Saturday 18 February

This outing began with a visit to the Valley Nursery and Farmstall in Valley Road, Hout Bay. On Saturday it is the home to a flourishing market, which is the official outlet for the vegetables in the school vegetable gardens under the auspices of the Thrive Schools Eco Project.

This project, was started and is run by the indefatigable Bronwen Lankers-Byrne, a familiar and extremely energetic figure around Hout Bay. Thrive works with Hout Bay schools and other learning institutions where, using the five Thrive Pillars of Sustainability as guidance, water, food, waste, energy and biodiversity work with schools and communities to focus on increasing renewable sources, protecting and restoring local biodiversity, minimizing waste, reducing energy/water demands and fostering a local food network. Mentors help each school take action to reduce their eco footprint and act as a role model to the community. These mentors help schools create an eco team and, together with the permaculture grower, support them to:
• manage waste effectively
• start and maintain vegetable gardens
• start and maintain fruit and nut orchards
• introduce water and energy saving practices
• plant indigenous plants to encourage local species of birds and insects

Slow members had an opportunity to purchase not only the school-grown vegetables, but also other products offered at the market, including eggs, mushrooms, yoghurt, honey and plants.

Bronwen’s energy and enthusiasm were apparent as she told the group about the achievements and ambitions of the project. Further details about Thrive can be found at and

Following the visit, members had an excellent lunch at Massimo’s, where his non-stop pizzas, pasta and salad lived up to its usual standard.

Wednesday 15 March

A small group from the Cape Town convivium, together with a visiting German member from Hamburg, Regina Naumann, visited the Surrey Primary School in Surrey Estate, Manenburg.We were invited by Charles Grey, CEO of the Peninsula School Feeding Association, to watch the scheme in action, to take part in the serving of the meal, and to interact with the children.

The headmaster, Mr Imtiaz Adams, outlined some of the many problems encountered in the running of the school, as well as its successes. Because of its reputation, the school attracts children from as far away as Gugulethu. It achieves exceptionally good exam results, and its children are head-hunted to attend some of the sought-after Cape Town high schools.

The kitchen is run by volunteers from the local community: ‘Auntie’ Val Bruiners, helped by ‘Auntie’ Fazlin Abrahams and ‘Auntie’ Huda Dolley. The children receive two meals each day: a breakfast of cereal, donated by Tiger foods, and lunch. For many of them, the breakfast they receive at school is their first meal of the day. Some have already walked from Gugulethu on empty stomachs to get there. On the day we visited, we helped serve the lunch,consisting of samp and beans, with an apple. We watched them line up in orderly rows, class by class, to receive their lunches, and sit round at the tables and benches to consume it with relish.

31 March

While on a visit to South Africa in 2016, In 2016 Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, stressed that the movement, while upholding the tenets of good, clean and fair, focuses on sustainable eating, food gardens, and the preservation of heritage crops and traditional methods of food preparation.

On the last weekend of March 2017, Slow Food South Africa held its first national meeting. Organised by the Mother City convivium, it took place at a municipal hall abutting the Greenpoint Park over the Friday and Saturday, with an ‘Eat in’ on Sunday 2 April. Attending the meeting were the convivial of Mother City, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Haernertsburg, Limpopo, Imifino and the Slow Food Youth Movement, each reporting on their own areas of special interest. It made for an interesting mix.

Unlike Europe, where Slow Food is well known and has a vast membership, the South African convivia struggle to recruit members and in some communities even a minimal annual membership is a bridge too far. To spread its philosophy Slow Food SA needs to be more visible and offer projects that show we are more than just an eating club. One way of increasing membership could be through cross-subsidisation, in combination with sponsorship and fund raising events.

The meeting agreed that it would be a huge advantage to have a national Slow Food website on which the individual convivia could load information like newsletters and notices of events. Even membership could be handled through this central hub.

