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LA PETITE FERME (article first published : 2002-12-30)

The Franschoek Valley with its vineyards and orchards is considered to be the gourmet capital of the Cape. La Petite Ferme Restaurant has progressed from its modest beginnings serving teas and light lunches and selling fresh fruit and preserves to the successful restaurant and winery of today to which the cognoscenti return frequently.

The first impression of La Petite Ferme written by Carol Dendy Young is one of artistry contained in what is more than just a recipe book and one which I shall enjoy using. The lovely and varied photography by Paddy Howes represents her first foray into food photography and she emerges triumphant.

The scene of the restaurant at the beginning of the book gives a welcoming warm feel to the reader. A nice homely touch is the collage of family members and staff, seemingly enjoying preparing complementary dishes to the wine produced in their own winery.

The dishes are shot in close-up format detailing each ingredient. The decorative spoons holding flavoured butters makes for a particularly appealing image.

The recipes are simple to prepare and experienced cooks will instinctively know that each dish will taste delicious. There are a number of unusual soup recipes - Trout Bisque and Spinach and Feta, to name a few. Starters and salads include Salmon Trout Mousse and Smoked Kudu Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing.

On the main course menu, there’s Fish Fillets with Two Toppings and Pork Medallions and Prunes. The Greek Lamb and Minted Yoghurt is an example of the Mediterranean style of the dishes while venison dishes lend a South African feel.

Side dishes range from Roast Mediterranean Vegetables to Butternut in Ginger Orange Sauce. The desserts are decadent and spectacularly presented. The Real Rich Chocolate Mousse is unbelievable in the number of calories it must contain. A very simple Pecan Nut Pie will delight a busy cook.

Side dishes range from Roast Mediterranean Vegetables to Butternut in Ginger Orange Sauce. The desserts are decadent and spectacularly presented. The Real Rich Chocolate Mousse is unbelievable in the number of calories it must contain. A very simple Pecan Nut Pie will delight a busy cook.

Carol Dendy Young and her husband started La Petite Ferme in 1984 and their son Mark and his wife Josephine now run the business.

La Petite Ferme is in soft cover with flaps and is published by Struik. It retails at R129.95 – Cherry MacIldowie




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