In case you missed my tweet last week, I’m thrilled to say that CookSister was featured in leading UK newspaper The Times last week as web search of the day – page 28 of the Register section.
Flicking through my archives recently as part of lots of behind-the-scenes work taking place here at CookSister HQ, I realised that I have been woefully neglecting my Sundays in South Africa feature. Time to rectify that with two items of South African interest that I want to tell you about. First and most important is the Food and Wine Blogger Indaba 2012, South Africa’s first and only food blogging conference. Those of you who read this blog regularly will recall that I spoke at the 2010 Food & Wine Blogger Indaba and the 2011 Food & Wine Blogger Indaba, both held in Cape Town and both huge successes. A number of you have been asking about the 2012 Indaba… and the good news is that Colleen and I are in the process of planning it! The Indaba will be a winter get-together this time around and seeing as the Indaba would be nothing without its guests of honour – you, the attendees – we thought we would get your views on a few things before we finalised plans for this year. So whether you have been to all the past Indabas, or whether you are planning to come this year for the first time, please could you take two or three minutes to complete our online survey to help us in putting together the best Indaba possible, and one that fulfils your needs. And of course, keep an eye on the Indaba website and our Twitter handles (@cooksisterblog and @CollyWolly) for updates on the 2012 event!
While I am lingering in a South African frame of mind, I also realised that I had never posted a report of a wonderful and proudly South African event that I attended at Kew Gardens at least (gulp!) 18 months ago. Wines of South Africa, the body that promotes South African wines abroad, had arranged the event as part of ongoing celebrations of the 2010 Football World Cup being hald in South Africa and so one Friday afternoon after work, I set off with Nick and two other South African friends to the wilds of Richmond for a little slice of South Africa. The event was held in the rather fablous Orangery at Kew Gardens and was themed around South Africa and the football. The beautiful high-ceilinged white space was decorated with large TV screens for watching the night’s match, pots of vibrant pink South African proteas… and of course loads of vuvuzelas! Soon after we arrived we bumped into the lovely Denise; Kerri and fellow South African Stephen from Dinner Diary; Krista and May- all of which made for an evening of sparkling company!
As it was a Wines of South Africa event, there was of course no shortage of excellent South African wine. We were welcomed with a choice of the multi-award winning Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel (a classig Champagne blend of 55% pinot noir, 43% Chardonnay and 2% Pinot Meunier) or Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé (a blend of 80% Pinotage, 17% Pinot Noir and 3% Pinot Meunier) – a full flavoured dry sparkler in a glorious salmon pink packed with red berry flavours and a very fine mousse. Once we had our fill of that, there were tables at each end of the room with a selection of red white and rosé South African wines, including my first taste of the phenomenal Diemersfontein Pinotage which tastes famously of dark plums and chocolate. Yes, really!
Of course, man cannot live by wine alone, no matter how delicious: there was also a lavish braai (what else??) on the terrace outside. Sadly, in true English fashion it rained on and off for most of the event, but the caterers were fantastic and still managed to get everything cooked to perfection. They even managed to arrange a short reprieve from the rain for us to be able to serve ourselves from the buffet outside Food included South African classics like ostrich steak burgers, lamb sosaties and chakalaka, as well as prawn and kinglip skewers, roosterkoek on a stick, and fruit kebabs as well as an old-fashioned ice cream cart for dessert.
Apart from consuming large amounts of excellent food and wine, the evening was packed with other activities – from learning to do the World Cup dance; to some serious tweeting; to some pretty intense football watching, to a whole lot of general silliness involving vuvuzelas and oversized plastic glasses And I cannot tell a lie: the party might have continued on the train home, and some ABBA songs might have been sung…!
Thanks once again to WOSA for a really fantastic function (definitely the next best thing to a trip home) and I hope my readers have enjoyed this little visual trip down memory lane. And please remember to fill in the 2012 Food & Wine Blogger Indaba survey!
Did you miss our our super-successful Tuscany Plate to Page workshop last October? Well, registrations are open for Plate to Page Somerset to be held in the UK in Spring 2012! Have a look at the programme, details about accommodation, and if it looks like something you’d like to attend, register here – but hurry: places are limited to 12. It would be great to see you there!