Overview of Showcook’s Crème de la Crème Event

Annette Kesler and Chania Morritt-Smith of Showcook.com are both dedicated and keenly focused on promoting South Africa’s Great Chefs, Good food & products, the hospitality, culinary, and travel industry.

At their recent Crème de la Crème event held at Overture Restaurant on the Hidden Valley wine estate, Showcook showcased four exceptional chefs; Rudi Liebenberg, from The Mount Nelson, John Jackson, representing the Royal Malewani and the Royal Portfolio Collection, Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club, and Bertus Basson, entrepreneur and patron of Overture restaurant.

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Above Photograph, left to right Chef Rudi Liebenberg- The Mount Nelson. Chef John Jackson The Royal Malewani & Royal Portfolio. Chef Luke Dale- Roberts, The Test Kitchen. Chef Bertus Basson, patron to Overture Restaurant.

These four well known and respected Chefs are without a doubt passionate about good food, and good produce, preferably organic, seasonal and sustainably produced. They are wonderful mentors who constantly give back to the industry they love so very much.

The venue for the event, Overture Restaurant, was graciously hosted for the day by David Hidden; winemaker, entrepreneur and owner of the Hidden Valley wine estate and restaurant. The day was perfect and the surrounding vistas magnetically beautiful.

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A five course collaborative menu was planned, each chef preparing one of the featured dishes on the menu with the exception of the cheese and dessert, the latter both relegated to one of the chefs. Each dish was suitably paired with the chef’s wine of choice, each selected from a different wine estate; namely Plaisir de Merle, Neethlingshof, Lomond, Allesverloren, and Uitkyk.

The Menu

Reading through the five course menu it was clear that the guests would be thoroughly indulged and pampered, and they were. The chefs’ dishes were well thought through, skilfully prepared, a wine perfectly matched to each course, and each dish beautifully presented.

The Food

Starter Soup & Main Course

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Paired with these wines

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The starter– prepared by Chef Rudi Liebenberg:

Baby beetroot & spiced cured salmon: The starter looked like a plate of beautiful bright jewels and tasted as good as it looked. The wine paired with this course was Plaisir de Merle Sauvignon Blanc.

The soup- prepared by Chef John Jackson:

Royal Malewane grown New Zealand Spinach and Gruyere with crisp Parma ham and parmesan tuille: paired with Neethlingshof Gewürztraminer which matched the bright and peppery flavour of the soup superbly; quite delicious, beautifully presented.

Main course – prepared by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts:

Crisp fried Pork Belly and Sous vide Fillet, pan seared scallop with garlic and roasted ginger puree served with a bourbon velouté: paired with a choice of the following wines: Lomond Sugarbush, Lomond Snowbush or Allesverloren Tinta Barocca. The pork was unctuous and melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Cheese course – prepared by Chef Bertus Basson:

Huguenot Cheddar, mulled apple, and apple sorbet: an interesting soupçon of flavours, paired with a lovely Allesverloren Fine Old Vintage.

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Dessert – prepared by Chef Bertus Basson:

Apricot Soufflé served with salted almond ice cream: paired with Uitkyk 10 year old Estate Brandy Grand Reserve, a perfect choice and a nice balance to the sweetness of the soufflé.

Wine, Water, & Food

All the beautiful wines which we sampled and enjoyed with our meals were sponsored by Cape Legends; all the wonderful water by La Vie de Luc and the meat by the Western Cape Pork Producers.

Gifts too

Apart from the good food and wine, the guest also received gifts of chocolate from vonGEUSAU and a bottle of Neethlingshof Maria Noble Late Harvest Weisser Riesling, the latter sponsored by Cape Legends, a lovely and appreciated treat.

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And Amazing Prizes

But that’s not all; between courses and the delightful and informative speeches delivered by Annette Kesler of Showcook.com and Garth Stroebel of SA Chefs Academy, there were amazing sponsored prizes to be won; and who would not be wonderfully pleased to receive the following prizes; Tea for Two at the Mount Nelson –sponsor, The Mount Nelson,  winner Penny Haw Business Day. A beautiful pair of earrings, sponsor Uwe Koetter Jewellers, winner Barbara Lenhard of Opulent Living.  An overnight stay for two at ‘La Residence’ in Franschoek, sponsor- The Royal Malewani & The Royal Portfolio, winner Tessa Purdon, Media 24, and the grand prize a trip for two to Mauritius,  sponsor – Long Beach, Sugar Beach, Le Touessrok and Air Mauritius, in association with World Leisure Holidays, – winner Chef Bertus Basson.

Conclusion

The Crème de la Crème event was well supported by people interested and dedicated toward promoting South Africa’s food, produce & products, hospitality, leisure and travel industry. It goes without saying; this was another successful event from the Showcook.com team.

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Beautiful Hair & the B Vitamins

dark hair white orchid

The B complex vitamins are particularly important to hair health and beauty. Deficiencies of biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and PABA can lead to a loss of colour and there has even been success in reversing the greying process by giving supplements of these nutrients, particularly doses of PABA. One researcher claims to have restored colour to greying hair in 70 present of cases with PABA.

A lack of any of the B complex can result in hair troubles and losses. Vitamin B1, B2, and B12 are particularly important in invigorating lacklustre hair, clearing dandruff, scaling, redness of the scalp, and hair loss. Vitamin C is important too, because it maintains the health and strength of the capillaries supplying the hair producing follicles with nourishment. If your levels of vitamin C are too low, this results in perifollicular haemorrhages, in which these capillaries break and bleed, resulting in improper nourishment to the papillae.

