Convivium – innovation in food!

We are proud to be hosting this event on our farm next weekend!

The 1st of February sees the inaugural Convivium festival being hosted in South Africa. Drawing on inspiration from MAD Symposium, Cook It Raw, Terra Madre etc. The event is conceptualized by Wesley Randles (head chef at The Pot Luck Club) and Andy Fenner (owner of Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants), the event aims to showcase food, chefs and producers in the most primal way possible.

“The way to do this is to close the gap between the end product (a meal) and the starting point (the earth and the animal),” explains Fenner. Together with Randles, the pair have hooked in some of the most celebrated chefs in the country. Luke Dale-Roberts, PJ Vadas, Markus Farbinger, Liam Tomlin and George Jardine are some of the high profile names you can expect to see cooking on the day. But the entire experience is about more than a good meal. Fenner explains that “by stripping out the frills and unnecessary bullshit that sterile cooking environments can lead to, this is a stage for real collaboration, real inspiration and real connection.” Randles adds “we want to create a feeling of camaraderie amongst local chefs. This is a stage to share ideas and to share the common love of our craft.”

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The main theme of the event is to shine light on producers and to get attendees interacting with each other and the participating chefs. The chosen chefs have been curated because of strong, clearly identifiable food philosophies. Being a good chef is not what this day is about. Well…it’s not only what this day is about. This day is about a movement. It is about getting back in touch with what cooking actually means. Common problems and concurs of the industry will be addressed in discussions throughout the day. Along with the participating chefs and producers, Fenner and Randles want to explore various topics in the form of informal interactions. Topics include:

Sustainability

What are we doing to the earth and ourselves? We cannot continue to over-consume the way we are. Serious issues need to be looked at like nutrition, overfishing, battery farming etc. but there is also a creative energy that comes from being outside, in touch with nature and ingredients. Experts need to champion sustainable local ingredients, with a big focus on edible plants and herbs. Wastage and over consumption can be addressed too.

Heritage

Continuing the idea of exploring fynbos and herbs, we need to explore various techniques on how to best utilise them. By looking backwards we can look forwards and develop as chefs and producers. There are various ingredients, meat prep techniques and cuts that have been forgotten that need to be re-introduced. We need to celebrate South African produce and culture by drawing a clear line in the sand of how we want to prepare food. And how we want to serve and eat it.

Collaboration

There are no airs and graces at Convivium. This is a day for chefs to share knowledge, as much as they share food. And wine. Kitchens have a way of becoming isolated environments, working as closed entities. But we need to look around. We need to feed off each other’s ideas sometimes. Chefs who say they aren’t bothered with what other chefs are cooking are a dying breed. There is nothing wrong with learning from one another and taking ideas TO MAKE THEM YOUR OWN. Inspiration is everywhere if you know where to look – this day just makes it that much easier to see.

Celebration

Let’s not overlook this. The day promises to be a whole lot of fun. This is a time to open a great bottle of wine and raise a glass to each other. This day builds the community by bringing farmers, butchers, fishermen, chefs, winemakers, brewers and bakers together. This can be a brutal industry, but we have all chosen it. And we have all done that because we love it. Let’s recognise each other’s efforts. By first recognising each other.

The day’s events include:

8.00:    Pick up from Franky Fenner Meat Merchants, Church Street, Cape Town

9.15:    Arrival at Badenhorst Family Wines, Kalmoesfontein

9.30:    Meet & Greet

Coffee & pastries from Jasons, Espresso Lab and Rosetta

Cured meats from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants

10.30:  Jorgensen’s Distillery gin tasting

Caperitif tasting

12.00:  Spending time interacting with chefs and producers while they prepare for the banquette

14.00:  Chefs, producers & guests sit down together to enjoy the feast – with Swartland wines!

17.30:  Pick up from Kalmoesfontein

18.45:  Return to Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants

Chefs Involved:

Luke Dale-Roberts, George Jardine, Franck Dangereux, Liam Tomlin. These chefs will oversee a lot of the cooking and will cook dishes to compliment pre-planned courses. These are dishes created off the cuff, and will be done by arriving and drawing inspiration from the “pantry”. Tables of herbs, baskets of fruit, Adi’s vegetable garden, a side of pork, a whole forequarter, sausage casings and grinders, fresh oysters, edible plants etc. to be displayed for chefs to make use of.

Vanessa Marx & Kobus Van Der Merwe. Team one.

Markus Farbinger, Liezie Mulder & PJ Vadas. Team two.

Jason Lilley & Ivor Jones. Team 3.

Producers Involved:

Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants

Buffalo Ridge Mozzarella

Honest Chocolate

Rosetta Roastery

Jorgensen’s Distillery

Badenhorst Wines

Swartland Independent Wine Producers

Werner Karg (farmer at Oak Valley)

Espresso Lab

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The day, including transport (optional), food and drinks is R1500 per head

Please RSVP and send proof of payment to wesley@thepotluckclub.co.za by Wednesday the 21st of January in order to secure your place. There are only 7 seats still available.

Die oes skop af

The second week of January had just kicked off, most of us had barely unpacked our holiday bags and the first Syrah grapes were ready to be picked. No easing into this year, it is all systems go and harvest 2015 is here.

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on Monday the heat (and drought, hardly any rain since September) got too much, even for a die hard no-irrigation-prophet like Adi, and all the farm’s water got redirected to the vineyard. Meanwhile the temperatures rise and the pool is empty. Priorities.. 10393849_882913958409894_7596585208665548182_n

On Tuesday Samuel, Ana and their cousins Richard, Hardy and Jan Hendrik (from Stellenbosch!) stomped the first Syrah.

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That concludes our first harvest update for 2015. Now for some featured fun.

Adi’s mom’s 70th, hosted on Kalmoesfontein late last year, is in the February issue of House and Garden Gourmet

IMG_4469while the 2014 Swartland Revolution occupies 8 pages in the Food and Home from the same month. Included amongst the feedback on the weekend, recipes of some of the delicious food and mentions of the world class wines, THREE CAPERITIF COCKTAILS!

Now we just need the go ahead to get the stuff moving…

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Swartland summer

Today is the day, the Badenhorsts are on their way back to the farm; Jasper has boarded his flight home from down under; Kyle was here at 8am to drink espressos and ‘check on the cellar'; Fortuin is pulling out weeds in the veggie gardens and Yoliswa and Magrieta are working hard to get the place back in shape after I farm sat and entertained visiting friends the entire holiday…

Some pictures from my time ‘in charge':

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2015 is on the way, harvest is coming.

We salute you and hope for only good things and new adventures this year…

Voorblad en vooruitgang

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Samuel and Preston made the front page of this month’s Weg Platteland, summer swimming Swartland style (just yesterday I confessed my obsession with alliteration, see, I was not lying!)

Shot by Maree Louw, this cover makes us feel very ready for summer holidays.

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While visiting the editors tried our new Caperitif and Swaan tonic water, I guess they approved as it features a few pages into the magazine.

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Meanwhile, in the cellar we installed some new (well, Eben Sadie’s old is our new…) concrete Nomblot tanks – ou goed is hou goed. Exciting stuff, or as Jasper says “looks like a lot of work, they can’t exactly stay empty…”

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And the cellar is still forklift friendly…

ho ho ho and a bottle of Rosé

Here’s the season to drink pink, fa lalala laaaa….

Elle Decoration this month includes our Secateurs Rosé (and our extended family olive oil) in their list of great foodie xmas gift ideas…

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The article claims the Rose is priced R285 at Giovanni’s. Drukfout! It is in fact only R69, so go get ‘em!ellefp