Renata Coetzee 1930- 2018  

Slow members will be saddened to hear of the death of honorary Slow Food member, Renata Coetzee. She was one of South Africa's most respected food researchers and nutritionists, author of books and TV programmes on the traditional food cultures of South Africa.

Born in Reitzburg, Orange Free State, she studied at the universities of Stellenbosch (MSc Nutrition), Potchefstroom (BSc Diet), Cornell USA (Dipl. Volume Catering) and Michigan USA (Dipl. Volume Kitchen Design).
Renata had a long career researching and lecturing on the traditional food cultures of South Africa. She was affiliated with the Universities of Wisconsin (USA), Stellenbosch, Pretoria and Potchefstroom, and wrote educational programmes on food preparation and nutrition for TV.

She held the position of Director for nutrition and ethnic catering for Anglo American Gold and Uranium Mines, producing 250 000 meals daily, with the emphasis on the cultural preferences of the workers. She was a consultant for industrial catering and published the leading volume, Cost - Conscious Creative Catering For All Cultural Tastes, Recipes for 50 - 1000 portions.

She was invited as guest lecturer and presenter of traditional South African cuisine for the African Studies Group of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, and to South African embassies in China, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, USA, Malawi and Tanzania catering to international dignitaries.

Apart from her field of study Renata was interested in arts, theatre and South Africa's cultural history. She was married to Johan Marais.

Awards included:
The Chancellors Medal by the University of Pretoria in 2002.
Honorary award for Culinary Excellence from the L'Institut Culinaire
Cordon Bleu award from Silwood Kitchens for research.
She was elected a member of SA Academy for Arts and Science
Special Honorary Award from the Academy 2016 for her lifetime contribution to international awareness, knowledge and appreciation of the food culture heritage of the different population groups in South Africa.

She produced a number of books:
The Southern African Culinary Tradition. Struik 1977
Spys en Drank/ Roots of the African ethnic food culture. Struik 1977
Funa: Food from Africa. Butterworth 1982
Ga Lowe: Botswana Customs and Traditional Recipes.
Cost-Conscious Creative Catering For All Cultural Tastes, Recipes for 50-1000 portions
(Co-author: Charlé Heidenreich). Coetzee Consultants, 1994
Koekemakranka: Khoi-Khoin-en Kultuurgoed en Kom-Kuier-Kos (with Volker Miros), Lapa, 2009
Kukumakranka (English)
Spys en Drank. LAPA, 2012
Food Culture of the First Humans on Planet Earth. 2015.

Her most recent book, Food Culture of the First Humans on Planet Earth, has just been relaunched. To celebrate this occasion, a dinner was held on Mandela Day, 18 July, in honour of the cultural influence of the first people of South African on the local culinary scene.
The menu for this dinner was inspired by Renata’s years of research into indigenous food:
It began with a sundowner, a honeybush and aloe cooler.
This was followed by Nature’s Salad: morogo puree, spekboom gel, pelargonium sand, lemon foam, pickled papkuil shoots, compressed aloe buds and an array of flowers.
The second course was Forager’s Pride, consisting of dune spinach soup with deep-fried warthog biltong.
Next came Rocky Waters: tilapia, buttered ice leaf tea, sea fennel and oyster leaf puree, with bokkoms dust.
The main course, Exploring Burrows, consisted of porcupine and waterblommetjues, served with ‘ystervark se mielie’ (porcupine cob) roast uintjies, crickets and rice and glace de viande.
The meal concluded on a sweet note with buchu panna cotta served with pickled tsamma, rooibos and gooseberry syrup, arum lily crumble and acaia sweets.

  Slow programme of events  

This got off to a quiet start this year.

Back Area Gardens Deli - Saturday, 17 March 2018

The first outing was a delightful discovery, a visit and tea to this deli, situated in the Oude Molen village.
What began as an outlet for organic produce grown in the ‘back area’ in the village, has branched out to stock a wide variety of organic and sustainable products, including free range, grass fed meat and poultry; cheeses from Dalewood, Gaye’s Dairy in Prince Albert, and Healey’s cheddar; kefir and yoghurt; and cured meats from Richard Bosman.

Before making our purchases, we were treated to a delicious tea in the shady area behind the deli, where the free range chickens cluck and scratch contentedly.
For more information have a look at their website
They are open Wednesdays to Fridays 10am-6pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm.

Slow Food Annual General Meeting - Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Our AGM was, as usual, held at the Silwood Kitchen.
The guest speaker was Jill Farrant, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of Cape Town. She has been part of an international consortium of researchers, led by Professor Henk Hilhorst of Wageningen University & Research in Holland, studying food crops that can survive extreme drought.
Her particular field of interest is in the genetic survival mechanisms found in tef, or resurrection plants, at present used as cattle fodder but potentially a highly nutritious crop. The challenge is to unlock these mechanisms that resurrection plants use to turn on these genes in their roots and leaves and use this knowledge to induce the same process in dry times to make crop plants more tolerant of drought.
After the fascinating talk, the usual business of the meeting was conducted. The committee was re-elected, consisting of Stephen Flesch, chairman, Lorna van Besouw, Pat Rademeyer, Janet Steer, Anja Sandeman, Jenny Tanesse and Cecily van Gend.
The evening concluded convivially with soup, bread, cheese and wine, produced by the Silwood students.

Food Barn Lunch - Saturday, 23 June 2018

Slow members took advantage of Franck Dangereux’s winter special at the Food Barn. This consisted of a three-course meal with choices of starter, main and dessert, and specially selected wines paired with each course. It was up to the usually high standard we have come to expect from this chef.
The winter special continues until September. It consists of two courses, for R235, three course for R295, or four courses R365, all with paired wines. There is also a pensioners deal, of two courses with one carafe of wine for R175.


For your diary
Saturday 20 October

Lunch with Craig Cormack at his new restaurant ‘SALT at Paul Cluver’,
on the Paul Cluver wine estate, Elgin.

213 Fernbridge, 22 Alnwick Road, Diep River 7800  |  Fax 086 672 3402
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