Friday, August 22, 2014

140821 Main Ingredient's MENU, Societi Bistro, Wellington weekend

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
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In this week’s MENU:
* Birthday at Societi Bistro
* Photography – a Rant
* A Wellington Weekend
* Food and wine (and a few other) events for you to enjoy
* Learn about wine and cooking
To get the whole of our story, please click on “READ ON.....” at the end of each paragraph, which will lead you to the related blog, with pictures and more words. At the end of each blog, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to the blog version of MENU.
This week’s Product menu – Like many of you, we are enjoying Rick Stein’s series about Indian food. Naturally, spices are essential ingredients of Indian cooking. Not all the spices you will need are easily available in supermarkets, but we can give you access to them and to other essential ingredients like rose water. See them all here
Birthday at Societi Bistro      Where to celebrate Lynne’s Birthday? We knew, after our busy week, that we were going to be extra busy on Thursday - writing and editing MENU and processing photographs. So we couldn’t go out of town. We attended a function at Societi recently and were extremely impressed with the food. It had been rather a long time since we last ate there. They had a table and off we went. It was buzzing and is obviously one of Cape Town’s most popular restaurants. They run monthly specials featuring French regional food and you can mix these in with courses off the blackboard menu. It turned out to be a very funny and enjoyable evening, with a surprise ending. READ ON....
Photography – a Rant      John is a professional photographer, he has been all his working life. He has had his own studio, specialising in car photography as well as cosmetics and a variety of other consumer products. He spent four years in London and Norway studying photography at one of the best photographic schools in the world, the Polytechnic in London, now the University of Westminster. He does it professionally and he does it for pleasure and many of you comment on how much you like his photographs. We take photographs for MENU at restaurants, functions and wine farms. Sometimes we are asked if the people involved can use them.
There is a school of people who think (erroneously) that it is the camera that takes the photograph. It does not. It is the photographer and a good photographer can take a prize winning photograph using a pin hole camera, a box brownie or a very expensive Hasselblad that most people would struggle to use. It is an art getting people and places into the right light and composition and making it all look effortless. And after you have taken the photograph, there is a great deal of work to be done in balancing light, tone, shade, cropping the picture and many other technical things you may possibly never have heard nor thought about.
So why am I fuming? Because we have attended several functions lately where the organisers have asked for some of the photographs, because they didn’t employ a “professional”. Photos which we took to use in MENU, this e-publication, which goes to thousands of readers every week. In each case, John sent the photos and a bill. A very small one, given the amount of work involved. We received replies which thanked him but expressed surprise at being asked for money.
And these were from ‘professional’ PR and commercial people. Our time and talents don’t come without a price, we all have to earn a living. From Lynne, whose grandfather was a pioneering professional Fleet Street photographer.
A Wellington Weekend      You may recall that we were invited to Dunstone House in April to stay and we wrote about it in MENU. We like it very much and when we heard about their winter special, which runs from April to end of August each year, we thought we would take members of our wine club to stay for a Saturday and that would give us all an opportunity to explore Wellington wines. We had a group of keen travelling companions and were surprised that several of them had never been to Wellington before. It is only one hour from Cape Town and is a very beautiful and hospitable valley.
We started the weekend by meeting at Klein Optenhorst to see the Ferreiras’ magnificent garden and taste some of their newly released Pinot Noir MCC, grown on the farm but vinified by Peter Ferreira, who is not related to Naas Ferreira but to Jenny, his wife, the gardener.
Nabygelegen Then it was on to see James McKenzie at Nabygelegen, just down the road. James and his partner Adele gave us a superb tasting of his wines and they laid on a very good cheese and meat platter for lunch which cost R80 pp.
Dunstone We were not moving far on our first day in the valley as Dunstone is also just the other side of the Bovlei Road from Nabygelegen. We arrived a little weary to be welcomed by tea and cake and then everyone went off to their rooms for a rest, a sunbath, a walk or a read. We all met later for supper at their Restaurant, The Stone Kitchen.
Roger Jørgensen was next on Sunday morning. While our group knows quite a lot about wine and winemaking, most of us are not very au fait with the making of spirits and it was a treat to have Roger take us through the processes he uses and then a trip into his garden and workroom to smell all the aromatics, botanicals and other ingredients that he uses in the making of his brandy, gin, akvavit, and other interesting alcohols.
Because we had spent so much time at Jørgensen’s, we were woefully late for the appointment John had made at Bosman Family Vineyards but Bea, who runs their tasting room, was very good about it and gave us a good tasting of their ranges of wines in the old cellar. Sincere apologies from us all.
Then it was off to Diemersfontein for a tasting and lunch. As the day was so balmy we were able to sit out on the terrace and do our tasting at the same table we later had lunch at. David Sonnenberg came to welcome the group and answer any questions we had. He kindly invited us all to come and see the manor house and gardens after lunch, but sadly that took rather a long time to arrive so we didn’t manage to get there. Perhaps next visit. Photos of the weekend can be seen here

ENTER AND WIN     Excelsior wine estate is celebrating 100 years of hospitality at Excelsior Manor Guesthouse - on a working wine farm in Robertson – this month and they are giving away 100 cases of Excelsior wine in celebration! Enter here to stand the chance of winning 1 of 3 cases of wine daily! Until 31st August. So do it now! All entries stand a chance to win the Grand Prize of an all-inclusive 2-night stay at 4 Star Excelsior Manor for you and a friend. The competition is open to South African residents only.
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 type of event 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 list of wine and food pairing dinners, list of Special events with wine and/or food connections, list of Wine Shows and Tastings and list of special dinner events. All the events are listed in date order and we 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
The Hurst Campus, an accredited school for people who want to become professional chefs, will soon start a new series of short courses in baking. Check the ad in our blog page or see the details here
Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here.
In addition to the new Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School, Chef Peter Ayub runs a four module course for keen home cooks at his Maitland complex. Details here
Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has French cooking classes in Noordhoek 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 Thursday evenings and she has decided to introduce LCHF (Banting classes). The Kitchen Confidence classes, which focus on essential cooking skills and methods, have been expanded and are now taught over 2 evenings. She continues to host private dining and culinary team building events at her home. She trained with Raymond Blanc, and has been a professional chef for 25 years. More info here

21st August 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.
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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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