Four local ‘food masters’ have combined their respective culinary talents to create a fascinating lunch menu for guests attending the Nederburg Auction on September 11 and 12, which perfectly expresses this year’s event theme, “Beyond”. Paired with top-tier wines from Nederburg, guests can expect to experience cuisine that conveys the best of South Africa’s local food scene.
Stir Food’s Gustaaf Boshoff, together with Chris Erasmus from Foliage restaurant in Franschhoek, Neil Jewell from Môreson Estate’s Bread & Wine restaurant and baker Fritz Schoon of Schoon de Companje in Stellenbosch, have developed a menu that promotes sustainable food options beyond tomorrow.
With dishes that include salads made with seasonal foraged leaves, beef cooked in a stock made from hand-collected forest floor and burnt bark and served with forest mushrooms, and buchu ice-cream, guests attending this year’s event will certainly enjoy the best food that the local region has to offer, while being more conscious about nature.
“We initially thought of bringing together modern cooking techniques, but decided in the end to make the menu more relevant to South Africa and came up with the idea of sustainable food options beyond tomorrow,” says Boshoff. These include supporting local, small farmers producing specialist, heirloom grains, and using sustainable techniques of foraging for ingredients used in the dishes served at the Auction.
Chris Erasmus and his team will be collecting pine rings, mushrooms and stalks for their “terroir-peri” – ingredients used in making a “forest floor” braising stock for their beef main course. In the process, they will be redistributing spores from mushrooms dropping through porous baskets, seeding future crops.
“We are more conscious of nature, of weather changes and the implications of what we are doing to our environment. It’s great that the organisers are aligning this philosophy with the Auction,” he says.
Baker Fritz Schoon started a grain movement with Free State grain farmer James Moffat to source and plant the oldest varieties and heirloom varieties of wheat. These are used to bake bread and baguettes at the Auction, including Highland hard red wheat sourdough loaves, banana and chocolate loaves, and baguettes rolled in coarse-milled organic mealie meal.
Through this movement, Schoon believes, they are helping to create whole new industries. “In a couple of years, every bakery will have naturally farmed flour because of this movement, and farmers will be winning all the way.”
Charcutier Neil Jewell agrees. “I think South Africa is going in a better direction with its food by supporting small farmers and local producers.”
“We hope the guests at the Auction experience food from the region through the terroir. The food will embody and emulate that, right down to the presentation on wooden platters and ceramics for that handmade effect,” Boshoff says.
Lunch on Friday will be served at 13:00, and Saturday from 14:00. The complete programme for the two-day event can be downloaded here