Posts tagged "art"

Food and wine that (almost) tops the art

Makes me weak at the knees … From the moment I arrive at this sensational destination in this gorgeous city – from the haunting opera music piped into the stairwell between the parking garage and the museum, to the food and wine artistically paired and passionately served on the top floorWe were already totally and madly in love with the Zeitz Mocaa Museum. The relationship got off to great start: It is about us

Layers and layers of pleasure, in every colour and shape, have been added week by week as we have popped in often, for a minute or so much more. Sometimes we linger and go on a journey from room to room; other times we pop in and head somewhere in particular for a quick fix.

When it comes to quick fixes, William Kentridge’s multi-panel digital video More Sweetly, Play The Dance is the hit of hits. It will bring me back as long as it is here (the plaque says it is on loan from the artist and the Goodman Gallery). Like a hit of something forbidden, the thrill of watching this particular tragi-comedy of pure South African-ness thrills almost as soon as it is delivered: half pleasure, half pain; half pride, half shame.

The beauty of a membership, we thought, was being able to pop in at will, jumping queues and avoiding the entry fee. We think we own the place.

That was even before they started wining and dining us …

We were alerted to the wine pairing in the café at the top of the gallery by a little, almost matter of fact mention in the members’ newsletter. An amazing deal, R250 for a three-course meal, each course paired with a glass of wine. All of this in that delicious space with its glorious geodesic windows that protrude from the building in a visual representation of the former grain silos full-to-busting with grain.

They could have served us scrambled eggs and a glass of port … Instead they served us three delicious courses paired with superb wines that made us wonder if Kentridge himself had been involved.

It is, in fact, head chef Christopher Law who is to be congratulated for the creations that come from his kitchen.

It was a procession of delicious, interesting flavours and textures, some that delighted and popped, others tickling and teasing. I am not going to lie, there was some stroking too. So many knockout combinations of food and wine.

Consider this extravaganza of a starter: scorched seabass, truffle crumbles, lemon-infused crème fraiche, pickled ginger puree, beetroot and baby leaves. And so it continued, a delicious journey through flavours and sensations. I have to be honest, though, the extra special ingredient on the day was our server, Richard.

This charming and knowledgeable waiter-cum-wine sommelier added a very particular layer of magic. He understands the wine and the food, the combination of the two especially. He served it all with such skill and more than a side order of passion.

He must have seen us coming because he was very quick to recommend a glass of bubbly, the Lourensford  MCC, before we start the pairing.

If there wasn’t a ban on using the word champagne to describe SA bubbly, Richard said, would call this this Cap Classique the champagne of champagnes. Not a word of a lie there. There is a lot of promise on the nose with strong aromas of cake crust, hints of marzipan even. Then the finest of bubbles and the freshest of finishes.

It was a perfect start. We were both glad there was no food with the bubbly since it would have just been too distracting. Total focus required!

Then it was time for that starter. A variety of little bites of delicate flavours and textures seemed to play together in a miniature symphony that was over too quickly.

The Lourensford chardonnay impressed the two of us, who normally avoid it even if it lacks the acidity of the others that sometimes stings and irritates. What surprised about the Lourensford was the absence of the perfumey, oily, woody chardonnay flavours that usually drive us away. Funny how you can like a thing for what it lacks. In this case, it felt a little like taking a dip in the Atlantic on Camps Bay and discovering that the sea is not as cold as you thought.

No one was more surprised than me when the delicious main course played second fiddle to the vino, the Shiraz Mourvèdre Viognier 2015, even though the sous vide sirloin with caramelised pear croquettes (a revelation), the sweetest red pepper puree and the finest of green beans was a total knockout.

Loud applause for both food and wine, but the standing ovation went to Richard, who did a little dance as he unpacked and described our seduction by this Rhone-style blend. First, he said, you get a little spice on the nose … then a cherry smell passes by …

He does a little dance as he describes it: “First you feel your shiraz. Then there is a little tussle as Mourvèdre tries to get in on the action and finally, the viognier steps forwards and says, Calm down I am here too!”

That surely must be the climax, I thought, but then the dessert, aah the dessert: strawberry and cream vanilla cake, wild strawberry moose, honey and vanilla parfait, black basil crumbs and strawberry compote.

This spread of delicious sweetness was balanced by a glass of sauvignon blanc.

Asked about his favourite wines, Richard said: “If you have five children you, can’t favour one, not even the baby.”

The wine pairing lunches are served in the café on Level 6 of Zeitz Mocaa only until the end of April. A different menu is served every day.

Salt River shows off its sexy new look

Children help Julia Mary Grey with her mosaic

It has been the brightest of weeks in Salt River and scores of people from all over Cape Town and beyond are expected to come out to celebrate this weekend. More than 30 artists have painted the suburb every shade of red and many others besides during Cape Town’s first International Public Art Festival.

Every time I have been down there the artists have been surrounded by children, many of them eager to help. The children of this neighbourhood have claimed the project as their own and have done a lot more than dab the odd bit of paint here and there.

A 125-metre wall in Dove Street, entirely the work of local youngsters completed with guidance from artists, including Hajila, is a legacy of and for a community that has opened doors, walls, hearts and homes.

Senzo Nhlapo ©Senzart911

The fun and festivities are due to climax this weekend when the final touches will be put to the artworks, and many locals and visitors will come out to celebrate and admire the neighbourhood’s brand new look.

The festival is a launchpad for various other programmes, all of which will use art as a platform for education and upliftment. Some of these have already started with local children among the beneficiaries with art classes being held at the Blackpool football club and at two schools.