An IT consultant (Linda Thompson) has been asked to advise and implement.
There are currently ten to twelve food gardens in the Western Cape. These were discussed and some of the problems in their connection raised. Difficulties are being experienced with the registration of the gardens, as some of the criteria are difficult to meet. The suggestion was made that a Slow Food Garden might be used as a sort of half way station from which to prepare gardens to upgrade for registration. The huge benefit of membership is the networking – getting together for seed days, eat–ins and the sharing of advice on planting.
Working with chefs to build bridges between communities through co-operation and mentoring of young chefs and chef schools is also seen as a way to link our diverse eating cultures.

The Eat-In on the Sunday was unfortunately poorly advertised. But those who attended were rewarded with a variety of delicious taste sensations, amongst which was a spitroast boerbok, purchased with a donation from the Cape Town convivium. There was also ‘township food’, marine products from the Slow Fish groups, a, tasty fresh juices, samples of veldkos and artisanal bakes.
Mother City are to be congratulated on organising an outstanding meeting.

Wednesday 24 May

This was held at the Silwood Kitchen. It was preceded by a talk given by Loubie Rusch, of Making KOS, on foraging indigenous plants. The following committee members were re-elected:
Stephen Flesch (Chairman), Lorna van Besouw (Secretary) and Pat Rademeyer, Anje Sandeman, Janet Steer and Cecily van Gend.

The meeting was followed by and excellent supper provided by the Silwood Kitchen.

Wednesday, 1 June

The Slow Committee met with Jane Selander of Around Cheese, to decide on the 2017 local cheese awards.

We decided to give awards to the following cheesemakers in recognition of the excellence of their products and their creativity and pioneering efforts to extend the range of South African hand-crafted cheeses according to the principles of the Slow Food movement:
• Peter and Francy Schoeman of Langbaken for their Williston cow’s milk cheese.
• Rina and Norman Belcher of Belnori Boutique Cheesery for their Phantom Forestgoat’s milk chevre cream cheese.
• Pépé Charlot of Imhoff Farm for his Buchette goat’s milk cheese.
• Gay van Hasselt of Gay’s Dairyfor Parma Prince cow’s milk cheese.

Pat Rademeyer has researched the ‘back story of’ these cheesemakers:

Langbaken Farm, near Williston, Northern Cape
Francy and Peter Schoeman started their dairy in 2010 with a herd of 12 Jersey cows in the arid Karoo, where there is one human being to every 100 sheep. They follow Slow Food principles and use raw milk. No two batches are the same. They employ members of the community, and have trained them in the art of cheese making.

We tasted the creamy mild Williston cheese coated with paprika, which won the ‘Under 3 month matured’ award at the 2017 SA Dairy Championships.
Their other cheeses have also won many awards.

Go to their website for more information or email You could also call 053 391 4161 or 082 550 4981.

Belnori Boutique Cheesery: in the Nestpark Agricultural Holdings, near Bapsfontein, part of the Greater Benoni area.
Norman and Rina Belcher make an extensive range of handcrafted hard, semi-hard and soft goat cheeses. This artisanal small business is well-known for attention to detail, producing cheese of a consistent quality. The milk used is obtained from their Swiss Saanen herd, most of which have been reared on the property. They live in spacious paddocks, enjoy a healthy diet and produce milk that can be called 'organic'.

We tasted the delicious Phantom Forest - a mould-ripened chèvre encased in ash and with a layer of ash through it. It has a creamy taste - with a subtle mushroom flavour.

For more information visit their website or email
Rina Belcher 082 377 5698
Norman Belcher 082 330 4706 / 011 964 3405

Pépé Charlot at Imhoff Farm Kommetjie, Cape Town
Pépé (Gerald) and Jenny Tanasse have been in Cape Town at the Imhoff farm in Kommetjie since 2015, having relocated from Johannesburg. They work with the owner of Imhoff farm, Junior van der Horst, and have taken over the dairy operation. The cheese is made from unpasteurised milk. The goats roam outside the fromagerie and you can taste the various cheeses while contemplating the herd outside and the beautiful scenery. Geneve Braaf and Ricardo Hector, both from Ocean View, are the people who transform the milk into cheese on a daily basis. Geneve concentrates on cheese making while Ricardo concentrates on maturation. They also run the tasting room and shop.
Visitors and group tours are welcome.

