Thursday, February 27, 2014

140227 Main Ingredient's MENU - Festival time, Mexican food, Constantia Fresh, Ommiberg Festival in Paarl, Scansa Trade Day at Durbanville Hills, Banoffee Pie

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This week’s Product menu - Mexican food is so suitable for hot weather and we do have stock of real Mexican Chipotle Chillies in Adobo sauce to spice up your Nachos or other Mexican meals. The range also has a delicious Chipotle Salsa for dipping into or pouring over and there is a great Black Bean Salsa. Mexicorn are importing these from Mexico and packaging them here. If you can find it in the supermarket, we don't usually stock it, just the products you would struggle to find... Check our online shop to see more details and prices.
Festival time     Harvest festivals are taking place all through March, so you are spoilt for choice as there will be some exciting and different things happening. Check our Events Calendar for the many, many things you can enjoy in the winelands. Most festivals take place over the entire weekend and Robertson has things all through the month of March. This weekend we will be going to the festival at Muratie and on Sunday to Durbanville for the Feast of the Grape. Next weekend will see us at the Paarl Ommiberg on Saturday and on the 15th we will be in Wellington for their Festival. Solms Delta's ATKV Oesfees will happen on Saturday 22nd and we are also going to that.
Constantia Fresh took place on Saturday at Buitenverwachting and was a marvellous festival of good wines and some lovely food. Tickets cost R400 and for that you got to taste all the wines available and eat the food of five chefs. It was hugely popular; there were 950 tickets available and they sold out. We saw people being turned away, so if you want to come next year, buy your tickets in advance. With added guests and media we estimate there were at least 1000 people attending and it never seemed crowded. The festival was spread out on the lawns and there was seating available or you could just sit on the lawn. They also added an antique fair as another facet. Click here to read and see more
Ommiberg Festival in Paarl will take place next weekend, 8th and 9th of March and at last the sleeping dragon underneath the Pearl has awakened! Most farms but not all, are doing many varying events on their farms and in Paarl on both days. On Friday there is a golf day at Paarl Golf club. Most of the farms start you off with a free tasting of their young wines and a slice of onion tart, with the proviso that “While stocks last!” which should encourage you to get there early. Click here to see the full exciting festival programme
We were invited to a media briefing day on Tuesday and were taken to several different venues where they will be holding the festival to see what they have to offer. Click here to read about our day and see what you might experience
Scansa Trade Day at Durbanville Hills     Three Streams Trout Farms in Franschhoek bought Scansa, a large importer of salmon and other products from Europe, a couple of years ago when the owner retired and they have now become one of the largest suppliers of trout and salmon in South Africa. They begin the value chain “from Egg to Plate” with their trout hatcheries in Franschhoek and also in Lesotho and are the largest hatchery in SA providing 1.6 million fingerling trout a year to fish farms. There is now a huge demand for salmon worldwide but we have so overfished the seas that in future most of it will have to be farmed. They are about to do a trial in Saldanha Bay to see if it can be done in our waters. They are major importers of fine quality salmon and other fish products from Scotland and Norway. They also have a BEE company, Cape Trout, and all farms in the Western Cape are being restructured. The chain then moves logically onto the Smokehouse in Franschhoek where 75% of what they produce is for Woolworths and the remainder for their own retail brands Three Streams or Scansa. They also have a very long list with other exciting products. You can taste many of these at the Salmon Bar in Franschhoek. And there is a factory shop in Montague Gardens. We love their products and often buy them and we were delighted to have a small tasting of some lovely Durbanville Hill wines matched with some of their products including the new farmed Kabeljou.
Banoffee Pie     We know you all do a lot of entertaining in summer, despite the hot weather. Lynne though she would give you a simple but delicious recipe which takes very little time or effort to make, as many of the ingredients could come from your store cupboard or a quick trip to a local supermarket. It is that old favourite, Banoffee Pie
1 packet of digestive or other biscuits – 120g melted butter – 3 bananas – half a lemon - 1 tin of Caramel condensed milk, Nestles Treat – 250 ml of whipping cream – optional: 1 t or 2t of whisky – chocolate curls – pecan nuts
Put the biscuits into a food processor and break up to a rough crumb. Or put into a plastic bag and beat with a rolling pin. Put into a bowl and pour over the melted butter and mix well. Take a loose bottomed cake tin approx 20 cm and line with a disc of baking paper. This makes it much easier to cut later. Press the biscuit crumbs firmly onto the base. Then slice the bananas and make two layers of them at the bottom of the pie. Squeeze over a little lemon juice to keep the banana white and to add a little contrast to the very sweet caramel. Pour or spoon on the caramel and cover the bananas. Put into the fridge to set. Just before serving whip the cream and top the pie. You can add a little whisky to the cream if you like and you can sprinkle over some chocolate curls. Some people like to add some nuts to this pie but these are all optional extras and are not traditional. For a dinner party you could make individual pies. Make them in soufflé dishes so they don’t have to be turned out and sliced.  You can make your own caramel by boiling tins of condensed mik for hours, but save the planet's resources and just buy the ready made one.
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. Karen Glanfield has taken over the UnWined wine appreciation courses from Cathy. See the details here

Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen 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

27th February 2014
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 and standard 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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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Salmon & kabeljou at Scansa and Three Streams trade day at Durbanville Hills

