The Mount Nelson team from Cape Town are the winners of the groundbreaking food and wine pairing competition, the Great Grapes Cape Cuisine Cook-Off. Executive chef Rudi Liebenberg and sommelier Carl Habel caused quite a stir with their course of Impala loin, roasted onion and cauliflower puree, truffle dauphinoise and baby vegetables, perfectly paired with two wines, the South African Hermanuspietersfontein Swartskaap Cabernet Franc 2008 and the Salentein Numina Gran Corte 2007 from Argentina.
The Hermanuspietersfontein Swartskaap Cabernet Franc also walked away with the honour as being chosen as the best wine match to any of the six courses entered. Proving that South African wine does not have to stand back for any international wine and that local winemakers produce exceptional food wines.
Guests voted unanimously for the Mount Nelson duo and the results were ratified by the three head judges, celebrity chef Jenny Morris, Willem Kool, editor of the world famous ‘Stan Huygens Journaal’ in De Telegraaf (Holland’s biggest daily newspaper), assisted by David Higgs, South Africa’s number one chef.
Every invitee received a 100 point score card to cast their vote ‒ 30 points were allocated for the dish and presentation, 20 points for the wine and 50 points for the combination of food and wine. The Mount Nelson team pipped five acclaimed Cape restaurateur- and sommelier teams competing for the coveted Great Grapes Trophy to the post to win an 8-day ‘Around the World of Wine & Food’ tour to Europe. Other prizes include a weekend for two at a 5 star Cape hotel, a 6-course dinner for two at a winning restaurant and a ‘Grand World Tour’ case of 12 international wines.
Second place went to The Roundhouse in Camp’s Bay with chef Eric Bulpitt and sommelier Joakim Hansi Blackadder at the helm. Their course of a duck breast, celeriac, pickled & pureed blueberries and baby onions was complemented by two wines from Italy, Giovanni Rosso Barolo D.O.C.G Seralunga 2005 and Pepi Lignana Poggio Colombi 2007.
Third place winners, Mynhardt Joubert from Bar Bar Black Sheep in Riebeek Kasteel, assisted by sommelier Melusi Magodi, had the crowd in awe with the unique presentation of their course. A snoek fish cake tumbling out of a Lucky Star can served with cinnamon sweet potato and roasted cumin bread sea sand. The wines matched to this course were Torresella Pinot Grigio 2010 from Italy and Pico Maccario Estrosa Monferrato 2010, also from Italy.
“I am content that we’ve created an event that proved South Africa is undoubtedly blessed with Michelin class chefs and a group, albeit small, of master sommeliers. After the overwhelming reaction of this event, we are hoping to make it even bigger next year, including restaurants from across South Africa,” said Marita de Beer, managing partner of Grate Grapes and founder of the competition.
by wine times