Social Responsibility

Memories of Chefs Who Share

My three favourite Sommeliers

My three favourite Sommeliers

 

With each Facebook connection, a notifications pops up, an anniversary, a reminder of events one year ago, it was to be the last. At the time we did not know, but a year later a sad reality.

2016 was the first year I would not and could not cook, with an Achilles injury caused by one to many silly jumps to the left. This gave me an unique opportunity to observe the whole commotion as an outsider, which in itself is a very hard thing to observe as a chef with limited movement, for me it was like watching the heart beat during open heart surgery being performed by a team of masters.

When you work as a chef on a project as big as chefs who share, you want to give everything, you want to leave that final personality that final piece of yourself on the plate. This is not a small function, on this night each set of chefs might be cooking for 36 people, with seven different menu’s born from the creativity from fourteen very gifted chefs, it is intimidating as boundaries are stretched and rules broken…. One step beyond…as I watched the chaos as I was perched on my bar stool I was slightly over come with a sense of jealousy but also one of pride. Chefs come together in place unfamiliar and share their time, share art and leave visions of emotions on a plate for something bigger than themselves. It is unconditional.

The art of giving was born from a conversation in 2013 while at a diner prize giving with a room full of chefs and press, I was fortunate enough to be seated next to my old friend Bertus and on the other side was Barbara Lennard. As we were catching up and sharing stories about giving and sharing, the discussion on the night went around the possibility of doing an event that was big, the rest is history. The seed was planted and we needed water, lots of it.

Over a four year period we saw how the event got bigger, the first three years in Cape Town and last year Johannesburg. Always in the heart of the city, making City Hall look glamorous as it should.

Every year new chefs joined, for some it was a reunion, for some a new experience and in some way a little intimidating. We are extremely blessed in South Africa, having such talented people, talented chefs, wine makers and sommeliers.

The process with creativity is vicious, with each chef removed from their kitchens and placed in an environment of basic functionality changes chef changes the animal. Each chef is given the opportunity of the basic operating equipment to make the event work. If you know this animal the boundaries and limitations will be broken. They want to give more than just a plate a food, it is a show an experience. So bugger the basic, they will cart everything including the kitchen sink across country to show what true hospitality is all about.

As the afternoon progressed plates, bowls and glasses of different sizes get unpacked. This is a show after all. With this Paco jets, thermos mixes, smoking guns and sous vide baths all in the name of sharing.  Silly bunch if you think about it, I thought so. But not really, if you consider that when ones writes seven menus the personality of 28 dishes must be given life for all to see and enjoy, part of this creative process goes far beyond just giving parameters of what plate that must be used. The thought process of a chef does not live in a box. Food is experienced because we love the taste, smell, sound and most of all the thought process behind the creativity bringing all the elements together that makes sharing food memories.

As the night started and guests started filling the magnificent hall, we were informed that proceedings were running late!  It was a mean itinerary. We had to catch 20 minutes of lateness. This night is jam packed and co-ordination of chefs, sommeliers and artists is essential to a good nights entertainment.

As I hobbled from kitchen to kitchen and station to station, one cannot avoid to notice the skill and time each chef gave and display on their plates, nothing is half baked. Each starter is so different with personality shining on every plate. As we wait for our call, random guests and fans come into the kitchen for quick photo and chat with their favourite chefs. The level of anxiety is high  as each set of eyes stare back at me, waiting……

The aboyer(that would be me) barks for a pickup of starters …..15minutes, seven brigades shift in to gear and the noise levels increase, finishing touches engaged and the focus immediate. You never notice this when you are cooking next to Bertus, Gregory, Chantel, Margot, Chris or George, as we all busy at that moment. And when the last starter leaves we would continue bantering again, just as we did before and just as we would in our own kitchens.

The waiters start lining up dressed in purple aprons while each sommelier starts pouring one of 28 wines for the evening. It is just people everywhere as food leave the kitchen, guided by a chef, table by table as descriptions are given at each table of each dish. It is chaotic, but also organised at the same moment.

