through the hotel. We  look forward to seeing you there too.
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.

22nd November 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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