Another successful wine and dinner pairing by NAS students

Posted on September 07, 2015

When final-year culinary arts students complete their Bachelor’s degree in Consumer Science (Hospitality Management) in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, they are sufficiently trained and experienced to deal with almost any event.

These students recently hosted another magical dinner – characterised by good food, excellent wines and conviviality this time with Saronsberg.

It is said that all things, visible and invisible, originate from the sources of life, being fire, earth, water and air. Taking their cue from nature, all the dishes appeared to have been painted onto the plates by Mother Nature herself. These elements, although disparate in their make-up, manifest in different forms, to contribute to nature’s overall cycle of perfection.

The guest chef involved in the most recent event was an alumnus of the Department, Ms Jeannie Schreuder. She worked with Miss Mia Swiegers, the event organiser, to meticulously craft a menu that married each course with a different wine, produced by the Saronsberg Wine Estate, to aptly reflect nature’s different elements.

Water was the element they chose for the starter - flowing rivers, tranquillity, freshness and cleansing. These characteristics were very convincingly captured in the trout ceviche, which paired with Saronsberg Voigner 2013 to enhance the just-caught freshness of the dish.

Moving onto dry land, the second course aimed to reflect the nurturing fertility of the earth through a variety of different mushrooms and a quail’s egg. This course was paired with Saronsberg Grenache 2012, where delicate fynbos and spice undertones perfectly highlighted the earthy flavours of the dish.

After this gentle introduction, the pace was picked up considerably. Flames are quick and powerful, and could easily overpower, if not approached carefully. The main course – braised short beef ribs – introduced bursts of flavour through spicy ginger and chilli, complimented by broccoli with a spicy bordelaise sauce and ‘burnt’ leeks imparting a complex smoky flavour. This dish was very well paired with Provenance Shiraz, which has a deep, dark red colour and smooth tannins, layered with a fruity finish.

The evening was concluded on a calmer note, to soothe the palate with a dessert that was inspired by air, the element of freedom, movement, lightness and space. All the elements in the dessert used air to carry hints of sweetness: mascarpone mousse and dark chocolate Semifreddo; toffee apple macaroons, and a light and joyful Italian meringue transported guests to cloud nine. Pairing all these light, sweet treats with Saronsberg Brut MCC ensured that guests ended the evening on an elegant note, albeit perhaps a little lightheaded from all the bubbles.

The event was held at EAT@UP, the dining facility of the Department of Consumer Science. This serves as a training venue where all students in the Foods programmes are introduced to the highly competitive challenges of the restaurant and fine dining industry. Students frequently plan and execute special events for clients as part of their training. Over time, certain clients have become very loyal supporters who make reservations long in advance to benefit from the excellent service that the Department offers.

The fourth-year Hospitality students once again worked as a team to present a winning meal, understanding that a unified whole always relies on various elements in perfect harmony to create a thing of beauty.


- Author Consumer Science

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