Thursday, June 11, 2015

150610 This Week's MENU - Aegean Odyssey Part 1, Turkey. Muratie Karoo Lamb and Venison Experience

A hooded crow takes a bath at Topkapı Palace, Istanbul
In this week’s MENU:
* Aegean Odyssey. Part One: Istanbul
* 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.
Our Odyssey in Turkey and Greece     We are back from our Odyssey, slightly fitter (we did a LOT of walking) and well rested and tanned. We had a wonderful holiday, although Lynne says that John didn't relax as much as he should have, as he took so many photographs which he had to edit each day or you would not have seen anything for weeks. He says that photography is what he wants most to do, so it is his relaxation!
This week, we have attached the five days of our Turkish exploration in Istanbul. We stayed in a small self-catering apartment in the old Armenian section of Istanbul. We saw as many historic monuments and places as we could get to, explored parts of the city on foot, perhaps more than we wanted to. It has a very good network of transport, but all the maps are worthless as they don't connect the different transport systems on one map. The trip on the Bosporus was superb and is a must if you are in the city. It is a very beautiful city at a distance, the history is all around one, but we did find it rather dirty and untidy and not a little financially depressed, which we expected to see in Greece, but didn’t.
The food was not as good or a varied as Lynne had experienced in the past in other places in Turkey, but was consistent and not too expensive, except in the high end restaurants, where it was stratospheric. We had one fine dining experience at Asitane, which serves Ottoman Palace cuisine "fit for a Sultan" from the 15th Century, which we absolutely loved and where we did manage to taste some fine Turkish wines. It scores 4½ stars in all the travel sites, so if you go to Istanbul you must try to visit. Read on by clicking these blog titles:
Karoo Lamb and Venison Experience at Muratie Estate in Stellenbosch     We managed to squeeze in an event at Muratie on Saturday after our return and so want you to see the photos of this amazing day learning how to butcher, prepare and cook a whole sheep and a haunch of Venison. We then had a delicious lunch of the resulting dishes.
This day costs R500 a person and, if you are interested in doing this, contact Muratie, they are planning another of these excellent hands-on demonstrations, preparation and cooking experience, which is followed by lunch with Muratie wine and all the food prepared. We were also able to take home some of the other meats prepared by us but not needed for lunch. Read On, but be aware that some of the photographs may upset sensitive viewers, especially vegetarians.
This week's Recipe     No recipe this week but, next week, we promise to publish the recipe for a dish we ate on our travels.
COMING EVENTS:
Thursday, 11th June   Taste the Helderberg 2015. Limited tickets for Taste the Helderberg 2015 are available at the cost of R80 per person. The ticket includes an elegantly branded wine glass and access to tasting some of the best wines in the country. Numerous restaurants will tempt the taste buds with mouth-watering portions of their signature delights which will be on sale throughout the evening. Tickets will also be available at the door. For more information visit www.wineroute.co.za or call 021 886 4310
Thursday, 11th June, 18h15 for 18h30 French & SA Chenin tasting at Caroline’s. Sebastian Beaumont from Beaumont Wines, the home of the Hope Marguerite Chenin, will present this week’s tasting. Taste the legendary Chenins of Huet and Moulin Touchais. Standing proud in this company are four local wines which will be selected by Sebastian. COST:  R300 p/p.  Please email carowine@mweb.co.za for a booking form or call Lyzette on 021 419 8984 to make a booking. 
Friday, 12th June, 18h00 to 21h00 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show Public Tasting - Cape Town at CTICC – Exhibition Hall 1B, Convention Square, 1 Lower Long Street, Cape Town. Secure underground parking available in CTICC Parkade. Ticket sales via Computicket.com or call 0861 915 8000. Tickets cost R175 each and limited tickets will be available at the door. Ticket includes tasting glass and  unlimited tastings. No entry allowed for under 18s, babies or prams. Enquiries:  011 482 5936. www.trophywineshow.co.za; www.outsorceress.co.za. Wines can be ordered at show prices at the Makro desk at the show or online. Light meals are for sale at the tastings.
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





10th June 2015
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