Friday, September 13, 2013

130912 Main Ingredient's MENU - Groote Post & Darling Voorkamer Fest, Franschhoek Uncorked & after, Sausages for sale, DGB trade tasting

MENU
Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
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Mountains, clouds, light and shade, Devonvale, Stellenbosch
In this week’s MENU:                                
*    Groote Post
*    Darling Voorkamer Fest
*    Franschhoek Uncorked and afterwards
*    Sausages for sale
*   DGB trade tasting
Follow this link to see our Main Ingredient blogs, because to tell our whole story here would take too much space. 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 had lots of enquiries lately for middle esastern products like sumac and za’atar and for puy lentils, black beans, beluga lentils and other pulses.  We do have all of these currently in stock. We surmise many of you are using Ottolenghi cookbooks!   Our online shop shows our range of rare and exciting products which you are unlikely to find elsewhere in South Africa. See it here
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.
FIESTA TIME
From mid August until about the beginning of December, it is festival time in the Cape and what wonderful fun our festivals are. We try to keep you up to date by publishing any information we can find or are sent on our Events calendar and it is worth checking them out. This week, on Saturday, there will be the Fork and Cork festival in Wellington, a chance to go from farm to farm, tasting what they have on offer for the price of one entry which covers all. Sadly, because we work on Saturdays, we are not able to be there but hope lots of you go. Wellington is only one hour away and we know that they have lots of fun planned. Check out their web site here. And, in October, Robertson will hold one of its best, Wine on the River, which we will definitely attend.
Two festivals which we have managed to attend this past week were the Darling Voorkamerfest on Friday and Franschhoek Uncorked on Sunday.
GROOTE POST    We started Thursday by taking a bus from the Waterfront to Groote Poste Wine estate where we were treated to a lunch at their restaurant Hilda’s and enjoyed the hospitable company of owner Nick Pentz and winemaker Lukas Wentzel. Lunch was a lovely chance to taste through their wines and then enjoy some of them with lunch. The day was sunny, some of the spring flowers were out and we really enjoyed ourselves.
Then, suddenly, it was 5 o’clock and time to get back into the bus and proceed to Darling for the
VOORKAMERFEST     Darling’s Voorkamerfest celebrated their tenth anniversary and was a first for us. Nick Pentz of Groote Post invited us to join him at Groote Post for lunch and then in the town for the Festival. It is very innovative and is there to showcase the diversity of the area, in every way possible. Yes, there is a festival site in front of Evita’s Peron where you can buy local produce, taste wine and craft beers from the area and buy some lovely things to eat. But the purpose of the festival is very, very clever. You buy a ticket for R195 on Friday and R225 for Saturday and Sunday and then you stand in a taxi queue (they use the locals) according to the colour of your tickets. Two local minibus taxis (capacity 14 seated) turn up and in you pile. You are then on a magical mystery tour. Your ticket entitles you to go to three different venues in private homes and you only find out who is going to entertain you when you arrive in their voorkamers (parlours). Our first venue was a classic Darling turn of the 19/20th century home owned by Ineke Palthe - Theatre Hostess and long time VKF supporter who lives here. It has a lovely garden with broekie lace and a stoep and 30 odd people were squeezed into the front room for a performance of two drummers: Savuka’s Barry van Zyl & Daniel Bloem from Holland presented NATIVE RHYTHM
Back into the two taxis and off over the railway lines to the township and a tiny white RDP house where we literally crammed ourselves into the tiny main room for a very funny comedian Michael Kudakwashe, who had Lynne in hysterics with his take off of a really thick Scottish accent, then Cockney, before moving on to other comedy. These performances are not long, perhaps 10 to 15 minutes, but were really appreciated by the very mixed audience of locals and tourists.
Our third trip was to a slightly larger and older house owned by a very house proud and welcoming lady and there we were treated to a performance of a singer and accompanist. It was a delightful experience, very real and we will definitely try to attend next year. Then it was back to the festival grounds. We had time for a local beer and then it was back into our bus for the drive home which took just an hour down the West Coast road. More details and photographs are here.
FRANSCHHOEK UNCORKED AND AFTERWARDS     Sunday saw us travelling to Franschhoek for Uncorked Festival. We began at Antonij Rupert farm where we tasted some Terra del Capo and Protea wines and looked at the special offers they had. Time melts when you are at festival like this and we had time to check into Val d’Or Guesthouse, where we had found a reasonable special for one night of R750 for two with breakfast. Then it was off to our lunch booking at Maison. This was the restaurant Lynne most wanted to return to. We really enjoyed the food there last summer and they have been closed for a couple of months this winter, so this was our first chance. We had a really good, if rather expensive, lunch and will return again. We bought a box of their very good Chenin Blanc which we’d enjoyed with lunch for R45 a bottle. It does give you pause though when your lunch bill is more than your accommodation bill! See photos and comments here.