When all of this happens you realise the moment and the sense of the occasion. As all of us joined in a common goal in giving at that exact moment we chose to be there to be part of a great event.

As the night draws to a close the true magnitude of what each chef has contributed is realised, as they clean and pack away. Some enjoy a glass of wine and we say our farewells till next time.

It is hard to understand why we keep on coming back, because it is hard, it is not glamourous cleaning up after twelve at night, and tomorrow we are back at our respective jobs and life caries a on. As chefs in South Africa we are very privileged working with beautiful food. Everyday we get to experience smells and tastes and sharing our experiences with others is in small part what keeps us going.

It hard to choose a favourite dish or a favourite chef. But standing outside the circle gives a different perspective to all the madness.

Thank you to all the chefs who contributed and gave up their time, thank you to all the sommeliers for sharing their knowledge, all the wine makers giving, sharing wines  and the artist who donated beautiful pieces. Thank you to the sponsors who gave generously to make it possible. Lastly thank you to the guests for supporting the art in giving and sharing. It will be missed.

 

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Feedie

Feedie

Feedie

 

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is now a proud supporter of Feedie, the fundraising platform of the Lunchbox Fund!

So when you visit any of our outlets we welcome you to snap away and share food photos. With Feedie, sharing your food photo, shares actual food with children who need it.

When you share a photo of your meal with Feedie, they provide a real meal for the children who need it.

Download the app and start sharing food when you visit us! Together we can make the difference.

WeTheFeedies.com

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All Stars Raise R270 000 in 2014 Col’Cacchio Chef series

Colcaccio

In 2009 I was invited to take part in the Col’cacchio Celebrity chef series in that year my contribution was a white anchovy pizza with roasted red peppers. In 2014 I was invited back with my Mrs Periwinkle pizza which was based on a memories of a  seafood pizza my mother brought back from Knysna when i was a youngster.

Col’Cacchio celebrity series raised R270000 for the Children’s hospital trust. It was an honour to be a part of this worthy cause.   All Stars raise R270 000 in 2014 Celebrity Chef Series

 

 

 

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‘Chefs who Share – the ART of Giving’ Thursday night 11 September 2014 City Hall, Cape Town

Asparagus salad

Asparagus salad

With seven sets of menus, seven wine pairings, 21 chefs, seven sommeliers add in a couple of egos and you have the most spectacular event. Chef’s who share raised R2.5 million from ticket sales, experiences and some amazing art works. The brief was simple: canapés on arrival, cold fish starter, soup course, meat main, chocolate for dessert. Each group of three chefs collaborated in different ways, each group did what inspired them with no rules. On our table the emphasis was around sharing this created more interaction with dishes placed in the center of table.
Menu
Canapés
Salted beef, sauerkraut and emmental, rye sandwich )
Mushroom tartlets with crème fraiche
Duck liver parfait, cumin crisp, and plum bon bon
Lamb gougère, roast beetroot, 4year Gonedsa Boerenkaas
Tarte, avocado, tomato, mozzarella buffalo, olive truffle tapenade
Terrine fresh goat cheese, celeriac, salted lemon, honey nuts
Starter – from land and sea
As the plated element marron and sour fig dressing with dune spinach
crispy fried monkfish cheeks, monkfish liver and cheek terrine, smoked trout, with, dusky kob ceviche, spring vegetable salad, abalimi bezekaya salad
Klein Constantia Metis Sauvignon Blanc 2013 by Pascal Jolivet

Soup – quail in the cress
Quail praline in a watercress soup
Blackwater Exemption 60 Bourboulenc 2014

Main -‘ a little of everything beef’
Plated – slow cooked beef rib eye, braised shot-rib with blackened aubergine puree
On the table spring salad, spring vegetables, roasted sweet breads with hazelnuts, oxtail parcels, sausage, smoked beef cheek, tongue with a raisin and caper dressing, seared warm Wagyū ‘Pan biltong’
Radford Dale Gravity 2006

