Archive for the ‘Chewing the Fat’ Category

The Art of Eating Cookbook, a Christmas gift far from the madding crowd

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Unlike the plethora of cookbooks released for the festive season the Art of Eating’s essential recipes from the first 25 years is not a coffee table tome.  It doesn’t even carry pictures – usually a prerequisite to a commercially successful cookbook or recipe website.  This is hardly surprising for Edward Behr’s magazine by the same name carries no advertising (it interrupts the read) though does carry several select photographs.  Funded purely from subscriptions this also allows the magazine, once a newsletter, to be independent. (more…)


Blackjack Bredie, one’s man’s weed is another’s meal

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

For the sake of accuracy I’m not sure this dish unreservedly qualifies as a bredie.  As I understand it bredie is Cape Malayan Afrikaans for stew, and this is more of a fry-up than a casserole.  But alliteration is the last resort of the creatively challenged: the cheap tart of the writer.  That is unless you were World War I poet Wilfred Owen, whosestuttering rifles rapid rattle” indeed rattled around in our grandfathers’ hearts, even if the silencer was forever on in the souls of these men.  They bore it with stoicism but we will never know how the more expressive Owen might have reflected on the world’s deadliest conflict.  He was shot dead a week before the war ended. (more…)


Haughty Hiking Cuisine: the lads try supping from a Giants Cup in the Drakensberg

Friday, September 16th, 2011

This piece all started when I read about farro for the first time.  WTF is farro?  Farro is just uncrushed wheat, which is really just a variety of grass seed you can use to bake bread.  Even eland, which are really just wild cows, graze on a form of this high falutin’ nosh in the Drakensberg every season.  They just don’t pay US $2 500 (excluding airfare) to learn how to do it every summer with Nancy Harmon Jenkins in Tuscany. (more…)


Simon Kuper have you ever eaten a scratching hen? A response to Kuper’s attack on peasant food as an expensive but futile fashion fad about to fizzle out.

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Simon Kuper wrote a thought-provoking piece in the FT Weekend arguing that “peasant food has become an educated middle-class status marker”.  While he doesn’t directly say peasant food is more expensive than the rest, it is implicit in his argument about pantry posers.  Yet every nose-to-tail, KFC-bashing, raw foodie should swallow their organic pride and read it here. (more…)


Eating in Kalk Bay, a Postcard from the Edge and fixing ceviche

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Quaint and neighbourly but by turns weathered and over-familiar.  Nothing wrong there.  Simply the reality of a village wedged between mountain and sea.  Looking out from the old fishermen’s quarter the stifling feeling is heightened minutes before the sun rises over the now orange-silhouetted Hottentots Holland Mountains across False Bay.  The smarter houses to the immediate left on the Kalk Bay Mountain are still cloaked in darkness against the night sky.  Then suddenly the sun bursts out, bathing them in light.  A silver sea in between. (more…)


After a tasting of French Burgundies will I ever drink Cape chardonnay again? Or how to look for scrumptious cow dung in a red

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

You may wonder why the hell you are getting a wine report from a food writer.  One that knows only the bare bones about Cape wine and even less about French.  A true vino ignoramus. (more…)


As we get ready for the weekend: is the Sunday Roast Dead?

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

The headline was going to read: “Supermarkets slay the English Sunday Roast (or we get the grocers we deserve).
And then an Afrikaner comes to the rescue.”
But that isn’t quite fair (more on this later).  This article came about after my irritation that my closest two retailers, Woolworths and Pick n Pay (both in Gardens Centre), do a poor job in providing beef roasting joints.  This as I endeavoured to learn how to cook the delicious roasts that came out of my gran’s kitchens. (more…)


Thai food dispatch from the Golden Triangle by Anton Pestana

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Towards mastery of the Kaeng Khiaw Wan Kai and general enjoyment of Thai food.
After several levels of encouragement from my wife I decided to take a half-day Thai cooking course.
We were holidaying with our young children in the “Golden Triangle”, that lush jungle meeting of Thailand, Burma and Laos infamous for (more…)