SLOW FOOD CHEESE
AWARDS 2013

  SLOW FOOD GERMANY
     

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

  VISIT TO EZIKO COOKERY
SCHOOL AND RESTAURANT
     
RECENT EVENTS   SLOW ROADSIDE EATING
     
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE   CITY BOWL MARKET
     

 

 

SLOW FOOD CHEESE AWARDS 2013

The 2013 Slow Food cheese awards were chosen by a panel made up of Slow Food Cape Town committee members and cheese experts. We tasted a selection of cheeses manufactured by South African artisanal cheese makers from many regions across the country. We congratulate the cheese makers to whom merit awards were presented.
  
The names of the Slow Food Awards winners and their cheeses are listed below, and we invite our members to try these excellent products! They are available at :
The Real Cheese, Bishop Corner 217, Lower Main Road, Observatory, Tel : +27 (0)21 448 8041
  
We have placed an interactive map of South Africa showing cheese makers across the country onto the Slow Food Cape Town website. Do click HERE the website to check it out.
  
Award winners:
  
Rina & Norman Belcher - Belnori Cheesery, Bapsfontein, Gauteng
Savanna sheep’s milk cream cheese
  
Edward & Nicolene Fritz - Laerskool Buffeljagsrivier, Cape
Goat’s milk cream cheese and goat’s milk cream cheese with green onion
  
Koos & Helena van der Westhuizen - Middelpos cheese, Karoo
Goat’s feta and Hantam
  
Alje van Deemder - Fynboshoek cheese, Storms River
Goat’s milk Crottin and Formosa and cow’s milk Cheddar cheeses
  
Anneke Sorour - Green Goose Cheese, Ficksburg
Ficksburger organic cow’s milk cheese
  
Peter & Francy Schoeman - Langbaken Cheese, Willisden, Karoo
Corbelle Crumble and Karoo Blue cow’s milk cheeses
  
Chris Metlerkamp - Gansvlei Cheese, Knysna
Blue Moon cow’s milk cheese

   

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

 

Saturday 20th July at 09h30: 
A visit to the von Geusau Chocolate factory, with lunch at the Oak & Vigne Cafe, Greyton.
  
Wednesday 25th September (to be confirmed) or October 2013:
A talk at Silwood Kitchen by Glenn Ashton on genetically modified foods or GMOs (genetically-modified organisms).
  
Sunday 1st December:
Year-end party and fundraising raffle at the home of Stephen and Pat Flesch, 11 Peninsula Road, Zeekoevlei.


 

RECENT EVENTS

SLOWFOOD VISIT TO BABYLONSTOREN ORGANIC FARM AND WINERY
Saturday 13 April 2013. Report by Gillan Bowie
  
Saturday 13 April, a beautiful summer morning, saw a group of members and guests gathered at the old building serving as the wine tasting room/shop/delicatessen at Babylonstoren. There we were met by Gundula, the resident horticulturist, who, helped by some very dedicated garden assistants, built this beautiful organic herb, fruit and vegetable garden.
  
That she is totally dedicated to ‘her’ garden, and is truly a woman of the earth, is apparent soon after meeting her and, as if to emphasise this, she also refers to all the plants as ‘she’ or ‘her’ and she can relate the circumstances and dates of the planting of ALL her plants. As the garden is HUGE, this is no mean feat.
   
It is symmetrically laid out with squares of plantings connected by beautiful walkways and pergolas. For example there is a citrus block, a stone fruit block and various herb and vegetable blocks. The walkways are called ‘avenues’ and named after the predominant plants grown along them, such as olive, guava, or quince. Thus the whole garden would look like a chess board from the air. The borders and pergolas all are covered with fruits like grenadillas, mulberries, and pomegranates.
   
Plants of similar types are planted together and interspersed with others that are natural insect repellents , because no chemical insecticides are used. Nor are inorganic fertilisers used, and suitable mulch plants are grown in between rows and can be dug in as compost when they die.
   
There are many flowering trees to supply their own bees and they have a wonderful aviary in one corner of the garden. They also have chickens for eggs and manure.
  
As it was very hot by then there were ‘mist sprinklers’ attached to the trees which sprayed us and kept us cool.
  
