Thursday, September 17, 2015

This week's MENU - Chefs Who Share, Bombay Brasserie, Klein Karoo wines, Cape Blends, Lanson Champagne, Nederburg Auction, PIWOSA boot sale

A red sun setting into the Atlantic off Sea Point
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 onRead 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.
Presentation of the “Chefs who Share - Young Chef Award” finalists at The Taj Cape Town     "All you need is a spoonful of passion & a dash of creativity to succeed" says young chefs' ambassador, Lentswe Bhengu
To enter this competition, each of the up-and-coming  chefs had to create an innovative canapé which was served, together with a glass of Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial, as a culinary highlight at the "Chefs Who Share" gala evening held last week. The function raised R2 million for charity.  The money was collected from ticket sales and from an auction at the banquet.
Seven young chefs reached the final of this competition. We met them all at The Reserve venue at The Taj Cape Town and tasted those excellent canapés. These seven come from 43 talented and promising young chefs (aged between 18 and 29 and working in positions ranging from demi chef to junior sous chef) invited from the country's 75 top restaurants and each of the seven finalists spent two days in the kitchen of a top chef helping to prepare for the Chefs Who Share banquet. These will be the chefs of the future. The winner, with her pink peppercorn and duck liver paté macaroon with candied apples was Jamie-Lee Saunders (Red Indigo Restaurant@Grootbos). The event was held in The Member's Bar at the Venue at the Taj. More here, with photos
Dinner at Bombay Brasserie     Further to our article Chasing Canapés last week, we were delighted to be invited to have dinner in the Bombay Brasserie by Willem du Toit, Executive Assistant Manager, F&B of The Taj Cape Town. Delicious food followed accompanied by beer....
A Toast to Diversity, Klein Karoo Wine Route Away day     We have some really lovely invitations, this month and next, to visit wine areas. It is a long way to Montagu, so we gratefully accepted the offer of transport there and back and it was worth every long mile. We spent the day at the Cabrières venue. This unique venue situated in Montagu on the R62, named after the small village of Cabrières d’Avignon in the south of France, dates back to the 1800’s. Jean-Pierre Jordaan and his wife Jane Chambers started the restoration process of the building, which now serves as the venue after a generation of dormancy. We tasted some of the best wines from the Klein Karoo, enjoyed the company of the wine makers and had a lovely lunch paired with the food. See it here
Lanson Champagne returns!     It's exciting news that Lanson champagne is back in South Africa, as it is one of our all time favourite marques. Made without any malolactic fermentation, these champagnes remain fresh and invigorating even with age, and they age extremely well. We were invited to Auslese last week to taste the range that will now be available on sale here. See them....
ABSA Perold Cape Blend Competition     The winners of this competition were announced this week at the Cullinan Hotel and we were able to taste all the top blends. Some of the winners were expected, but there were some surprising new wines on the list as well.   Photographs here...
The 41st Nederburg Auction     Does putting your wine in a prestigious wine auction pay? Does it alter the profile of your wines and your farm? Does it help to raise the prices of the wines? These questions were much discussed at the auction this year. Opinions obviously differ. We were invited to the auction this year. John went as Media and Lynne went as a buyer. You have to be there at 08h30 to register, which was a little hard after our last week, but we got there and could enjoy a good coffee and a Danish pastry for breakfast before the auction began at 9. Esteemed wine expert and writer Robert Joseph gave the opening address "Producer, know thy Market" about modern wine marketing and the current trends and it was really informative, entertaining, controversial and uplifting. We hope the industry members present took away some new approaches. His presentation is available to view on the Nederburg site.
The majority of the lots of wine in the Auction on Saturday were from good private producers, with a few Nederburg and other Distell wines scattered through the list. Most of the wines on offer were auctioned on Friday. Auctioneer Anthony Barne MW from Bonham’s in the UK took us at a measured pace through the lots and good prices were received. The Auction raised R6163000, slightly down on the previous year's figure but, apparently, there was less wine entered this year. Most producers we chatted to are very happy with their results
Lynne managed to get a case of the Graham Beck Blanc de Blanc 2009 (we will be drinking this at John's 70th later this year) at the beginning of the auction, but then the big buyers got involved and not much was available. The charity auction was good, but a little disappointing as the big donors and buyers were not there being generous. The 1960s bottle of Château Petrus Pomerol went for R26000, not the R100000 hoped for, which is what it is said to be worth. R 257500 was raised for charity over the 15 donated lots. Then it was time for lunch.  See the story here.....
