FLAVOURS OF DURBAN FOUND FAVOUR
An admittedly belated response to this year’s Taste of Durban food festival, which came and went at the end of July. And the reason (for the delay) is that aliens took over my computer, honest, and it required a lengthy ‘hospital’ stay. But it’s still worth talking about as it was one of the best.
As in previous years, the wind blew. This year it blew a (paper) plate of food smack onto one side of my head, smearing a half-eaten bunnie into my hair. The plate belonged to a diner sitting opposite me who looked appropriately embarrassed. Not so my son-in-law, who laughed so hard I thought he was going to choke.
Aside from the wind, there was also rain on two days, which did affect attendance figures, said festival organizer Joanne Hayes. But bad weather didn’t dampen appetites, she added, with participating restaurants reporting healthy sales, with some even selling out of food.
There was several highlights for me. Two were Jackie Cameron’s spicy lamb terrine with sweetcorn crème and her ice-cream inspired dessert, which looked and tasted spectacular. Jackie, formerly of Hartford House, recently opened a school of food and wine with her first intake of students having starting in April.
I also enjoyed unusal dish from Boiler Room (a la Graham Nielson of 9th Avenue Bistro), which was crispy calamari tentacles served in a bun. Different and delicious. And I was nearly won over to the cause of red meat after tasting a beef burger made from wagyu beef and produced at Woodview farm in the Midlands. It was absolutely ambrosial.
For those who don’t know wagyu is considered the caviar of beef. Wagyu cattle have been bred in Japan for hundreds of years and have been declared a national treasure. Kobe beef, which is produced from Wagyu cattle, is possibly the most expensive beef in the world, prized for its tenderness and flavor The Angus family (from Woodview) bought the first wagyu cattle to South Africa. They say they produce world class beef in the safest and most humane of ways and the meat is strictly without additives or antibiotics. Find out more from www.wagyu.co.za
As for the daughter and son-in-law they made straight for Hollywood Bets, a curry den that produces wicked curries, especially bunnies, and whom I blame entirely for my curry-smeared hair. Not nice. – Ingrid Shevlin, August 2015