Gundula was a wonderful host/guide and she ended our tour with a visit to ‘clivia avenue’ which was not in flower at the time but promised a spectacular display at the right time.
   
We then adjourned to the restaurant for a delicious meal of home-made rolls with meat from their charcuterie, fresh salads and pickles, and a glass of their special fruit juice. Wine was for our own account.
    
There is so much to see that one really must experience it for oneself. It was a wonderful day and the organisers are to be complimented.

  

 

      

 

    
    
LUNCH AT THE TABLE AT DE MEYE WINE FARM
   
Saturday 4 May was one of those champagne autumn days, clear and sunny with just a hint of coolness. Tables arranged under the trees on the lawn in front of the charmingly dilapidated building housing the restaurant, dappled sunlight falling on white tablecloths set with a delightful selection of mismatched crockery.
   
The restaurant was until recently owned by Camilla Comins and her husband, food photographer Russel Wasserfal. Although they have since sold it, the meal was served by Camilla and her brother, Jason, a graduate of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland. Described as a ‘Lucky Dip’ lunch, as we did not know beforehand what we would be getting, it proved to be a ...
  
We started with rilettes of wild boar, on freshly baked bread, accompanied by home-made pickles, was followed by soup. The main course was grilled free-range chicken, accompanied by a beetroot tarte tatin and perfectly-cooked beans and mushrooms. The famous Ballymaloe chocolate cake was served as dessert.
  

 

     

 

  
    

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
    
This was held on 29 May in the Silwood demonstration kitchen. The committee remains the same as it was last year, with the addition of two new members: Anja Sandeman and Janet Steer.
It now comprises:
  
Stephen Flesch (Convivium Leader)
Lorna von Besouw (Secretary)
Pat Rademeyer (Membership)
Jackie Leone
Anja Sandeman
Janet Steer
Cecily van Gend (Newsletter)
Carianne Wilson

 
The business part of the meeting was followed by a talk on food security given by journalist and science writer Leonie Joubert, author of The Hungry Season. After the meeting, members repaired to the rondavel for a supper of soup, bread and cheese prepared by the Silwood students. 

  
  
MUSHROOM FEAST
    
Intrepid Slow members who braved the gale-force winds, hail and torrential rains on Sunday, 1 June to venture to Casa Mori were rewarded with a feast of mushrooms. They were greeted at the door with glasses of Glühwein and a glowing log fire. From the long tables in the dining room they could view the storm lashing the valley in the distance below.
  
Crostini with pickled porcini topping were followed by a hearty and subtly flavoured soup of mixed wild mushrooms. The main course of conchiglie, stuffed by hand with porcini and walnuts, was accompanied by a fresh green salad. The meal was rounded off with amarula and mushroom ice cream and lacy crepes. All this washed down with the excellent Casa Mori wines.  

     

 

     

 

 

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE

   

Students explore farming, food and culture in Africa’s tip

 

In January, members of the Cape Town convivium entertained a group of students visiting South Africa from Slow Food’s University of Gastronomic Science in Italy. Stacy Marie Stout, one of the group, sent us this report of their tour of the country.
  
“Having no luggage allows you to grow roots anywhere,” South African activist and writer Zuleikha Mayat told our group visiting her country to explore its rich history of exchange between culture, tradition and food. Through writing a cookbook, Indian Delights, and by establishing the Woman’s Cultural Group of Durban, Zuleikha has raised awareness about the humanity and culture behind the nation’s ‘rainbow’ cuisine. Her incisive words were a precursor to the rest of our trip: “In order to keep South Africa’s diversity – of people as well as flora and fauna – alive and thriving, we must educate and empower each other.”
  

We had arrived in Durban only a few days earlier; a diverse group of second year students from the University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG), representing Italy, Malta, Belgium, Tajikistan, and the USA. Founded by Slow Food, the university’s programme of international study trips had brought us here to experience and study the realities of another food system, and the people and cultures that lie behind it. The ten-day trip took us beyond Durban to George, Sedgefield, and Cape Town, exposing us to the social, political, and economic pressures that make South African fields and kitchens what they are today.

