Friday, April 21, 2017

MENU's Events calendar

Accuracy in the descriptions of events listed here depends on the information given to us by the organisers or their publicity agents.
Saturday, 22 April and Sunday, 23 April The annual Pinotage & Biltong Festival, at L’Avenir Wine Estate just outside Stellenbosch from 11h00-17h00. Tickets @ R200 pp include a branded crystal wine glass, a biltong cup and a pairing card for the Free Pinotage and Biltong tastings. Tickets at www.plankton.mobi. or www.computicket.co.za from 1 March. For more info visit www.cvomarketing.co.za
Saturday, 22nd April Bot River Barrels & Beards showcase. Get tickets at www.quicket.co.za For enquiries and pre-bookings contact Wilmari Geyer, email: info@bartonvineyards.co.za and mobile: 084 231 8930
Friday, 28 April  Five Wine Partners Dinner. The five prestigious estates that help the Vineyard Hotel produce its own-label, limited-volume wines. Diners are encouraged to book soon to avoid disappointment. The cost to attend the Five Wine Partners Dinner is R450 per person.  To book, please contact eat@vineyard.co.za or call 021 657 4500
Sunday, 30 April Groote Post March Country Market For further information on the Groote Post Country Market, contact Eldré Strydom: 022 451 2202 or eldre@iloveyzer.co.za www.facebook.com/GrootePostCountryMarket  www.grootepostcountrymarket.co.za Or follow on Twitter:       @GPCountryMarket
Saturday, 29 and Sunday, 30 April, from 10h00 until 17h00 daily Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival to be held over the weekend of Early bird entry tickets to the festival cost R140 per person (over 18's) and can be bought online from www.webtickets.co.za and includes your tasting glass, festival programme, access to participating farms, live entertainment and wine tasting of a selection of three (3) wines of your choice at any of the participating wine estates
Thursday, 11th May  Tasting at Caroline's Fine Wine Cellar, Cape Town. Discover BEAUJOLAIS and CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE.   R350 p/p. To book please click here or e-mail Lyzette on carowine@mweb.co.za
Tuesday, 16 to Wednesday, 17 May from 17h00 – 21h00 Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival at Summer Place, 69 Melville Road, Hyde Park, Johannesburg. Tickets from www.webtickets.co.za (R200 online at Webtickets & R220 at the door): booking now. For further details contact Juliet Cullinan on juliet@julietcullinan.co.za    
Friday, 19th to Sunday 21st May The Franschhoek Literary Festival. Programme for the festival is available at www.flf.co.za. Tickets will be available on www.webtickets.co.za from Saturday, 18 March
Thursday, 25th May Tasting at Caroline's Fine Wine Cellar, Cape Town.   BRUWER RAATS top end Chenin Blanc and Cabernet R150 p/p. To book please click here or e-mail Lyzette on carowine@mweb.co.za
Saturday, 27 May Shiraz & Charcuterie at Anthonij Rupert Wyne in Franschhoek on (12pm to 5pm). Pre-booking is essential as tickets are limited. Your tickets, which cost R220 per person, include entry as well as tastings of the wines on show. Book directly via www.webtickets.co.za.
Thursday, 1st to Sunday, 4th June 14th annual Wacky Wine Weekend proudly hosted by Robertson Wine Valley. www.robertsonwinevalley.com/
Wednesday, 14th June Tasting at Caroline's Fine Wine Cellar, Cape Town. MULDERBOSCH with cellarmaster ADAM MASONR150 p/p To book please click here or e-mail Lyzette on carowine@mweb.co.za
Thursday, 22 June Tasting at Caroline's Fine Wine Cellar, Cape Town.  KANONKOP with ABRIE BEESLAAR. R150 p/p. To book please click here or e-mail Lyzette on carowine@mweb.co.za
Thursday, 17 August Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase, Cape Town  For more details and to book, please click on the event name
Tuesday, 22 August Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Tasting, Pretoria Country Club For more details and to book, please click on the event name
Wednesday, 23 August Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase, Sandton For more details and to book, please click on the event name
Thursday, 28 September Cape Winemakers Guild Golf Tournament, Boschenmeer, Paarl For more details and to book, please click on the event name
Thursday, 28 September Cape Winemakers Guild Boules Tournament, Boschenmeer, Paarl For more details and to book, please click on the event name
Saturday, 30 September Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, Spier Conference Centre, Stellenbosch For more details and to book, please click on the event name
Wednesday, 20th September Michael Crossley will be hosting an international wine dinner at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks, Durban For more details, please contact crossley@reciprocal.co.za
Saturday, 14 and Sunday, 15 October Pinotage & Biltong Festival Leriba Hotel in Centurion, Gauteng as part of the official Pinotage Day celebrations, presented by the Pinotage Association. Tickets @ R200 pp include a branded crystal wine glass, a biltong cup and a pairing card for the Free Pinotage and Biltong tastings. Tickets at www.plankton.mobi. or www.computicket.co.za from 1 March. For more info visit www.cvomarketing.co.za

