On Thursday, 10th June several SACC members joined the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series Cook-Along.

Presenter David Flatman, sports pundit and England International, was joined by Welsh International Shane Williams and Chef Calvin Von Niebel, Executive Chef at Ottolenghi, who guided the cooking.

Chamber member Penny Edwards of Cellar Door Wines reports…

“Last Thursday I had great fun prepping and cooking in my beautiful new kitchen whilst watching and listening to Ottolenghi Executive Chef Calvin Von Niebel. The Lions Series events team sent me a fantastic chilled pack of ingredients with instructions and a list of equipment needed.

The evening started with some interesting and informative Lions Tour 2021 rugby chat with Shane Williams. I listened intently of course, whilst sipping on my De Grendel Chardonnay!

The starter was fresh, slightly moist, super-flavoursome biltong – easy to prepare by just popping into a serving dish and eating!

The main course was a wonderful take on a Cape-Malay dish I know well: Babotie. Calvin’s version of this historic and unique curried mince dish tasted delicious – I particularly enjoyed the fresh tomato we used and the mix of spices he sent had amazing heady aromatics that reminded me of home.

Calvin had a wonderful way of explaining the history of the dish as we cooked – a far cry from my hotel school cheffing days when I only remember the Exec Chef shouting at me!

Pudding was another traditional South African delicacy: Milk Tart. Now I have tried to make this many times before on my own and failed dismally… Along with Calvin’s expert guidance and the handy ready-made pastry shells that were sent in the pack- I created two mini milk tart masterpieces! The flavour was delicate and subtly sweet, the texture smooth and silky. All in all, an enjoyable evening of learning, eating and drinking.”

Chamber Chairman, Sharon Constançon reports…

“While creating a client proposal and getting it into the ether to reach the darkened shores of SA, I listened to Shane explain how big and brutal South African rugby players can be, but yet what lovely people they are off the pitch.  They want to win, are brutal in achieving victory, yet welcome you into their home and ply you with red meat, beer and great conversation – called a braai.

I had no idea what to expect of the cook-a-long and when I determined it was webinar style and I could not be in my kitchen at the time, my proposal prospered.  Then, with fresh memories of the lessons learnt from “Chef”, who so warmly talked of the spices, smells and chequered history of these food specialities being blended into the DNA of South Africa’s cuisine, I set to replicate the comfort food wonders of “Bobotie”.

It was served at exactly midnight. 

The biltong was gone in an instant, the gin was still waiting.  I shall be making the melktert – which will be my first effort at this dish for a family birthday later this month – and it will be their first experience too.  It comes with a health warning, inappropriately handled, melktert bypasses the mouth and lands on the floor, to the indignant surprise of “Chef”.”

Watch the replay below:

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