Thursday, September 05, 2013

RisCura White Hot wine award lunch

It is a stunning venue. This large, very adaptable all-white room can be divided into three with built-in screens
The weather was mixed, so some guests gathered around the roaring fireplace while others enjoyed the magnificent views from the terrace
Our welcoming drink was full of elderflower cordial and other mystery ingredients and you could have it with alcohol or without. Lynne did ask several people about the constituents, but never did discover them.  We suspect it contained apple juice and lemonade with a bit of a kick, not too sweet, and with blueberries and apple slices afloat with lemon and mint. Note the clever acetate tag attached to the foot, which told you at which table you were seated.
All the flowers were white to celebrate the first day of Spring, we were told.
There were some lovely arrangements and then just some single stems.
One of the magnificent views from the terrace
Another, looking down at Devon Vale
Kerry Sinclair, RisCura Head of Marketing
…with Christian Eedes the organiser and judge of the White Hot Wine Awards
 Jan Laubscher and Anel Grobler
Christian tells us more about the wines and the awards
And then presents the first award to Caroline Rillema, whose wine, Celestina 2011, was one of the three winning wines
Ray Killian, Caroline Rillema, John Loubser of Steenberg and his wife Karen with their awards. John received the award for Steenberg's Magna Carta 2011
The winner was Tokara’s Directors Reserve 2011. Miles Mossop, the winemaker, was unable to attend.
This acrylic foot tag was on the wine glass of the Tokara and also told us what we would be served as the first course. Many different small starters.
A warm potato and leek soup with truffle, served in a test tube with a long crisp cheese straw. Wonderful, we had at least two each but not very easy to get out of the tube.
Excellent Salmon sashimi served with a gentle almond espuma, topped with salted almonds and micro basil.
A  small bowl of an unusual kelp and aged parmesan risotto
We also had a Springbok tartare on a corn galette with avo and a saffron Hollandaise

Gillian Adams, Landtscap Events Manager
Chef Franck Dangereux
The logo of his restaurant Food Barn on his tunic
The three awards
Two of the tables being served lunch
Next course served with the Celestina
A very, very fresh oyster just out of its shell with slivers of sweet raw scallop, topped with Japanese togarashi chilli spice, a seaweed gel under a bed of baby leaves,  salmon caviar on well made mayonnaise and a drizzle of Ponzu soy and grapefruit oil. This dish was the sea and the seaside personified and completely matched the umami nose and long and crisp lime, lemon  citrus flavours of the wine
Next Franck presented warm oven baked bread to go with this course
Here he explains to us how he did the food and wine pairing – it took a few bottles to get it right. And he got it very right.
The Steenberg Magna Carta Bottle; the back of the bottle bears its motto and intent. This wine is complicated and layered, has lots of citrus notes and has good minerality and a lightly oxidized style
Jessica Saurwein of Klein Constantia
Another acrylic, on the base of the next wine glass, showed us the main course menu, which was served tapas style for us to help ourselves
Marron (fresh water crayfish) tails cooked and served on hot salt bricks served with baby Spring vegetables in tarragon butter. Served only one each of these tender sweet sea food, we could have devoured several more
This was the vegetarian option, a mushroom stuffed cannelloni with a herb cream sauce
Roast deboned baby quail, coated in cracked peppers, on a bed of Japanese fried mushrooms and served with a vanilla jus and a Bordeaux blend cream. Not all of us were delighted with the vanilla sauce, preferring the cream, but others loved it, so it comes down to preference. For Lynne the mushrooms had a strange taste, rather as if asafoetida had been mixed with coriander seed, but Franck assured here he had added nothing, she concluded it was the taste of the mushrooms. The quail was beautifully cooked and tender.
Home smoked tender and salty sweet pork loin, coated on the outside with porcini dust and nicely seared sesame coated tuna slices, on a bed of stir-fried teriyaki cabbage which had a lovely texture and flavour.
Ray Killian
Franck announces that dessert will be served and gets loud applause for the meal
Caroline Rillema
Dessert was a tiered presentation of delights. Tiny almond petite four ‘presents’, crisp and warm churros coated in lots of cinnamon sugar and two different flavoured but identical looking macaroons in the house colour of RisCura - orange. Franck instructed us to guess the two different flavours, which were Rose water and Peach/nectarine. We did take a couple home in a serviette in the bus which they had laid on for us, which was much appreciated.
Snow capped mountains in one of the beautiful vistas seen from Landtscap
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

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