On Sunday I attended a Langtafel lunch in Langebaan, invited by The Good Life food truck owner Adele Maartens, at the Duinhuis home of Isabella Niehaus, food stylist and food and beverage market organizer. She organizes a Langtafel lunch once a month, and on Sunday the lunch was paired with Cederberg wines and beers.
Two years ago I attended my first Langtafel lunch, and while the menu differed to that of Sunday, the set-up was the same in that three long tables had been set up in Isabella’s lounge, with a mix of chairs, and a mix of material napkins, glasses, crockery, and cutlery.
Bella and award-winning food photographer Hein van Tonder prepared the meal, having recently appeared on a new kykNET TV programme called ‘Kook en Geniet’, in honour of the iconic Afrikaans cookery book (also translated into English), of which I received my first copy as a young wife many many moons ago! I rediscovered my book, now coverless from wear and tear, to recently make the delicious wine, lemon, and butter sauce for the farmed Abagold abalone I had bought in Hermanus last month, for a very special dinner guest.
There were many attendees that I had not met before, but I did know Huiskok writer Errieda du Toit (and her photographer husband Ian), who looked very glamorous in her hat; PR Consultant Gina Ganswyk, who worked for me when I ran my PR Consultancy Relationship Marketing; winemaker Christa von la Chevallerie of the Huis van Chevallarie, whose parents were long-standing friends of my late parents; Gerrie Heyneke, marketer of Hermanuspietersfontein wines (in the photograph with Adele Maartens); Pieter du Toit, the marketer of Cederberg wines and beers; Martelize Brink of Radio RSG; talented photographer Francois Pistorius; Kosie Jansen van Rensburg; and Gustav von Ludwig, who turned out to be the nephew of my Maths teacher at Huguenot High School in Wellington many many years ago! The lovely aspect of a Langtafel lunch is the random seating at the tables, and who one gets to meet during the lunch, and so we met a lawyer from Piketberg and his wife sitting opposite us, but I did not get their names.
It was such a lovely sunny day that we could sit outside on the deck, and admire the view onto the lagoon, sipping a Pieter Cruythoff Brut MCC made by Riebeek Cellars. We could not believe our eyes when the largest tray laden with Saldanha Mussels of extraordinary large size was carried out to the deck, and these were quickly demolished, oysters having become my favourite meal at SeaBreeze on Bree Street. A salsa made with grapefruit, olive oil, lemons, naartjie, oranges, spring onion, and avocado was offered with the oysters.
Bella welcomed the 39 guests to the lunch, and thanked Hein and Pieter for their support in the success of the lunch. She said that recipe elements were taken from the recipes in Kook & Geniet.
Our second course (i.e. after the oysters) was a deconstructed Salad Nicoise, consisting of sardines, strawberry, beans, beetroot, and half a filled hard boiled egg. I loved the mix of different shapes and different colored plates on which the Salad was served. Pieter spoke about the Cederberg wine range, which consists of 35 wines and ten labels for the ranges. He told us that ‘Boerekos’ is difficult to pair with wines. He said one can change the food in a pairing, but you cannot change the wine to suit a dish in food and wine pairing. The Salad was paired with the David Nieuwoudt Ghost Corner 2014, a wooded Sauvignon Blanc wine, with grapes coming from Elim.
Course three was highly acclaimed, a macaroni and cheese, with bacon bits as well as Mussels, a recipe from Kook en Geniet. Bella was kind enough to have made me a plateful without mussels, as I am allergic to them. This dish was paired with a Cederberg wine I had not heard of, Piekenierskloof Marras Lamprecht Grenache 2016.
The fourth course was a deconstructed Fish Burger, and Hein explained the elements on the wooden boards, brought to the table to be shared with groups of diners: there was vetkoek, beer-battered hake, lettuce leaves, pickled onions, harissa yoghurt, and tarragon mayonnaise. This dish was paired with Cederberg Five Generations Chenin Blanc 2011.
We received a Cederberg brochure with key information points, with a quote from owner David Nieuwoudt: ‘I want people to drink my wines and think of these mountain ranges unique and untouched’.
Information provided included the fact that Cederberg has the highest altitude Vineyards in the Cape Winelands, at just over 1000 m above sea level. The farm Dwarsrivier is in the Cederberg Wilderness Area. The vines are virus-free due to the cold climate and remote location of the farm. The farm has been owned by the Nieuwoudt family for five generations, since 1893. Wine styles made in the main are Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Accommodation in chalets and campsites is also offered.
Course five was a heart-shaped lamb shank pie, which was served with a separate dish of vegetables of carrots, baby marrows, samp risotto, cauliflower, and sweet potato, as well as bone marrow. The dish was paired with Cederberg Shiraz 2015.
Last but not least, course six was a malva tart which had been made by Hein, served with beer-poached pears, and shortbread crumbs. Surprisingly it was paired by two Cederberg Brewery beers, Boggom and Voertsek, the names of two characters in a poem written about the Cederberg by C. Louis Leipoldt.
Boggom Blond Ale has the character of being laid-back and welcoming, and is a ‘refreshing and fruity Ale with an elegant roasty character, medium-bodied with a sweet malty finish‘. The 440ml bottle has 4,5% alcohol.
Voertsek India Pale Ale has the character of ‘living fast and dying young‘, with a bold approach to life! The beer is hoppy with floral and citrus aromas with a dry finish, and its strong hops flavours ‘forces you to confront and consider what you are drinking’. The 440ml bottle has 6% alcohol.
Early this year I attended a small tasting of and introduction to Cederberg wines, led by Pieter du Toit, at OpenWine on Wale Street:
Reality struck when it was time to drive back to Cape Town, in time for my weekly dancing, to counteract some of the eating of this fabulous lunch, cooked with passion and love by Bella and her team. The reconnection with friends last seen some time ago, and meeting new food and wine lovers is a highlight of the Langtafel lunches.
Langtafel, Duinhuis, Isabella Niehaus, Langebaan. Cell 083 265 2147 Twitter: @IsabellaNieh R700 per person includes wines.
Cederberg Wines, Cederberg. Tel (027) 482-2827 www.cederbergwine.com Twitter: @Cederwine Instagram: @cederwyn
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@WhaleCottage Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @chris_ulmenstein