If you had asked me a while back what Taste of Joburg was about I would have told you that it is large cheap gingerbread biscuits, fish and chips from the fish and chip shop, curries from Mayfair, peaches plucked off trees in the back gardens of friends and neighbours, deep green kale grown by almost every Portuguese family and multi-course menus from The Blue Room at Park Station, a restaurant that has long since ceased to exist except in the memories of old folk like me. Come to think of it, I’m not sure where to buy those large cheap gingerbread biscuits either.
No, Taste of Joburg is a Festival at the Montecasino Outdoor Area. It is now in its seventh year and some friends of mine have been singing its praises for all six of the years gone past. I will be going along some time between 26-29 September 2013 to see – and more importantly taste – what all the fuss is about.
There are several featured restaurants. In alphabetical order (far be it for me to grade them any other way – I have only visited three of them) we start with African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel where Hanroe Erasmus is the executive chef, then we have Beefcakes Burger Bar with Wonderful Ndhlovu as executive chef (and you didn’t even know burgers warranted an executive chef, did you?), and Coobs with James Diack as Chef-Patron. EAT is the order of Chef–Patron Arnold Tanzer, while Head Chef Weiliang Song is from Gwefey Refined Asian Cuisine, Chef-Patron Ciro Molinaro is the boss of La Cucina Di Ciro, Lacuna Bistro is run by Executive Chef Dallas Orr, Pop Up Grill is under feminine control in the person of Patron Caroline McCaan, Prosopa is Chef-Patron Dino Fagas, 3Sixty Liquid Lounge is run by Complex Chef Rylan Ramsamy, 2 Thai 4 is run by Head Chef Oyi, Thava Indian Restaurant has a Chef-Patron in the form of Mathew Abraham and The Grazing Room (I wonder what my mother would have made of that name?) is headed by not one boss, but two – Chef-Patron Marthinus Ferreira and Head Chef Damian Pentelow, while Vivace Restaurant At The Radisson Blu, Sandton is under direction of Senior Sous Chef Jacques Venter.
Taste of Joburg will be a boozy affair with wines and craft beers (over forty taps, I’m told), whiskies and that German herbal liqueur made with 56 herbs and spices, Jagermeister. There will be lots of Thai food, some of it paired with Singha Beer, and Amazing Thailand will have a prize of two tickets to Thailand for one lucky visitor.
The pairing of wine and one’s own canapes constructed under supervision, the making of seasonal cocktails with Consul glass and other experiences all make Taste of Joburg an event not to be missed.
For those of us who consider a balanced diet to be chocolate in each hand, Lindt’s master Chocolatiers (the ones who love their bunnies and Father Christmas treats) will be there to amaze those of us who buy the bunnies and Father Christmas treats.
I will be at Montecasino Outdoor Area some time between 26-29 September 2013 where the Taste Of Joburg Festival is part of Montecasino’s MTN Big Festival. The organisers have provided 10 sets of double tickets as a give-away – to stand a chance to win one set of two tickets e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Be prepared to answer one easy question based on the article above.