Thursday, July 23, 2015

This Week's MENU - Glen Carlou, Big Green Egg, Baleia Wines, Dinners at Dash & Burrata, Pea & Ham Soup, July events

A stormy winter Sea Point sea
In this week’s MENU:
* Le Quartier Français
* Pea and Ham soup
* 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.
As we write this, our house is filled with the wonderful aromas of thick Pea and Ham soup cooking on the stove. And the air is filled with huge gusts of wind. Cape Town has had one of its monumental winter gales for the last couple of days and last night was quite hairy as the gusts of wind sounded like express trains heading for the house, which sometimes shook so badly that we wondered if windows would implode or if we would be moved centimetres down our high hill. The sea was like whipped meringue, so white with foam and, today, we see people on roofs inspecting and replacing missing tiles. Our koi pond swimming pool is full of table tops, our Weber lid, and other windblown detritus for John to remove before it sinks beneath the water weed. Hopefully the ships in the bay have held fast to their anchors.
It has been a week filled with eating and no doubt we have gained several kilos in weight. But as always, it has been enjoyable and sometimes a lot of fun.
Glen Carlou Media Lunch      Glen Carlou, whose wines we know and love, have a new Winter Menu and they wanted the media to come and taste it. So, last Wednesday, we were transported to the lovely farm on the Simondium Road for a great day. They have a really good restaurant, should you need somewhere to eat when in that area of the winelands, with a very talented Executive Chef, Johan Stander, and the food is expertly paired with the food. They change the menu with the seasons. With beautiful views out towards Agter Paarl, we would encourage you to visit. They also have the art gallery containing the Hess Art Collection. See what great food and wine we had....
Big Green Egg Cookoff at the Food Barn      Wow, how much fun is it being invited to a Masterchef type cook-off using a mystery box of food and what is, to us, a completely new piece of equipment, The Big Green Egg - a mix of a ceramic pizza oven and a kettle braai. Its heat can be controlled if you know how, there is even a temperature gauge on the outside, but it was a huge learning experience - and we did get some help with its operation the previous weekend, at Bastille Day in Franschhoek. Our judges were Abigail Donnelly of Eat Out Magazine, Chef Reuben Riffel and Chef Patron at the Food Barn, Frank Dangereux. What did we cook? How did we do? Read On.....
Baleia Wines launch dinner at The Twelve Apostles Hotel      Baleia Winery in Riversdale wanted to introduce their new wine labels, designed by renowned Graphic Artist Anthony Lane, to the trade and Media. They did it at a celebration dinner at the 12 Apostles Hotel on Friday evening. It was another really stormy night, but most of the invited made it despite the deluge and a great evening was had by all. Read On.....
Dinner at Dash      We were invited to visit and sample the elegance and fine dining menu at Dash restaurant this week and it was great to have a drink and a chat in the bar on Saturday night with Neil Markovitz, Managing Director of Newmark Hotels, before we went through to our table in the restaurant. It's in the Five Star Queen Victoria Hotel, not quite in the Waterfront, but on a hill above, where it overlooks the Craft Market and the dock and you approach it from Portside Road. Read on.....
Supper at Burrata      We don't often visit Woodstock these days, but decided to book at Burrata at the Old Biscuit Mill for supper with friends this week. One friend is a huge fan of mozzarella cheese, especially the really creamy burrata, and she had not yet experienced this version of the creamy and beautifully made cheese which they serve and from which they take their name. Read on.....
Interesting news     We thought you might be interested to know that Le Quartier Français Hotel and Restaurant in Franschhoek has been sold to the Leeu Collection, owned by Analjit Singh and his family, This latest acquisition forms part of Leeu Collection, as Singh (aka BAS) looks to offer a range of sophisticated escapes and unique wine land experiences. Leeu Collection comprises, in the first phase: Leeu Estates, a 21-room, five-star luxurious boutique hotel and winery in the Franschhoek valley; and Leeu House, an exclusive and private five-star, 12-room boutique hotel in the Franschhoek village, set for a phased opening from the last quarter of 2015. And yes, Chef Margot Janse will remain in charge of the restaurant.
This week’s recipe is the said Pea and Ham soup     It is a very simple recipe, it just needs a bit of vegetable chopping. If you don't eat pork or meat, leave it out. You could perhaps try making it with some smoked beef or pastrami? It works well as a nice thick vegetable soup. If you want the smoky flavour, you could add some smoked paprika. Add some croutons for texture when serving.
