Friday, 26 October 2012

Scrumptious in Garden & Home magazine

A few months back South African Garden and Home magazine asked me if they could come and photograph a relaxed 'summer luncheon' at my house, featuring some of the recipes from my book.  The idea filled me with horror - I'm a known camera-dodger, and can't bear lifestyle magazine features filled with fabulous people fabulously eating fabulous food - but I could hardly say no without seeming very ungrateful, could I?

Anyway, I'm pleased with the resulting article (one page here), and with Greg Cox's lovely photographs. The text was written by Hout Bay journalist Diana Wemyss, in a strange little twist, because the last time I saw Diana was 20 years ago when I edited a book she wrote about gardening.

Instead of inviting the usual suspects (my collection of louche old friends) I asked some of my favourite Cape Town food bloggers, a talented bunch who are also a damn sight better looking than my personal posse. They happily obliged by dressing up in summer clothes on a chilly late-winter day, petting my basset hounds, and making a valiant stab at being fabulous.

My guests were Ishay Govender from Food and the Fabulous, Fritz Brand from Real Men Can Cook, Matt Allison from I'm No Jamie Oliver, Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox, food-and-wine social media specialist Linda Harding from The Squashed Tomato, my son Luke, and my book's firecracker publicist Kim Taylor, of Random House Struik.

Ishay helped me in the kitchen (thanks, Pushy!) and I styled the food and table for the shots, sticking to the magazine's request for a blue-and-white theme.  For the table, I used white damask with an overlay of  indigo Shweshwe cloth, which I love because it has a fascinating history, smells delicious when new and doesn't need to be hemmed (it's starchy when you buy it, so all you need do to make a runner is fold up the edges and run an iron over them). For flowers, I chose sweet-smelling white jonquils and lavender in glass vases with mirrored rims.

I was also excited to use, for the first time, the beautiful cake stand given to me for my 50th birthday by my friend Lisa Key of African Relish.

And, on the menu:

White Gazpacho with Tomato Granita
Griddled Courgettes with Mint and Mozzarella
Quick Tomato, Fennel and Thyme Bread
Crumbed Linefish with Whipped Caper Butter
Buttermilk Cheesecake with a Granadilla Topping

Because it was a cold day, I also made a giant tray of Mike's Youvetsi, which is one of my all-time favourite recipes for feeding a crowd. It's also in my book, and here's a version I posted here on my blog three years ago. 

All the recipes above are in the November issue of Garden and Home.
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Ishay said...

I remember how the sun, which was meant to do a disappearing act, came out in all his glory. We jumped onto the Greek dish and greedily gobbled everything, chatting and laughing, forgetting to look composed for the photographer.
Beautiful food and superb cookbook. Well done Push.

Jane-Anne said...

Thank you sweet Ishay. And thanks for making the Fennel Bread xx

Anina Meyer said...

Wow - what a great achievement! Your table looks gorgeous and the food even better! Well Done you guys!!