A gourmet adventure awaits at SA Cheese Festival

A gourmet adventure awaits at SA Cheese Festival

Visitors to the 2013 SA Cheese Festival from April 26 to 28 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 10pm, 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 will share their culinary secrets with attendees.

Also in the Absa Mall Pinotage Theatre visitors will 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, will take cheese fans on a journey to discover great artisanal selections in the BBC Lifestyle Centre. He will also launch his coffee table book on Cheeses of South Africa.

Although 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 will steal 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. They include De Böcke Goat Dairy (Malmesbury); Mooigelegen Boerenkaas (Heidelberg, Southern Cape); and Madame Fromage (Paarl).

Also part of the showcase will be: 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 visitors with remarkable cheese trivia and Diemersdal chef Nic van Wyk will delight the senses with his creative cooking abilities. Also do not miss the action in the Pinotage Theatre: Chef Craig Cormack will perform his magic with salts from all over the world paired with food and Fleur du Cap wine and the Durbanville Wine Valley will treat revellers 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 from Computicket. (No tickets at the gates.)
Opening times on Friday is from 10am to 10pm, on Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Wine tasting glasses will be on sale at R15 at the gates.
For more information, visit www.cheesefestival.co.za, call 021 975 4440 or send an email to cheese@agriexpo.co.za.