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CAPE TOWN FOOD (article first published : 2003-01-6)

Winner of the prestigious Galliova Award for 2000, Phillippa Cheifitz is food editor of House and Leisure and Femina magazines. She travels extensively and lives in Cape Town.

Well-known Cape Town-based photographer Jac de Villiers whose editorial photography has appeared in international magazines such as Tatler and Harpers & Queen, has produced superb eye-catching colour photos of the featured dishes and of Cape Town’s landmarks and environs. I particularly liked the cover of a delectable dish of seafood with the Table Mountain in soft focus dominating the background.

Cape Town Food focuses on ingredients synonymous with Cape Town. The 80 easy-to-achieve dishes are divided into chapters, each one featuring a photograph complementing the theme of the chapter and a list of dishes contained therein. Catch of the Day obviously highlights fish in various guises, be it Herbed Calamari Salad or Roast Fish with Garlic Herb Dressing.

A nice touch is a series of secondary recipes and food notes that appear throughout the book.

The Market Place introduces Chicken with Waterblommetjies and Egg & Lemon Sauce on Baked Risotto. Carrots with Naartjie & Coriander is easy to produce and very different.

The Olives & Oil chapter gives a detailed account of the high quality olives produced in the Cape. Black Olive Spread and Flat Roast Chicken with Lemon & Rosemary served with Olive Oil Mash are a couple of examples of this chapter.

Say Cheese offers dishes from Savoury Green Vegetable Pancakes with Feta Cheese Sauce to Cappuccino Cheesecake. Spice is Nice reminds one of the very reason Cape Town started as a halfway revictualling station on the trade route between the East and Holland The spiced dishes introduced by the early slave Malay women have become an important component of the local cuisine.

Everyone should try the Lamb Bobotie with Chilli Jam or the Chicken Tagine with Chick Peas and Dates – the Moroccan trend at the moment.

Between the Vines deals with the famous Cape vineyards with dishes like Braised Lamb Shanks with Pinotage and grapes that appear in the Grape Tart Pudding. The Great Outdoors celebrates the need to explore the beautiful scenery of the Cape and recipes for Honeyed Roast Nuts, Barbecued Butterflied Fish and Herbed Breads are all interesting items to take on picnics either in the mountains or on the beaches.

Apart from being a jolly good cookbook, this is a great publication for tourists to the Cape to remember their visit both visually and “taste”-fully. In soft cover with flaps, Cape Town Food is published by Struik and retails for R149.95. – Cherry MacIldowie




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