Sunday 3 February:
Annual spit braai and fundraiser at the home of Stephen and
Pat Flesch, at ZeekoeVlei.
Saturday 16 March: (provisional)
Grape harvest and brunch.
Saturday 4 May: (provisional)
Wild Mushroom feast at Casa Mori.
Wednesday 29 May: (provisional)
AGM at Silwood.
Sunday, 30 September, 2012:
Visit to Lazanou Farm, Wellington.
Sunday 21 October 2012:
Mindful meal at the home of the Romyns in Bergvliet.
Saturday 24 November 2012:
Artichoke lunch at Casa Mori, Stellenbosch.
LUNCH AND WINE TASTING AT LAZANOU
Report by Wilna Meanly
Lazanou is very much a family affair, with Josef
Lazarus and Candice Stephanou leading the cast,
respective and combined children in very
supportive roles. In fact, it is an extended
family affair – here the farmyard animals have
names and are very much part of the show.
As one enters the grounds via
the inspiring vegetable garden, the love and
care is evident. Across the lawn on the left is
the tasting facility and homestead, with an
inviting pool twinkling across a hedge. On the
right, is the sight of a long table set on the
bank of the dam, colourful cushions on the
chairs and lovely posies of garden flowers on
the tables, pristine white umbrellas shading it
all. A really lovely setting.
No time is wasted, the wine tasting commences
and shortly we are lured to the tables by a
veritable feast, simply referred to as a ‘farm
platter’. What an understatement! Home made
bread, locally produced cheeses and charcuterie,
olive paste and more. And do we tuck in - no shy
However, we are commanded by Josef to follow him
and we are treated to a unique wine tasting all
along a circular route around the dam, stopping
at each block of a particular cultivar. Josef,
perched on a bale of straw, gives a short and
informative talk – and we taste.
The first stop, however, introduces us to the
resident merino, Rosemary and her offspring
Lambert. Gazing at us with soulful eyes is
Gertrude the cow, and her handsome calf Stretch.
She had a brief dalliance with the prize
Limousin bull down the road.
So, round the dam we move, tasting and enjoying
a beautiful-weather day. Back at the tables we
are now invited to the buffet table in the
tasting room. Another feast! Beef fillet roasted
over the coals, and wonderful vegetables and
salads – the produce of the farm. And just as we
mutter ‘this is really all too much’ (not that
we deny ourselves), we are confronted with a
delectable dessert table. And the wine keeps
The Lazanou brochure describes the Open Days on
the farm as a unique and memorable experience.
Indeed. The numerous Gold and Silver medals at
local and international wine shows are
Lazanou is well worth a second visit!
DAMYANTI GAJJAR'S MINDFUL MEAL
Report by Patty Kolbe
The meal we attended on Sunday 21 October was a
refreshing reminder of what matters! Jackie Leone set
the scene by showing us the way into silence, and
Ayurvedic chef, Damyanti Gajjar talked about the
medicinal value of the ingredients, giving us lots to
think about while we made our way through the first
course of savoury squares served with apple coriander
chutney and a red chutney.
It was fun eating with our hands, and very pleasant
reflecting on the fact that in the Ayurvedic practice
each digit symbolises one of the five elements. It made
carrying food to the mouth quite a spiritual experience.
Few of us eat normally at the slow pace of silence. We
were made super-aware of the hands that tilled the soil
and conveyed the produce from the fields to the markets,
and everyone in between. Reflecting on this made it
difficult to bolt the food, and strangely enough,
everything on our very beautifully arranged plates,
tasted delicious. It was also very satisfying to eat
slowly and really focus on what we were putting into our
mouths. I felt that I had eaten an entire meal by the
time I had licked the last drop of sauce from that
The main course of basmati rice, was served with
Gujerati dhal, peas, potato and brinjal curry,
accompanied by chapattis and cucumber raita. Both the
apple and coriander chutney and the cucumber raita are
in her cookbook, Conscious Cuisine:aVegetarian
Adventure. There was also a unusually flavoured water
for the table, made by steeping fennel seeds and lemon
grass from her garden. It was woody and aromatic and an
The party decided that one silent course was enough as
some had catching up to do and we had special visitors,
a lively group from the Frankfurt Slow Food Convivium.
