This past weekend, I was invited by Pick n Pay to attend their Fresh Living Magazine’s reader event. When I received the invite from Dale on twitter, I was quite excited to go. My 2nd foodie event in one week!
Reader’s of the magazine were offered the opportunity to attend the event, where they would “meet, eat and be merry!” And boy did we eat. From the moment we arrived, to the moment we left, we were inundated with plates of delicious food.
Readers of the mag - having a cup of tea
I was one of 4 bloggers/tweeters to be invited, and along with Dale (Social Media Community Manager for PnP) we laughed, tweeted, took photos and notes on the day. What an amazing bunch of people, Angel, Gina and Kerry kept me thoroughly entertained throughout our meal.
On arrival at the Good Food Studio at PnP on William Nicol (best PnP ever), tea and coffee were served in the drool-worthy chocolate room, with some delicious pastries and muffins.
Once most of the attendees had arrived, we were shown to the demonstration room, where the dishes we would be eating for lunch were going to be demonstrated to us.
Justine, the editor of Fresh Living welcomed us and handed out some amazing prizes to some randomly selected readers. Le Cruset dishes, Lindt hampers, hand mixers and sunglasses were just some of the awesome things people got to walk away with.
The starters were demonstrated by Nic van Wyk, an award winning chef from Simmonsberg cheese. He showed us how to make Pear and Blue Cheese Pies and something called Bread shots, which were small rounds of bread filled with pesto and topped with feta.
Anke, the Fresh Living Food Editor, showed us 3 versions of her Risotto recipe. A lemon risotto, which was served with lunch, a mushroom risotto and a butternut and leek risotto. The recipe was not at all complicated, and I will definitely attempt it one day.
Dessert was made by Caroline, a writer for Fresh Living. She showed us her Easy Lemon Tart recipe (which lived up to its name, and was mouthwateringly scrumptious.)
The recipe for the Lemon Tart (from Fresh Living) is shown below:
• 2 (200g each) Tennis Biscuits
• ½ cup (125g) unsalted butter, melted
• 1 Tbsp (15ml) ground ginger
• 1 Tbsp (15ml) gelatine powder
• 2/5 cup (100ml) hot water
• 1 can (385g) condensed milk
• Juice and finely grated rind of 3 lemons
• 1 cup (250ml) cream, lightly whipped
• Castor sugar, for brûlée
1. Using a food processor, process the tennis biscuits into fine crumbs
2. Add the melted butter and ginger and mix together
3. Press into a 28cm loose bottomed tart tin
4. Place in the fridge for an hour until firm
1. Add the gelatine to a cup with the hot water, and leave to sponge
2. In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine the condensed milk and lemon juice and rind
3. Add the lightly whipped cream, and fold in until well combined
4. Add the gelatine mixture and whisk together
5. Pour into the tart shell and leave to set for a couple of hours
6. Scatter the caster sugar on top, and using a blow torch, brûlée until caramelised
7. Put into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes
8. Serve with fresh berries
After all the demo’s had finished, tea and cake was served in the chocolate room.
Tea and Cake before lunch
We settled down for lunch at long, beautifully decorated tables. Our first course was cheese and wine, where a cheese expert from Simonsberg spoke to us about the different cheeses on our cheese board. There was cream cheese, Gouda, Cheddar, Camembert, Brie and 2 types of Blue cheese.
Cheese and Wine
We were also given an explanation of the 3 wines, a white, a red and a rose, and what cheese’s they pair best with.
Next came the bread shots, followed by the pear and blue cheese pies served with a delicious green salad with cucumber slivers and almonds.
Main meal consisted of a tender lamb shoulder, served with asparagus, a salsa verde and the lemon risotto we were shown earlier in the day. I always thought risotto was a disgusting mushy rice dish, but I have obviously just had the misfortune of eating badly made ones. this risotto was phenomenal. I hope to be able to recreate it one day.
Lamb with salsa verde, asparagus and lemon risotto
After the copious amount of food we had consumed since arriving at this magical place, we still had one more course to go, and the majority of us were full to bursting.
The lemon tart was served with a chocolate truffle spoon. The tart was the perfect balance of sweetness from the condensed milk and tartness from the lemon juice.
All in all, I had one hell of a time, and didn’t eat until the next day. Thanks Pick n Pay and Fresh Living, for a fantastic day and an awesome gift bag at the end of it.
Random things I learnt from this event
Cake flour is more suited to making pasta than bread flour
Place a sprinkling of maize meal on a baking tray, before placing bread on it to cook in the oven, as it prevents the bread from sticking, and gives it a crispy crust
Fresh Living is launching their cookbook on 15 November, at a cost of R90
Simonsberg cream cheese is aerated with nitrogen to make it light and fluffy
Risotto is amazing if prepared correctly
Fresh Living readers get given awesome gifts for attending the event
The Good Food Studio offers classes and demo’s all year round, and will have Alvin from Masterchef Australia doing demos in a few days time.