Friday, October 11, 2013

131010 Main Ingredient's MENU - Lunch at Buitenverwachting, CWG Auction, Veritas Awards, Season of Sauvignon, Dinner at Bizerca, Spring Chicken and Fruit Salad

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
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Spring wheat field and Table Mountain’s tablecloth
In this week’s MENU:
* Lunch at Buitenverwachting
* CWG Auction
* Veritas Awards
* Season of Sauvignon
* Dinner at Bizerca
* Spring Chicken and Fruit Salad
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 new stock of chestnuts, in cans and jars and have replenished our stock of the ever popular truffle oils. Patés have been selling well, especially the delicious French duck rillette, and we have more of those in stock too. They’re in our shop. 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.
As usual, we have a link at the bottom to our calendar of wine and food related events which should interest all lovers of great food and wine and events which promote them. We have always had a few from centres outside the Western Cape, but we now have enough to justify a separate list, so, if you live in one of the other splendid places in our lovely country, have a look. If you are promoting an event in any of these places, please let us know and we’ll add it to the list.
Lunch at Buitenverwachting      When we go to a favourite restaurant fairly often, we want to write about it in a new way so that you may be excited enough by our description to go and try it out yourself. Buitenverwachting restaurant has been one of our haunts for several years and it has never disappointed us. Edgar Osojnik, the Executive chef, changes the menu regularly throughout the year and, over the years, has changed his style slightly to fit in with modern trends. He used to do classic food from Europe with a Germanic touch, then he tried out some nouvelle cuisine, he had a brief fling with molecular gastronomy and now he has combined the best of all these with a bit of Asia and exciting fresh local ingredients cooked seasonally, with the addition of some exotic spices and ingredients. The restaurant has the most beautiful views of the vineyards and mountains and, of course, they have access to the full range of Buitenverwachting’s excellent wines to inspire them and pair with the food.
Last week, we were delighted to be invited to lunch to taste the new Fine Bites menu and some admirable Buitenverwachting wines, old and new. Lars Maack and winemaker Brad Paton joined us and it was indeed a very gemütlich lunch tasting of Chef Edgar’s new Fine Bites Menu. There were one or two flashes of sheer brilliance in the food, and perhaps one of the best and most exciting dishes we have tasted all year.
Buitenverwachting wines never cease to impress us and they always improve with age. They are made on a farm with superb terroir, climate, a great viticulturist, and two extremely different but inspired wine makers in Hermann Kirschbaum and Brad Paton. The wines get many awards and sell extremely well overseas, sometimes to the detriment of us locals, when we cannot find stock because it has all been sold overseas.
Wines which we tasted that went particularly well with this meal were the Hussey’s Vlei 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, very aromatic, full of greengages and herbs with leafy crispness and minerality. It went so well with the fresh green asparagus risotto topped with slightly sticky sweet preserved truffle; the Third Time Lucky 2012 Limited Vintage Viognier was a dream with the paté, as was the MCC Brut full of brioche and crisp limes, which also lasted to dessert. Edgar’s master stock in the soup reminded us of a good Vietnamese Pho and matched the Maximus 2011 Wooded Sauvignon Blanc so well. The 2010 Pinot Noir, with its smoky bacon notes and sweet and soft raspberry and vanilla mouthful, added so much to the herby lamb dish, which was full of so many different notes and spices. Christine 2008 is more open and ready than the 2007, but both have years to go whereas the 2009 is raring to go now with such richness on the nose and so full of fruit you want to dive into the glass. This was the second time in two weeks that we tasted the Buitenverwachting Cabernet Franc, which is savoury and meaty and very complex indeed. Now we just have to get some! Another wonderful experience, thank you Buitenverwachting. Take a look at our photographs
CWG Auction     We are so delighted to hear that the Cape Wine Makers Guild Auction broke all records this year and achieved R8.4 million in bids and sales. One day we will get to go and see it all happen - when we are no longer working on Saturdays.
Veritas Awards     Everyone likes to drag out the finery every now and then and dress up for a prestigious award ceremony. What was so impressive was that John was still able to get into his black tie evening attire, purchased more than 10 years ago.
Veritas is one of the major wine competitions held annually, known as the Oscars of the Wine Industry – you will often see their stickers on wines and they are a good indication of quality.
The Veritas Awards is a very large occasion, as we discovered when we assembled in the foyer of the CTICC last Saturday night. They served a variety of prizewinning bubblies and some canapés as people arrived and we enjoyed a glass of Simonsig’s Kaapse Vonkel with its maker Johan Malan and his wife. Later, as we entered the ballroom, we discovered our table number was 3. We asked David Biggs where he was sitting and were impressed when he said table 38 and somehow horrified when Johan Malan said 58! There were more than 600 people seated at tables of 10 in the huge space. The food was by no means haut cuisine, but was the best we have eaten at the Convention Centre and, with this quantity of people to feed, impressive in that the lamb arrived warm and properly cooked, even if the starter was cold, It was served smartly and efficiently to this vast number by the Catering staff of the CTICC, ably led by Executive chef Warwick Thomas, and the awards went very smoothly, if a little quickly. We were trying to tweet as the Double Golds were announced, but sometimes ran out of finger speed and didn’t manage to get them all. Click here for some photographs and a link to the list of all the winners, so many of which were well deserved. It was quite a glittering event. Our twitter handle is @mainingmenu should you wish to follow us.
