Visitors to the 2013 SA Cheese Festival from 26 to 28 April can look forward to a gourmet adventure with more than 350 different cheeses from the far reaches of the country congregated at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch – paradise to those who simply love to indulge with food while in good company. This event, that annually draws more than 30 000 cheese aficionados, promises an extended experience with a brand new Friday night programme.
On Friday night the action will last until 22:00 with an entire evening of live entertainment, picnics under the full moon and a leisurely browsing and tasting experience. Some of Friday night’s highlights include the launch of Landbouweekblad food editor, Arina du Plessis’ new book, Boerekos, a cheese carving competition and a wine and chocolate pairing by Rooiberg Cellar in the DStv Food Network Theatre. In the Checkers Theatre Nataniël and friends Jenny Morris, Brümilda van Rensburg, Herman Lensing and Shaleen Surtie-Richards are ready to share their culinary secrets with you. Also in the Absa Mall Pinotage Theatre you’ll have the opportunity to taste proudly South African Pinotage wines paired with exceptional dishes and guided by Beyers Truter, food consultant Heleen Meyer and singer Koos Kombuis. Kobus Mulder, well known cheese connoisseur, takes you on a journey to discover great artisanal cheeses in the BBC Lifestyle Centre. He will also launch his coffee table book on Cheeses of South Africa.
Although your taste buds will rejoice because of the magnitude of delicious products on offer – think olives, wine, decadently sweet deli products and brand new eats and treats such as Chocolate Caramel toffees with Parmesan – cheese undoubtedly still steals the limelight. Visitors can revel in the products of numerous artisans, some of whose speciality cheeses are mostly only available at small local food markets. With Absa’s support, ten emerging producers will receive the opportunity to exhibit their products at the festival. Be sure to taste the products of cheese makers from the sponsored group who will showcase their cheese for the very first time at the Festival: De Böcke Goat Dairy (Malmesbury), Mooigelegen Boerenkaas (Heidelberg, Southern Cape), and Madame Fromage (Paarl). But also include these in your must-visit list: Camphill Farm Community (Hermanus), Montagu Cheese (Montagu), Laerskool Buffeljagsrivier (Buffeljagsrivier), Langbaken Karoo Cheese (Williston), Taaibosch Kaas (Heidelberg, Southern Cape), Anysbos (Botriver) and Mysthill Farm (Swellendam)
Blind wine tastings might be old news, but blind cheese tastings are all the fashion! Hanri Marais from Simonsberg will fascinate you with remarkable cheese trivia and Diemersdal chef Nic van Wyk will delight your senses with his creative cooking abilities. Also do not miss the action in the Pinotage Theatre: Chef Craig Cormack performs his magic with salts from all over the world paired with food and Fleur du Cap wine and the Durbanville Wine Valley will treat you to its finest Pinotage and local themed food, and more.
The DStv Food Network Theatre will be jam-packed with action by celebrities on the South African food scene. The group includes food editors such as Vicky de Beer (Rooi Rose), Hilary Biller (Sunday Times Food Weekly) and Arina du Plessis (Landbouweekblad), as well as Andrea du Plessis (VITAL Health Foods), food blogger Nina Timm and Alet Erasmus from Creative cuisine Pantry that will be accompanied by Randall Wicomb.
Kids simply love a day at the festival. The intimate closeness with a variety of farm animals at the Milk Factory and the fun-filled DStv Kids Zone promise hours of entertainment, including karaoke, shows by illusionists, popcorn, face painting and much more. Their favourite Kidsco characters, Boo and Sonic, will be there to keep them busy.
Purchase your R115 ticket now from Computicket in all Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper and House & Home outlets (no tickets at the gates). Senior citizens pay R90 and children 13 years and younger enter free. Opening times for Friday is from 10:00 to 22:00, on Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00. Wine tasting glasses will be on sale at R15 at the gates. Book accommodation at http://www.sa-venues.com/accommodation/stellenbosch.php if you plan to stay the weekend, there are still many options available.
Visit www.cheesefestival.co.za for more information or contact Agri-Expo at tel 021 975 4440 or email@example.com.