If I could tell you what I envision heaven to be like, it would be kind of what I experienced last night; entering the ‘gates’ to amazing food (an abundance might I add), and really good company. I am actually experiencing post dinner blues, as I don’t think I will ever experience such a generous spread of food and such great ambience at a restaurant. With the Good Food & Wine show kicking off today, I encourage all you foodies to get going and take advantage of this amazing food event.
Before I go into a tangent about how amazing the food looked and tasted, I think it’s best to introduce some of the people I got to meet… First up, who later gave a live icing demonstration was Mauro Castano from the Cake Boss; who might I add was very taken aback by the South African culture and place as he thought he was going to be going to ‘the bush’. Next on my celeb radar was Siba Mtongana, who is as beautiful, dazzling and genuinely lovely as she is on TV! Hayden was close by, so I quickly got a picture in before the night begun, as there were many women swooning over him (and it was only the beginning of the night). Again, he was another genuine guy, not fazed by any of the attention and willing to smile for the camera in between chomping on eats laid out around us. Another celeb in my eyes who I spotted, albeit not for being a chef but rather for getting Durbanites cheerful in the morning, was Darren Maule. I had moved so quickly from my seat to get a picture with him, that I didn’t think as far as who was going to take the damn picture… luckily Darren’s manager kindly helped me out – have to say what lovely, warm people! There were more celeb chefs but the night got busy and I got way too caught up in eating!
Oh boy, I don’t know where to start… Firstly, the Tsogo Sun/Elangeni chefs were given recipes from the celeb chefs from the Good Food & Wine Show 2014 to make for the evening. Let me just say they absolutely out did themselves! I haven’t enjoyed a spread quite like that in many years! Everything was beautifully plated and presented; so much thought went into this event!
The minute we walked in the spread of Siba’s salmon wraps were beautifully laid out, then there were mussels, prawns, calamari, oysters, and sushi for the taking. Just seeing that made my eyes pop out!
As we continued further into the venue, there were cocktails on the right of us, and more food laid out! There were deconstructed caprese salads, Hayden’s beer steamed mussels, Reza Mahammad caramelized beef cups, gourmet chilli bites and hand rolled deluxe samoosas. Sanjeev Kapoor’s dishes were absolutely divine! He gave us a taste of his Kolambi Bhaat in tender coconut and his aromatic mushroom, spinach and lentil curry with cashew nuts.
There was a table dedicated to cheese and biltong! And again I can’t explain how posh and amazing it was all presented! I am a huge cheese fan and loved the pairing with the fruit. Amazing, amazing, amazing!
Now desserts… This is where Mauro was most of the evening. After the speeches he soon started up his icing demonstration. It was such a fantastic idea and entertaining too! I have no words for the desserts. I mean can you say anything wrong about dessert to start? There were too many things; from fudge, chocolate truffle balls, cheese cake, champagne jelly, macaroons (these were snapped up quickly). There was a soft serve ice-cream machine and a table next to it with an abundance of toppings!
I really can’t stress how amazing everything looked; you could see love, care and professionalism in everything that came out of the kitchen or even from the bar!
Well, what do you get when you put a whole lot of food obsessed people in one room? A lot of eating and a good time! I am so glad I got to experience this with Faeema (http://thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com/) and Shirley (www.cuizine.co.za/), who are fellow food bloggers from Durban. It was also such a treat getting to see faces behind emails, tweets and Facebook posts. I don’t think this experience would have been as good without the great company.
I truly hope this is the first of many tasting dinners I get to experience – I can only imagine how amazing this year’s Good Food & Wine Show is going to go.