PETER TROMP spoke to international celebrity chefs ERIC LANLARD and the BLISS SISTERS ahead of this weekend’s Good Food & Wine Show at the CTICC.
What does it mean to you personally to participate in this year’s Good Food & Wine Show in Cape Town?
Eric Lanlard: It is a great opportunity to meet our SA fans and other foodies face to face, most of whom are already in touch with us via our social media feeds.
Bliss Sisters: We are honoured to be invited and share our recipes and meet the South African fans of the show. We also enjoy participating in these great events, because we too learn more and more about food and the many, many different food cultures from around the world. We also get to meet other chefs and discover their specialties and styles.
What can fans expect from you at the Show?
Eric Lanlard: They can expect quite a few recipes from my new book ‘Chocolat’ and my book that was published last year on tarts and pies, ‘Tart it Up’.
Bliss Sisters: There will always be a friendly smile from us. We are very approachable and we love fans to come up and talk to us. We love hearing their cooking stories and about their local favourite dishes. There is always time for photos and signings and we enjoy people’s posts and pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Do you have any knowledge, or have had samplings of South African cuisine and if so, what do you think of our national flavours?
Eric Lanlard: I love South African cuisine. The produce is so fresh, the dishes are so light. I have been coming to SA for a number of years on holiday, first of all, and now as a professional. I am always being asked about where I like to travel and to eat. South Africa always comes very high on the list. Both the food and the wines are magnificent and of course the lifestyle and the sunshine are not bad either.
Bliss Sisters: We have had braai’s with South African friends in Brisbane and have heard about the special lamb curries here and fabulous seafood from the Cape. Anytime we are travelling we love learning more and tasting everything, because it complements and enhances our own cooking styles.
Foodie culture has really exploded across the globe in recent years. What do you attribute this heightened appreciation of food and flavours to?
Eric Lanlard: I think it’s a combination of things; chefs on TV obviously help. People are travelling more and appreciate their locations through the local food. Also things like food shows and food festivals have contributed to the explosion of the foodie culture. The standards across the globe are so high now – beautifully produced magazines and published books help, as well as bloggers. It’s wonderful that people are much more foodie aware and conscious – it’s good for the soul.
Bliss Sisters: People are getting into “real foods” where they care about where it comes from, how fresh it is and how it’s prepared as a reaction to highly processed and bland foods loaded with excess fats and sugars. As Jamie Oliver says, “life’s too short to eat crap”. We love eating great food. We have been brought up on good home cooked Italian food so have been very fortunate and love sharing our foodie experience with others.
Do you actually have fun at these kinds of events, or is it all about keeping the attendees happy?
Eric Lanlard: I love these events. It’s great to meet the fans and to connect with my peers and in general have a good time. I am passionate about what I do and I feel very privileged to be able to pass that on to an appreciative audience.
Bliss Sisters: We accept doing these foodie events simply because they are fun! Our attendees have always loved our performances too, and when we are not cooking in front of them we keep in touch via our fan page on Facebook and Twitter. Fun is what brings us back time and time again. Since we walked out of the Masterchef kitchen in 2010 with our trophies it’s been an extraordinary ride with an adventure at each foodie event, whether it’s Sydney, Jakarta or Cape Town. Here we are in Cape Town, we are 15 and having the time of our lives and feel very fortunate for the opportunity and thank all who have made this possible, especially Christine Cashmore and Gillian Watson from the Good Food & Wine Show.
Imagine a guilt free world where calories and fat content don’t affect us. Which decadent dish(esh) would you consume with gleeful abandon in such a scenario?
Eric Lanlard: For me it will always be cheese with a fine champagne. I’ve said many times before that I do not have a sweet tooth – I love making and baking cakes, but I prefer to eat something savoury.
Bliss Sisters: Arancini and Italian donuts for sure…every day! The best seafood, Adriano Zumbo’s sweets, Peter Gilmore’s (Quay, Sydney) Snow Eggs; we’d love to go to Noma in Denmark and eat anything on the menu. Eat at the Fat Duck with Heston. Sicily is calling us to travel to experience our mother’s foodie roots and eat into what gave us our cuisine traditions. And there’s way more too waiting for us on next foodie adventure…… J
* Catch The Good Food & Wine Show from Thursday May 23 to Sunday May 26.
Tickets cost R110 for adults and R55 for children. This includes more free theatres than ever before. All theatres on the Thursday opening day are free. Visitors will also receive a coupon book that will allow for massive savings and specials.
For more information, call 021 702 2280, or 0861foodie; visit www.goodfoodandwineshow.co.za, or www.fieramilano.co.za; or find on Facebook at Good Food and Wine Show SA; or on Twitter: #goodfoodSA.