Friday, May 10, 2013

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
Eat In Guide’s Five time Outstanding Outlet Award Winner
+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 229 1172
Table Bay autumn sunset
In this week’s MENU:                                                              
*       Matthew Gordon's winter menu at Harvest restaurant on Laborie
*       Waterkloof’s new Sauvignon Blanc with lunch
*       Wolftrap Steakhouse Championship Awards at the Pot Luck Club
*       On Line Shop
*       This week’s Product menu
*       Our market activities - Neighbourgoods, Long Beach
*       Wine and Food Events
*       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. Click on 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: Mustards go very well with steak amd other meats and we carry a sensational range of gourmet mustards from France. The Edmond Fallot brand from Beaune in Burgundy are the last mustards still ground by stone in France and therefore have a little bit of a kick. The range of consists of a smooth Dijon, a grainy Dijon, a Green Peppercorn, Basil, Tarragon, Cassis and a sweet mustard. We also have the Vilux brand in Gingerbread, truffle and champagne flavours.
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 which you are unlikely to find elsewhere in South Africa. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our on line shop. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa. Please do not pay until we have confirmed availability and invoiced you. When you make an eft payment, make sure that it says who you are. Use the form on the website to email us your order and we will send you the final invoice once we’ve made sure stock is available. Click here to see the shop.
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 the market in Long Beach Mall, Sun Valley, Fish Hoek on Friday, May 17th.
Matthew Gordon at Harvest restaurant on Laborie     Chef Matthew Gordon has a very good reputation. During his long sojourn at Haute Cabrière restaurant, he was producing some of the most exciting food in the Cape. He moved to take over Harvest restaurant at Laborie last year and we were invited to come and sample his winter menu last Thursday. After enjoying a good glass of Laborie Brut and sampling the low alcohol range of wines called Lazy Days, we moved through to the large commodious dining room located in one of the old farm buildings.  It has a terrace in front with a lovely view across vineyards and Paarl village to the mountains. They have a large herb and vegetable garden outside and we saw chefs picking herbage for our lunch, which was a compilation of dishes from the winter menu. Click here to see that menu and photographs and descriptions of what we ate.
Matthew concentrates on local and seasonal ingredients and we certainly were presented with a feast. Definitely a place to visit when you are next in Paarl. We found the pairing with the Laborie wines worked very well, but then we expect nothing less. They do produce some very good wines. However the star alcohol of the day for us was their Alambic brandy made from Chardonnay and Pinotage grapes which in 2010 was voted as the Best Brandy in the World at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London. And we could see why. Lynne is not a brandy aficionado as, to be honest, she prefers Whisky when she does imbibe, but this knocked her socks off. It was full of butter and citrus and as smooth as a baby’s bottom. No hot spirit alcohols that make you cough and it went beautifully with the warm chocolate fondant we had for dessert. 
A special treat that came with this lunch was being fetched from our house by Laborie’s driver Geoff Samuels and brought home after the lunch. KWV Marketing director Jeff Gradwell told us that this is now their policy as they don’t believe that they can show their wines properly at media events and expect their guests to drive home afterwards. We are most appreciative.
Waterkloof’s new Sauvignon Blanc with lunch     Waterkloof is perched on the top of a high hill near Somerset West, with beautiful views across False Bay. Besides the winery, there is an excellent award winning restaurant above the cellar. Invited to taste the about-to-be-released 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, we also had a lunch with the owner/custodian Paul Boutinot who, until recently, was a wine merchant in the UK. Paul is passionate about his wine and the winery and has done so much to develop it along all the right environmental and biodynamic lines. To quote the web site “His private investment in Waterkloof is not that of the archetypical foreign-based lifestyle investor, but rather as a hands-on dedicated entrepreneur-cum-winemaker. It is his desire consistently to produce truly fine wines with a defining sense of origin” a view we greatly respect. And they believe in using minimal intervention to produce good wines.
We were enchanted to see a horse pulling a plough between the vines, getting ready for the sowing of the winter cover crop. They have Percheron horses on the farm which are used in place of tractors. The re-establishment of the fynbos on the farm is truly remarkable.
