FORTHCOMING EVENTS

 

ROBERT VON TOBIEN

     
RECENT EVENTS   BOOK REVIEW
     

 

 

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

 

Saturday 30 October: Lunch at Oep ve Eet at Paternoster
Sunday 28 November: End of year spit braai at the home of Stephen and Pat Flesch
Sunday 27 February (provisional): Heritage meal prepared by Sonia Cabano


 

RECENT EVENTS

Annual General Meeting

 
This was held on Wednesday April 21 at Silwood Kitchen. The committee was sadly depleted last year, with the death of Pam Linck, the resignation of Sharon Ball, and the departure of Kate Schrire and Pia Taylor, who left us to start the Mother City Convivium. The remaining committee members, Stephen Flesch (in the chair), Pat Rademeyer, Lorna von Besouw and Cecily van Gend were re-elected, and we welcome two new members, Carianne Wilson and Charne le Roux. David Donald, a suburban bee-keeper, gave us a fascinating talk on beekeeping and honey, and this was followed by wine and tapas, prepared by the students of Silwood.

Annual SA Cheese Festival
 
This event took place from Saturday, April 24 to Tuesday, April 27, at Bien Donne in Franschhoek. Cecily van Gend and Charne le Roux, accompanied by two Silwood students, went out on the Monday to present the Slow Cheese Awards. This year, the following cheeses were deemed worthy of an award:

 

JONG BELEGEN BOERENKAAS, made by Johan van der Poel of Poelkaas, Cullinan. This is a two- to three-month old light, mild cheese.
PECORINO, made by Mauro Delle Donne of Zandam Italian Cheese in Agter Paarl. It has a
sweet flavour, excellent texture, and is close to a classic Pecorino
SABLE, made by Estalanie Marais of La Rochelle Kaas, Hex River Valley: a Grana-
type goat’s cheese with a dry, sandy texture and a good flavour.
ST. CATHERINE’S LOG from Rina and Norman Belcher of Belnori Boutique Cheesery, near Bapsfontein in Gauteng: a white-mould goat’s cheese.
GOUDA made by Christo Venter of Geluksfontein farm, Vaalwater, Limpopo province. This is a semi-hard goat’s milk cheese.
OAK SMOKED CHEESE from Jako van Beulen of Klein River Cheese, Stanford: a hard cheese smoked with oak.


Visit to The Nice Company in Tokai
 
In a small kitchen in Westlake Business Park, Cherylle Cowley and her staff make a selection of delectable ice creams and frozen yoghurts using classic and traditional ingredients and methods.
 

On Saturday, May 22, members visited the company’s ice-cream making operation. After a talk and demonstration by Cherylle and her staff, they were able to taste and buy their delectable ice creams and frozen yogurts. Cherylle has this to say about her product:

‘The only difference between our kitchen and one at home is that we have fast, modern machines to freeze the ice cream and we can play with it all day long. So we make ice cream with fresh milk, eggs and cream cooked to a light custard.

 

We use the best Couverture 70% Chocolate and pure Vanilla Paste. Our berries for the sorbets and frozen yoghurts come from the Franschoek Mountains and are healthy enough to eat for breakfast.

Just because it’s dessert doesn’t mean that ice cream, sorbet and yoghurts shouldn’t be nutritious and that’s why we love it and don’t feel a bit guilty eating it! After all, we use no stabilisers, ‘natural flavours’, or vegetable oils as fillers and can boast with a gluten free product.

TIP: We don’t make convenience food, so you need to practice a little patience and let your ice cream thaw a little out of the freezer before serving. A good way is to put it in the fridge for twenty minutes or so. Then again, if you can’t wait, some elbow grease is good exercise.


Sausage making workshop
 
The produce of Rudi's Deli has become a favourite at the various fresh goods markets in and around Cape Town. On Saturday 12 June, Silwood Kitchen was the venue for a demonstration of sausage-making, given by the owner of the Deli, Willem Viljoen, who showed members how very simple it is to make sausages at home. He demonstrated the making of a breakfast sausage, boerewors and salami. Finally, he described how to make a home-cured ham.

 


 
For those who were not at the workshop, and would like to have a go at making home-made sausage, here is his boerewors recipe:

Per 5 kg of sausage:
2 kg beef offcuts (lean brisket, neck, rib)
1 kg pork (shoulder, neck)
1.5 kg back spek
5 Tbs salt
1 Tbs black pepper
1 Tbs white pepper
3 Tbs fine coriander
1 Tbs cloves
1 Tbs nutmeg

Cut meat and fat into blocks. Add spices and mix very well. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Mince finely or coarsely. Add 100 ml brown vinegar and 100 ml Worcester sauce. Stuff thin or thick sausage casings. Refrigerate overnight. Freeze what will not be consumed in 7 days.

Once again, the Silwood Kitchen students served a light lunch of delicious soup and bread after the demonstration.

Cheese and wine pairing
 
On Thursday, 29 July, Kobus Mulder of Agri Expo presented a tasting of seven local cheeses, accompanied by selected wines. Kobus, affectionately known as ‘The Big Cheese’ is a highly-respected cheese expert, who has adjudicated at various competitions in France, the UK and America. He was knighted in Paris by the Confrèrie des Chevaliers du Taste-Fromage de France for his contribution to popularising French cheese types in Africa. He is a consultant to local cheeseries and has introduced many small artisanal cheese makers to the annual South African Cheese Festival. After the very entertaining and informative tasting, members repaired in their own groups to various local restaurants.