PIWOSA Wine Car Boot Sale     The first time this festival was held and what a success it was. PIWOSA stands for Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa. It was a real family day, with a special tent for the children with face painting, free candyfloss and lots of fun events including wine Olympics for them. The adults were kept really busy tasting and buying bottles and boxes of wine from the back of bakkies, vans and trucks. One of the best things was bottled water, freely available at no cost, an essential, we think, at any wine show. And there were some really good wines to buy. And then there was the Trebuchet - a medieval catapult, from which they attempted to destroy a caravan by firing first wine barrels and then a car! See the car fly here....
Congratulations     And many congratulations to one of our favourite chef, Margo Janse who celebrates 20 years at the restaurant The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek. It has gone by with a flash and great food.
And sad news. Gail Alswang, the lovely lady who has shared wine judge and journalist Dave Biggs’ life, died this week after a long battle with cancer. We mourn her with him. Dave has written The Wanderer’s Tavern of The Seas column in the Cape Argus for as long as anyone can remember.
This week's recipe is really simple but quite delicious. It can be a starter or an accompaniment to meat or as a salad.
Roasted baby beetroot with herbs and feta cheese
1 packet of baby beetroot, about 10 to 12 beets - olive oil - sea salt and freshly ground black pepper - five or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme - 25 g Danish feta cheese, cut into small 1 cm cubes - fresh rocket
Lynne likes to par cook the beetroot in a covered dish in the microwave, without any water, until they are softening. This concentrates the flavours and is less messy. You can par boil them if you wish. Then cool slightly, top and tail them and rub off the skins. Put the beetroot into heavy foil and scatter on fresh thyme and a good drenching of olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Wrap into a loose parcel, sealing well, and roast in a 180⁰C oven for about half to three quarters of an hour. Allow to cool in the parcel and serve hot or cold with small cubes of creamy Danish feta and drizzle with some fresh olive oil. Serve with peppery rocket .
We are having these with grilled Kassler chops topped with some green peppercorn Dijon mustard, butternut puree and lots of fresh vegetables. Really needed after a week of nibbles....
Coming Events:
Saturday, 19th September   Celebrate your Heritage with Lanzerac and The Giggling Gourmet. Treat your taste buds as Lanzerac Hotel’s Executive Chef, Stephen Fraser and world-renowned foodie, Jenny Morris (aka The Giggling Gourmet) whip up a feast of gastronomic proportions. The cost is R595 per person and includes a three-course lunch; welcome drinks and canapés, wines served with the meal, the live entertainment, as well as a goodie bag. For all bookings and enquiries contact Zelda Furstenburg at Lanzerac Wine Estate on or 021 886 5641.
Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th September ART & DINE EXPERIENCE AT WEBERSBURG WINE ESTATE. Experience a sensuous journey through fine art, food and wine at Webersburg Wine Estate’s Art & Dine Experience on 2015. A Heritage Day with a difference, Webersburg’s wine cellar will be transformed into an art gallery hosting fine art and sculpture from the Art on Church gallery in Stellenbosch, accompanied by live contemporary music, and followed by a three course food & wine pairing led by Webersburg’s Chef and Winemaker. At R400 per person, there are two slots available – a dinner starting at 19h00 on Wednesday 23rd September, and a lunch from 12h30 on Heritage Day, Wednesday 24 September. Tickets are available via Quicket, and booking is essential. For more information, kindly contact 021 881 3636 or visit
Thursday, 24th September   Le Bonheur Walk the Vine and Taste the Wine event will take place on Heritage Day. Join Lauren Behrens for a hike with a twist - walk to four vineyard blocks and taste the respective wines, whilst enjoying a braaied delicacy. The walk starts at 11h00 and ends on the lawns in front of the Manor House; gourmet boerie rolls and live music to be thoroughly enjoyed. At just R130 per person, this is a hike not to be missed. Advanced booking is advised. Call 021 875 5478 or email to make your booking.
