There are two food events I look forward to each year, and the one is here! The Pick ‘n Pay Taste of Durban is a week away. If last year’s was anything to go by, I really can’t wait to see how this year’s will better it.
Firstly, make sure your diaries are free and your bellies are empty when you go to the Taste of Durban, happening on Friday 24 to Sunday 26 July at SunCoast. If you’re not sure what to expect, know that there will be a lot of food and beverages on show to try.
Chefs from a selection of Durban’s most popular restaurants will create special menus of starter-sized plates, including their signature dishes, to showcase Durban’s fresh produce and ingredients. You can look forward to the Greedy Buddha offering of South East Asian menu, Beluga will provide an exciting new take on their traditional menu. Former ‘Best on Show’ winner Amaravathi Palki, is sure to be a crowd pleaser once again and one of Durban’s most famed culinary talents, Jackie Cameron will be a welcome addition to the mix, showcasing her new venture, The Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine. New participant, the Boiler Room Café, brings a more casual element to the line-up, while Vigour & Verve and Café Vigour, courtesy of Tsogo Sun and Simply Asia, another regular, complete this year’s eclectic line-up.
A hit in my books last year was The Durban eKasi Experience, which will be back again this year. Not only showcasing Durban’s most popular Tavern, Max’s Lifestyle, it will also feature newcomer and award winning, Hollywoodbets. I have often seen friends posting pictures of their delicious bunny chows on Facebook; I will be looking forward to trying this hugely popular and winning Bunny chow of ‘The Bunny Chow Barometer’ Competition.
Interested yet? Well here are the times and costs involved…
Friday 24 July: 18h00 – 22h00
Saturday 25 July: 12h30 – 16h30; 18h00- 22h00
Sunday 26 July: 12h00 – 17h00
Standard Ticket – *R80 – Entrance to the festival including a glass
Premium Ticket – *R180 – Entrance to the festival including a tasting glass plus R100 worth of Crowns (the official currency).
Taste Clubhouse Ticket – R750 – Fast Track entry to the festival, a tasting glass, R150 Crowns, a private clubhouse to use as a base for the show with a complimentary bar service (wine, malt and soft drinks) plus a Taste of Durban Gift.
Below is a list of some must do’s at this year’s Taste of Durban, of which I plan to get through myself. Loosen your belt buckles because we have a lot to get through!
Castle Milk Stout Experience
Chill out at the Castle Milk Stout marquee and lounge area, complete with the ambient sounds and a tasting experience that shows the full credentials of the full and complex flavours of Milk Stout and its pairing with food.
Robertsons Ultimate Burger Class
Become your family’s ultimate burger king or queen by learning how to create the best burgers at this year’s Taste of Durban, where Robertsons Herbs & Spices will be bringing in the foodie experts to reveal their secrets to creating the ultimate burger.
Butcher’s Block with Two Oceans Wines
As a country of meat lovers, it’s always good to know your head from your tail. Make your way to the Butcher’s Block, where you will learn about the varieties of meat, the various cuts, how to buy, prepare and cook meat to perfection and where Two Oceans Wines will show you how and when to pair their wines with each cut.
The Bacardi Mixology Theatre & Cocktail Lounge
Did someone say cocktails? Enter the exciting world of mixology and experience the magic of craft bartending. In the theatre, you will have the opportunity to learn how to craft your own Bacardi cocktails under the guidance of an expert Mixologist. The lounge offers a relaxing space with a DJ mixing great tunes while the bartenders do some mixing of their own.
BP Wild Bean Café
Coffee lovers will enjoy the casual ambience with BP Wild Bean Café. At Taste of Durban, the Wild Bean Café Baristas will hand-make your favourite coffee, latte or hot chocolate to perk you up and keep you going!
Besides the amazing range of restaurants, suppliers from around the country are pulling out all the stops to make this show a feast of artisanal and locally produced product. Black Mamba Chili will have their fiery gourmet chili product range on offer, while visitors looking for something sweet will love Kupcake Heaven and the amazing creations from Daniela’s Deliciously Decadent and Sugarlicious. Meat lovers can look forward to a range of delicious cured meats from Begks Hungarian Smoked Food, as well as a juicy 100% Wagyu Beef Burger with rocket, red onion and a drizzle of black magic sauce from Woodview. For those on the Banting train, look out for Bizzibanting.
Bringing a taste of some of the country’s best wineries will showcase their award-winning wines, and other big features include the Savannah Experience, Core Catering Supplies, The Big Green Egg and Durban Tourism.