February – food is fun!

I am honoured to be one of five food writers nominated for the Cape Town Experiences Award, and so appreciative of my friends and colleagues who have already voted for me. www.capetownexperiencesmagazine.com/best-food-column

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EIKE

My weekend highlight lingered. Dinner at Eike in Stellenbosch is not simply dinner out, or a one-night stand. It creeps into your heart and reawakens your food memories. I was there to experience Bertus Basson’s latest venture, for a forthcoming feature in Food & Home Entertaining magazine. He was the worthy winner of the inaugural JHP Gourmet Guide™ ‘Haute Performance’ Passion award, given for his outstanding and genuine passion for all that is South African. Each nuance, from the welcome drink on the stoep, to the breakfast muesli ‘last touch’, was special. It conjured up many memories as dishes were served with a story. We had plenty of fun and fuel for lively debate whilst we devoured some excellent dishes. I won the ‘who ate more pudding in childhood’ competition in discussion over dinner with my husband (no, I am not competitive at all). The following day I called my mother-in-law to substantiate the rest of my husband’s claims, and she and I reminisced too. The proof of the pudding will be in the story…

THE CHEF’S TABLE

Last week it was time to leave windy Cape Town as the fires raged and the firefighters did us proud. Lunch at The Chef’s Table in Umhlanga gives anyone good reason to visit Durban. Sitting at the counter watching chef Kayla-Ann display her talent was a delectable part of the meal. Rather than sticking to the tasting menu, I was delighted that she allowed us to taste some of her new dishes, and others from the a la carte menu. I loved her summer pea brulee, a whole milk cheese curd with tomato broth, smoked tomato and pea shoots. All impressed, as does her humility.

HARTFORD HOUSE

Dinner, bed and breakfast is not a term that will suffice when one describes an overnight stay at Hartford House – serenity, beauty and nature prevail. What a treat to arrive and see the 2018 JHP Gourmet Guide plate crafted by Mervyn Gers Ceramics on display. In front of it, a ceramic cow…I am unwavering in my belief that the two were in no way associated! Brand-new chef Mathew Armbruster, aged 25, who hails from The Chef’s Table, was appointed mid-January. He was brave enough to host me for a review whilst getting ready for his first event, a big fat Greek wedding for 200 guests that weekend! Following in the footsteps of Richard Carstens, Jackie Cameron and one-plated chef Tijn Hahndiek, Mathew too is inventive, expressive – and excited. He is sure to make good use of the platform given at Hartford House, where receptive guests expect cuisine to be of a high standard. His Lesotho trout dish is a standout dish.

Read all about Kayla and Mathew in the autumn edition of the Gourmet Guide online magazine, from 1 March, with recipes and all things chocolate and cheese.

EAT, PLAY, LINDT

This week we visited the Lindt Chocolate Studio in the V&A Waterfront for a little ‘eat, play, Lindt’. I was delighted to play with the KitchenAid artisanal mixer whilst perfecting chocolate macarons sandwiched together with chocolate ganache. The session was informative and fun. What would life be without food and fun, shared with family and friends? That is my wish for you for February.

COMPETITIONS

With Valentine’s Day around the corner be sure to visit www.gourmetguide.co.za to view and stand a chance to win:

THE GOURMET GUIDE IS SOARING, SO WE ARE HIRING…

The award-winning JHP Gourmet Guide, showcasing SA plated and rated chefs, restaurants and recipes, has expanded into a quarterly online magazine. View the magazine by visiting our www.gourmetguide.co.za.

If you are self-motivated, have relevant media sales experience, a proven track record and contacts, consider joining our growing team as a sales consultant. Commission-based, part-time. Must love food!

Send your two-page CV to info@jhpr.co.za.

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