A food and wine experience that will challenge everything.
So #finedining? A #6coursedinner comprised of big plates and small portions of foams and various items you’ve probably never even heard of. I guess this could be quite a shock to a #SouthAfrican who is used to big #steaks and burgers. However, in the hands of the right #chef, in the right setting, and most importantly (well for me at least) #paired with the right #wines, this experience can pretty much take you into another #realm.
This is not a #dinner, nor is it a #winetasting. I’d even go as far as to say that it isn’t even a #pairing. It is a sensory test that challenges and bends every conceivable understanding you might have about how #foodandwine, should #smell, #taste ,and #feel. It is something I think every human should experience at least once in their lives, even if you’re not a big #foodie or your idea of the #perfectwine comes from a box. It is an experience which, if you open yourself up to it can reach in and touch your soul, and yes sometimes people even cry just like at the opera. You are forced to reckon with everything about yourself. The people you with, the conversations, your favorite #food from your childhood, a #smell, a #taste, an argument, a #memory, that could spark something deep inside and leave you feeling quite vulnerable.
The Venue - Fermier
"Fermier is an attempt to create a restaurant which in future can become completely self-sustainable" - Fermier Restaurant, Pretoria.
Entering the gate at #KarooCafé just off #Lynnwood Road, you begin to wonder if you're even at the right place, considering what I had heard about the #restaurant in the past. Pulling up into the parking area you are greeted by a friendly gentleman with a lamp who then escorts you along a path to the front of a very run down, almost #barn-like building. Nothing, however, can prepare you for the setting that greets you when the #host opens the door and you enter one of the most #beautifuldiningspaces I've ever seen. Elements of raw cement, steel, and wood are everywhere, while #warm lights and wool rugs create a warm, cozy #atmosphere. Across the room, owner and #chef Adriaan Maree diligently oversees the prep of the evenings' courses at the pass area for all to see. It's almost as if a piece of #poetry about #food, #wine, and warm spaces decided to jump off the paper and come to life.
"We strive to involve producers with the same philosophy about produce and create a dining experience where not only the tender cuts are used, but rather the whole animal (head to tail cooking)." - Femier, Pretoria
With a philosophy centered around #sustainability and creating an ecosystem that can one day be self-sustainable, Fermier not only challenges how we think about food but also how we get it. Care is taken to source the #finest #localproduce and involve the producers, " closing the gap between produce, farm, and the final product. The menu for the evening was as follows, with slight variations;
BUTTER, DUKHA, DUCK LIVER PARFAIT
ELDERFLOWER, PINE NUTS, LEMON
paired with SILVERTHORN THE GREENMAN MCC 2018
ROYALE, MACADAMIA, HUGUENOT
paired with KEERMONT TERRASSE 2018
CATCH OF THE DAY
MALTED BARLEY, CANDY ORANGE, BROTH
paired with JULIEN SCHAAL MOUNTAIN VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2019
CAULIFLOWER, SHIITAKE, TAMARIND
paired with RALL CINSAULT 2019
AUBERGINE, SUMAC, CAPERS, LEEKS
paired with TSW RESERVE SYRAH 2018
Now the most important part for me, as mentioned, is the #wines that were #paired with the evenings courses and... yes, yes, yes and yes! Every pairing was spot on. Each wine selected, perfectly #complimented its dish, resulting in a beautiful dance of #textures, #flavours and #aromas with every #sip and #bite you took. A true challenge of the #senses that leaves you guessing and wanting more after every mouthful.
Pairings of the evening - Lamb dish with TSW Reserve Syrah 2018 and the Granny Smith with Newton Johnson Noble Late Harvest.
"If food is the body of good living, wine is its soul." - Clifton Fadiman
My selection for the table - Terra De Bron 2012
This was an #unforgettable experience with some incredible friends. I'd love to go back again one day when some form of normality has resumed (ie. no curfew). I feel there just wasn't enough time for the menu to flow from one course to the next and thus felt a little rushed. However, this is not of the restaurants doing and is simply a product of the time we are in. This aside, the experience proved to be everything I'd heard and more. It is a true example of what fine dining should be right here in our backyard.
My Pick of The Evening🍷
Spice Route Terra de Bron Mourvedre
Written by Brenden Roberts