In a country as diverse as South Africa, we should be celebrating the unique ingredients and flavours that tell the stories of our people and our places. From biltong and droëwors, braai and shisanyama, to Cape Malay cooking, koeksisters, chakalaka, pap, and bunny chow.
With this in mind, chef Jerry Kennedy and his team at Nederburg’s The Manor restaurant are launching a fun series of eight-course dinners aimed at discovering and showcasing the distinctiveness and versatility of some of South Africa’s diverse local ingredients.
The Manor’s Journey of SA Flavours dinner series is set to take place on the last Saturday of each month, starting on 27 March and concluding on 31 July.
The March iteration of this exciting dinner series will focus on rooibos (meaning red bush), a plant native to South Africa. In fact, this shrub in the legume family called Aspalathus linearis grows only in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa. Efforts have been made to grow rooibos in other countries, but has thus far been unsuccessful. This localisation makes it distinctive – it is consumed on a global scale but only grows in South Africa – much like Nederburg’s exciting collection of award-winning wines!
The history of rooibos goes back thousands of years. The Khoisan, native to the area, used it as a medicinal herb back in the day. Nowadays much is still said and discovered about the health properties of rooibos. It doesn’t contain caffeine, is low in tannins and has an abundance of antioxidants.
When it comes to flavour profile, rooibos features a light, earthy, recognisable taste with natural sweetness. “It’s smooth and gentle, but sufficiently robust to hold many other added ingredients like spices, chocolate, flowers, dried fruits and other herbs,” says Jerry. “This is exactly what we’ll be exploring during our rooibos-inspired dinner on Saturday, 27 March. We can’t wait to serve up a tantalising feast to demonstrate how the flavour of rooibos can live in harmony with many other suitable flavours. We’re also very excited to test various wine pairings with the food dishes – I suspect there might be some interesting surprises!”
The Manor’s Journey of SA Flavours dinner series dates and flavour themes:
27 March: Rooibos
24 April: Maize
29 May: Cape Malay spices
26 June: Venison
31 July: Foraged ingredients such as waterblommetjies, wild mushrooms and suuring
Time: The Saturday-night dinners start promptly at 19:00. Guests are advised to arrive no later than 18:30 to enjoy a welcome drink while watching the sun set over the majestic Drakenstein Mountains.
Cost: R850 per couple (or R425 per person), including a 750ml bottle of your choice of Nederburg’s core range of wines to enjoy with your meal.
Some considerations: Strict Covid-19 hygiene and safety measures are in place at The Manor. Wearing of masks is a must (apart from when you’re seated at your table). Arriving guests will be greeted at the door and a member of Nederburg’s friendly staff will use a handheld contactless device to take their temperature. Right of admission reserved.