A flavour of South Africa to savour in Richmond

Story by Jack Foley

SOME of South Africa’s finest wines and food will be on offer when the ‘Flavours of South Africa’ Festival comes to Richmond Athletic Grounds on Saturday, July 6.

The mouth-watering event, which is being promoted by 1st Contact website with some of the proceeds going to support the Red Cross Children's Hospital of South Africa, promises to offer a diverse mix of the distinctive flavours of South Africa, from potjiekos and sosaties to Constantia Chardonnay and Franschhoek Pinotage - it will be followed by a Flavours of Australia festival the following week (July 13).

World-renowned chef Pete Gottgens, proprietor of the Fish Hoek restaurants in London and a highly regarded ambassador for South African food, will provide an exclusive menu offering a wide variety of gastronomic delights.

His emphasis on fresh, simple ingredients, which maximise the natural flavours of the food, are borne from his philosophy that it should be the ‘ingredients that dazzle, not the wizardry of the chef’.

His menu will therefore focus on the highest quality meat, poultry and game, as well as the finest seafood from the waters around South Africa.

Featured dishes will include Mozambique king prawns peri-peri, Cape Malay pickled fish, Kingklip and Snoek, bobotie samoosas, Tulbagh stew, Hout Bay yellowfin tuna, sosaties and springbok fillet.

While, for dessert lovers, there will also be the choice of South African favourites such as Dom Pedro with Amarula, Kahlua or fresh strawberries; malva pudding with fresh berries and thick cream, koeksisters and milktart.

South Africa has an excellent reputation for producing highly distinctive, world class wines and the Flavours festival will also be showcasing some of the finest examples the country has to offer.

There will be five separate wine tents, each featuring different regions, including Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, Constantia/Robertson and Tulbagh/Wellington/Swartland/Worcester.

Each region will feature approximately five wineries, all offering a range of their wines, and visitors will be able to work their way around the regions, tasting the very best that South Africa has to offer.

To keep visitors amused, there will also be a full programme of unplugged and live performances flown over from South Africa especially for the day. Artists include Folk rockers Henry Ate, Sons of Trout (who have shared stages with acts such as Hootie and the Blowfish and Savuka), and a performance by comedy duo Boet 'n Swaer, consisting of the Albany farmers Brian Mullins and Alan Weyer leaning on a sneezewood fence gripping a couple of John Deers (beers) and bantering in the local lingo.

Tickets for the event, which takes place from noon to 8pm, cost just £20 and can be booked online at www.1stcontact.co.uk - 50p of which will go towards the Red Cross Children's Hospital of South Africa. There will also be a further collection on the day.

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