Next, we had been invited by Irene Waller of La Bri to come and join in one of her vertical tastings of La Bri Shiraz. We arrived in time at 3.30, but no one else did. It is very disappointing for farms when people make bookings but simply don’t turn up. There was a lot to see and many places to visit at Franschhoek Uncorked but, in our ethics, a booking is a booking. Make a commitment and stick to it. We loved the shiraz tasting, all were good, some vintages more so than others, and there is a distinct progression in quality from the time Irene took over the reins. Click here for comments and photos.
We had been invited by manager Jason Ratner to come to dinner at French Connection that evening and must confess that, after a large lunch, we did find this a bit of a stretch. We very carefully selected two courses from the large and tempting menu and were not disappointed at all. Click here to see the pictures of the food and our comments.
On Monday, after a tiny lie in and a good breakfast at Val d’Or, we had intended to do some of the Champagne route but we could not contact any one at Morena, so went on to Stony Brook where we tasted their excellent MCC made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and then tasted their other wines. Photos and comments here
Then on to Glenwood to see what was happening there after the Japanese restaurant closed. They now have the chef from Bon Vivant in Franschhoek running a bistro there and it is turning out to be a success. We tasted some wine and then moved on to the village for lunch. See photos here
Then it was back into the village to visit Pasch du Plooy at Dutch East restaurant. He had invited us to come and see his new butchery which is making quite a splash in Franschhoek. It was time for lunch so we had a quick meal, a draught beer each and then it was time to be on our way home. Pasch would not let us pay for the lunch and also sent us on our way with a package of several of his products. We had the cheese grillers for dinner that night, the nicely fatty streaky smoked bacon went into a Spaghetti carbonara the next night and we took the lamb, beef and pork sausage to our wine club last night, where it was much appreciated. And we ate his good ham in our lunch sandwiches during the week. This gives you an indication of what he is doing but he also has fresh meat and game.
SAUSAGES FOR SALE     Just to let you know that Steve Jeffrey has added an exciting selection of fresh and very interesting flavoured sausages to his range and is selling these at the Biscuit Mill on Saturdays. He does cook up some for you to taste so you need to come and sample them. We tasted the Toulouse and it is very good indeed – lots of garlic and parsley. And we have a pack of one of each still to sample and will be reporting back in the next edition of MENU.
DGB Trade Tasting     This was held last Thursday evening and was one of the reasons why we went to bed at 3 on Friday morning. Held this year in the conference facility at the Westin Cape Town at the Convention Centre, they certainly put on a great tasting. There was a never ending supply of good canapés and some very interesting wines to taste. Two from Boschendal particularly impressed Lynne: The 2011 Cecil John Reserve Shiraz is complex and full of chocolate cherries and spices with the layers of mulberry raspberries and cherries, white pepper and cinnamon, this is a wine to treasure. Their Grand Reserve 2011 is a wildly unusual blend of 72% Petit Verdot and 28% shiraz. Full of Parma violets on the rose it fills your mouth with fruit and soft tannins and will last well but was so delicious it might be difficult to keep away from. We also loved John Loubser’s new Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc sparkler, which is fresh and lively and has a label bound to jump off the shelf in wine shops. His Black Swan 2012 Sauvignon Blanc is full of leafy green flavours, elegance and good minerality. Brampton impressed with the Rosé 2012 which is very French in style and just what we need for summer lunchtime drinking. We also tasted the Graham Beck impressive range of wines and bubbles, of which we have many favourites, especially the Brut Zero and Cuvée Clive. Lourensford’s MCC is spectacularly decorated with medals; we enjoyed it and would have done so even if the bottle had been less ornate. Some photos here
Recipe    Sadly, perhaps, this has been such a busy week that Lynne has spent very little time in the kitchen and has not evolved any new recipes. Next week should be more productive…
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. 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, then you pay and then we deliver or post. 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. Click here to see our OnLine Shop.
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. It needs updating and we’ll do that tomorrow. 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. We plan to visit their French establishment after Vinexpo. 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
 
12th September 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 online shop 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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