    
We had many more powerful exchanges with individuals and communities along the way, and were welcomed by people from all walks of life everywhere that we went. Petrus Brink from the Citrusdal Farm Workers and Dwellers Forum, which seeks to address labour issues, health and social welfare, summed up the attitude of the farming population aptly: “As ‘bread people’, we share. We are a giving farm society.”
  
However, the farming community here has long struggled. The post-apartheid government is yet to support small producers and communities. On the contrary “bigger” is seen as better. Small players face the daunting challenge of fighting for acknowledgment and support from their administration. In particular, the lack of access to land has made small-scale agriculture very difficult, and has had a huge negative impact on food security. Accessing markets is also difficult for small producers, further aggravating poverty in rural areas.
  
The people we met represented the hard work that is being done towards conservation and innovation for the future generations to come. Richard Haigh from Enaleni Farm is bringing together mixed farming with tourism and education. He breeds Zulu sheep, an endangered species and Slow Food Presidium, as well as local cattle and pig breeds and various crops including GMO-free soy and maize. “People conserve what they value. Only in our society, when we’re about to lose something do we try to hold on to it.”
  
From Enaleni Farm to Biowatch South Africa, from the traditional families of Pongola to Slow Food convivia in Imifino, Sedgefield and Cape Town, the Surplus Peoples’ Project, Coastal Links, the Artisanal Fishers Association of South Africa, Reyneke Vineyards, Good Hope Gardens Nursery and many more, we met the diversity of players working towards a good, clean and fair food future here.
  
South African food production faces real challenges – political, social, economic – but the vibrant colours of the land and its people cannot be muted. It is their strong conviction to hold on to what is important that will make a difference, and which has helped us grow as students, both as individuals and as a community.

 
 

SLOW FOOD GERMANY

On the road
Finest wines and Township Food
  
Last autumn, Slow Food Frankfurt explored cuisine, wine and culture of South Africa’s Cape Region. A report by Convivium Leader Bettina K. Buggle, translated for the Newsletter by Ruth Gerhardt.
  
To explore the wines and Slow Food Life of South Africa on site had once upon a time been just an idea in the Convivium. It became real soon after the Frankfurters, keen travellers, had addressed their first e-mail to the Cape Town Convivium and immediately received an enthusiastic reply. Stephen Flesch, the Cape Town Convivium Leader, together with our member Eberhard Volk, a South Africa expert, put together an inspiring programme for our visit to Cape Town and the Cape Winelands. Stephen was, moreover, prepared to act as tour guide and driver during our eight days in the Cape. Since besides leading the Cape Town Slow Food Convivium he also runs ‘Gourmet Wine Tours’, we could not have found a better guide. Our happy group of twelve members of the Frankfurt Convivium and some friends from Köln, was quickly formed, and then we met in October 2012, in the South African spring, in Stellenbosch.
  
The programme started straightaway and thoroughly: with a traditional Boerebraai at the Middelvlei Wine Estate, beautifully situated between rocky mountains, green meadows, vineyards and a small vlei. Boerebraai, the favourite Cape Dutch meal, is a hearty barbecue pleasure with lamb, potatoes, spicy pork sausages, corn dumplings, sandwiches (contrary to our expectation: excellent!), vegetables, coffee – everything, including the coffee, prepared on a large wooden grill in the garden. All this served with the classic South African wines Shiraz, Pinotage, Chardonnay, which we got to taste in more refined quality later on our trip, but on our first evening these robust estate wines, introduced to us by the winemaker himself, were exactly right for us.
   
The following day started with a tour of the largest wine cellars in the region, KWV, formerly a co-operative, now a joint stock company, owning no vineyards, but boasting the biggest wooden barrels still in use in the world. The concept of the KWV cellars is interesting: The shareholders, once fellows of the co-operative, own and work the vineyards, which are regularly controlled by inspectors of KWV. Only harvests which meet the quality requirements set by KWV are accepted. KWV produces also simple bulk wine, but the company is proud of their differentiated and flexible business concept which takes into account the given harvest/market situation.
   
After the comprehensive wine tasting at KWV we had lunch at the Fairview Wine and Cheese Estate. Its fabulous choice of cheeses was exactly what we needed. The full bodied Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon and a dark Pinotage complemented the cheese ideally. Star of the Estate was a very beautiful giant white billy-goat, which had welcomed us in full splendour at the entrance.
   
