Thursday 27 October was a boiling hot start to this year’s Durban Good Food & Wine Show when Durban Tourism hosted a few of the chef’s at Cafe Skyzer in Chesterville. The meat was sizzling on the braai as were all the guests as we watched the heated cook-off. The chef's in attendance at the cook-off were Neill Anthony, Jenny Morris, Siphokazi Mdlankomo. Claire Allen, Sherwyn Weaich, Kamini Pather and Lentswe Bhengu.
Friday 28 October was the official start to the show and people were eagerly lined up at the entrance waiting to see what the show had in store for them. I was happy to get to meet Sean Kristafor of Black Insomnia and to taste his world’s strongest coffee #sleepingischeating. I also got a chance to watch the barista competition and meet Jamie Braun of Skyline Coffee who was helping out. I’m looking forward to buying Skyline Coffee once the online store is up and running. One of the judges of the barista competition was Wayne Oberholzer who was last year’s Western Cape barista champion and also the overall South African winner.
Okay - so let me get down to what/who I saw at the show. I was there early on Friday morning so I could see and support my Granny Mouse Country House & Spa “family” at the Eat Well Live Well Theatre at 12pm. Before I could watch culinary artist Kirstie du Toit of Granny Mouse I was able to attend Neill Anthony’s session of Cooking with Chef’s. He showed us how to make a delicious breakfast dish containing chia seeds, nuts and dried fruit. If you would like to make and try this yourself, take a look at the recipe over here. Neill Anthony is fantastic with people and the audience at Cooking with Chefs enjoyed interacting with him and learning a new dish. It is great when you meet people that you have seen on TV and find that they down to earth, friendly and comfortable in meeting strangers. Strangers who ask you all sorts of weird and wonderful questions and want photos. Ha Ha no! I’m not speaking about me! Okay so I did get a photo and yes I also asked questions but they were definitely not weird #grin. Cooking with Chefs was fun and I hope that the Good Food & Wine Show continues with this concept.
Managed to get a second row seat (hard crate seat – really needed cushioning) at the Eat Well Live Well Theatre to watch Kirstie du Toit the culinary artist at Granny Mouse, who showed the audience a hot and a cold polenta dish. The cold polenta was a herbed polenta with basil goats cheese and a tomato salad and the warm polenta dish was warm citrus polenta with pan fried trout and citrus salsa. The dishes were divine and it was hard to decide on which I preferred more but I think the trout was the winner for me. After a bit of excitement a lucky member of the audience walked away with a two night stay at Granny Mouse #jealous. I can’t wait for the next time that I am able to stay there #bliss. I have also made a note to have the trout dish at the Bistro the next time I visit.
On Friday evening I watched Claire Allen in the main Chef’s Theatre prepare a slow cooked cumin rubbed rum and coffee brisket. She was assisted by a member of the audience – a very sweet boy who I am sure is going to become a chef in future. The completed brisket was melt in the mouth and the dish was picked clean by the audience.
Saturday 29 October was the exciting day – Chef’s Table with Neill Anthony!! Before attending the table it was more Black Insomnia coffee, watching the barista competition, watching Sherwyn Weaich make scones (divine) in the Baking Theatre and of course one of my favourite pastimes – people watching. People were eating, drinking, talking and watching demonstrations and it seems having a great time doing it all.
Just before 1pm we (Inge Loker and myself) made our way over to the Chef’s Table enclosed area to wait in line for entrance and we were happy to get seats near the front. I’m not going to go into a full description of what we saw and experienced at the Chef’s Table. Let me just say that Neill Anthony is a VERY talented chef and I definitely made mental notes of some of his tips and tricks in food preparation eg cooking onions. The dishes were a taste sensation and I can see why he is in demand as a private chef. I hope that you are watching his TV show on SABC3 Tuesday’s at 8pm.
Starter : Warm celeriac, pear, walnut and blue cheese salad
Mains : Bavette steak with potato puree, asparagus and onion petals
Dessert : Almond cake with ginger cream and honeycomb
Just typing that out and looking at the photos makes me want to have these dishes all over again.
The final chef that I watched was Sarah Graham in the Eat Well Live Well Theatre. I have two of her books – “Smitten” and “Home” and I need to track down “Bitten”. A fourth book is soon to be released and is called “Wholesome”.
It was a fabulous and tiring food weekend and the Good Food & Wine Show was SO much better than last year. I loved the mix of chef’s and there was a great layout and flow inside the exhibition centre. If you are asking if I saw George Calombaris – George who? #LocalisLekker
Constructive criticism of the Durban Good Food & Wine Show, the 3 P’s – Parking, Pensioners and Position :
1. Parking : What happened to the usual parking spot over the road from the exhibition centre? A lot of frustration was caused by this being locked and I ended up driving around the block twice before deciding to park at the ICC. The ICC parking also costs more that the regular exhibition parking.
2. Pensioners : It would be good for the people handling the tickets to know that pensioners could enter for free on the Friday. There were quite a few that were very upset when they were asked to pay. It was only when a supervisor was called that the ticket sellers found out.
3. Position : Please, please don’t put the Chef’s Table next to the main Chef’s Theatre, especially since we were paying to be there. When the show started in the Chef’s Theatre it was difficult to hear what the chef was saying.