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

This Week's MENU. Degustation Menu at Azure Restaurant, Breakfast at Newport Deli, A marvellous Chenin party, Wine of the Week. Meerlust Chardonnay 2014, Classic Tarte Tatin

Common waxbills (Estrilda astrild)
photographed from the verandah at David van Niekerk’s High Constantia winery
We live in a wonderful country. People from all walks of life are voicing dissatisfaction with the President and his cohorts, but it is done without violence by members of our nation from all our diverse ethnicities and faiths. It will take time and, we hope, patience, but the will of the majority must ultimately prevail. Meanwhile, life continues for most of us. Money is tight, rain (in the Cape) is slight, but we manage and, speaking for ourselves, we have a huge amount of fun doing the things that provide the material for our stories. We hope you’ll enjoy what we have for you this week
Food for Fanatical Foodies: A Degustation Menu at Azure Restaurant at the Twelve Apostles Hotel     
From the 5th of May and on every first Friday of the month thereafter, The Twelve Apostles Hotel is offering you the chance of experiencing a six course degustation menu. Limited to between six and 12 guests, you will have the experience of eating at the Chef's Table in Azure restaurant. Hosted by Chef Christo Pretorius who is ably accompanied by Head Sommelier and co-host, Gregory Mutambe, a six-course surprise menu - all about textures and flavours, will be prepared especially for the guests. Each dish will be paired with a selection of South Africa’s best wines, chosen by Gregory. The cost to book an exclusive place at the Chef’s Table is R2150 per person - price includes meal, wine/tea pairing, water and gratuity. We think that this might also suit the corporate market when they need to entertain overseas guests
We were invited last week, along with other members of the media, to sample the food and wine that will be on the menu. It was quite a tour de force with some excellent wines
Breakfast at Newport Deli      
On a fairly miserable morning after a night of (much appreciated) rain we ventured out to Mouille Point to Newport Deli to try their breakfasts. We did not realise that they keep a kosher menu so were a little bit disappointed to discover no bacon but turkey macon, something we avoid. We are not fans of pretend food and miss the fat on the bacon!
A marvellous Chenin party      
We were so delighted to see the Chenin Blanc Association open up their annual Chenin Blanc tasting to the public. The Magic of Chenin and All that Jazz! party was held last week at The Grand on the Beach in the Waterfront from 5 to 10 and was sensational. A chance to taste Chenin from every member of the association, old and new and some very different. We had a ball....
Wine of the Week: Meerlust Chardonnay 2014

