Thursday, January 14, 2010

World Cup Bunny Chow!

Hello Foodies,

Mention South Africa these days and visions of soccer balls soar in the heads of half
the world’s population. World Cup 2010 is upon us and the fans are giddy with excitement. Well, we have no soccer insights to blog about but we do about food. If you are heading out for the games or if you are a traveling fellow foodie, we have two words for you: Bunny Chow. It’s South Africa’s street food and it’s fun, cheap, and delicious. Essentially, it’s a loaf of bread (or a half, or quarter loaf) hollowed out and filled with curry. Some say it was developed as take-away and a means to serve blacks during apartheid. Others insist it was introduced by migrant Indian workers who came to toil in the sugar cane fields. Originally vegetarian, but now carnivores delight in the variety of fillings. We say put it on your must-try list.

We had the ultimate Bunny Chow experience on our recent visit to Cape Town, courtesy of Chef Bruce Robertson. If you have some time between matches, head to trendy Long Street and bring your appetite to Bruce’s newest concept. A little funky, a little gourmet, the Quarter (as in a quarter loaf) offers a plethora of filling choices: crayfish potjie (made in iron pot), blommetjie bredie (stew made with a water growing plant), mussel and garlic pot, oxtail, gemsbok (antelope), and the standard mutton, chicken, beef, venison and goat. See the writing on the wall and you’ll learn how to order it, eat it and all the assorted protocol. Settle in and enjoy, the little shop has a common table or take (it) away.

Bruce was inspired on a trip back to his hometown of Durban – reportedly the birthplace of Bunny Chow and collaborated with his friend Cass Abrahams, the mother of Cape Malay cuisine. She knows her curry.

We loved The Quarter’s Bunny Chow (and Bruce and Cass) so much we included them all in our upcoming September tour to South Africa escorted by one of our hometown (New York, NY) favorite chefs, Anita Lo. Join us! If you are heading to Cape Town for the World Cup or for any reason – give us a call we would be delighted to design an epicurean adventure just for you in this fabulous city and its Winelands.

The Quarter is located at 44 Long Street (next to the Grand Daddy Hotel) and open daily 10am to 10pm; Sat 4pm to 4am. After you chow, head to the top of the hotel and check out the very hip Airstream Penthouse Park . Seven vintage Airstream Trailers are available to rent for an overnight (or longer) stay.


the Forks

Friday, January 08, 2010

How Did You Spend the Holidays?

Hello Foodies,

We wanted to share the fabulous menu that Tour de Forks alum, Jackie Chasey and her fiance, Dan Griffin, cooked up for Christmas day dinner. We were invited to join in the festivities along with Dan's two daughters, Nettie and Carolyn, and Carolyn's boyfriend, Dustin.

Here's an action shot of Jackie on the pour...and Carolyn in the background wondering when this delicious dinner will be served?

The 2009 Christmas dinner menu at Jackie and Dan's follows:

Jackie's spiced nuts paired with Brut Champagne Gaston Cliquot Non Vintage.

First course: Edward's of Virgina "Surrryano" Country Ham with Sour Cream Dill Biscuits paired with a 2008 Riesling, Donnhoff Grey Slate.

Second course: Chestnut and Hazelnut Soup garnished with Creme Fraiche.

Main course: Roast Goose with Madeira Gravy, Carmelized Brussel Sprouts, Mashed Japanese Sweet Potatoes, Sausage and Bread Stuffing with Kumquats, Cranberries, and Pistachios paired with a 2007 Red Burgundy, Domaine Anne Gros.

The dessert was a homemade Shaker Lemon Pie and a southern import of caramel heaven, Caroline's Seven Layer Caramel Cake.

This meal was so amazing it made me wonder why Santa Claus only comes for cookies and doesn't stay for the Christmas Eve or the Christmas Day Dinner? He certainly missed out at Jackie and Dan's.

What did you have for your holiday dinner?

We wish you a delicious and fruitful new year 2010!

Lisa and Melissa