Chef Craig Cormack’s Salt and Wine Pairing Dinner
Goodness me, I am very blessed! I have a lovely family, great readers and awesome friends and that makes me very grateful. Last week I was invited by a friend to join her at Chef Craig Cormack’s salt and wine pairing dinner at Die Bergkelder in Stellenbosch. I said yes without thinking twice because I am eager to learn and it would be stupid to pass up on an opportunity like that.
My friend is working with Craig to develop a line of products and I was going to be taking a few pictures of the dinner in exchange for a 4 course dinner. Not a bad deal at all, hey? Ilsa and I were privileged to start out in the kitchen and I got a few shots of the prep taking place while guests slowly started arriving.
Once the majority of those expected had arrived the welcome drinks and snacks where served and we got a chance to mingle and meet our fellow dinners many of whom were international visitors who spend a lot of their time in South Africa because of its unsurpassed beauty.
After mingling for a short while we were led further into the cellar and were asked to take our seats at a long table set among beautifully carved wine barrels. Craig joined us after a few minutes to start talking us through the various salts at the table and giving us an opportunity to taste and get a feel for each one. The history of salt is impressive but what made a huge impression on me was how bad the pouring salt that most people have on their dinner tables is for you. This salt has been bleached and stripped of most of its mineral value and after the anti-caking agent has been added should really not be called salt in my opinion.
Craig went on to explain why salt is essential to the daily function of our bodies and joked that he often gets taken on by medical practitioners about why they say salt is so bad for you. For more information about that you can read what winetimes.co has to say here.
After a delectable first course of salt cured trout served on a salt slab, Nadia from Fleur du Cap chatted to us about wine and how the various wines that were served were selected to enhance and work together with the flavours of the salt used in each course. We were then served a margarita sorbet as a palate cleanser before being served a slow cooked brisket that melted in the mouth. I really enjoyed the intimate nature of the dinner and as the wine was flowed our fellow diners became more and more animated.
Time flew by and before we knew it we were being served the dessert course with its wine accompaniment (sorry, I know nothing about wine but I got a chance to try lots at the dinner and now I at least know that not all wine tastes like sour grapes). Dessert was a delicious caramel mousse, citrus ice cream and plum that seemed “too sweet” for some but was perfectly balanced as far as I was concerned. The Australian salt was the perfect counter flavour for the sweetness of the caramel and plum and I would have licked my plate clean if that was polite company behavior.
I know I have omitted a lot of detail but I hope this encourages you to make a booking and experience it for yourself. I am not one to publish a press release but rather tell you my honest opinion of what I experienced even if I can’t remember which wine went with which course.
This intimate venue means that booking is essential and ideal for smaller get-togethers with family and friends. For all the knowledge I gained while enjoying excellent food, I can’t think of a better way to spend R400 per person for a lovely evening out. Call Nadia Ferreira at Die Bergkelder on Tel: 021-809 8025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To buy any of Craig Cormack’s salts through YuppieChef, click here for more detail and the link to purchase online.