I was invited by Food Network to the DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival at the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens on 31 May 2014. What a great event it was! Of course our Johannesburg winter weather played ball. The days in Johannesburg, unless there is a cold spell, are usually warm and sunny, perfect for sitting in the sun, lazing away the day in the company of friends and family, doing those things best done over a good meal, a glass or wine or a beer and having a marvellous time.
At the Food Network stall we started with a “champagne” breakfast, the bubbly being the Graham Beck Brut which was the bubbly of choice for the inauguration of Nelson Mandela twenty years ago, and also for the inauguration of Barack Obama far more recently, and with less motivation to use a South African suppliers – and the American president with all the resources in the richest country in the world still chose the Graham Beck Brut. Sadly, or fortunately, I was mindful of the fact that I had to drive when I left the event so I had no choice but to limit myself in quantity. I was particularly thrilled to find a 375 ml bottle in my goodie bag. 375 ml, a half bottle, is an ideal quantity for two people to share when they still have to drive, or when they are going to switch to another type of wine for dinner.
We then got to watch a live “Chopped” style competition judged by Siba Mtongana and Jenny Morris. Chopped South Africa will be makings its appearance on Food Network later in the year. It has already been filmed and it is now in post-production. The basket contained duck breasts, spinach and eggs, plum jam, chilli and garlic. Cooking and drinking wine, the same, of course, because one should never cook with wine one would not drink, was again supplied by Graham Beck. They had a choice between a Shiraz and a Chenin Blanc in The Game Reserve range.
The Game Reserve range represents conservation efforts relating to farming in harmony with nature and the restoration and protection of the natural environment. Their logo says “Planet first. It’s in our nature”. R3 from each bottle sold is donated to environmental projects. Each wine in the range is associated with one animal found in the Cape Fynbos area. The Chenin Blanc is associated with the Riverine Rabbit, highly endangered at this stage (only about 200 left in the world), while the Shiraz is associated with the Eland, South Africa’s biggest antelope (and the finest eating – and as it is not endangered we can enjoy eland steaks and biltong with an absolutely clear conscience), an animal which is regarded with particular reverence by the indigenous people, the San Bushmen.
I learned some interesting facts from Jenny Morris, a natural sharer of fascinating information. Here’s one – how to tell the difference between a male and a female pepper … and that male peppers are better value for money because they have fewer pips to skin. The male pepper has three “bumps” while the female pepper has four “bumps”. So here’s to discrimination between male and female peppers. 🙂
Jenny Morris can currently be seen on the Food Network in Jenny Morris Cooks the Riviera while Siba Mtongana can be seen in Siba’s Table.
I left early as I had a prior commitment but the people were arriving in their droves as we wandered out. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. I certainly enjoyed myself at the Food Network stand.
I hope to be able to spend longer at this festival in 2015.