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(Cutting) EDGE African at Tapasco

Left: Wood fire roasted cabbage, poached mussels, zamalek broth, with apple & dill. Right: Chef Vusi Ndlovu

Before dinner I wondered whether Chef Vusi Ndlovu, whose surname means elephant, knew that Franschhoek was first known as Oliphantshoek (Elephants Corner). He did. Anyway, I digress before I’ve properly started… I missed his restaurant’s residency at Pasarene earlier this year, so was happy to finally fit in a visit to EDGE in mid-May.

Vusi attained chef stardom by placed as one of Top 7 in the San Pellegrino Young Chef Grand Finale in 2018 and being awarded best chef in Africa and Middle East. Bucking his mother’s wishes to study for an engineering degree he started his culinary journey at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria. Hard work and passion saw him working under the likes of Peter Tempelhoff, David Higgs and Luke Dale Roberts. After a stint in Belgium at the highly-acclaimed ‘In de Wulf’ and heading up kitchens at The Saxon and the trendy The Marabi Club, it was time to be master of his own domain. The result, in collaboration with siblings Absie and Mandla Pantshwa, was EDGE – “a holistic celebration of Africa” and a most welcome addition to the Franschhoek culinary scene.

IN MEMORIAM

The CCMC pays homage to two South African Composers

The Cape Chamber Music Collective, in collaboration with the renowned Amici Quartet, celebrates two Cape Town based and South African composers who both died last year – Thomas Rajna and Allan Stephenson.

This programme is the fifth offering by the CCMC this year in a series of concerts in and around Cape Town:

Franschhoek: Friday 27 May 19:00 at the NG Kerk. Tickets are R140, including a free glass of wine.

Thomas Rajna was born in Budapest and settled in South Africa in 1970, where he held the position of professor of piano at the South African College of Music and also lead a very active career as a composer.

Allan Stephenson left England in 1973 to take up the position of sub-principal cellist with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. He was a prolific composer with in excess of 100 works to his name.

Stephenson’s Miniature String Quartet and Rajna’s String Quartet No.2 are reminiscent of their major compositional influences:  for Stephenson, his love of African and Jazz rhythms; and for Rajna, his Hungarian heritage.

Puccini’s short Crisantemi/Chrysanthemums is very apt since chrysanthemums are associated with funerals in Italy. Parts of it were reworked by Puccini for some of the most poignant moments in Acts III and IV of his opera Manon Lescaut.

The programme concludes with Ravel’s String Quartet in F maj. This was Ravel’s first substantial multi-movement work and displays influences from Debussy’s quartet, composed ten years earlier. The work demonstrates Ravel’s skillful ability to use classical form and structure to present unified melodies and themes, complex rhythmic patterns, and a wide range of tone colours and textures.

Student tickets available at the door for half of the full price on the day of the performance.

www.capechambercollective.com

Cape Chamber Music Collective in Franschhoek

This month the Cape Chamber Music Collective (CCMC) welcomes some of our most best known musicians, pianist Francois du Toit and violinist Farida Bacharova. Together with exciting young instrumentalists, David Pinoit (cello), Bonolo Kgaile (violin) and Uliana Alekseev (viola), they will perform Dvořák’s chamber masterpiece, the Piano Quintet No.2 in A major. Rarely performed works by Shostakovich and Kodály complete the line-up for this concert.

Shostakovitch’s Five Pieces for Two Violins and Piano, is a compilation and arrangement by Lev Atovmyan of  film and ballet music which Shostakovich was forced to compose during the period when he was out of favour with the Soviet authorities and was desperatey in need of an income.

Second on the programme is the Duo for Violin and Cello by Kodály, which has a distinct gypsy feel that draws inspiration from Hungarian folk music; Kodaly was passionate about the music of his homeland and he proceeded to record and catalogue as much of this music as possible. The programme concludes with Dvořák’s masterpiece, the Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major where the composer combines his affection for Bohemian folk music with his own seductive and lyrical charm.

This programme is the fourth offering by the CCMC this year in a series of concerts in and around Cape Town. The Franschhoek Concert takes place on Friday, 8 April, 19:00 at the NG Kerk. Tickets are R140.

The Cape Chamber Music Collective (CCMC) is a unique and innovative initiative with the aim of bringing high-class chamber music to established audiences and also to introduce classical music to new audiences.

Furthermore the CCMC supports local musicians, devising programmes that give young musicians the opportunity to perform alongside established professionals and also providing all performers with competitive fees.

The programming is aimed at mixing standard repertoire with lesser known works and also promotes and commissions works by South African composers.

60 concerts are planned for the year 2022 – five performances of each programme at various venues with the explicit aim of making the performances available to a larger audience.

All tickets can be booked on Quicket via the CCMC website at www.capechambercollective.com.

Louis Jansen van Vuuren Art Exhibition

FLTR: Louis Jansen van Vuuren, Ilse Schermers, Laurent Alberti.

Louis Jansen van Vuuren and friends staged an art exhibition at the Huguenot Memorial Museum. The exhibition was curated by Ilse Schermers of IS Art and opened on 13 March 2022 by Laurent Alberti, the French Consul General in Cape Town.

A Little Something French

During March French culture is celebrated worldwide. For the first time Franschhoek is part of the Festival Francophonie. Get out your beret and do something with French flair on the Human Rights Day long weekend.

