Last week Opulent Living hosted an event at Mercedes-Benz Century City, being a preview of the 17 works of art, as well as a further six experiential packages, which can be bought via Auction at the Chefs who Share – The ART of Giving Gala Dinner on Thursday evening.
The purpose of the well-attended 2015 Art Preview evening was to allow the works of art and experiential packages to be better seen and inspected prior to the Gala Dinner Auction, as the lighting in the City Hall may not be beneficial to the artwork, and not everyone who would have liked to attend the Gala Dinner is able to, as the tickets (at R 3000 per head) were sold out on the day of the launch the 2015 event. This is the third year that the event will be held, and has raised monies going to the Make a Difference (MAD) charity of Francois Pienaar, and to the Laureus Sport Foundation of Morne du Plessis.
The name of the event comes from the generosity of 14 top chefs, working in teams of two each, with one Sommelier, cooking for 36 guests per team, and each with a unique four-course menu. The chefs and sommeliers do not charge for their services and expertise, enabling all the proceeds of the evening to go to the two charities. Auctioneer Iain Banner is excellent at making money disappear out of guest pockets, for the good cause.
The experiential packages to be auctioned are as follows:
*. Four tickets for a Chelsea match, with flights and accommodation
* A 9-liter bottle of The Secret 7 Blend made by the seven Sommeliers participating at the Gala Dinner on Thursday. At a recent function, one of the seven sommeliers told me that the wine has been made at a Malgas Winery. The components of the Blend will remain a mystery.
* A 12-day cruise around the Mediterranean, on the Crystal Serenity
* Two tickets to the Laureus World as Sports Awards 2016
* A wine experience with wine writer Michael Fridjhon, including dinner at Tulip House.
*. A Hennessey 250 Collector Blend decanter and Celebration Display, which caught my eye in the Mercedes-Benz showroom. As I was photographing it, Niel Mouton from the activation company Clint Cawood Professional Productions came to polish the bottle even more, to make sure that it was perfect. It is seldom that I have seen such passion for the job of a young man, who shared information with me about the cognac, and its history. His company was responsible for its launch in Johannesburg in the Circa Gallery, the most successful of all the international launches, including those held in Moscow, Ghuanyzhou, and New York. He told me that one bottle can cost up to R45000. He shared that a dedicated team of tasters with ten years or more experience taste the cognac daily, to check its maturation in 250 litre barrels.
Art work by artists Heike Allerton-Davies, Samuel Allerton, Ingrid Bolton, Keith Calder, Arno Carstens and Barend de Wet, Jean Doyle, Cyrus Kabiru, David Kuijers, Jimmy Law, David Lurie, Marieke Prinsloo-Rowe, Michaela Rinaldi, Richard Scott (left), Anton Smit, Lionel Smit (right), Russell Travers, and Schalk van der Merwe was cleverly displayed throughout the showroom, complementing the artful Mercedes-Benz cars.
Chefs Michelle Theron from Pierneef à La Motte and Darren Badenhorst of Grande Provence prepared the canapés for the event: lobster cocktail with saffron bisque; pumpkin soufflé with a curry vial; salmon gravadlax; and pork and foie gras cream. The striking flower arrangements made with proteas, fruit, and vegetables attracted attention.
The lovely team of Jen Su and Katlego Maboe were the MCs for the event, articulate, funny, explaining the Auction procedure for the Gala Dinner but inviting silent bids in advance, especially for those who are unable to attend on Thursday evening. They acknowledged the role of Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast from Opulent Living, in having created such a generous charity event, now in its third year.
This afternoon the Finalists of the Young Chef of The Year 2015 competition will be introduced at the Taj Cape Town, seven finalists having been selected on the basis of their design of a canapé, to be served at the Gala Dinner with the welcome drink on Thursday evening. The winner will be announced on Thursday evening.
Chefs who Share – The ART of Giving, Opulent Living, Cape Town. 10 September, City Hall. Tel (021) 433-1699. www.chefswhoshare.com Twitter: @ChefswhoShare