How fast your hair can grow depends on adequate, but not too much protein, since more than adequate amounts can deplete your body of the minerals it needs. It is the right balance of nutrients that is most important. The condition of your hair is greatly affected by medicines that you take; antibiotics, sulpha drugs, aspirin, the Pill, diet pills, tranquillizers, thyroid pills, cortisone, anticancer drugs, and even cold remedies are a common cause of brittleness, dullness, breakage, and loss. Hair follicles are ultrasensitive to hormones. If you are taking a birth – control pill and having trouble with your hair, you might consider changing brands to see if it improves, as well as taking supplements.

Dealing With Dry Skin

The joy of perfectly heahtly skin

The cause

Dry skin problems usually comes from underactive sebaceous glands, which may be due to hormone imbalance of vitamin or mineral deficiencies and therefore don’t produce enough important oily fluid to lubricate the skin and protect it from water loss.

Another reason may be the result of being exposed to excessively drying weather conditions, central heating, or air-conditioning, or from a diet too low in essential fatty acids.

Sometimes dried out skin is due to an incorrect water balance in the horny cells as a result of their being exposed to water for too long causing the cells to swell and burst, or on the other hand from being deprived of water for too long and as a consequence the cells gradually desiccate.

Excessive dryness of the skin also occurs in people who are suffering from subclinical deficiencies of Vit. A or C or one of several of the B-Complex group or of linoleic acid.

A dry skin incidence is also increasing, probably as a result of air pollution, the use of drugs, or the overuse of detergents and soaps on the skin of the face and body. skin conditions such as neuro-dermatitis, fungus infections, contact dermatitis, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis are often confused with dry skin.

Prevention and cure

Use a water-in-oil emulsion on your face night and day to protect against excessive water loss by trapping the water in the outer layer of the skin, preventing it from being released. Ensure sufficient essential fatty acids in your diet. Good sources are olive oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil.

You may also want to consider taking supplements of Vit. A and D in the form of fish liver oil. Vit. E taken internally or rubbed on the skin is often helpful too.

Other helpers include a humidifier, a weekly steaming of the skin followed by an oil massage, and mineral water sprayed onto the skin before applying moisturiser or treatment products. Avoid using soap on your face, avoid skincare products containing alcohol and apply a mask at least once a week.

Useful aromatherapy oils to use which you can mix yourself that contain the essence most useful for dry skin are geranium, camomile, rose, sandalwood, lavender, and ylang-ylang.

Pep up your day with Sensual Essential Fragrances

Sensual essential oils

Perfume your body with massage oil made up of three super-sensual essential oils. ‘Ylang-ylang is heady and intense, and like romance complicated. Patchouli is warm and sensual, while Clary sage can make you feel almost drunk and deliriously happy.

Or revive your spirits with rose: Few plants encourage self-regard and love more than roses. When you need to feel cherished pick a handful of rose petals, add some lavender sprigs from the garden and tie in a muslin bag or stocking with four cardamom pods and two drops each of rose and lavender essential oil together with a spoonful of oatmeal. Float the bag in a warm bath water for five minutes then indulgently sink into the water and soak for about 15 to 20 minutes as you sip some rosebud tea. You may also wish to try the L’Occitane Rose 4 Reines Bath Gel which is fabulous too.

The joy with frangipani

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The flower essence frangipani invokes subconscious memories of joy, peace and tranquillity, creating a feeling of happiness and there are so many ways to use it.

Sip it

Just by adding seven drops of the flower essence in a little water morning and

Add it

or seven drops added to a bath with other complimentary essential oils is a great way to be enveloped by its joyful qualities. It will leave you feeling uplifted and happy.

Sprits it

or add seven drops to some filtered water, plus a few drops of jasmine and rose oil. Then spray the mixture around you when you feel out of sorts.

Gingerbread Cake drizzled with orange glaze

Another swathe of rainy and overcast weather has set in for the day here in Cape Town. Downstairs the under floor heating has provided a nice toasty warmth, a good day for making some comfort food. Gingerbread with its warming spices is just the thing and with oranges being in season, I think they will be perfect choice to use in the glaze for the topping of this delicious cake.

Rich and treacly this gingerbread is addictively good. I think this recipe could also be a good alternative to a traditional Christmas cake.

Recipe

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Ingredients

For the cake

225g/8oz butter, softened

225g/8oz light muscovado sugar

225g/8oz golden syrup

225g/8oz black treacle

225g/8oz self-raising flour, sifted

225g/8oz wholemeal self-raising flour, sifted

4 tsp. ground ginger

2 tbsp. stem ginger (from a jar), chopped

2 free-range eggs, beaten

300ml/10½fl oz. milk

For the orange icing

150g/5oz icing sugar

1 orange, juice and zest

Method

Line a 23cm/9in square cake tin at least 4cm/1½in deep with baking parchment.

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.

Place the butter, sugar, golden syrup and black treacle into a pan and heat gently until the mixture has melted evenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

Sift the flours, ground ginger and stem ginger into a large mixing bowl and mix gently. Pour the cooled butter mixture into the flour. Add the eggs and milk and beat with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Pour the cake batter into the tin and level the surface with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the cake has risen and is golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly in the tin, then transfer the cake to a wire rack and set aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, for the orange icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add about two tablespoons of the orange juice and mix to a smooth paste. Add more orange juice, as necessary, until you get a smooth icing of the consistency you desire.

Pour the icing over the cooled cake and spread lightly, allowing it to ooze over the edges. Sprinkle over chopped orange zest and set the cake aside until the icing has set.