Sensory exploration workshop
 
Tim Truluck, from the Johannesburg Convivium, presented a workshop for committee members and guests from the Mother City Convivium, on Thursday 2 September, at the home of Pat and Adrian Rademeyer. He introduced participants to the various ways in which we experience food though our senses. It was followed by an apple and chocolate tasting, putting into practice what we had learnt, and then by a convivial, informal light supper provided by Pat.

Visit to Solms Delta indigenous food garden
 
We visited the Khoi-Khoin indigenous garden at Solms Delta wine estate in Franchhoek on Saturday 11 September. In addition to producing fine wines on the farm, the owners and farm workers have established a veldkos garden, the Dik Delta Fynbos Culinary Gardens. The well-known food writer and Slow Food member, Renata Coetzee, was part of the planning team for the garden, and a team of Solms-Delta gardeners is responsible for the garden’s design and maintenance.

 

The lives of the Cape’s first settlers, the Khoi nomads, who arrived in the valley around 2000 years ago, revolved around some 400 plant species that nourished them and cured their ailments. Most are now under threat of extinction. The 2-hectare garden is a small but productive land parcel that, over the past 320 years, has been used for grazing, fruit production, and most recently, as a dumping ground. It is now planted with many of the edible veldkos plants. Slow members were conducted on a walk through the garden, accompanied by one of the workers, who described the plants and their uses. The farm also has a herd of fat-tailed sheep, and Nguni cattle. Also on the farm is the Museum van de Caab, which documents the archaeological history of the farm.

The walk was followed by a lunch at Fyndraai restaurant, featuring some of the traditional plants used by the Khoi in their food. When the restaurant opened on the estate, its brief was to draw from the Cape’s food traditions: Afrikaner boerekos (18th Century Old Cape fare influenced by Dutch, French, German and slave practices), was mixed with ingredients first used by the Khoi.

 

ROBERT VON TOBIEN

 

Slow members will recall the wonderful outing to Tulbagh last year, when we visited Kimilili Farm, where Robert von Tobien showed us round his cheesemaking operation and introduced us to his excellent range of cheeses. We were saddened to hear of his death from leukaemia some time ago. Valerie Elder, of the Real Cheese in Observatory, who knew him well, has written this eulogy for him:
 
Robert von Tobien has left us. What an enormous loss for us on a physical level: copious tears have been shed and the space now unfilled is enormous. He has left a magnificent legacy, however: Kimilili Farm near Tulbagh, producing world-class cheese in fine organic style. He has left us a new generation of cheese makers, innovative and fired with his enthusiasm and spirit, so really he has not left us at all.
 
Robert was a remarkable man, changing direction from high finance in New York to answer the call of farming in his blood. Seeing opportunities that no one else did, he fell in love with Tulbagh: the mountains, the people and, last but not least, his charges – the precious Jerseys that gave his cheese its essence. What a battle he waged against heat, pasture, water and skills development, but he succeeded and that is what we must remember.
 
He was born in Germany and grew up with a strong sense of adventure. His family had marketing connections and previous generations had farming in their blood. Love of cheese came from many visits to the excellent cheese emporiums in New York and the style of cheese made at Kimilili is distinctly German.
 
Leukaemia took Robert from us ahead of lots of new ideas and goals, but thankfully the end came quickly. My life has been enriched by knowing this generous, gentle, kind, considerate man with his soft voice and slight lilt. Rest in peace, Robert. We miss you.
 
You can shed tears that he is gone or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back or you can open your eyes and see all he’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he’s gone or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back or you can do what he would want; smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

 
 

BOOK REVIEW

Justice Kamanga: TASTES OF AFRICA.
Random House Struik
 
Malawian chef Justice Kamanga has worked in various foreign embassies in South Africa, and is now based in Cape Town where he caters in private homes.
 

Africa is a melting pot of cultures, and in this cookbook Kamanga introduces the culinary traditions of both the indigenous inhabitants of the continent, and those of the many foreign settlers from Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The recipes include starters, fish, meat, vegetarian and side dishes, and end with desserts and a selection of breads. The fusion of flavours is subtle and intriguing, blending the spicy and the colourful in a tantalising selection of dishes. The ingredients are readily available, the recipes easy to prepare, and accompanied by mouthwatering photographs. I tried making his carrot pudding, which went down very well with my family. I am also dying to try some of his fish recipes. This would be a wonderful addition to the cookbook shelf in any kitchen, as well as being a great gift for visitors to our shores.

 

Sonia Cabano: EASY SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS
Random House Struik
  
Sonia Cabano is a former model turned chef, who trained in London at such well-known restaurants as Anthony Worrall-Thompson’s Bistro 190, Rowley Leigh’s Kensington Place, Justin de Blank’s and Blacks in Soho.
 

South Africans became acquainted with her warm and vibrant personality on the popular TV show, Van Pampoen to Perlemoen, screened on SABC3. This is her second cookbook, inspired by the many requests she received for fast, easy and healthy recipes. It is divided into four sections: ‘Fresh’, to detox and recharge; ‘Fast’, offering quick and easy gourmet meals; ‘Lazy’, to wind down and celebrate with minimum effort; and ‘Staples’, how to stock the larder.
 
The emphasis is on freshness, and throughout the book there is evidence of her belief that every mealtime should be a celebration. I have tried her spiced chicken livers with creamy lemon-parsley dressing, also her Chinese pork, cashews and pineapple with steamed greens and rice – both with great success. There are many more equally imaginative and tempting.

 

 

 

 

       
   
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