We had this wine at the farm two years ago at a lunch with owner Hannes Myburgh and talented winemaker Chris Williams. We loved it then and it has become even better. We had it again last week at the Degustation Dinner at Azure Restaurant. What a superb wine. It was a beautiful match with the food it was paired with: a lightly citrus and vanilla cured Norwegian salmon with roasted hazelnuts. We knew the wine pairing was a Chardonnay of great provenance, but did not guess it correctly as we thought it was from a cool area like Hemel en Aarde or Elgin. Indeed it was great; the elegant Meerlust 2014 from Stellenbosch, served in Riedel Montrachet glasses, was weighty, full, with some beautiful oaking, the clean lemon lime Chardonnay flavours shining through, silky and intense but not blousy or over ripe as Chardonnays from warmer areas can be sometimes
What's on the MENU this week: Classic Tarte Tatin     
Cool Autumn weather has been showing its face this week and we were entertaining over the Easter Weekend. We had been given a bag of lovely Elgin apples so the choice of our dessert was easy. This recipe is very original, from the French; it uses lots of wicked things like sugar and butter and is absolutely irresistible. Lynne usually uses short crust pastry but decided this time, as time was short, not to make the pastry but to buy the (you need a small mortgage) butter puff pastry from Woolworths. It rose like a dream but was thin and, despite leaving it in the oven a bit too long - the apples were melting - was still soggy when turned out. The Americans have made adaptations to the recipe which Lynne does not like. They always want things easier and quicker. They are using huge chunks of apple and are cooking them in a butter and sugar caramel before applying the pastry, which is always puff. We prefer a paté brisée (a rich short crust pastry) and normal sliced apples. Peel them if you like, don't if you prefer. Lynne makes this is in a heavy bottomed sauté pan with two handles (see photo). First you make caramel in the pan, then you arrange the fruit, then top with pastry. Remember, Caramel is not pale, honey-coloured, nor is it dark burnt brown. A nice red brown is enough
Rich Shortcrust Pastry
175g plain flour - 50g icing sugar - a pinch of salt - 90 g butter - 1 egg yolk - 2 tablespoons iced water - squeeze of lemon juice
Sift flour and sugar with the salt then rub in the butter until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Mix the yolk and 1 tablespoon water with lemon juice and mix into the flour with a knife. Use one hand to quickly and gently press into a firm dough. Add more water if necessary, but do not make the pastry too wet. Wrap in cling film and chill till ready to use. You can also make this in a food processor.
Making the caramel : 1/2 cup white sugar
Have ready a bowl full of cold water large enough to take the base of the pan, so that you can cool the caramel quickly to stop it burning. Put the pan on the heat and cover the base with half a cup of sugar. Watching it carefully, allow it to turn itself into caramel. Do not leave it alone, never stir and do not let it burn. Do not touch it, you will get burned. When the caramel has reached a good red amber colour, turn off the heat and put just the base of the pan into the cold water to stop the caramelisation. Do not get any water into the pan. Let it cool to a hard set
1 kilo Granny Smith apples - 2 t lemon juice - 50 g butter - 50g brown Treacle or Demerara sugar - 50g vanilla castor sugar - 25 g butter
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Peel, core and slice the apples, approx 2 cm thick half moon slices . Sprinkle with lemon juice. Put small teaspoonfuls of the soft butter on the base of the pan on top of the set caramel, sprinkle over the treacle sugar. Then arrange the apple slices in  tight concentric circles in the pan on top of the sugar and the butter. Sprinkle with the vanilla sugar and add the 25g of butter. Roll out the pastry into a circle just larger than the pan and lay it on top of the apples, tucking the edges in down the sides of the apples. Put into the oven for half an hour or until the pastry is golden and crisp
Turning out. You will need a dish larger than the pan, with a good lip - Lynne uses a very large quiche dish. Put the dish over the pan and, using tea towels to protect your hands, carefully and quickly flip the pan over so the tart upends into the dish. Do this over a sink and make sure you flip away from yourself. This is where you get loud applause from anyone looking. Get someone to help you if you are nervous. There is always someone brave at a dinner party. There will be lots of buttery caramel juices. Serve immediately. We always flame the apples with a little calvados or brandy. Serve with thick cream and or real vanilla custard. Serve with chilled calvados or a Noble Late Harvest dessert wine








18th April 2017
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
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. This electronic journal has been sent to you because you have personally subscribed to it or because someone you know has asked us to send it to you or forwarded it to you themselves. Addresses given to us will not be divulged to any person or organisation. We collect them only for our own promotional purposes. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please click here to send us a message and if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please click here to send us a message.



© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What's on the MENU this week: Classic Tarte Tatin

Cool Autumn weather has been showing its face this week and we were entertaining over the Easter Weekend. We had been given a bag of lovely Elgin apples so the choice of our dessert was easy. This recipe is very original, from the French; it uses lots of wicked things like sugar and butter and is absolutely irresistible. Lynne usually uses short crust pastry but decided this time, as time was short, not to make the pastry but to buy the (you need a small mortgage) butter puff pastry from Woolworths. It rose like a dream, but was thin and, despite leaving it in the oven a bit too long - the apples were melting - was still soggy when turned out. The Americans have made adaptations to the recipe which Lynne does not like. They always want things easier and quicker. They are using huge chunks of apple and are cooking them in a butter and sugar caramel before applying the pastry, which is always puff. We prefer a paté brisée (a rich short crust pastry) and normal sliced apples. Peel them if you like, don't if you prefer. Lynne makes this is in a heavy bottomed sauté pan with two handles. First you make caramel in the pan, then you arrange the fruit, then top with pastry. Remember, Caramel is not pale, honey-coloured, nor is it dark burnt brown. A nice red brown is enough
Rich Shortcrust Pastry
175g plain flour - 50g icing sugar - a pinch of salt - 90 g butter - 1 egg yolk - 2 tablespoons iced water - squeeze of lemon juice
Sift flour and sugar with the salt, then rub in the butter until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Mix the yolk and 1 tablespoon water with lemon juice and mix into the flour with a knife. Use one hand to quickly and gently press into a firm dough. Add more water if necessary, but do not make the pastry too wet. Wrap in cling film and chill till ready to use. You can also make this in a food processor.
Making the caramel : 1/2 cup white sugar
Have ready a bowl full of cold water large enough to take the base of the pan, so that you can cool the caramel quickly to stop it burning. Put the pan on the heat and cover the base with half a cup of sugar. Watching it carefully, allow it to turn itself into caramel. Do not leave it alone, never stir and do not let it burn. Do not touch it, you will get burned. When the caramel has reached a good red amber colour, turn off the heat and put just the base of the pan into the cold water to stop the caramelisation. Do not get any water into the pan. Let it cool to a hard set
1 kilo Granny Smith apples - 2 t lemon juice - 50 g butter - 50g brown Treacle or Demerara sugar - 50g vanilla castor sugar - 25 g butter
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Peel, core and slice the apples, approx 2 cm thick half moon slices. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Put small teaspoonfuls of the soft butter on the base of the pan on top of the set caramel, sprinkle over the treacle sugar. Then arrange the apple slices in tight concentric circles in the pan, on top of the sugar and the butter. Sprinkle with the vanilla sugar and add the 25g of butter. Roll out the pastry into a circle just larger than the pan and lay it on top of the apples, tucking the edges in down the sides of the apples. Put into the oven for half an hour or until the pastry is golden and crisp
Turning out. You will need a dish larger than the pan, with a good lip - Lynne uses a very large quiche dish. Put the dish over the pan and, using tea towels to protect your hands, carefully and quickly flip the pan over so that the tart upends into the dish. Do this over a sink and make sure you flip away from yourself. This is where you get loud applause from anyone looking. Get someone to help you if you are nervous. There is always someone brave at a dinner party. There will be lots of buttery caramel juices. Serve immediately. We always flame the apples with a little calvados or brandy. Serve with thick cream and or real vanilla custard. Serve with chilled calvados or a Noble Late Harvest dessert wine

