‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’: Cool as a cucumber in Durban, Chow bye Bunny Blondie, ends ‘epic SA trip of a lifetime’!

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Hayden Quinn Durben Joe's shop curry Whale CottageIt was the last episode of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ last night, going full circle in Hayden having surfed off Muizenberg in episode 1, and doing so as well in Umhlanga in episode 13 last night.   It was a shame that Hayden chose to end off his endorsement for Woolworths’ sustainability program by playing silly games with two pieces of Naan bread and stick out his tongue, a photograph placed on the programme series’ Facebook page.

Hayden visited a hydroponic cucumber farm Qutom Farms outside Durban, which supplies Woolworths. They catch rain water, and therefore they have not had to use external water for more than two years.  The plants are grown in glasshouses with covering over the roofs to allow the staff to adapt the amount of light shining ontoHayden Quinn 13 Durban Derek Cucumbers Whale Cottage the cucumber plants.  Derrick Baird, Director of Qutam Farms, said that the hydroponic farm ‘is a little bit of Europe here in South Africa’.  They also use solar heating for the plant, generating about 220 kw per day.  The plants are grown in cocopeat instead of in soil.   A fine mist is sprayed if it gets too hot. No pesticides are used, allowing Hayden to eat a crunchy cucumber without having to wash it.

The Victoria Spice Market in Durban is known as the best place in which to buy curry spices.  Viewers were told very little about Durban, but the episode did share that it has the second largest Indian population in the world living outside India.  Hayden visited Joe Haripersad, the owner of Joe’s Corner Shop. to buy spices.  The market was erected in 1910, and Joe has been in the family business for the past 50 years, having been taught by his mom.

Hayden Quinn 13 Curry 2 ladiesUnexplained, Hayden met with two women from another spice shop, where they sell a special secret family spice mix, which Hayden was not allowed to have details of.  Hayden was shown how to make Bunny Chow by Sheila Govender: she fried cinnamon and a bayleaf in hot oil, adding a turmeric spice blend, ginger, garlic, thyme, and then mutton, which was filled into a half-loaf of white bread when cooked.  Hayden made a cucumber raita, finely chopped cucumber in Greek yoghurt, and this was served with the Bunny Chow, roti, and sambals.  The two ladies taught him the saying: ‘Once tasted, never wasted‘!

Then it was time to head for UShaka Marine World, Hayden getting into a wetsuit, and with a glass helmet over his face was let into a glass tank. TheHayden Quinn Durban UShaka Whale Cottage aquarium provides information about the fish species, and which SASSI colour classification each has.

He met the Umhlangha Lifeguard team, went surfing with them, and met bubbly and beaming Carey Glover, who at 15 years helped save the lives of some swimmers last year, and received a Centrum Award for her bravery.  He cooked a Hake Curry dish for them, hake being on the SASSI Green List, saying that his dish was more Sri Lanka than Durban curry!  He added mustard seeds, Hayden Quinn 13 Durban Lifeguard Carey Whale Cottagecardamom, dried chili, curry leaves, onions, grated ginger, and crushed garlic to coconut oil.  With a mortar and pestle he crushed fennel seeds, sea salt, coriander seeds, cloves, chili powder, and turmeric, a mixture which he added to his pot.  Then the cubed fish was added, with tomato, and coconut cream.  The hake curry was served with basmati rice, naan bread, and poppadoms.  Hayden Quinn 13 Hake Curry

It was time to say goodbye, and Hayden said all the right things to guarantee him a return trip, in saying that he had traveled thousands of kilometers around our country, that he had met lovely people, that he would take so many memories home with him, and that South Africa is his second home’!  He said ‘it was an epic trip of a lifetime‘!

The question remains: who is Hayden Quinn, and why was he selected by the production company on behalf of Woolworths to show us the beauty of our country, and its bounty of sustainable foods and wines?  Hayden Quinn is an Australian surfer and former professional lifeguard, ‘WWF-SASSI ambassador’, a ‘cooker’ and by his own admission not a chef, and a 2011 MasterChef Australia top 3 Finalist.

We have also asked why Woolworths is not sharing its sponsorship of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’  via marketing collateral in its stores.  We are shocked about how Woolworths’ suppliers’ unethical farming methods are being revealed and the retailer’s response to it via a new ‘Good Food News’ insert in the Sunday Times, still misleading its shoppers!  Episode 1 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ focused on Cape Town, and made Capetonians proud of their city!   Episode 2 was very disappointing and boring, focusing on Stellenbosch!  Episode 3 was beautifully filmed in Paternoster, and was back on track.  Episode 4 was filmed in Franschhoek, which creatively included Fairview into the village!  Episode 5 was filmed in Elgin, Hermanus, and Stanford.  Episode 6 was filmed in Knysna.  Episode 7 was based in Oudtshoorn. Episode 8 was set in the steaming hot Karoo.  In episode 9 Hayden explored colourful Johannesburg and Soweto.  Episode 10 was based in Lesotho. Episode 11 was set in the Natal Midlands, mostly in the company of Chef Jackie Cameron.  Episode 12 was focused on Shakaland and rhino spotting.

Hayden Quinn: South Africa, SABC3, Mondays 21h30 – 22h00.  www.haydenquinnsouthafrica.com   www.haydenquinn.com.au  Twitter: @Hayden_Quinn @HaydenQuinnSA

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter:@WhaleCottage   Facebook:  click here

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