Archive for December, 2010

Of cook books and amakhowe

December 23, 2010 4 comments
Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Yield: 4

Erica Platter and Cindy Valayadan at the launch of Erica's cook book, East Coast Tables, at 96 Winery Road in Stellenbosch

Erica Platter launched her new cookbook, East Coast Tables, at 96 Winery Road in Stellenbosch a couple of weeks ago. Besides bringing with her Cindy Valayadan from Umhlali, one of the many local food personalities with whom she worked closely in the development of the book, and husband John, she also brought some genuine Natal banana leaves (a local supplier wanted R25 a pop for them!) and something that I have not had the pleasure of seeing for many a long year – amakhowe.

If you’re familiar with isiXhosa or isiZulu, you will recognise amakhowe for what they are – large (up to 25cm across), delicious porcini-like mushrooms that grow wild in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Transkei. They are considered by many to be our local equivalent of truffles.

The cook book – an enticing collection of specialities, flavours, family recipes and kitchen secrets from the Natal Coast – includes a whole section devoted to this remarkable mushroom written by well-known Natal chef, Marco Nico, who recently moved down to settle in Stellenbosch and start an artisanal charcuterie.

Detailed descriptions of popular seasonal ingredients, where to find them, how to prepare and use them, and a plethora of recipes for each, forms a substantial part of the book. Local personalities, like Cindy Valayadan and Marco Nico, are woven into the book with their personal recipes and tips lending remarkable diversity to the book. The recipes are easy to follow, and Clinton Friedman’s food photography is breath-taking. Read more…


High-jinx at The Playhouse: A review of Fawlty Towers at The Playhouse

December 6, 2010 1 comment

First published in Bolander Lifestyle & Property, December 2, 2010

Basil Fawlty (Garth Brandon-Podd) on the receiving end from the pedantic Mr Hutchison (Bobby Bennett) in Act One ("The Hotel Inspectors") of Fawlty Towers at The Playhouse, Somerset West. Show ends Saturday, December 11, tickets R60 from Computicket.

By Caroyln Frost

I spent a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon watching the final dress rehearsal of Fawlty Towers, at the Playhouse Theatre in Somerset West – where the hilarious shenanigans of the dysfunctional staff of the television show are captured on stage in perfect renditions of the original.

Garth Brandon-Podd, who is a newcomer (and unquestionably born) to acting, is absolutely perfect as Basil Fawlty, the loose-limbed, frantic, intolerant, obsequious and curiously-endearing owner, whose interactions with pursed-lipped wife Sybil (played with aplomb by Anthea Nixon-Bosch), gives the sense of an old couple fitting together as comfortably as a shoe rubbing a painful bunion. Garth’s gangly, ineffectual attempts to extract a cork from a bottle of wine really sets the scene for his character – and his resemblance to John Cleese is simply uncanny. Read more…

Categories: Entertainment