Friday, May 17, 2013

130516 Main Ingredient's MENU - Old Mutual Trophy, Brandy expo, Kyoto Garden, Pierneef à La Motte, Chocolate recipe

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
Wintry seas on Sea Point rocks
In this week’s MENU:                                                              
*       Old Mutual Trophy Feedback Session
*       Brandy on show
*       Kyoto Gardens restaurant
*       Pierneef à La Motte
*       The best chocolate truffle mousse recipe
*       Good Food and Wine Show 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: We have Chocolate back in stock now the warm weather is over. As featured in this wee’ks recipes we also have chestnut purée and Nielsen Massey extracts. Sadly, the Rand is having a bit of a struggle against other currencies and prices are rising. Callebaut chocolate has seen an increase and we have been told that all the French duck and goose products are on the rise because the price of transport and poultry feed in France has seen a steep increase. Nielsen Massey extracts will all go up in price from the beginning of June. We have been very fortunate with these products: our Nielsen Massey supplier is increasing the price for the first time since 2006. So all we can say is to buy now while we still have stock at old prices.
Buying from us on Line 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 tomorrow, Friday, May 17th.
Old Mutual Trophy Feedback Session  This annual event was held last Thursday at the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl. The final tasting for the top wines deserving a Trophy took place that morning and the judges came straight into the lecture theatre to report back on what they had tasted over the previous days and what trends they have found. This year, as usual, there were several interesting foreign judges joining the local cognoscenti: amusing Oz Clarke from the UK, very serious (Oz said laconic) Tom Carson from Australia and erudite Eric Goettelmann from France. Click here to see the photographs of the judges and the lunch.
They taste between 110 to 115 wines a day on different panels. Last year, they tasted mainly 2009 wines, which was a very good vintage. There are fewer bronzes, silvers and golds this year, when they tasted more 2010 wines, but they have also raised the bar when judging. They are also seeing greater equality between red and white wine awards. Tom Carson commented how much better the wines are since he last tasted for the Trophy in 2005. He said that they are astounding; the top wines are remarkably better, especially the Trophy wines. The wines are full of purity and vibrancy, length and quality. We are not producing so many blockbuster wines, but wines with much more elegance and consistency. Gary Jordan commented that Sauvignon Blanc and the white blends have three styles emerging. Chenin, especially, runs the full gamut of styles and was a very, very good class. Shiraz has dramatically improved and is less faulty but still, perhaps, too much oak is being used. Oz Clark said there had been great silvers and that SA must concentrate on Chenin, our treasure. He would love to see more Rhône style wines, as well as Portuguese and Italian varietals, being planted. We product too much cabernet and merlot and possibly even Shiraz. Our chenins are great, funky and rich, how far can we go with this grape? On Sauvignon Blancs, we need to produce more stylish wines and fewer that are tropical in style. The north loves pyrazines. We have the right conditions to produce these characteristic wines and the rest of the world likes this classic style and, please, we must not lose what we do so well. We should also treasure cinsaut. SA grows a beautiful wild creature from this grape, like no-where else. We can also do lovely Bordeaux blends, but we are trying too hard with Cabernet and spending too much money on expensive oak. Make these wines accessible and ready to drink now. His opinions really were a refreshing breath of fresh air.
Eric Goettelmann wants to see wines with elegance. Our Cap Classiques have fresh aromas which persist. He found the Museum class had very interesting wines, he can see diamonds in our wines. But he says he finds SA red wines too sulphured and heavy. But he does find that our wines are second after France in elegance – a huge compliment.
Angela Lloyd said there was one delicious Cote du Rhône style wine which stood out amongst all others. In the alternative varieties there were some very interesting wines. Merlot is often grown in the wrong terroir; let’s find better areas.
There were 1038 entries. This represents one seventh of the wines made in South Africa. Christian Eedes said that we must be technically correct, with better viticulture and winemaking visible. In the Pinotage class as a whole, there was no vision of flavour or consistency. Francois Rautenbach said that Merlot in blends is not effective because good merlot grapes are not being used. Very good, exciting Rhône blends are being produced, head and shoulders above the rest. He agreed with Oz Clark that we should be making our reds in the vineyards rather than in the cellars. And we should be concentrating on producing good shiraz blends.
Tom Carson - Cork is a huge problem in SA and we should sit up and listen, as it is affecting our industry. In Australia 95% of all wines are under screw caps. We just have to get it. Michael Fridjhon said that it was depressing to see the number of wines which they had to pull out because of cork faults. Two corked bottles and you are out of the competition. And, depressingly, at the Trophy wine judging, 63% of the wines selected as possible trophy winners were corked. He said they would be going back to the farms about their corked wines and over-wooding. Over-wooded wines score bronze rather than silver. Too often, cheap oak staves are being used and less good fruit is being produced. We need to buy better barrels. Oak is expected on some wines, but we need to ask ourselves: is it integrated and is there enough fruit to handle the wood? The rest of the world sees the Southern warm climes as producing clumsy hot wines. We do not do these and we need to get the message across that we are different and we produce elegant and delicate wines.
Lunch was served on the terrace of the hotel, as it was a glorious day, and we had lots of discussion about Cape wines while eating the food and tasting some of the wines entered.
