Thursday, July 31, 2014

Peruvian inspiration for dinner with Martin Moore at Durbanville Hills

Taste your way around the World   Durbanville Hills Wines are taking guests on an eight-week journey to discover the foods and cultures of countries from around the world - paired with Durbanville Hills wines and typical cuisine from New Zealand, Spain and the other countries which their winemakers have visited, while promoting the wines of Durbanville Hills. These culinary journeys are happening on Wednesday evenings until September 3rd. Your tour guide might be Cellarmaster Martin Moore, whose business travels inspired these tastings, red winemaker Wilhelm Coetzee or white winemaker Gunther Kellerman – all are avid cooks. The cost is R280 per person. Contact Simone Brown at or 021 558 1300 to book or visit the website for more information
We had been invited to try last night’s journey to the food of Peru and we had a ball. Recent food fashions dictated that we have all had to discover Vietnamese food, then it was Spain and el Bulli, then foraging with the Scandinavians. Now, according to Martin, Peruvian food is going to be the next big thing world-wide. Many of the ingredients we eat today originated in South and Central America, like chillies, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, maize, avocados, quinoa (pronounced keenwa) and chocolate. We quote: “Foods that were prepared by ancient civilizations are still enjoyed today, while typical Peruvian dishes have also benefited from European, African and Asian influences. Peru's geographic characteristics yield diverse ingredients: abundant seafood from the Pacific, tropical fruits from the jungle and unusual varieties of grains and potatoes from the Andes”. We have eaten some Peruvian food at Keenwa restaurant in town and enjoyed it very much, so it was with a keen sense of anticipation that we sat down to dinner with Martin Moore, our able guide … READ ON......
Sunset over Durbanville and down to the sea at Blaauwberg
Welcoming faces in the tasting room
A very good welcome was the Pisco sour, Peru’s famous cocktail
We all gather kin the reception area, before going upstairs to the restaurant for dinner
Taking our places at the long table
Martin Moore explains the food of Peru and tells of his many trips there on business. After three trips, he fell in love with the people and the food. It is a culinary adventure, he says
He tells us of the amazing diversity of Peru. There are 32 officially recognized climatic regions in the world. Peru has 28, from the dry desert coastline through the tropics, right up to the high Andes.
A line up of glasses to be filled with Durbanville Hills wine to match the food
Chef Louisa Greeff did a marvellous job, producing Peruvian food with little experience and many recipes from the internet. Ingredients were also a challenge to source
Martin introduces her to us
We learn more details of Peru. Lynne makes notes
The interesting menu
Our first course arrives:  Papa a la Huancaina (not ‘The father of the hurricane’ as Lynne assumed, but the more prosaic "Huancayo style potatoes" ! )
A mild cheese is added to a sauce,  which is mixed with a nice kick of warm chilli and other spices. The sauce is then thickened with ground salty crackers! This is poured over sliced boiled potatoes and topped with a hard boiled egg and some salty olive slices. It is served cold. Sounds ordinary? It wasn’t. Full of flavour and a really good compliment to the earthy potatoes. Might be worth trying at home. Peru has hundreds of varieties of potato. Paired with the Durbanville Hills Chardonnay which added a little roundness and sweetness to the dish
The next course, Anticuchos, is street food on every corner in Peru. Well flavoured grilled meat on a skewer, served with grilled corn. You might find that your lunch is guinea pig, or other rare meat. We were served beef and it was very tender and nicely cooked. The grill burn on the corn is also great, as it caramelises the corn. Nicely paired with the full fruit Rhinofields Pinotage
Martin tells us the story of Ceviche, fish ‘cooked’ in lime or other citrus juice. It was an Incan dish but, apparently, was improved immeasurably by the arrival of Japanese immigrants in the last century The sauce that cooks the raw fish is known as Leche de Tigre (tiger’s milk). This is added only just before serving
It was served with some corn, and a slice of potato. Nice lime flavour on tender morsels of fresh raw fish. And it went so well with the Rhinofields Sauvignon Blanc, that Lynne was motivated to buy 6 bottles to take home.
The next dish was not a poem on the plate, but it was pure comfort food. Aji de Galina is shredded chicken in a thick sauce, with garlic walnuts and cheese and is served on basmati rice. Lovely with the Rhinofields Chardonnay
And then came dessert. Pionono is described as jelly rolls and was the lightest swiss sponge filled with jam and cream and some dolche de leche, which is caramelised condensed milk - a South American fixation found everywhere there. And on our supermarket shelves too! We were served Rhinofields absolutely delicious Noble Late Harvest and couldn’t decide which we liked more, the dessert or this sweet honeyed wine
The entrance to the  winery at night
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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