Thursday, April 16, 2015

This Week's MENU - Taste of Cape Town, Creation celebration, Bouchard Finlayson vertical, Solms Delta, Salted caramel

The end of summer on the beach as gulls tell us the weather is about to change

In this week’s MENU:
* WTM (World Travel Market) at the CTICC
* Long Weekends
* Salted Caramel
* Learn about wine and cooking
We write about our experiences in MENU, not only to entertain you, but to encourage you to visit the places and events that we do. We know you will enjoy them and we try to make each write up as graphic as we can, so you get a good picture of what is on offer at each place, restaurant, wine farm, festival we visit.
To get the whole story with photographs, 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.
Taste of Cape Town     We went on the first evening this year and found it to be a lot more fun than last year, but with less impressive food. And on chatting to some of our hotel, restaurant, wine and cheffie friends, it seems that they want things back the way they were to start with or their presence might be missed next year. We can’t put our finger on what made it so much fun, perhaps seeing so many friends in the wine and food world as well as people attending whom we knew, but it was fun.
We ate and really enjoyed food from two venues, the rest was OK but not terribly exciting to us. It seems that the top restaurants won’t come and do this as a purely PR exercise –would they need to? They don’t make money, but we think they are missing out on introducing new people to their excellent food. Read on
Harvest Party at Creation     An invitation we were delighted to accept, this turned into a rockingly good evening with DJ Tess playing all the numbers that get you up dancing, lots of food, excellent wine and fun. But there was also a purpose to the evening and for every bottle of wine the guests ordered, 30% was being donated to the local primary school for very necessary supplies, improvements and upliftment. And a lot of wine was drunk. They introduced their new Special Reserve Merlot and it is one to rush off and buy. Intensely fruity but very elegant and layered, this classic merlot shows no green stalkiness and is beautifully made. Yes, we bought some and yes, we stayed in the valley. Read on…
Bouchard Finlayson Vertical Tasting in Town     We were invited to taste some of these great Hemel and Aarde wines at Hildebrand in the Waterfront this week. We do go there a lot but don’t always have time to visit all the wine farms we like and respect. This is one of them and if you find yourselves in the area, do go and do a tasting of these wines. You will find a warm welcome and some superb Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and elegant red blends, as well as their Blanc de Mer white blend of Riesling, Viognier and Chenin Blanc Read on…
Authentic experience, great food and passionate people at Solms Delta     As Klink judges we are always looking at what else wine farms do to attract customers. Solms Delta in Franschhoek has so much to offer it rather puts the rest to shame. This week we were invited to experience the whole gamut of things on offer and we had a very good day, despite power cuts and rain. John does take his tour customers there for the cultural experiences and wine. Yesterday we discovered how good the restaurant is and the people we met, who so love what they do. We had a wine tasting with the assistant winemaker, Joan Heatlie, a walk through the Dik Delta fynbos food garden with gardener Johan O’Rayn, lunch in Fyndraai restaurant cooked by chef Shaun Schoeman and visit to The Music van de Caab museum with Wanna Malgas. You too can enjoy similar experiences when you visit. Read on…
WTM (World Travel Market) at the CTICC     We managed a brief visit to this international and local travel Market at the Conference Centre on our way back from Franschhoek and have managed to sort out a few interesting things with Turkish Airlines and The Turkish Tourism board as well as making new contacts and networks in the travel trade. It is a vast and very mixed show, with a huge array of travel opportunities, large, down to very small indeed. It is more for the trade than the public however.
Long Weekends     There will be lots of things happening this coming weekend – we will be at the Pinotage & Biltong festival at L’Avenir and hope to see some of you there. We have also been invited to a couple of very exciting places which you will read about next week – dinner on The Queen Mary while she is in port and a night at Bartholomeus Klip. The following long weekend brings the Cheese Festival, the last Market at Groote Post and many more events – check out our What’s On list if you are looking for something to excite you.
Salted Caramel     We have been enjoying chocolate and caramel tarts and desserts so much recently Lynne though you needed this recipe so you can make your own. It is delicious on ice cream, puddings or on a pastry base, then covered with a good dark chocolate ganache. You can also pour it on shortbread to make a millionaires version, topped with the chocolate.
330g white sugar (1½ cups) - 125ml water - 50g butter, cubed – 250 ml cream (1 cup) - 1 tsp vanilla extract – 1 tsp flaked sea salt
Have the butter and the cream to hand. Put the sugar and the water In a heavy bottomed pan and heat until the sugar caramelises. Keep an eye on it as you don’t want the sugar to burn. When it has reached a lovely amber caramel colour, remove from the heat and quickly but carefully add the butter and cream, stirring well. It will be very hot. Add the vanilla extract and then add some of the salt. Taste when cooler and add more till it is to your liking.
You can pour this into a jar and keep in the fridge in a sealed container, just warm to pour. You can add more cream or milk if it is a little thick. You could pour this into a prepared pie crust, or individual ones and then top with a good chocolate ganache made with 150g chopped dark chocolate and 125 ml cream. Heat the cream to scalding but do not boil. Pour over the chocolate pieces and whip together till you have a good thick ganache. Use immediately and enjoy.
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, has a variety of courses. See the details here
In addition to his 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
Nicolette van Niekerk runs baking courses at La Petite Patisserie in Montague Gardens
George Jardine will be running a series of winter cooking courses and other activities at Jordan. Details here

16th April 2015
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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.
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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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