MENU's Wine of the Week. Meerlust Chardonnay 2014

We enjoyed this wine at the farm two years ago at a lunch with owner Hannes Myburgh and talented winemaker Chris Williams. We loved it then and it has become even better. We had it again last week at the Degustation Dinner at Azure Restaurant. What a superb wine. It was a beautiful match with the food it was paired with: a lightly citrus and vanilla cured Norwegian salmon with roasted hazelnuts. We knew the wine in the pairing was a Chardonnay of great provenance, but did not guess it correctly as we thought it was from a cool area like Hemel en Aarde or Elgin

Indeed it was great, the elegant Meerlust 2014 from Stellenbosch, served in Riedel Montrachet glasses, was weighty, full, with some beautiful oaking, the clean lemon lime Chardonnay flavours shining through, silky and intense but not blousy or over ripe as Chardonnays from warmer areas can be sometimes

Degustation dinner launch at Azure Restaurant, The Twelve Apostles, Cape Town

Food for Fanatical Foodies: A Degustation Menu at Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel
From the 5th of May and on every first Friday of the month thereafter, The Twelve Apostles Hotel is offering you the chance of experiencing a six course degustation menu. Limited to between six and 12 guests, you will have the experience of eating at the Chef's Table in Azure restaurant. Hosted by Chef Christo Pretorius who is ably accompanied by Head Sommelier and co-host, Gregory Mutambe, a six-course surprise menu - all about textures and flavours, will be prepared especially for the guests. Each dish will be paired with a selection of South Africa’s best wines, chosen by Gregory. The cost to book an exclusive place at the Chef’s Table is R2150 per person - price includes meal, wine/tea pairing, water and gratuity. We think that this might also suit the corporate market when they need to entertain overseas guests
We were invited last week, along with other members of the media, to sample the food and wine that will be on the Degustation menu. This complex meal with excellent fine wines, all served in Riedel glasses, was quite a tour de force.
We were welcomed with Avondale's Armilla MCC 2009 Blanc de Blancs from organically grown Chardonnay. This Biodynamic farm on the edge of Paarl produces some excellent wines. This was crisp and long, with hints of apple, citrus and nuts, with a fine mousse and very sophisticated, just right for the occasion.
Gifts on the table were chocolates and everyone was presented with an Azure apron signed by the staff
The lovely table setting with lots of fresh flowers
We chatted with Joanne Hayes, PRO for Red Carnation Hotels, and the other guests while waiting for latecomers
On another table, very, very happy customers with the Grilled Seafood Platter for two, a huge selection of seafood . You will find the details on the À La Carte menu
Head Sommelier Gregory Mutambe tells us that the wines will be a surprise, all from his cellar; he has selected them to go with each course and will reveal them to us as we drink them
The menu
The Amuse was a succulent sous vide Saldanha Bay oyster, gently poached in 60⁰C water, served with an oyster mayonnaise, miso caramel, compressed cucumber, passion fruit and wild rice puffs. Lynne was served with dish without the oyster. The miso caramel was very good
With the next course we were served Le Lude's Rosé NV MCC from Franschhoek which is clean and sparkling with hints of richness and strawberries on the nose, full of berries on the lean palate
It had been paired with a Chicken and Ham terrine with herbs, slight smokiness, so well made, still with good texture on both meats and held together with aspic, dressed with pickled shiitake mushrooms, tarragon mayonnaise, a honey mustard emulsion, compressed Granny Smith apple, a cured egg yolk and topped with micro greens. So great to be served a good terrine. We don't get enough of them in South Africa; if well executed they can be delicious, as this was. The wine pairing was faultless
John's dish, sans the shiitake mushrooms
