Are you wondering what a lunner is? Before you think I have started writing about stars and the galaxy… A lunner is a mash up word for a lunch-slash-dinner, you know like “brunch”. It’s a first for me… so here is what happened at the Ginja Food & Lifestyles Chef’s Table Lunner… Heads up; it involves a chef with a bit of a personality, and South African cuisine and wine at its best (I promise I’m not just saying this… you’ll see).
Meet Chef Francois Ferreira and the Ginja team
Ginja Food magazine and studio was started up by Chef Jacqui Brown, but from June 2015 the business was bought out by Chef Francois Ferreira. When I walked in, I was greeted by Chef Francois, a smiley and bubbly man. He introduced me to Denise Lindley, while pouring a chilled glass of Wolftrap Rose for me. Chef Francois shared how he will be sharing more of his local and original recipes in the Ginja magazine, and Denise will be offering her wine expertise in each issue. When they talked about their passions and plans for Ginja magazine, it was difficult not to get caught up in it as well. The rest of the Ginja team was there as well, eager to connect and share some of what will be in store for readers.
The food & wine
When we walked into the dining area, place settings were taken up by our beautifully presented starters and the rest of the table was laden with shiny wine glasses, and homemade seed bread and butter. Anyone knows when people around a table fall silent and all you can hear out of them is “MMmmhh”, “MMMMmmmmHHH” – you kind of know you aced it. Curious about what the starter was? Look below… pretty isn’t it? It was pretty awesome too. It was paired with Denise’s choice of Wolftrap white blend.
The palette cleanser came with a story about the Fynbos vinaigrette that made Chef Francois blush a bit… Before you snob this as rabbit food; you need to know that this was a palette cleanser and a pretty delicious one. The secret is in the dressing!
Now the mains were where things got real. The plating wasn’t fancy-shmancy; it was real and the reaction from everyone was (and I promise this is not a lie or was it put on); the echo of “Mmmmhh” after their first bite. It was agreed that most of the people seated at the table love lamb; so having a plate of traditional tomato bredie with green pepper and onion flavoured samp and beans went down a treat! On our side of the table – every last morsel was devoured. This delightful dish was paired with a Porcupine Ridge Syrah.
Dessert ended this ‘lunner’ perfectly. It wasn’t over the top. Just a simple idea pulled off perfectly. Have you ever had a koeksister cassata? It was a first for me, and being a lover of koeksisters (like most South Africans are); the cassata didn’t live long on the plate. I hoovered it up! This was paired with Champu (South African Champagne) or JC Le Roux Scintilla.
This evening was just a taste of what I believe Ginja Food & Lifestyle magazine will be bringing to the table in issues to come. I raise my lipstick stained wine glass and wish them all the best for their future plans! Be sure to read more about Chef Francois Ferreira as I share more about him in Cooking Up Inspiration tomorrow!