Saturday, January 16, 2016

This week's MENU - Paternoster, Oep ve Koep, Bertus Basson at Vondeling, SA Sommelier competition

Three banded plover, Paternoster
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Hey ho, It's a long, hot summer and we still have months to go. We have had a lovely rest over Christmas and New Year with a good break away and are now revving up for another busy year. We hope you are all settling back into work and looking forward to a good 2016. We are glad to be back
Relaxing by the sea at Paternoster      We are normally very energetic and like holidays where we do lots of different things. But this year we were dog tired and knew we had to stop and do nothing for a while. Lynne found a lovely place in Paternoster, our very first AirBnB booking, and it was a huge success. We had our annual wine club Christmas party on Sunday the 13th and left for the West Coast the next day for our week by the sea. It's a lovely drive up, but the countryside is looking very sere and dry with the drought.  ....>
Oep ve Koep     This restaurant in Paternoster has earned many kudos and we decided, before we went to Paternoster on our summer holiday, that we would treat ourselves to lunch there. It was not cheap, but it was an exciting and very different experience, as the young chef Kobus van der Merwe, the 2014 winner of the Nederburg Rising Star Award, is a true forager and innovative cook. He combs the local tidal rocks along the uninhabited coastline and grows unusual local herbs and plants in his kitchen garden at the restaurant and the menu changes with the seasons or his mood or what he finds
You do need to book and they require a deposit or your credit card details when you do as, surprisingly, they have had many group 'no shows' and this for a small restaurant can be very expensive and a huge time and food waste. He prepares everything fresh so don't expect it to be a quick lunch. Dinner is only for groups of 8 or more people, which made us feel rather excluded and lunch is in the garden when possible. Restaurant open Wednesdays to Sundays  ....>
Lunch at Vondeling with Chef Bertus Basson     When we booked our summer break at Paternoster we had already been invited to this lunch, so we scheduled the end of our holiday so that we could do the lunch on the way back to Cape Town. Bertus Basson has done a series of lunches this year at Vondeling and tells us more are planned for 2016. Get your bookings in now, they are extremely good and very, very popular
Our friends Loraine and Ronnie who joined us for our last night in Paternoster also booked and asked for vegetarian food and they also had a lovely lunch. We know and love Vondeling’s wines and they matched perfectly with the food   ....>
Best Sommelier of SA Finals      We are continually impressed by the progress our local sommeliers are making and it was good to see that ten of them, many of whom we interact with regularly, had reached the semi finals of the Inaugural Best Sommelier of South Africa competition this week. We were invited to attend and watch the final three contestants compete for the title at The Taj hotel on Monday this week. And what an arduous competition it turned out to be. It was won by Gareth Ferreira, a South African currently working at a wine-focused private club in London (67 Pall Mall) as Assistant Head Sommelier under the tutelage of Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn. Gareth has therefore qualified to compete at the Best Sommelier of the World competition which will take place in Mendoza, Argentina, in April this year. Here, he will face more than 55 other candidates in a bid to win the title ‘Best Sommelier of the World’. Currently held by Paolo Basso from Switzerland, the Best Sommelier of the World is only awarded every three years.
To quote SASA (South African Sommeliers Association " Acknowledging and rewarding the best professional working in the South African hospitality industry, it was open to all SASA members with relevant work experience and tenure in South Africa."
We both qualified as potential sommeliers when we graduated with our Cape Wine Academy Diploma in 1996, but we never intended to practice, instead we opened our wine and food shop and spent the next 9 years tending to our customers’ wine needs at home.  ....>
Recipe     If you have a slow cooker, this week's recipe is for you. If you don't, you can put this in a very low oven and cook until you can shred the pork but you will need to check that the liquid has not evaporated and replace it with water if it does. The Chipotle chilli is not essential but it adds that final smoky hit to the pork. It is quick and easy to assemble when you have all the right ingredients to hand and cooks itself. Great for a late supper on a hot day.
2 kg piece of pork shoulder, cut in two pieces - 1 large onion, finely chopped - 2 large cloves of garlic, sliced -1 cup barbeque sauce - 1 cup tomato passata - 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar - 1/2 cup chicken stock - 1/4 cup light brown sugar - 1 t English mustard powder - 1 T Worcestershire sauce - 1 t chilli powder - 2 t fresh thyme - 2 bay leaves - 1 t dried oregano - 1 Chipotle chilli in Adobo sauce, chopped.
Pour all the sauce into the slow cooker pot, add the herbs and spices, onion, garlic and chilli. Stir well. Then put in the pork and make sure it is well covered with everything in the sauce. Put on the lid and set to High and leave for 5 to 6 hours or until you can shred the meat easily using two forks. Do check that it is not drying out at any time.
Remove the roast from the slow cooker, and shred the meat using two forks. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, and stir the meat into the juices. Serve on rolls or instead of shredding cut into chunks and serve with salad and baked potatoes.

14th January 2016
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