Then a demonstration of roast and raw cauliflower. Some had been curried Cape Malay style, was dressed with a Cauliflower crème, plump pickled sultanas, and rather strangely topped, with grated aged parmesan cheese, which did add some savoury umami to quite a sweet spicy dish. This was served with an onion dhaltjie (a small deep fried chick pea flour savoury donut with onion, also known as a chilli bite or an onion bhajji).
We guessed what the next wine was, both the cultivar and the region to Greg's amazement, but then it is one of our favourites, Creation's 2016 Viognier, perfect with spicy food. Its aromatic peaches and nice warmth are lovely
The third course of citrus and vanilla cured Norwegian salmon with a yoghurt coconut curd flavoured with molasses, roasted hazelnuts - unusual but good with the fish, fennel fronds, pickled beetroot and stem ginger and lemongrass. Still not convinced about vanilla with savoury food, we find it masks the food's flavour and makes you think of sweet dessert. Apparently local trout is a problem at the moment with the drought, which is why they used imported salmon. Chef likes to use only local produce
We knew the wine pairing was a Chardonnay of great provenance, but we did not guess it correctly as we thought it from a cool area like Hemel en Aarde or Elgin. Indeed it was great, the elegant Meerlust 2014 from Stellenbosch, served in Riedel Montrachet glasses, was weighty, full, with some beautiful oaking. the clean lemon lime Chardonnay flavours shining through, silky and intense but not blousy or over ripe, as warmer areas can sometimes be
Time for a pause and a palate cleanser. This is one of the signatures of Azure restaurant. A green apple pear sorbet with a dry ice fountain
Onward into the meat zone. A perfectly pink loin of venison served pulled venison, so rich, accompanied by parmesan gnocchi, roast butternut puree, squash custard, confit baby leeks, a seed crumble and a shiny maple and coffee jus. Its richness nearly defeated several of us but it was a well made dish. Sommelier Greg served us the Hannibal 2014 from Bouchard Finlayson, made by Cellarmaster Peter Finlayson (the farm is owned by the Tollman family). It has the perfume of Pinot Noir's fresh cherries and the spice cranberries and cherries of the Sangiovese and other grapes that go into this extraordinarily good blend of many layers and surprises. The blend is 33% Sangiovese, 22% Pinot noir, 18% Shiraz, 17%n Nebbiolo, 6% Mourvédre, 4% Barbera.
Time for a savoury cheese course before the dessert. Boerenkaas (farmers cheese) Biscuit made by Gina Marziani the pastry chef. This was served with pickled plums, a plum gel and watercress with a toasted macadamia mousse. The wine served was Boplaas NV Cape Tawny, a port style wine, made by Margaux Nel from Tinta Barocca, Touriga Nacional and Souzao
The 12 Apostles team who so generously cooked, served and entertained us. Gina Marziani, pastry chef; William "Bwana" Chintu, waiter; Hilton Ruch, F&B Manager; Gregory Mutambe, Head Sommelier; Christo Pretorius, Executive Chef; Michael Nel, General Manager

Time for dessert. Another rich and indulgent course: a Valrhona Chocolate crémeux, with gingerbread, a salty dulcey crème rocher on top, macerated berries and tiny vanilla meringue kisses, again perfectly matched with Peter Bayly's Cape Vintage port (we recognised it, but then we have had quite a lot of this lovely port, having occupied the stand next to Peter's at the Biscuit Mill market for several years). The port is spicy, full, layered and full of red and black berry fruit, a great match for chocolate. It wins competitions and is so well respected in the industry. Thank you Greg for showing us your favourite wines, we loved them
Another courses: Mignardises (petit fours) served with coffee. Tiny macarons, fruit jellies and chocolate enrobed raisins, nuts and marshmallow
You do need to book for this very special meal well in advance. This Chef's Table is not served in the kitchen but in a special area of the very chic Azure restaurant. Contact them on 021 437 9000 or restaurants@12apostles.co.za. They do also have a seasonal à La Carte Menu or try the innovative ‘Taste of the Earth’ vegetarian and ‘Taste of the Sea’ pescetarian four-course tasting menus