This event was planned long before harvest; the Sauvignon Blanc is still fermenting and will not be bottled for at least another week or two. We were given glasses from the barrels to sample and it is clear to see that this wine has an interesting future with many of the building blocks necessary for a good sauvignon showing their presence, but it is still very young and unready. Paul is very clear about his wines. This will be a wine made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes, and will not necessarily confirm to ideas of what a sauvignon blanc should be. And he feels the same way about all the wines they make.
At lunch we began with an interesting Marron bisque which was accompanied by their Circle of Life white blend. Marron are freshwater crayfish, originally from Australia, that are now being farmed locally. The bisque was quite delicious as was the marron. Did the roasted tomatoes fit in this dish? The jury is out on that one. The bisque did go very well with the Circle of Life white blend of Sauvignon, Chenin and Semillon.
Our main course of very gamey springbok was paired with the Circle of Life red, (Platter 4 star) a blend of mainly Merlot with Shiraz and 4 other varietals. It is smooth and silky, juicy and hot and has deep red berry fruit with liquorice on the end. It is a very good wine for game and robust meat dishes. At last we thought, Chef Gregory Czarnecki has given us a starch with our meat as there was a square of what looked like polenta – he is not fond, we have found, of including them. But no, it was a lovely smooth parsnip purée.
No dessert, but a beautiful selection of cheeses was produced to accompany some of the other Waterkloof red wines and their sweetly sticky straw wine. Then came coffee and delightful friandise. Click here to see the photographs.
Wolftrap Steakhouse Championship Awards at the Pot Luck Club    This is the first year of this competition and, on Wednesday, we were invited to the awards lunch to meet the three finalists. We are delighted to announce that the winner is Steve Maresch of The Local Grill in Parktown North, Johannesburg and the two runners up are Giorgio Nava of Carne in Cape Town and Martin Lombard of Little Havana in Umhlanga Rocks in Natal. The judges of the completion were JP Rousseau, Arnold Tanzer and Pete Goffe-Wood, who travelled the country tasting at all the nominated restaurants so that they could make their own nominations and judgements.
The Wolftrap wines – “steak’s ideal partner” - were the sponsors of the competition and the winner has won a year’s supply of Wolftrap wines for his restaurant. Over the next months, there is a prize of a meal for two at The Local Grill – simply buy a bottle of The Wolftrap for details! And check out the Facebook page of the competition.
Convenor JP Rossouw commented: “The Top Three Steakhouses were all excellent in terms of selection, knowledge, maturation and preparation of their meats, but what gave The Local Grill the edge was the fantastic meat experience it offers in terms of range of cuts (including grass and grain) and even choice of bovine. The fact that you get a tour of the meat locker if you show the slightest bit of interest, is also fantastic and says it all about a place that truly "preaches" steak!”
The Awards brings to a close a search that began with an open round during which the public nominated their favourite steakhouses – there were an astounding 21,600 nominations and nearly 200 establishments were named as contenders in the Championships. The Top Five from this nomination round then joined an expert's selection of award-winning steakhouses to go into the Play-Off Round in April where 14 steakhouses went head-to-head during personal visits by the Steakhouse Championships judges.
We were then treated to a really splendid lunch by Luke Dale Roberts. Luke was recently nominated as the International Chef to Watch in the San Pellegrino The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. He also came in at a respectable No 61 on the list and of course has previously been recognised as best restaurant and chef of the year in South African food awards. Envious? You should be. Click here to see the feast.
More coming...    This has been a really busy week for us and we have just got back from the Old Mutual Trophy Feedback session at Grande Roche today, followed by the Fine Brandy Fusion show at the CTICC this evening. You can still visit the Brandy show tomorrow evening. We will be reporting on these, posting blogs and showing lots of photographs of these two events during the next week. Watch this space. Details of the Trophy tastings in Johannesburg and Cape Town can be found in our events calendar.
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 see what’s happening in our world of food and wine (and a few other cultural events), visit 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.
Learn about wine and cooking We receive 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 of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses 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. Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia. Brett Nussey’s Stir Crazy courses are now being run from Dish Food and Social’s premises in Main Road Observatory (opposite Groote Schuur hospital). Lynn Angel runs the Kitchen Angel cooking school and does private dinners at her home.  She holds hands-on cooking classes for small groups on Monday and Wednesday evenings. She trained with Raymond Blanc, and has been a professional chef for 25 years. More info here 

9th May 2013
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 and our blogs 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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