Shaun Schoeman, the Executive Chef at Solms-Delta Wine Estate's Fyndraai Restaurant, recently returned from a week in Calais, France as Chef in Residence in France South Africa Seasons 2013.
Schoeman was warmly welcomed by the French, as part of the cultural partnership programme between the two countries.
He cooked three four-course meals for approximately 110 guests each at the Restaurant Les Grandes Tables du Channel in Calais, a centre for the arts that was once an abattoir.
Marinated, pan-fried crocodile masala with wild sage, served on Cape-style breyani
Baked hake with lemon pelargonium crust and toasted almonds, served with rich carrot custard, and potato and hake brandade
Braised venison leg with buttered cabbage, wild rosemary roasted butternut and root vegetables, with a citrus buchu sauce
Milk tart with vanilla ice cream, gingered fruit salad and Cape Malay koeksister
Schoeman chose a simple menu that would allow him to concentrate on the flavours and really showcase authentic South African cuisine.
The results were guests who kept saying 'Magnifique!'.
For Schoeman, it has been a gratifying experience to be making people more aware of South African food, both at home and abroad, with the help of hands-on chefs who were keen to learn.
He also held a demonstration of South African cuisine for 20 guests, for whom he cooked lamb and tomato bredie, traditional bobotie, breyani and Cape Malay fish masala.
A highlight of the trip for Schoeman was a visit with Les Grandes Tables du Channel Chef Alain Moitel to the Calais market, with 40 metre shelves filled with cheeses, fresh scallops in their shells and wonderful lamb, fish and spices.
Schoeman is one of three South African chefs chosen to bring a South African gastronomic experience to France in 2013.
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