Highlight of the following day was a visit to Babylonstoren, a few hundred years old. Fifteen years ago the near-abandoned estate was taken over and brought back to life by a group of ambitious young gardeners, farmers and cooks. Today Babylonstoren features flower and vegetable gardens, orchards, vineyards, engages in chicken farming and seed production, and runs a restaurant and hotel. Everything produced conforms to strict ecological and sustainable principles and regionality. And how very beautiful it all is! Flowers and fruit trees in bloom, in between artichokes, beans, peas, cucumbers, scratching chickens and a glasshouse with rare plants of the Cape! The farm stall beckoned with delicious jams, mustard fruits, pestos, noodles and other tempting delicacies, which we would have bought had there not been the transportation problem.
   
In the evening, the focus was on music and dance. We were guests at the AmaZink Live Theatre in a township outside Stellenbosch, a co-operative founded with the aim of offering gifted township youths training and jobs. Young people who successfully develop and combine a singing and dancing talent with the profession of a skilled waiter/waitress, will find employment elsewhere, too. The troupe entertaining us displayed an enormous energy on stage, the lead singer with her powerful voice calling Tina Turner to mind.
   
The following morning Stephen Flesch collected us early for a trip along the coast towards Hermanus. We visited the penguin colony in Betty’s Bay, saw whales and drove on until we reached a small house in unspectacular Stanford, Mariana’s – a restaurant of which Slow Foodies dream. Vegetables growing in the backyard, the neighbour providing beef and poultry, the nearby ocean supplying fish and other seafood which under Mariana’s magical touch metamorphose into fresh, traditional home-food served with wit and knowledge by her husband. Carefully selected wines accompany each dish. For many of us this was the most perfect meal. Tenderly roasted duck breast with white beans, braised leg of lamb with small artichokes, caramelized beetroot with curried poultry and waterblommetjie bredie – a local water hyacinth stew which did not, however, quite convince us. In between courses we could walk through the garden and view the luxuriant vegetable beds. In the afternoon we enjoyed a grandiose wine tasting at Bouchard Finlayson’s, followed in the evening by a six-course gourmet menu at Jordan’s, one of the best known restaurants in the Cape.
    
The next day we landed back on earth. We were driven to Langa, one of the many townships in the metropolitan area of Cape Town with its endless rows of houses and shacks – homes of black people. We were on edge, as up to this point we had had contact practically only with Whites – as a tourist one does not really meet black people. The Community Centre, a co-operative, and Eziko – a restaurant and cookery school, are in the centre of Langa. The director and the head cook (a woman) are proud of their establishment. On the one hand they offer training for a good job in gastronomy, on the other hand they are a sheltered meeting place for young people and families. Sugar, a resolute young woman, guided us through the complex, showed us the art and craft centre and enabled us to enter a four roomed house, home for eight families! We felt like curious invaders, but Sugar assured us that it was their wish that such living conditions became known and that tourists saw not only the glamorous sites of white South Africa.
    
Now it was time for us to experience true township food, cooked by ourselves under the guidance of Victor, the Chef, who presented us with the ingredients: flour, corn, palmoil, cabbage and carrots, but also Knorr Aromat and gravy powder. For once we unanimously forgot our Slow Food principles. We cut and stirred, had our fun with Victor and his lady cook, and in the end the food did not taste bad. It was a brief glance into another world, and we were grateful for this excursion which widened our horizon more than all the wine tastings combined.
   
Always and everywhere in Cape Town one’s attention is drawn to Nelson Mandela. This great personality has achieved much for present day South Africa and is revered by all, white or black, rich or poor. However, one feels a pessimistic mood regarding the country’s future, with corruption seen as one of the main evils and the biggest obstacle in the way of positive developments. We heard similar statements from members of the Cape Town convivium at our meeting with them – very likeable, open-minded people, all of them white and not quite young anymore. Their biggest problem: to enthuse younger persons for Slow Food. Much more than in Germany Slow Food is seen as a ‘club for enjoyment’, its objective to eat and drink well, clean and fair. Nevertheless, social responsibility is also shown through the financial support of school canteens in the townships. We were invited to attend a Convivium event devoted to Ayurvedic Cuisine on the following day.
   