We did have one amusing situation. There were two bottles of white wine and two of red on our table (medal winners, we discovered later). The whites were opened and poured and a waiter then asked Lynne if we would also like the reds opened. She consulted the table and the answer was a resounding yes. We went on talking and eating our starter and then suddenly realised that we had no red wine and the waiter, who had been opening them next to our table, had disappeared with our wine. Suspiciously the table next to us had several bottles on it! It took ages to find someone to get us some more wine but eventually a bottle arrived. It was corked! “What have we done to deserve this!” was the cry from the Wellington winemaker. However it was soon sorted out and we had lots of wine for the rest of the evening. We left at midnight when the dancing was getting started – we had to be up early for the market. A lovely evening, full of very happy people.
Season of Sauvignon    Sunday dawned sunny and warm, so it was a pleasure to drive the half an hour to Durbanville to enjoy this annual festival. We always try to go to different farms each year and this year we started at Bloemendal, as we wanted to see what has been done there in the last year since the restaurant and conference centre opened. We were greeted by marketer Colyn Truter, who represents the farm alongside several others in his portfolio. He introduced us to their new range of wines under the Waterlily label, which was being launched that weekend, all of them very quaffable. The farm has been smartened up a lot since we last visited and the focus is now back on wine and graceful entertaining. The restaurant, Bon Amis, which calls itself a café/deli was closed on Sunday, but we plan to make a return trip to try it out this summer. We loved the new permanent marquee function venue at the rear of the restaurant with koi ponds down each side and good access to the kitchen, which opens up onto a large garden space. A lovely venue for a wedding or large party. We were treated to a huge hamburger for John and very good crisp Patagonian calamari strips for Lynne, with excellent thin, crisp chips.
Then it was on to Altydgedacht where the festival was in full swing with good blues and rock music. We tasted several of our favourite wines and a couple of new ones and were very, very impressed. The prizewinning Gewürztraminer is full of rose petals and litchis with an good acid structure below the slight sweetness – so good with Asian food. The new season Sauvignon is just as we want it, green, fresh, crisp and slightly salty from the terroir and the Ollo white blend was, as expected, stunning. The Barbera is the best we have ever tasted, being ripe and ready to drink, accompanied by rich food and the new flagship blend, Tintoretto, is soft and succulent.
Then it was off to the other end of Durbanville for a very quick visit to Diemersdal, which was still pumping at a quarter to four, with lots and lots of people in the marquee enjoying the festival, the wines and the entertainment. We had a taste of their sauvignon blanc and a chat with chef Nick van Wyk before driving home to a lovely sunset. Our photographs are here.
Dinner at Bizerca     It is sad not to see Bizerca get onto the top 20 Best Restaurant list this year, but they have been in their new premises for less than a year, which makes them ineligible, even though it is still owned by chef Laurent who would cook just as well on a primus, regardless of the venue. It is a controversial list at the best of time, so many of our favourite restaurants never get a look in. We were taken there for dinner last night with a large party of friends and overseas visitors and had a very good dinner indeed. Thank you so much Richard for a great evening. Click here for the photographs and descriptions of the food.
This week’s Recipe     Now that the weather is getting warmer and we are putting on thinner clothes, the winter bulges are appearing. We both seem to have ballooned a bit this long cold winter, so healthy eating is going to feature more, when we are not eating out. Spring is a wonderful season, when we start to see the beginning of things like fresh asparagus, marvellous strawberries and all the stone fruits will soon appear. We find that if you are going to do a main course salad, you do need to make it a bit more interesting and substantial than just a few lettuce leaves and tomato. Mixing fruit into a salad is something Lynne likes to do, it adds colour, texture and fresher flavours. Never forget that tomato and avocado are fruits.
Spring Chicken and Fruit Salad
2 boneless chicken breasts or 4 deboned thighs – 1 pot of Greek yoghurt – 2 garlic cloves - 2 T lime juice - 1 t salt - 1 t paprika - 1 t ground coriander - 1 t ground cumin - 3 cm piece of peeled fresh ginger
Blend the yogurt with all the spices and the lime juice till you have a smooth paste. Marinade the chicken in the paste overnight. Grill the chicken on both sides until just cooked but be careful not to let it get dry. Slice when cold.
14 small spears of fresh asparagus – approx 20 thin green beans – 1 ripe avocado, sliced – 20g pecan nuts - Mixed watercress, spinach and rocket leaves – 2 T fresh blueberries – 10 large strawberries – 10 baby roma tomatoes - 1 lemon -1 ripe pear, sliced and dipped in the lemon juice to prevent it browning - Mix half a cup of orange juice with the juice of one granadilla – salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
Blanche the beans and asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and plunge into ice water to keep the colour. Put the mixed leaves in an open bowl, add the beans and asparagus, the avocado, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, pear and chicken. Top with the nuts and then pour over the juice. Season the salad well with a little salt and a lot for freshly ground black pepper. Serves 4.
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. 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. Events outside the Western Cape are listed here.
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

10th October 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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