This trade tasting was held at Durbanville Hills magnificent cellars in their conference facilities
Welcomed by Joint owner/CEO Gregory Stubbs, who explained in detail the structure of the company and how they work. We learnt a great deal about fish farming and the industry as a whole and its future. It was very interesting.  We also had a full run through of all the products they produce.
We then proceeded to the Restaurant for a tasting of their products matched to Durbanville Hills wines
The menu
From the left, delicious moist and well flavoured smoked salmon from Norway (our favourite), Gravadlax (needs a little more dill and sugar) and hot smoked salmon topped with peppercorns.  They all went well with the three Durbanville Hills wines:  2013 Sauvignon Bland, 2013 Merlot Rosé and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon.  However the wine that matched all the fish best was the Rhinofields 2011 Chardonnay,
Two portions of their new product, farmed kabeljou. A portion that was plain and grilled and a portion served with sweetcorn salsa, & tabouleh  salad.  We found the fish a little dry and wondered if it had been under a heat lamp.  All the fish served would have been better with a little lemon and we did get ask for and were brought some with the cob.  A Hollandaise sauce might also have showcased it better. That is how we would serve it at home.
The views are fantastic from the restaurant
Table Mountain across the bay on a very hot day
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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

Media introduction to the Paarl Ommiberg Festival

We were up very early to catch the bus in the Waterfront which took us to Mellasat.
Our driver, Leon, ferried us safely from the V&A Waterfront to each of the destinations we visited in Paarl and then back again
We were welcomed by owner Stephen Richardson, the new President of the Paarl Wine Route
Mellasat's range of wines
Mellasat has an interesting collection of ancient wines in the cellar. Some could be worth trying....
All the media were given nice straw hats, which we wore all day. We were very thankful for them in the heat
Lance Nash of Black Pearl Winery and Emma Borg of Painted Wolf joined us to tell us what they will be doing at the Ommiberg festival. Check out the programme here 
We all enjoyed a glass of Cathedral Cellars MCC 2009 
while listening to the programme
Lance Nash, Stephen Richardson, Annelize Stroebel, Paarl Councillor Thys Smit and Emma Borg
Then a canapé breakfast buffet was served...
....before we went into the cellar with Stephen to taste the new wines which have just gone into barrel to ferment. First were two different barrels of the unusual white pinotage they make, then a wild yeast chardonnay. If you attend the festival, you too will be able to taste these wines from this farm and many others, together with a zwiebelküchen (onion tart). This is an old German tradition called “Federweiss”. This is free and will go on as long as the stock of onion tart lasts.
Emma Borg, PRO Charmaine Baird and Annelize Stroebel
Stephen shows us the barrels of new wine
and then, using a wine thief, pours us all a small portion to taste. As you can see the wine is cloudy with yeast. Do not swallow this fermenting wine or you will burp for hours afterwards. Taste and spit and see if you can determine what it will become when it has finished the process
Then it was back on the bus and the groups of media were split up and sent to different wine farms. Our destination, together with Maryna Strachan and PR person Charmaine Baird, was Rhebokskloof, owned by the Laker Family
where we were welcomed by Anton du Toit, their Marketing and Sales Manager, and Rochelle Kotzé, who runs Public Relations and Marketing at Paarl Media
Rhebokskloof caters for lots of functions and this long room is used for corporate blending experiences - our next activity
We split into two teams, Maryna and Charmaine Baird vs the two Fords. Our instruction was to take the 4 different Shirazes and make a friendly and easy drinking blend of them. A wine similar to this will be made by the winemaker and be on sale at the festival.
Rhebokskloof's new label is just acid etched onto their bottles, with a paper label on the back
We take this seriously and got down to blending. We all made two blends, Maryna and Charmaine, working together. John and I love doing this so much we decided to work separately and make our own two blends.
Then the six blends were judged by the winemaker Rolanie  Lotz and Consulting wine maker Francois Naude. They liked two blends which were very different and the winning blend was made by Maryna and Charmaine. Well done
Lots of tasting and discussing went on
While we waited with bated breath. If you want to do this with a group, your wine club or as a corporate function, please contact the farm
Then it was on to Red Table restaurant at Nederburg,
where we all gathered for lunch on the terrace. They really need to try harder
and refreshed ourselves with a delicious bottle or two of Nederburg’s The Anchorman 2012 Chenin Blanc
The lovely manor house in dappled shade
and back on the bus to go to the enormous winemaking facilities of KWV in the centre of Paarl. 
These old casks have always a been a feature of the cellar
but now are overtaken by a forest of huge stainless steel tanks containing millions of litres of wine
The Mentors winemaker Izelle van Blerk tells us about the harvest and the many places the grapes are coming in from. You can see the trucks queuing in the background.
This is where the grapes are downloaded into the crushers
Inside it is damp and cool and smells wonderfully of fresh grape juice and yeast
Each tank has its vital information slip
Cathedral cellars indeed
We tasted several of the young fermenting wines here too, guided by winemaker Kobus van der Merwe
Gathered round a barrel
Grapes being tipped into the cellars
These grapes are a very fine Cabernet Franc destined for The Mentors range which were given a very careful and gentle de-stemming and then hand triage was done on the separate berries. With such specialised treatment as this, you know they will be able to produce a very fine wine.
We taste the Sir Lowry’s Pass Malbec from the tank. Dark purple in colour, deep and fruity with some sharp acids, all good characteristics at this stage.. Also a Darling pinotage which had that rusty nail character present in many pinotages.
There is still wine aging in this huge cask! 1997 Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon
Norman McFarlane sees if he can move it. Norman, there is weight lifting and then there is this...
Another huge cask still in use for a Dry Hanepoot from 1999
Our final stop was the lovely Laborie 
with its Harvest restaurant, where we had some of their great MCC and some great snacks while we heard more about the coming festival
Several of us finally needed to sit down
KWV Marketing manager Jeff Gradwell with Anel Grobler and Kalinka Lombard
Jeff Gradwell with Matthew Gordon, Executive Chef of Harvest, the very good restaurant on Laborie
Muggins left the Nikon's battery on its charger, so all these photographs were taken on his Nokia Lumia 920
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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014