Saturday, 26th September at 18h00 TOP 12 PINOTAGE at NADEGE CUISINE, 1 Dunedin Avenue, Noordhoek R450pp for "tasting + meal" OR R450pp "cooking class + meal". Cheese platters from Ile de France will also be available during the tasting. The format is the classic Top 12 Wines blind tasting of 12 of the best Pinotages of South Africa, winners of awards and top reviews, competing against the public!  You will rank the wines in order of preference, with old friends and new friends alike. Expect amazing quality wines!  During the tasting, we will talk about Pinotage, of course, but very importantly, we will talk about Food and Wine pairing. We will go through some food and wine pairing techniques and discuss why the menu of the day will pair well with our best pinotages.  The tasting will start at 18:00 and last two hours, after which dinner will be served.  While we enjoy the tasting, other guests will be in the kitchen for a "hands-on" French cooking class with Nadege! Hence you may come with one or more friends, or husband and wife, and while one does the cooking , the other one tastes the wines.  The cooking class, inclusive of meal, also goes for R450 per person, and you may enquire for details of the menu and other aspects directly with Nadege at
Saturday, 26th September 18h30 The annual Anthonij Rupert Estate Protea Party. You’ll be welcomed with a thirst quenching Protea Rosé cocktail. A harvest style Winelands feast of fresh seasonal ingredients from the Franschhoek valley follows. Round off your evening with the treats on offer at the dessert station. Work off your dessert on the dance floor with live music provided by the popular rocking Newton band before heading home. Tickets cost R450 per person, including food, wine and live entertainment. Booking is essential as seating is limited. For reservations call 021 874 9041, or e-mail
Thursday, 24th September  Alchemy Wines Hamburger Cook Off at Hartenberg Wine Estate this Heritage Day The entries have been received, reviewed (and sampled) and the best of the best have been selected for this year’s Alchemy Best Home Cooked Burger Competition. And you’re invited to sample what the finalists have come up with! Join the judges on Heritage Day, as you get the chance to sample some of SA’s lip smacking home cooked burgers. The six finalists in the Alchemy Wines #Hartenburger competition will battle it out on the day to impress you with their best burgers. The winning burger will be featured on Hartenberg’s Taste at Hartenberg menu for the year. Hartenberg’s very own mouth-watering, signature grass-fed Waygu beef burger will also be available, perfectly paired with the Alchemy SMG. And what would a cook off be without the judges. This year’s judging panel includes well-known foodie and blogger, Dax Villanuevea (Relax With Dax); foodie, blogger and food stylist, Sam Linsell (Drizzle & Dip) and internationally acclaimed Mount Nelson Executive Chef, Rudi Liebenberg. Keeping it real and true to Hartenberg the panel is completed by two of the kitchen’s cooks, Marilize Geduldt and Fumbatha Mehlo, who are responsible for adding that extra dash of passion Hartenberg’s food has become popular for. Tickets cost R150 per person and include entry, two burgers as well as two glasses of Alchemy wines of your choice. The fun starts at 11am and visitors can look forward to the cook off, live music as well as a wine tasting. Tickets are limited and can be purchased by contacting Hartenberg on or 021 865 2541
Saturday, 26th & Sunday, 27th September   Franschhoek Uncorked Festival. Your Uncorked Weekend Pass, which costs R120 per person, allows you access to the participating farms as well as a complimentary tasting glass and free wine tastings. Pre-book through to avoid disappointment. For more info contact the Franschhoek Wine Valley offices on 021 876 2861 or visit for further details and a list of participating farmsFor more information and accommodation bookings, please call 021 876 2861 or visit
Sunday, 27th September Groote Post’s Country Market. Entry is free of charge. For further information contact Eldré Strydom 082 877 6677 or · · @GPCountryMarket. Directions: Follow the R27 West Coast Road towards Langebaan. Turn right onto the Darling Hills Road opposite Grotto Bay turnoff. After 10 km, turn right to the Groote Post cellar. Or take the R307 out of Darling towards Cape Town and turn off at the Darling Hills Road. After 7km turn left to the Groote Post Cellar. GPS Coordinates: S 33° 29’ 0.5” E 018° 24’ 35.0
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

18th September 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.
If you like the photographs you see in our publications, please look at our Adamastor Photo website for our rate card and samples from our portfolio
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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