All of this, and much more has been experienced on our trip. Some of the participants extended their stay in South Africa and explored the Western Cape and the semi desert of the Little Karoo. For this, too, Stephen had supplied us with excellent Slow Food recommendations. Back in Germany, we are glad that the wines we tasted are available here at reasonable prices. And we do like to drink them now, in spite of all demands for regionality!

 

VISIT TO EZIKO COOKERY SCHOOL AND RESTAURANT

   

Visited by the German Slow members in the preceding article

    

Jackie Leone has suggested a Slow outing to the Eziko Cookery School and Restaurant. To give members an idea of what is on offer, she has written this report.
   
Few restaurants in Cape Town offer local African cuisine, as African food is a home cuisine, offered either within the family, or as street food. Cape Fusion Tours offers visitors an opportunity to experience local food at the Eziko Cookery School and Restaurant in Langa, which was established by a former teacher in 1996. Here they provide training to students for 6 months, plus a placement in the food industry for 6 months, resulting in 90% employment once qualified; truly an endeavour to support!
   
Eziko offers a hands-on cooking experience, which includes a talk by the founder of the school and its impact on the community, as well a discussion on the different African cultural cuisine styles. This is followed by a sit-down African lunch, and a beer-drinking ceremony! They also offer the tour and lunch, without the cooking lesson. Victor, the founder, has said that they are very excited at the prospect of a visit from Slow Food Cape Town.
   
Eziko is situated just into Langa, adjacent to the Community Hall and the Police station. It is easily accessible, and in a safe area.
  
We have not yet decided on a date for the visit, but it would be some time during the Winter months, on a Saturday. We will notify members once a date has been decided upon, and then provide more details. See the blog
.

 
  

SLOW ROADSIDE EATING

  
On a recent road-trip Pat and Adrian Rademeyer made a lunch stop at a restaurant near Bonnievale that they thought was worth sharing with other Slow Food members.

  
Lunch picnics at the side of the road have been part of our holidays for many years. We have always preferred this type of meal to eating at the fast food outlets that make up the main streets of most of the towns and villages we’ve travelled through to reach our destinations.

We deviated from the habit last week, when we made the very slight detour off the N2 onto the R317 to Bonnievale to visit Stormsvlei Farm Stall & Restaurant. The turn-off is about 3 hours from Cape Town, and 4 hours from Plettenberg Bay, so it’s an ideal place to stop for lunch.

We had a delicious light lunch, sharing the chicken liver parfait with home-baked bread and red onion marmalade for the very reasonable price of R65. The rest of the menu is very tempting, and we’ll make this stop when we next go in that direction.
  

  
Steven and Jeanne Collinson have run the restaurant for the past 3 years. Steve is an experienced chef from London, and Jeanne grew up on a farm in the Overberg.
  
They source most of their produce locally, as do a number of other Overberg restaurants. Steve has mastered local dishes such as pickled fish and malva pudding, and smokes his own fish and chicken. The meat he offers is bought from local farms, and the restaurant is a favourite Sunday meeting place for the farming families.
  
If you would like to see the menu, email Pat or Cecily. If you’d like to book a meal, the contact details are www.stormsvlei.co.za,  email stormsvleifood@gmail.com or call 028 2611167 or cell 079 713 0257.
 

 

CITY BOWL MARKET

Sally Dalgleish has glowing reports about this market in Hope Street, which she r recently visited.
  

Situated at 14 Hope Street, Gardens, in a beautiful historic building, it is open every Thursday from 4.30PM to 8.30pm, and on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm. It offers a fresh produce market, exquisite home-made slow food, including butter chicken, falafel and sushi, and there are microbrewery beers on tap. There is live music, and an outside garden with a jungle gym for the children. There is plenty of seating and lots of parking.
   
Check out the website at www.citybowlmarket.co.za.

   

 

 

 

       
   
 P.O. Box 31353 | Grassy Park | 7888 | Fax: 086 672 3402
 

 
vbesouw@iafrica.com | www.slowfoodcapetown.co.za