Brandy on show     While we were at Grand Roche, Janice Fridjhon asked if she would see us at the Brandy show at the CTICC that evening. When we said that we didn’t have tickets, she was kind enough to arrange media passes for us. The show was a very good showcase for South African brandy, with a few examples of cognac also being shown. Brandy and Coke has been a very popular drink for a very long time, but this show promoted various alternatives: there was a wide range of cocktails, but we were very pleased to see the emphasis on aged brandies from the big producers and some very good Potstill brandies from smaller producers some, like Backsberg, better known for their wines. Near the entrance, there was an exhibit which could have been very useful to students of wine: an aroma route, which was a passage lined with giant brandy balloons, each of which contained a liquid with an aroma – fruit, herbs, nuts, etc., to help visitors identify aromas they would find in the different brandies. The atmosphere was full of glitz and glamour, with a group of very glamorous lady musicians entertaining the crowd and well lit and dressed stands. We are not huge brandy drinkers but we enjoyed the show and the few small tastes we allowed ourselves very much indeed. See the pictures here.
Sadly, the food at the CTICC is still not worthy of the venue. What we ate was a little better than we have seen and criticised in the past, but the level of service was awful, with dishes like beef stroganoff being slopped onto plates with a complete lack of care; we have not seen it this bad in corporate canteens. Personally we probably would have fired the whole lot of them had we the chance. Disinterested, unfocused, not listening to orders and then nobody reacting to them so you had to repeat your order minutes later when you realised not one of the five or six staff behind the food counter were doing anything but chatting and staring into space. An extreme example of awful management and very bad staff training..
Kyoto Gardens Sushi  We are avowed sushi lovers, but only of good authentic sushi made by people who know how to do it. Not made with rice cooked the day before, or loaded with MSG to make you eat more and more (did you know that trick? It makes you thirsty too, so you order more to drink and you finish up with a horrible headache and  a huge bill). A very recent experience, at one of our favourite fish restaurant chains, had Lynne peeling off the awful, inedible gluey rice to get to the salmon and tuna in the rolls she had ordered. We won’t order sushi there ever again.
So when we were invited to come and eat at Kyoto Gardens Sushi in Kloof Nek we were delighted. We have been to two wine functions held there previously and the food has been exceptional. However it is a misunderstanding if you think that they are a sushi bar only, they actually are a very fine Japanese restaurant with a sushi bar. The owner, Scott Wood says that he plans to change the sign. All the chefs are trained in the art of fine Japanese cuisine and the menu is a tour de force of what you might like to experience. From miso soups, fantastic seafood, noodle dishes, tempura and some very interesting desserts, there is lots to choose from. Some of it requires you to be adventurous, just ask the very helpful waiters and you will get a very full explanation of what you are about to eat. They have a good wine list too. We had many courses and it can undoubtedly get expensive because of the imported ingredients they use, like Alaskan scallops and spider crab, razor clams and huge prawns and octopus. But you can limit what you want to a few choices to share and some of the excellent sushi. At the moment they are running a really good special each evening from 5:30 to 7pm, comprising 5 courses and a glass of wine for R150, which is phenomenal value and a good way to introduce yourself to their menu. If you want to see the feast we ate, click here. Nice warm atmosphere in the restaurant too.
Pierneef à La Motte     At the end of last week, John was hired to take two visiting cabinet ministers, who were here to attend the World Economic Forum at the CTICC, on a tour of Franschhoek. Part of the tour was a meeting over lunch at Pierneef à La Motte with some of the wine and tourism decision makers in Franschhoek. After a few miserable, misty and drizzly days, the Cape was bathed in glorious bright sunshine, so we were able to take our lunch on the covered verandah, next to the little river which flows through the La Motte estate. The restaurant features local produce, much of it grown on the farm, with dishes following a traditional South African theme. Photographs of the excellent food (but not the people) can be seen here.
This week’s recipe     We have chocolate again now that the weather is cooler. 70% Callebaut chocolate callets (drops) which are easy to melt. This week’s recipe is for one of those of special occasions. It makes a very, very rich truffle mousse, completely decadent and full of texture and flavour. We also stock a classic French sweetened chestnut purée.
250 ml double cream - 200g good dark chocolate Callebaut or Valrhona - 200g sweetened chestnut purée - 2 T brandy or dark rum or liqueur of your choice – Optional: more cream to serve and a bit more to decorate
Stir the alcohol into the chestnut purée. Whip the cream till gentle peaks form. Melt the chocolate over a low heat, in a double boiler and do not let the water touch the bowl containing the chocolate. Gently add the chestnut puree to the chocolate then fold in the cream. Put into attractive serving glasses and refrigerate. This is a very rich dessert and will easily serve 8. You can top with extra double cream and dress with chocolate curls, nuts or cherries.
Good Food and Wine Show     This will be held the weekend after next, 24th to 26th May, but we are not seeing very much advertising. Many of the suppliers we have, and friends who work in markets, are not appearing there this year as the fees for the stalls seem to have doubled. Not too clever in a recession. We have written to them asking for information but, so far, we have received no response. We have been told by our Nielsen Massey supplier that Nielsen Massey extracts will be promoted at the show by Chef Eric Lanlard, who is coming to South Africa for The Good Food and Wine Show  and to promote his new TV show. Lynne says that he is very talented and rather attractive, so the girls should enjoy going to see him.
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 

16th 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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