I was privileged enough to attend the Flavours of Tshwane (Gastronomic festival) last year and I was absolutely blown away. It’s not an ordinary food festival – which is why I included the word ‘Gastronomic’ in the description – it’s an amazing showcase of the best restaurants in Pretoria, each offering 2 specially designed tasters for your pleasure - and all of this takes place at one beautiful venue.
Especially for those foodies who may not necessarily be able to afford a restaurant experience at such establishments like Priva, Black Bamboo, Kream, Brasserie de Paris and Ritrovo, this festival affords people the opportunity to experience and design their own tasting menu according to what the top chefs have created on the day.
Tickets to the festival cost R150, but R100 of that is given back in the form of credit to spend as you please. Tasters all cost between R30 and R50 and the line-up looks absolutely magnificent: Quail and Poached Pear with Ginger-Soy Glaze (Kream), Slow Braised Oxtail in Red Wine Ragu (Ritrovo), Oriental-style, Slow Roasted Pork Belly (Priva) and Vanilla and Saffron Butter Chicken (Pride of India) to name but a few.
You’re also given a wine glass to enjoy tasters from such iconic wine estates as Saronsberg, Ernie Els, Haute Cabriere, Rupert and Rothschild, Jordan and many more. You’ll be able to converse with many of the winemakers themselves and buy bottles at cellar prices.
I spent a little time with esteemed chef, restaurant-owner and co-founder of the event Fortunato Mazzone to talk a about the Festival and its importance, “independent restaurants need to showcase what makes them special and what gives them the edge over the mass-market chains and franchises. We are becoming an endangered species. The restaurants that are taking part are the ones that care about their customers and who take pride in their profession.”
I ask Forti to tell me what makes this festival unique and he explains that is a truly independent festival organised by the restauranteurs themselves in a truly unique venue (The Pretoria Country Club.) We begin to discuss Pretoria as a restaurant hub and the fact that it’s fine-dining institutions are often overlooked by the media, “sadly it’s all Cape Town, Cape Town and the Winelands these days, ignoring the fact that Pretoria has several restaurants of superb quality who have been around for a long time and who have stood the test of time and fashion. In Pretoria it is substance over style.”
I ask Forti about this year’s festival in particular and he explains “we have several new restaurants and two new wine farms on board as well as the exciting participation of iTickets who are providing all our patrons with chipped wristbands so they can make all of their purchases electronically - we are getting very tech savvy.”
There’s going to be live jazz, a single malt whiskey tasting bar as well as plenty of entertainment and fun for the kids under supervision from the Clamber Club, “it’s going to be a top quality, entertainment experience with people being exposed to real restaurants and great wines, with a show not driven by commercial aspirations, but by quality and integrity.”
Win a pair of tickets!
Forti was kind enough to offer us a pair of tickets to give away: to win them all you need to do is tweet @undomestikated #FlavoursOfTshwane and tell us which restaurant or wine farm you’re most excited about experiencing before 12pm on the 26th May, winner will be announced on 27th May.
SUNDAY 31ST MAY 2015 FROM 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M. Pretoria Country Club
- Kate Liquorish