So after the reflection of the first course, the meal
was accompanied by lively chatter. Some members of the
Cape Town Convivium had been entertaining the German
visitors for the past week and friendships had been
established. Spokesperson for the group offered
hospitality to members of the Cape Town group very
sincerely, so anyone able to take them up on the offer
of escorted tours of worthy restaurants and other
venues, should do so.
Dessert was the sweetest shock one could hope for. Two
balls of dough saturated in a scented syrup, served with
ice cream. The pungent tea that followed stung the
tongue and helped get us off the ceiling and back in our
seats, where we remained, chatting comfortably until
late in the afternoon. Altogether it was a nutritious
and highly digestible meal.
A big thank you to the Romyns for offering and preparing
their spacious and tranquil home for this event. It was
the perfect venue for a mindful meal.
LUNCH AT CASA MORI
Report by Wilna Meanly
The approach road to Casa Mori sets the Italian tone. A
straight gravelly incline with a row of pines along the
fence, the stone villa looming up ahead. We turn into an
ample parking courtyard and immediately the surrounding
line of buildings speaks of flowing functionality. The
textures fit naturally into the surroundings and the
architectural detail draws the eye. A thought comes to
me: there is loving attention here, there is heart.
Bruno Eugene Mori bids us welcome with a glass of
Moreson Miss Molly Bubbly. Platter 2011 gives it three
stars and says simply: cheers to all-chard NV maiden
fizz. The Afrikaans word 'wulps' could finish the
Someone at Moreson is having fun and
I think a tasting trip is a tempting option - consider
In My Bed cab merlot blend, or Hoity Toity chenin blanc,
then descend to Kitchen Thief sav.blanc... But then I
read that this range is named for their beloved Weimaraner, with a percentage of sales going to the SA
Guide Dogs Association.
Eugene is an entertaining and genial host and soon we
have an understanding of the concerted family effort it
took to establish Casa Mori. With our bubbly we are
served slices of delicate artichoke, fontina and olive
tart. So the exciting artichoke journey begins. We
jostle in good humour for a view seat at the long tables
and find platters of fresh focaccia, with artichoke
pate, Casa Mori olive oil and red wine vinegar,
complemented by Waverley Hills 2012 pinot grigio.
The wine flows, conversation hums. For a brief moment
there is a 'wow' silence as plates of whole steamed
artichokes with homemade mayonnaise on the side, arrive.
Talk now becomes nostalgic, of where and when last one
enjoyed whole steamed artichokes, and of course, the
best way not only to prepare them, but to eat them.
So, can this get better? What more can be done with an
artichoke? Our tastebuds are given a short rest as
Marilyn Mori takes a break from the kitchen to introduce
herself to the gathering and gives us a brief talk on
Bowls of mixed greens and marinated artichoke salad with
a lemon dressing are placed on the tables and plates of
fennel and garlic slow-roasted pork neck on a bed of
artichoke risotto appear. We now go into hmm and aah
overdrive and agree the dish has been faultlessly
By now we are well into the Casa Mori Bruno, a
deliciously elegant blend of sangiovese and cab. Young
Bruno Julian Mori proudly tells us about the family's
quest to honour their heritage and century-old
wine-growing legacy in this new venture.
The meal is beautifully rounded off with a zesty lemon
Our approval is quite obvious judging by the speed with
which empty bottles group up along the length of the
tables, and we do not hesitate, placing our orders for
the olive oil, red wine vinegar and Casa Mori Bruno
Visitors can also stay at Case Mori: there are several
beautifully appointed en suite bedrooms.
All good things must come to an end, but Casa Mori has
found a firm entry in the 'what-to-do-with-visitors’
SUMMER SCHOOL COURSE
Members may be interested in a
course being held at UCT’s
Summer School. Entitled ‘What
does it take to feed a city?
Understanding the urban food
system’, it runs from Monday 28
to Wednesday 30 January, at 5.30
Coordinated by Professor
Gordon Pirie, deputy-director of
the African Centre for Cities,
lecturers Dr Jane Battersby and
Gareth Haysom are involved in
projects related to food
security and ways of knowing.
For more information, telephone
the UCT Department of
Extra-mural Studies at 021 650
2888, or email