From South to North and Back Again

Dick Muir
Dick Muir, former Assistant Springbok Coach and now Head Coach of the Russian National Rugby Team will be transforming talent at Train Camp Franschhoek

Dick Muir played five tests and five tour matches for the Springboks and 183 first class games, but it is as a coach that he is best known – famously helping to steer the Boks to a Lions Series win and a 3-0 TriNations whitewash of the All Blacks in 2009.  Perhaps his greatest asset is an instinctive eye for talent, and how to develop it – having spotted the gifts of Bok legends Frans Steyn and Beast Mtawarira, amongst many others.  We caught up with him on a call to Moscow, where he now coaches the Russian national team.

No More Organic Waste to Landfill – by 2027

compost
Composting is the preferred solution for most organic waste

Local authorities have had headaches because of a lack of landfill space for several years. Stellenbosch Municipality currently transports its waste to a private landfill site, while a high voltage powerline is moved that bisects the Stellenbosch landfill site to make way for another cell to extend the life of the site. (It will reopen in 2024.) Increasing emphasis on recycling saw a state-of-the-art material recovery centre being opened in 2021, household recycling programmes implemented and building rubble being separated, crushed and turned into bricks. Organic waste is the next target in reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.

At the January 2022 Stellenbosch Town Council meeting an Organic Waste Diversion Plan (OWDP) which aims to reduce the volume of organics waste that goes to landfills was approved for public participation.

Yet Another (Preventable) Truck Accident

Accident scene
The overturned truck and trailer shortly after the accident.

It was déjà vu again for Franschhoek residents on 27 January 2022 when yet another out-of-control truck hurtled down Lambrechts St from the Franschhoek Pass, crashed through the intersection with Huguenot St and overturned.

Dramatic video footage circulating on social media shows the moment at 13h26 when the eighteen wheeler truck and trailer, which appears to have lost its brakes, speeds down Lambrechts St and overturns as the driver tries to make a desperate left turn to safety into the Bohoek road. Skidding to a standstill on the bus parking area at the old circus grounds the trailer’s cargo of pears scatters over a large area, with two bins wrecking the vehicle entrance to 2 Huguenot St.

Another Clean Audit for Stellenbosch Municipality

Mayor Gesie van Deventer
Executive Mayor Adv. Gesie van Deventer

The Auditor General of South Africa, at the end of January, announced a clean audit for Stellenbosch Municipality for the 2020/21 financial year. The clean audit outcome reflects that the municipality maintained a healthy financial position and that all funds spent are properly accounted for. The latest audit outcome marks the 14th consecutive year of unqualified or clean audit outcomes for Stellenbosch Municipality.

La Motte Harvest Experience – You’re Invited!

La Motte Harvest Experience
The La Motte Harvest Experience is a Winelands treat

Harvest time is the most important time on a wine farm, but it is also a time to celebrate the season’s special tastes and traditions. After a beautiful cold and wet winter and relative cool start to summer, quality expectations are high and the La Motte winemaking team invites visitors to share in the excitement of harvest time in the Winelands. Enjoy a tour of the vineyards and cellar, try fermenting grape juice from the tanks, taste the estate’s latest vintages and linger for lunch in the garden with a special harvest platter.

For the La Motte team, harvest is also a time of thanksgiving. When booking for the Harvest Experience, you are invited to join them by sharing what you are grateful for on a complimentary tag that you can hang in the vineyards.

What you can expect from the La Motte Harvest Experience:

One of the estate’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable wine tasting ambassadors will guide you on this celebration of unique harvest traditions:

·       In the vineyard – enjoy an introduction to the various varietals, harvest processes and the estate’s biologic farming practices. Spot the differences between the various varieties and taste the sweetness of the ripe berries. Write and hang your tag in the vineyard.

·       In the cellar – experience the hand-sorting of grapes, crush, pump-overs and other cellar activities, concluded with a tasting of grape must (fermenting grape juice) from a fermentation tank.

·       In the tasting room – sit down to a tasting of La Motte’s award-winning collection of wines – six wines from the La Motte Collection as well as the two wines from the estate’s renowned Pierneef Collection.

·       In the shade of the age-old oaks – relax in the calm ambience of the estate gardens and enjoy Chef Eric Bulpitt’s special Harvest Plate – with a glass of wine of course!

The Harvest Experience at R120 per person includes the vineyard and cellar tour as well as wine tasting. It takes about 90 minutes and happens hourly from Tuesdays to Sundays, between 10h00 and 15h00 during February and March.

A Harvest Plate is additional and optional and is available at R220 per person. This nostalgic platter of Winelands favourites includes a sausage roll, cured meats, boerenkaas, pickles, chutney, curried eggs, farm-baked bread with butter and hummus, grapes and crudités as well as the popular La Motte mosbolletjie!

The Harvest Experience takes place outside and in the spacious cellar and tasting room where social distancing as well as all other Covid protocol are in place.

Reservations are recommended and can be made with the La Motte Tasting Room: T +27 (0)21 876 8820 or E tasting@la-motte.co.za

La Motte’s renowned harvest-time mosbolletjies are also available at the La Motte Farm Shop for the duration of harvest. They sell like hot cakes, so to avoid disappointment, order yours in advance: T +27 (0)21 876 8840 or E farmshop@la-motte.co.za

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