Cape Town, make the most of the extended winter

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Cape Town, make the most of the extended winter
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This weeks new installment from John & Lynne ford, owners of Main Ingredient, one of the many gems in Cape Town.
DINNER IN AND OUT The weather this week has been so unspeakable and unseasonal we are not going to speak about it! Our veggie garden is thriving and so are enormous snails.

German Bazaar It has been a fairly busy week. On Saturday afternoon, we ventured to the annual Bazaar at the German School, along with half of Cape Town. There was a hurricane blowing, a tree snapped in half right in front of us, we stood under a porch out of the rain, drank really bad beer (what happened to the German beer they always used to have?) and ate a würstchen on a roll before fleeing home vowing not to ever attempt that again. It is an extremely successful bazaar, but just too crowded for us. Sad for them about the weather but it didn’t deter their fans. We then drove to Fish Hoek for a lovely dinner with a friend on Saturday night, catching up on mutual gossip, in some of the worst driving conditions we have experienced (were we mad?). John says thank heavens for ESP in the car. Lynne was just relieved when we reached home. Our rain gauge measured 36mm (nearly 1½ inches) that night.

Out of the Can On Monday, Lynne attended Lannice Snyman’s book launch at the Gold Museum. Her new book is entitled Out of the Can. It is an enterprise we wholeheartedly applaud and we will cook from it. It has been sponsored by Lucky Star and gives lots of great recipes for tinned tuna, pilchards, sardines and salmon, all of which we need to eat at least twice a week to get the omega oils and the calcium. Also very economical in these trying times. Lynne has a prejudice against the bones in these fish – Lannice has proved you don’t notice them. We had lovely food at the function, prepared by her talented daughter Tamsin, all from the book – a really lovely tuna dip with crudités, tiny pilchard fish cakes, crisp sardine samoosas, really wonderful spicy chilli pilchard bunny chows, tuna, cottage cheese and spring onion served on sweet melon pieces and Lynne’s favourite, pieces of pilchard deep fried in a crispy batter so she didn’t notice that the crunch of the bones once. We have copies for sale at Main Ingredient.

Pasta Factory On Wednesday, we were invited to the Pasta Factory to watch Justin Patterson (the Head of the Practical Training Department at The Culinary Academy) demonstrate how easy it is to make your own pasta or, if you are not inclined, how quick it is to buy it fresh at the Pasta Factory. He is a born presenter; he had the large and noisy paying audience eating out of his hands as well as his plates. We learnt a lot. He demonstrated two delicious quick ways with fettuccini, a four cheese cannelloni and, finally, real chocolate ravioli - no pasta involved and seriously wicked and delicious - but when we heard how long that takes to make, decided to leave it entirely up to him in future. He will shortly publish a book entitled How Hard Can it Be? Using only four ingredients, those used in a Greek salad - tomatoes, olives, feta and cucumber - with lots of variations. We ate two lovely pizzas and enjoyed a bottle of L’Avenir Rose. These demonstrations are held there regularly, check out their web page if you are interested This week’s recipe is something we had last week, but it echoes Justin’s demonstration. It is also the broad bean recipe I have been promising. We have picked lots but never enough at any one time for a huge serving. Serves 2.

Pasta a Tallegio

200g Pasta twirls or Fettuccini – 1 clove garlic, crushed – 1 T chilli avocado oil – 12 baby Roma tomatoes, halved – 2 T fresh broad beans – 100g Taleggio cheese, cut into cubes – 50g grated parmesan – salt and black pepper - 2 T fresh torn basil.

Cook the pasta till al dente, drain and set aside. Fry the garlic in the chilli oil, put in the tomatoes and the broad beans and cook for no more than two or three minutes. Put back the pasta and stir well. Add the cheese, season and mix well; the cheese will melt. At the last minute add the basil and serve. Really good with a Teddy Hall Chenin or La Capra Malbec.

New and replenished If you have a sweet tooth you should love the Chaloner’s Raspberry vanilla preserve, and their Seville orange marmalade if you tooth is a little less sweet. Froggit’s onion jam, thyme and ginger balsamic reductions and their pomegranate salad splash are selling fast, but are being replenished constantly. The Ladismith viognier was a big hit last Saturday, and more has come in.

Food and Wine entertainment for you

The third Voor Paardeberg Annual Wine Fair will happen this Saturday, 14th November, between 11h00 and 18h00, giving you a chance to meet the seven passionate producers who cultivate this untamed landscape. Entry includes free wine tasting of more than 40 wines as well as an elegant crystal tasting glass. Tickets: R100 adults, children under 18 free. Purchase tickets prior to the festival by sending an email or visit for online ticket sales, or purchase your ticket at the entrance on the day. A limited number of tickets is available.

Join the Jesse Jordan Band on Sunday, 15th November between 17h00 and 20h00 for pure rock and roll and catchy melodies at Durbanville Hills summer evening sunset concert. The concert will take place under the olive trees and you can bring your own chairs, blankets and picnic goodies. Tickets cost R50 per person. No alcohol may be brought onto the premises. Durbanville Hills wine will be on sale. Booking is essential. To book or for more information, contact Simone Brown on 021 558 1300 or send an email.

For a stylish staff party at R195.00 per person, Winchester Mansions in Sea Point will host staff parties from 12th November until 18th December for small office groups or departments who do not want to hire an entire venue. The festivities kick off with a glass of Pierre Jourdan Cuvée Brut, followed by a three course buffet while being entertained by popular jazz bands. The party is completed with Christmas crackers and party hats. Private venues and a selection of set menus are also available for larger groups. Contact Kathryn by email or call or 021 – 434 2351 to make a booking. They will also feature seasonal functions: Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Lunch and Christmas Day Dinner, New Year’s Eve African Extravaganza, New Year’s Day Hangover Jazz Brunch and New Year’s Day Dinner. For more information visit

Savoy Cabbage will host a Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday 26th November. Take your American Friends and Colleagues or just become an honorary American for the evening and join them for a Thanksgiving Celebration. R295.00 per person excluding service. Bookings can be made by sending an email or calling telephone 021 424 2626.

“The Magic of Bubbles” Cap Classique and Champagne Festival will take place in Franschhoek over the weekend of the 4th to 6th of December, sponsored by Investec Private Bank. An R180.00 per person entrance fee allows you access to the festival, which includes a tasting glass and a complimentary booklet containing 10 tasting coupons. Thereafter all tastings will be charged on consumption. Tickets can be purchased through, but hurry as tickets are limited. Once the marquee is full no further patrons will be admitted.


John & Lynne
Main Ingredient
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