Gerald offers courses in cheese making. Details can be found on the website.
We tasted the delicious La Buchette, a semi soft creamy table cheese, made from unpasteurised goat milk with vegetarian rennet, hand rolled and matured for 3 weeks.

Do go to the website to see descriptions of their other products. Contact or 078 7404956; 083 3339418.

Gay’s Guernsey Dairy: Prince Albert
Gay van Hasselt started what is now known as Gay’s Guernsey Dairy in 1990 when she started milking three cows in a stone kraal. Situated in Prince Albert in the Karoo, the dairy has become an institution and a meeting point for locals and visitors to come together, enjoy fabulous hand-made dairy products and get a real taste of farm life. All the products are made using full-cream, raw Guernsey milk from the Van Hasselt's own herd of cows. Gay believes that the core of her success lies in the quality of the raw milk that they use, making the products deliciously creamy, and steeped in natural flavour. The family and staff of Gay’s Dairy place a huge emphasis on their herd of free ranging, happy Guernsey cows. Her cheeses are now known across the country and the world, as the dairy has won numerous international awards in London, Dublin and France.

We tasted Parma Prince, which started out as a grana style cheese. It is so well matured,robust in flavour, and perfect for grating that she now sells it as Parma Prince, recognised as a local parmesan style cheese.

Do go to the website for the full story and list of products. Contact or 023 541 1274.



A visit to the District Six Museum.
There will be a talk by Tina Smith, head of exhibitions and author of District Six Huis Kombuis: Food and memory cookbook. There’ll be tastings from the cookbook, and we’ll meet former residents of District Six who were contributers to the project.


District Six Huis Kombuis: Food & Memory Cookbook
Quivertree 2016
This book evolved from a workshop project aimed at preserving memories of District Six. The initial project consisted of a core group of 14 women between the ages of 60 and 90 years and focused on reuniting former District Six residents, to preserve their memories.The weekly workshops took various forms, from tea parties to koesuster and watermelon workshops, to food demonstrations and site visits. Each participant selected a traditional family recipe, learnt from a mother or grandmother, or from stories linked to meals they themselves had cooked. There are recipes for smoorsnoek, bredies, fish cakes, malvapoeding and koesusters. All these stories, memories and recipes are gathered here, along with photographs from the era, and biographies of each of the women. A fitting memorial to a rich colourful culture.

Andy Fenner: Meat manifesto: proper and delicious
Quivertree, 2017
Andy Fenner is the brains, and the heart and soul, behind Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, which describes itself as an ‘ethical butchery’. He is passionate about meat, but insistent that we should know its provenance.

‘Meat is a luxury’ he says. ‘It should bring joy to a table and the person serving it should feel proud. The person eating it should feel grateful. It should be an event every single time.’ We should eat less meat, but make sure that it is good meat, ethically sourced and treated with respect.

In his manifesto, he looks at how to recognise good meat, and goes on to discuss beef, pork, lamb, chicken and duck, goat and venison. He looks at the main cooking techniques, and describes various cuts and what to do with them. Being an advocate of nose-to-tail eating, he does not forget the less well-known or popular parts of the animal, such as brains, tails and ears. He also has sections on sausage and biltong-making, and advice for the do-it-yourself butcher.

This is a must of the carnivore, and could even convince a vegetarian that there are ethical ways of eating meat.



Remhoogte 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is available to order at R480 per six bottle case. To reserve your wine please transfer multiples of R480 to our account with your name as a reference. The wine may be collected at the AGM at Silwood School of Cookery on May 24th.

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