There will be various art-focused activities at and around the Blackpool football club this weekend. Many Salt River residents will be on hand to take visitors on tours of the suburb and its new art for a small fee. There will also be music and food (local delights prepared by people from the neighbourhood) as well as other entertainment.

It’s all happening in and around Blackpool football club, 9 Shelley Road, Salt River.

More information

Art hits the streets of Cape Town

Wayne BKS goes by the aliases Conform and Skiet

Work by Mohamed “Mo” Hassan

In a taste of what is to come in February at Cape Town’s newest art festival, two artists will this Sunday put on a live “performance”, making a 7m wide work of art in downtown Cape Town.

Bringing art out of the hushed and hallowed spaces of galleries, Wayne BKS, who goes by the aliases Conform and Skiet, and Mohamed “Mo” Hassan, will work side by side making a piece of art on a large sheet of plastic stretched between two lamp-posts. They will be hoping that neither the wind and sun, nor the public glare, is too harsh. But the illustrators and artists are also what is commonly known as graffiti artists, so are probably used to being criticised and misunderstood.

That will soon change, however, if the team at Baz Art, the NPO that is launching South Africa’s first International Public Art Festival (IPAF) next month, have their way. The NPO seeks to bring street art into the mainstream and to use it to improve people’s lives.

Work by Mohamed “Mo” Hassan

In addition to IPAF, a festival dedicated to teaching, creating and showcasing street art, Baz Art is launching a variety of programmes, from art classes for children to beautifying neighbourhoods with large, well-maintained murals and helping entrepreneurs set up spin-off businesses such as food stalls, galleries or local tours.

Work by Wayne BKS, who goes by the aliases Conform and Skiet

The live graffiti painting will take place as part of Open Streets City Centre, which will see Bree and Longmarket streets closed to motorised traffic for the day on Sunday. The Open Streets event is the latest in a series of street closures across Cape Town, from Langa to Bellville and Observatory to Mitchells Plain, designed to encourage residents to reclaim the streets as places to connect and commune.

The International Public Art Festival will be held from February 10 to 20. More info

– African News Agency (ANA)

Painting a new picture of Africa

Remi: Pierre-Christophe Gam. Image courtesy of the artist

Kolade: Pierre-Christophe Gam. Image courtesy of the artist.

There will be many elements of a self portrait – idealist, realist and all the ‘ists’ in between – as the inaugural Art Africa Fair, which opens in February, helps paint a new picture of the continent.

Issuing a call for submissions on Wednesday the art fair’s organisers asked artists and gallerists “to propose work that challenges parochial perceptions surrounding Africa and provokes alternative artistic visions of the continent as defined by individual, lived experiences”.

Developed by curators Salimata Diop, Uche Okpa-Iroha, Pierre-Christophe Gam, Thembinkosi Goniwe and Ruzy Rusike, Africa’s “first fully curated international art fair” takes place at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town from February 24 to March 5.

“Rather than trying to locate something specific to the continent, our curatorial framework depends on engaging a multiplicity of subjective curatorial and artistic narratives that tell their own story,” the organisers said in a statement.

Gold: Pierre-Christophe Gam. Image courtesy of the artist

They describe their approach as “an attempt to transform vernacular African ideas into tangible expressions, to challenge stereotypical understandings and to introduce, propagate and take responsibility for new representations about Africa, from Africa.

“Our story starts with us. It is an exciting journey, and who better to tell it?” says Okpa-Iroha.

Artists, photographers, designers, galleries, groups and institutions working in any medium are invited to propose work for the exhibition. The deadline for applications is January 10.

More information is available via email to or by calling (+27) 021 465 9108.

– African News Agency (ANA)

Tonight’s fun and games


After a super fab Thursday night at Keenwa, a bum in every seat (I kid you not), the Pisco bar is expecting a crowd of cool young theatre luvvies to watch Jireh’s debut show.

Impeccable sources assure me that there is still room and a sensational cocktail or two for stragglers from office drinks …

Prosecco for the people

Bellenda1*** Newsflash! ***

Keenwa has parachuted in a case of the newly landed Prima Cuvee from Bellenda, exceptional qualityShui2 Prosecco! They will be popping the corks on First Thursday, February 6.  Don’t expect there to be any left on Friday. To book your table at Keenwa call 021 419 2633

Shui1As if creative ceviche and crazy cocktails were not enough, Keenwa will be exhibiting works by Shui-Lyn White on First Thursday, February 6!

Here is a taste of Shui’s inspiration …

All there ever is, the long let go of that which can never be held, which is everything: a let go of time; a stretching away from us, stretching on to where, if we are present, time ceases in its space, and space ceases in time, and all is ever as it was or will be and we are the sum of all lives lived in our instant …

ImageOn the first Thursday of every month, balmy ones and wet breezy ones alike, Capetonians pull out their brollies, their sunhats or their beanies/tea cozies and hit the streets for a little creative cruising.

Galleries and bars on downtown’s Art Route stay open late and lay on fun, surprising things to pull people in.

The streets come alive!


Seen at First Thursday, November

This week, February 6, sees Keenwa, Cape Town’s ‘Peruvian Connection’, its only specialty Peruvian restaurant, throwing its hat (and watch, coat and trousers …) into the ring with creative cocktails and the arty-est ceviche.

Expect to be surprised at Keenwa.

Bookings recommended.
50 Waterkant Street (just off the corner with Bree), Cape Town, 021 419 2633