Caro Alberts will manage the kitchen for Tafelpraatjies, giving her the opportunity to showcase her flair by taking traditional Afrikaans cuisine and re-inventing it with ‘nuwe maniere en idees’. From humble pumpkin fritters with salted caramel sauce to delicacies such as koeksisters with lemongrass and ginger syrup, Soutribbetjie, Waterblommetjiebredie and biltong – it’s all about ‘wat ís nuut op die rak’. (What’s new on the shelf)
The presenters will be personalities from the recently established Smile90.4FM radio station.
Tickets to the Show cost R110 for adults for R55 for children. This includes entrance to many free theatre events and visitors will also receive a coupon book that will allow for substantial savings and special offers.
26/04/2013: Modern packaging plays an enormously important role in the marketing of our products. It’s the silent salesman that beckons to the customer from the shelf of the store. This is why the labels of wines are so vitally important. They have to convey so many messages in such a short time. As the prospective customer walks past, the label must tell whether the wine is a serious one or a frivolous “braai” or “poolside” wine. It must indicate whether the wine is sweet or dry, expensive or cheap.
No wonder wine producers spend thousand of rands hiring professional label designers.
The same goers for everything from potato crisps to cameras and cellphones. They’re swathed in packets, foam padding, cardboard fillers, promotion leaflets, written guarantees and plastic seals.
Are we drowning the world in packaging material? Is it really a blessing or a curse?
Every day thousands of tons of packaging material are added to every city’s garbage mountain. Aluminium foil, styrofoam, glass, many kinds of plastic, cardboard and metal finds its way on to the dump.
Much of it could be recycled, but people are lazy. When provision is made for the collection of recyclable material people go for it in a big way. In Fish Hoek, where I live, the recycling bags are collected every week and are usually packed to the brim. Our wheelie bins are relatively empty.
But ask us to take our recycling to a collection point on the other side of town and it’s just too much effort. Into the garbage bin it goes.
While we’re drowning our planet in packaging, we have to admit that modern packaging has contributed a great deal to the general standard of health. In the old days when groceries came in bulk bags and barrels and were weighed out for customers there were always flies buzzing round the sugar bags and nothing to stop a passing dog peeing on the sacks of flour stacked on the floor. You never knew who had fingered the food you selected.
Today the food is not only hygienically sealed, but every package is printed with details of the contents.
We know what we’re buying (or we should) and how long it will remain fresh. The packaging is part of the deal.
Somewhere in this mad commercial world there has to be a compromise. We all need to spend time deciding how to reduce the amount of garbage we add to the city’s trash mountain.
Modern packaging has saved lives. It could also destroy our environment unless we use it responsibly.
Waiting on tables is a real job
One of the things that impressed me during my recent brief visit to Italy was the professionalism of waiters and sommeliers.
Here in South Africa waiting at tables if often regarded as a ” stop-gap” occupation while the waiter looks for a ” real ” job. As for sommeliers, there are not many around. Most restaurant just leave it to the waiter to serve the wine. Sometimes their wine knowledge consists of “red or white?”
At local wine events they often employ students to pour the wine. It’s obviously a way for them to earn a few rands of pocket money, and I guess that’s a good thing.
At the judging of the Vinitaly competition all the wines were poured by professional and highly trained sommeliers. They’re wore the uniform of professionals – black jackets and aprons, white shirts and black bow-ties. They all wore the silver tastevin on a chain around their necks with pride.
The sommelier who poured wines for our panel was an elegant woman called Dorina, owner if the Gucci Cafe in Florence. She probably knew as much about wine as many of the judges. She was proud to be a member of the Vinitaly pouring team. There was certainly nothing part-time about it.
In the restaurants I visited I was served by obviously professional waiters who could discuss each dish and make well considered recommendations. Sommeliers asked what dishes you had ordered and made wine suggestions to match them.
I’m not suggesting our waiters and sommeliers should be quite as formal as those in European countries, but maybe a little more formality would not be amiss.
When your waiter and sommelier obviously regard the food and wine as important, you tend to value it a little more too.
And maybe you feel less resentful about paying the bill if you know everything on it has been prepared and presented by a professional who obviously cares about your dining experience.
Dine on the healthy weed
You may think Babotie or biltong is the Cape’s favourite food, but waterblommetjie bredie was around way before that.
Waterblommetjies, or Cape Pondweed, was one of the favourite items in the diet of the old Khoi people who were here long before any of the present settlers arrived. I am told it is very healthy and full of essential nutrients, although it does need a good helping of mutton to bring out the full flavour.
They’re holding a Waterblommetjie Festival in Agter Paarl on October 6 and it might be great fun to attend.
The local chefs at Rhebokskloof Estate and Windmeul Winery will cooking up a waterblommetjie-based storm, DIY chefs are invited to submit their favourite pondweed recipes and there will, of course, be a potjie competition among the devotees of this form of culinary art.
For city folk these country events are an ideal way to get a feel for the simple cameraderie of rural communities. There’s always music and fragrant smoke and chatter and the smell of good, diet-free food.
And of course as the event takes place at two wineries, there will be plenty of the product of the grape to enjoy.