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Welcome to the beautiful valley of Franschhoek, also known as the food and wine capital of South Africa. The culinary and vinous developments in and around the Boland village over the last 25 years have been dramatic. Franschhoek’s Gallic heritage is reflected in both haute cuisine starring Cape ingredients, and in classic bistro fare, while other chefs are offering diners tastes of Africa and are incorporating indigenous plants first used by the valley’s original inhabitants. Myrna Robins had the difficult task of choosing just 18 of these culinary destinations, aiming for a collection that reflects the diversity of cuisine for which the valley is famous. You will find a globally renowned restaurant that keeps its place among the world’s top 50, along with others that make the top 20 list in South Africa. You will also find welcoming venues where chefs aim to highlight traditional Cape Favorites or to specialise in country cooking as affordable as it is delicious.
THE COMPOTE: Heat a small saucepan and add the berries and sugar. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Chill until needed. TO SERVE: Unmould the tartlets or cut the large milk tart into 8 wedges. Drizzle each serving with a little rooibos syrup and top with a spoonful of berry compote. Serves 8 WINE MATCH: Morena Brut, a Cap Classique, from Franschhoek Pass Winery MALVA PUDDING Another traditional Cape finale, a warming comfort dessert for chilly evenings. There are
increased, award-winning chefs and restaurateurs arrived to open their own establishments or head the kitchens of investors in the hospitality industry. Wine farms opened restaurants, and, in tandem with the soaring gastronomic standards, the quality and range of valley wines increased apace. Village families – some of whom trace their ancestry back several generations – found work in the restaurants, bed-and-breakfast establishments and guest houses, establishing themselves as essential
48 hours before serving, accompanied by slices of buttered brown bread. It will keep for a further two days in the fridge. Serves 4–6 as a first course or a light lunch WINE MATCH: My Wyn Viognier 2007 CHICKEN PIE Easy, filling and delicious, this is another of Sandra’s dishes that regulars demand whatever the season. Using store-bought pastry and soup powder, it makes an affordable and tasty dish for parties. Sandra makes one large pie in a deep baking tray, but you could make two round
outside mountainside caves gnawing on the bones of antelope, preceded, perhaps, by handfuls of vitamin-rich sorrel or roasted ground corms and tubers of local plants. A case, perhaps, of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (the more things change, the more they say the same)? Whether you live around the corner, or have journeyed from the far corners of the planet, I hope you will enjoy this taste of the gastronomic capital of the Cape and that it will inspire you to recreate your favourites
seasoning. TO SERVE: Serve over al dente pasta and sprinkle with the chives and Parmesan. Serves 2 WINE MATCH: Klein Genot Cabernet Sauvignon PUMPKIN SCONES ± ¼ pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes ground cinnamon sugar olive oil juice of 1 orange 550 g cake flour, sifted 25 g baking powder 15 g white sugar a pinch salt 125 g butter 2 eggs 125 ml milk 60 ml cream Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Toss the cubed pumpkin with a little cinnamon, sugar and olive oil, and sprinkle with