1 T olive oil -1 large onion - 2 celery stalks - 2 peeled carrots - 1 leek - 1 turnip - -1 cup of green split peas - 1 smoked ham hock - 3 litres of water or chicken or vegetable stock. - salt and freshly ground black pepper - 1 small dried chilli (optional) for some heat
Finely dice all the vegetables and, starting with the onion, sweat them off in your large soup pot (Lynne uses her pressure cooker, but not under pressure) for about 10 minutes. Then add the peas, water or stock and the ham hock. Cover and simmer for several hours until the peas have disintegrated and the meat is falling off the bone. Remove it and take off the skin and the fat and put the meat back into the pot. You may have to top up the water during cooking, and do stir regularly to stop it sticking on the bottom. Taste, season and serve topped with croutons. This will make several servings; you can freeze some for another cold night.
Coming Events:
Friday, 24th July at 19h00  Italian Dinner at Ottimo Cibo. Nikki Booth spends many weeks a year at her home in Orvieto, understands Italian cooking deeply and passionately, and put Caroline Rillema and her together at one table and you have a veritable feast of food and wine. One long table in Nikki’s magnificent home setting in Bishopscourt sets the scene for a 4-course meal served with (all top end single-vineyard) Gavi, Barbaresco, Barolo; then Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and the most sublime Moscato d’Asti you can imagine. R900 p/p all included. At 15 Winchester Avenue, Kirstenbosch, Cape Town. To book, please fill in the booking form.
Saturday 25th July   Winelands Chocolate Festival at Lourensford Wine Estate. A culinary celebration of the best in the South African Chocolate Industry.The Winelands Chocolate Festival exhibitors list is growing daily, check back regularly to find out who’s exhibiting and what confections and cocoa concoctions will be on display. Book your tickets. View detailed flyer HERE (PDF)
Saturday, 25th July, 10h30 until 16h00  Mini Port Festival at Muratie Estate, in conjunction with Juvenal Corks. Cost: R100 per person including a tasting glass. Due to limited space, visitors are advised to book in advance. Telephone: 021 865 2330 or Email:
Wednesday, 29th July 6.30pm for 7pm   “Christmas In July” Meet the Winemaker Dinner with Jordan Wines at Southey's. To book a table, email or call 021 851 6060.
Wednesday, 29th July AROUND THE WORLD WITH INGREDIENTS at Durbanville Hills. Beat the winter chill with an interactive food- and wine-pairing evening with ingredients from around the world, led by chef, Louisa Greeff, and Durbanville Hills winemakers. A sausage-making demonstration will be followed by snacks and a three-course meal which includes a variety of sausages from chorizo to bratwurst and fleischwurst and even chocolate salami, paired with a selection of wines from Durbanville Hills’ three wine ranges. The cost is R395 per person for the interactive demonstration, snacks, three course meal, wine and coffee. Booking is essential as seats are limited. To book or for more information, contact Simone Brown on 021 558 1300 or send an email to
Wednesday, 29th July, 17h00 to 21h00     Caroline's Annual Red Wine Review  at the Table Bay Hotel @ R200 p/p which includes a crystal tasting glass & programme. Bookings open at Computicket now (no bookings through shop)
Thursday, 30th and Friday, 31st July, 17h00 to 21h00 FNB Free State Wine Show at Emoya Hotel and Conference Centre, 7 Kleynhans Avenue, Groenvlei, Bloemfontein. for a full list of exhibitors from end of June. Ticket Price: R150 (includes unlimited tastings and wine tasting glass); no under 18s, nor babies and prams. A complimentary show guide includes producer information and informative notes on wine variety characteristics, food matching and serving temperatures. Tickets can be purchased via, Money Market counters in Shoprite Checkers stores and at the door, subject to availability. Enquiries:   011 482 5936/5/4
Friday 31st July 19h00 for 19h30  The Drift Farm Food & Wine Pairing Dinner at Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. R545 per person (includes wine, water, tea and coffee) Bookings are essential: contact restaurant reservations on 021 437 9029 or
Friday, 31st July, 18h30 for 19h00. Avondale’s “Once in a Blue Moon” La Luna Dinner with Bertus Basson. A superb 6-course meal paired with Avondale’s wines. Dress: Smart. Cost: R950 per person. RSVP to Caelli on or 021 863 1976 best before 10th July
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

15th July 2015
PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information
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.
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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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