Chocolate wonderland
Pre-Dessert: Amarula Milk punch
Plated: Toasted Coconib parfait, twisted Guanaja ganache, vanilla set crème brulee, chocolate Geleé,
On the table: Choc egg to share with espresso choc crumble, mini after eight macaroons, blackberry and citrus pate de fruit, mini apple tarts
Vondeling Sweet Caroline 2011

Chefs worked in unfamiliar territory with seven makeshift kitchens in a tent behind city hall, logistics and organising is was tough work as no two chefs were using the same crockery for anything. So imagine clearing at the end of the night.
The chef pairings for the ‘Chefs who Share‘ dinner :

1. George Jardine, Gerd Kastenmeier , PJ Vadas
2. Marthinus Ferreira, Christo Pretorius, Alfred Miller
3. Christiaan Campbell, Chantel Dartnall, Andreas Mayer
4. Rudi Liebenberg, Michelle Theron, Christoph Geschwendtner
5. Malika van Reenen, Chris Erasmus, Bernhard Reiser
6. Jackie Cameron, Jürgen Schneider, Christian Grainer
7. Darren Badenhorst, Franck Dangereux, Anton Schmaus
Sommeliers for the night were Gregory Mutambe, Germain Lehodey, Higgo Jacobs, Carl Habel, Susanne Schneider, Isabella Immenkamp and Pearl Oliver
The amazing part of an event like this is the art of giving and sharing. Chefs, sommeliers, artists all offer their time, talent for free! Without them this event would never been able to take place. Wines are sponsored, produce sponsored, glasses sponsored, art pieces (from artists like Jean Doyle, Lionel Smit, Richard Scott)
All the proceeds of the Gala Dinner and Auction go to Make a Difference (MAD) Charity, South African branch of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
During the evening sponsorships of R1000 each were sold at the tables for Veggie Boxes, which will go to charities providing nutritious meals.
Thank you to the unsung heroes in the back Gavin Ferreira, Tarryn Thomas, Kelly Veldhuis and the guys from ten of cups clearing at 2:00 in the morning.
Lastly thank you to Florian Gast and Barbara Lenhard from Opulent Living for making this happen.

 

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Chef’s who share 2014

The one event that can not be missed, after last years success it is back on the 11th  September, 2014.

Take note that this is an unbelievable event imagine:

7 different menus

14 award winning chefs from South Africa

7 Internationally acclaimed chefs from Europe

7 top Sommeliers

The chefs team up in trios to create individual menus for groups of only 36 people each! The proceeds of the ticket sales and the art auction go to two established charities who support underprivileged children: MAD Charity – Make a Difference and the Laureus Sport for Good
Foundation.
Venue: City Hall Cape Town / South Africa
Tickets: R 3 000 per person; tables of 12 available; enquiries at tickets@chefswhoshare.com
More information on www.chefswhoshare.com

Last year I was teamed up with Christiaan Campbell from Delaire Graff and we had the most fantastic evening, even if I was in a moon boot. Below is the menu we served, many of our dishes were based on sharing and passing food around.

canapés
Corn taco with cured beef
Green asparagus bun, Gruyère mayonnaise
Crisp fried BBQ Pork and sticky rice
Pickled beetroot and labneh

Home Made Artisan Bread

Soup
Beef short rib and mushroom broth
beef cheeks, sweetbreads, cauliflower parmesan cream, pickled mushrooms, charred corn

Sharing Fish
Fennel crusted smoked trout, fresh oysters, marron terrine, Saldanha Black Mussels, White mussel sausages, Cured Farmed kabeljou, white asparagus, pickled vegetables
Abalimi Bezekhaya salad

Main
Farmer Angus Lamb ….a little bit of everything served with vegetables from Eric, Steve & Jerry.

Dessert
The things you never see
From a bowl, a spatula, a tray, a piping bag……

 

 

 

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