Last week I was invited to a fabulous Showcook event which featured Grant Kennedy, the executive chef at the Radisson Blu reunited with three of his past students from a top culinary academy in the winelands:
1. Amanda Lewis, who started her Saucisse Deli at the Biscuit Mill specialising in local and seasonal produce.
2. Andrew Alexander of Jason’s bakery who is passionate about his craft of baking.
3. Tal Smith who started the SABABA kitchen and Deli in Sea Point, and now recently expanded to her second shop in Bree Street.
I thoroughly enjoyed the cooking class with Grant and each of his students demonstrating a dish and generally talking about what food they love. I am particularly inspired by people who start there own food business’s and follow their dreams.
Bonga Galada, Grants Chef de Partie showed us how to cut a potato into a square basket, steam and then roast it. I think Bonga is another chef to watch in the future.
The event was sponsored by Truth Coffee, one of Cape Towns premium artisan coffee companies, and David Donde brought along one of his coffee machines with the inner mechanism exposed in glass. He also brought along his baristas to serve up the perfect cup of coffee.
Another young star that impressed me on the day was Juli Slabbert of Bloemendal (another of the sponsors). She is only 25 years old, graduated from Elsenburg in 2007 and has been marketing and making lovely wine ever since.
She has been at Bloemendal since 2009 and in the last two years they have had great achievements with their wines.
“Suider Terras” Sauvignon Blanc 2009
- Terroir prize for best Sauvignon Blanc
- Double gold Michelangelo
- Silver Veritas
“Suider Terras” Sauvignon Blanc 2010-Silver Veritas
“Suder Terras” Sauvignon Blanc 2011-Bronze Veritas
Sauvignon Blanc 2011-Silver -Michelangelo
Malbec 2010-Gold -Michelangelo
- Bronze Old Mutual trophy awards
- Silver –Veritas
- 4 1/2 stars Wine Magazine
The superb lunch featured a few items off Grants new Spring menu. I enjoyed quinoa for the fist time in a delicious salad with avocado, dried fruit, toasted almonds and a lemon cumin vinaigrette.
The rest of the menu looked like this:
Reunion Lunch Menu
Mini espresso tasting cups of
Green pea puree with Crispy Coppa foam
Cream of Bisque with prawn toasties
Home baked bread with
flavored butter and olive oils
Pan seared fresh catch fillet of Linefish
Steamed tender vegetables with
sauce Verdi dressing
Whole roasted Chalmar beef fillet, biltong and
green peppercorn dust, Willow Creek olive oil
marinade sauce béarnaise
On the Table
Quinoa and avocado salad with dried fruit
toasted almonds, lemon- cumin vinaigrette
Aubergine salad with oregano, sage dressing
Rosa tomatoes, olives, fennel bulb,
spring onions and toasted pine nuts
Willow Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Vinegar
dressed lentils with tomato, cucumber,
red onion and loads of fresh Italian parsley
No bake chocolate cheese cake with
Homemade pistachio ice-cream
macerated plump strawberries
Willow Creek Olive oil was the other sponsor, demonstrating once again that their new gourmet squeeze bottle is the bomb.
Grant has also just launched his own blend of olive oil ~ ‘Grant’s Reserve Willow Creek Olive Oil’.