Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lunch with Carmien Rooibos and chef Nic van Wyk at Banks new Sea Point shop

Now, many of you will know that we are not great fans of Rooibos tea. So what were we doing accepting an invitation to lunch matched with Rooibos tea? The draw card was, we must admit, food cooked by Chef Nic van Wyk and we like challenging ourselves every now and then and trying things we think we don’t like.  It was a very interesting experiment and we admit that the “teas” were not more pleasant to drink than we had imagined.  And they certainly went very well with the food.  It was held in the new Banks shop in the Checkers Centre in Sea Point on the day they opened.  Creation were also there with their excellent wines and many people were enjoying them. 
Banks’ shop also has a working kitchen for hire for chefs lunches, cooking demonstrations etc.
A welcome glass of Creation’s Sauvignon blanc, poured by Sales and Marketing Manager Dieter Odendaal
Chef Nic van Wyk cooking his Moroccan lamb meatballs.  It filled the shop with wonderful aromas
Adding some more flavour while a Banks employee in the background sets the media tables
There is lots of space for the function and there was time to look at all the stock in the shop and covet a few items
The range of Carmien teas. Rooibos Blends are Rooibos with Lemongrass & Ginger, Rooibos & Buchu, Rooibos, Honeybush & Hoodia, Rooibos & Chai Spices, Rooibos & Chamomile, Green Honeybush, Rooibos & Mint. Loose Tea Blends are Vintage Romance and Amber Royalty. All products can be found in leading retailers throughout South Africa.
The range of Creation wines we were to taste with lunch
The table setting
Journalist Bianca Coleman from the Cape Argus chatting to Dieter Odendaal of Creation wines in the Hemel and Aarde valley
Chef Nic explains our lunch and the tea pairings
Phialene van der Merwe, the Marketing Manger of Carmien, tells us about the products and how they are grown in the Cederberg - the only place in the world in which they can be grown, due to the very specific soil and terroir in a narrow 60 000 hectare belt along the West Coast of South Africa
Lize Mouton of Carmien pours our first tasting. We drank out of small professional tea tasting glasses
Dieter Odendaal with a bottle of Creation Sauvignon blanc
The founder of  Carmien Rooibos Teas and now managing director, Mientjie Mouton, tells us of the history of Rooibos and the company, which is now the second largest producer and supplier both locally and abroad.
To quote her:  “Tea is no longer just a stand-alone beverage that you sip between meals, it is versatile and lends itself to a food partner rounding off flavours and adding depth to any dish. Tea acts as a palate cleanser and flavour bridge between courses as it refreshes and readies the palate. “With tea being a big trend for 2014 and even mentioned as being a top five foodie factor to watch out for, we’re excited to share our blends and grow this trend in South Africa”.
Listening and tweeting as she explains why Rooibos Lemongrass and Ginger tea was paired with Watercress soup
The soup was lovely and peppery, thickened with cream and a little potato and did indeed go well with both the Lemongrass and Ginger tea and the Creation Chardonnay
The menu for An Eastern Journey with food and tea
PRO and great organiser of these events, Roxy Laker of Errieda du Toit Public Relations
There was a lucky dip of business cards to win this tea set
Steamed Cob with a fennel compote and aniseed cream topped with a piece of cold smoked hake and a piece of salted hake.  The fish was perfectly cooked and we loved the two different pieces of hake on the top.  The chai spices in the tea were visible and did justice to the dish. As did the Creation Sauvignon Blanc.
Tomato sauce for the next course of meatballs. Lynne found this rather sharp
The TV monitor overhead allows one to see how the chef prepares the food when doing demos
Merguez Meatballs, pumpkin mash and tomato sauce with Rooibos and Buchu flavour, probably for us the most acceptable flavour of these teas. We liked the herbal notes of the Buchu. And we loved the sexy Shiraz from Creation
The lunch ended with a lovely dessert, a small rich and delicious Bergamot Pot de crème with a citrus biscuit served with the Rooibos Earl Grey
Mientjie and Lize Mouton drawing for the prize
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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