The saying goes: “A good chef can cook anywhere.” Every year the chefs participating in the 7th annual Gourmet & Gourmand Event in aid of the Carpe Diem School in George give new meaning to these words.
This year the event will take place on Saturday, August 22nd and the school hall will be transformed to suit the theme – “Food of the Opera”. Legendary singer André Schwartz will be the guest artist.
The 19 participating Garden Route restaurants prepare and present their food in mobile kitchens erected in the courtyard outside the venue. When you view the 3 by 2,5 metre kitchens, you get renewed respect for the dedication, talent and of course courage of the chefs. Once you experience their food, you are left speechless that fine dining menu’s can be presented when 2 tables and 1 power point are what the they have at your disposal when they arrive prior to the event.
Chef François Ferreira, principal of the François Ferreira Academy and National Bailli of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs has been part of the event for the past 7 years. “Planning is crucial”, he remarks. “You need to plan a menu that can be executed and presented under these circumstances. You need to practice the dishes, the presentation and the time it takes to present every course on the menu. You make endless lists – what to pack, what to do when and what to prepare beforehand. Timing is important. You are outside in the open air on a winter’s night in August.”
According to Maurice Fouché of Trans-Karoo Restaurant in Groot-Brak, packing for the event is the main thing. “Everything has to be there. You are out of your comfort zone, away from your pantry and familiar work environment. This year load shedding is a reality and open gas fires will be quite prominent in the school’s courtyard. A fire extinguisher will lay next to the whisks, blenders and mixing bowls.”
Johan de Jager of Hetta’s Food will be participating for the first time this year. “You can only do that much beforehand in your restaurant kitchen,” he remarks. “The rest must be done just before serving and you must be prepared to cope with that.”
According to the chefs, the best part of the evening is that you donate your time and skill to the learners of the school. Carpe Diem teaches children with special needs. The excitement and the goodwill among the chefs are tangible. You experience that among the chefs cooking under extreme circumstances. The satisfaction when you take off your chef’s jacket at the end of an exhilarating, adrenaline-filled evening is enormous. The feeling that you have made a difference to a child’s life is even more fulfilling than presenting a plate of gourmet food to a satisfied client.
Participating restaurants include Trans-Karoo, Lake Pleasant Hotel, Café Serefé, Fancourt Hotel, Hetta’s Food, Wilderness Hotel, The Francois Ferreira Academy, Garden Route Game Lodge, Oubaai Hotel and Golf Resort, Pomodoro’s, Protea Hotel King George, Die Rooi Kombuis, Salina’s, Calendar Girl’s, 101 on Meade, Su Casa, The Gannet Café, Thousand Sensations, Turnberry Hotel, and Chef Alma representing the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
For more information contact Karools Hauptfleisch, principal of Carpe Diem School:
Tel: 044- 874 4074
Self Catering George is a collection of 3 self catering flatlets in George, Garden Route. All are close to several shops, restaurants, the N2 and several attractions. Centrally located in George, and offer quality accommodation to business travelers, over
Bailey's Cottage provides self catering accommodation in the tranquil suburb of Campher's Drift in George, Garden Route. We offer you private self catering accommodation in an upmarket peaceful suburb. Ideally suited for a family, or the guest who seeks p
Die Waenhuis Guest House offers bed and breakfast accommodation in Campher's Drift, George, Garden Route. Old World Charm in the Heart of the Garden Route. Our guest house is in the elegant George and close to some outstanding restaurants. Our bed and bre
Burrough Place provides bed and breakfast accommodation in George, Garden Route. Situated in Heatherlands, George, in the spectacular Garden Route, Burrough Place is a Guesthouse that is on the main road when entering George from the Outeniqua Pass (N9) s
African Sun Guest House provides bed and breakfast accommodation and self catering accommodation in George, Garden Route. African Sun offers a relaxing atmosphere and a beautiful view of the Outeniqua mountains, it is a small holding where guests can walk
Blue Whale Resort provides coastal self catering accommodation in George, Garden Route. Blue Whale Resort offers fully equipped self catering luxurious chalets, located on the seafront only 10km from George central, 17km from George Airport, only 6km from
The Oubaai offers self catering accommodation in the seaside town of Herolds Bay near George in the Garden Route, Western Cape. Located in the secure Oubaai Golf Estate in Herolds Bay and boasting an Ernie Els designed course. This is a luxurious self cat
Ibis Place Guesthouse provides bed and breakfast and self catering accommodation in George, Garden Route. Overlooking the Outeniqua Mountains, it is situated in the middle of the Garden Route only 10 minutes from the George CBD and 8 km from George Airpor
6 beach Road Flat offers absolute beachfront self catering accommodation in Herolds Bay, George area, Garden Route. No 6 Beach Road, Herolds Bay, in the heart of the Garden Route. Set right on the beachfront with glorious sea views across Herolds Bay from
Serendipity Coastal Lodge offers self catering accommodation in Ballots Bay, Wilderness, Garden Route. Located in a Private Nature Reserve in Ballots Bay, between George and Wilderness. Serendipity Lodge is a luxury log home with spectacular sea and moun