Upon reflection, it is such a difficult thing to pinpoint the moments that made these two incredible experiences that we have just hosted at The Beach House Collection, in Yzerfotnein, so special…. there were SO many!
Was it the magnificent beach house venue? Was it the food prepared with love? Was it the perfect mix of fabulous people? Was it the connection that happened between the people? Or in the case of the SOUL FOOD RETREAT, was it our amazing resource, Gabi Lowe? Was it the energetic connection that happened subconsciously between the people during the yoga & meditation session with Dominique?
I guess it is a combination of all of all of these things.
It had been my vision for a while to create this new side to the business, FOR THE LOVE OF LIVING experiences that would be more than just the evening FOR THE LOVE OF COOKING INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES at Ginger & Lime, as it seemed that our guests were ready for this. Gabi had been working on her WORKSHOPS, and was getting more and more requests for a retreat, and so it seemed natural for us to do a collaboration.
Gabi and I spent many hours visualising what this would look like…chatting, planning and honing the model for the SOUL FOOD WORKSHOP. We became more and more enthusiastic the more we put into the project. It has SO much potential, and we both see that. Then Gabi spent much time on the IKIGAI PRESENTATION, and the workshop element, and my team and I created the menu, planned the flow of the events, did the shopping and all the necessary preparation. My BEACH HOUSE COLLECTION Team prepared the houses for us……. and all was set to go!
Much energy, careful thought and detailed planning, as well as hours of discussion (often over a glass of wine, of course) went into these projects, as you can image, as they don’t just happen. So with this, they take on a life of their own, and become a reality.
So the dates were in the diary, marketing began and the bookings started to flow in. With each one, we became more and more excited! You know when you are a kid and you aren’t sure if anyone is going to come to your party? That nervousness in the pit of your tummy…excited & scared all at the same time? Well that was us in a nutshell.
Soon the events were fully booked, and prep was in full flow. Katy and I headed out to Yzerfontein a day earlier, with our cars so full that we could hardly see out of them, and it was pouring cats and dogs! I have to say, the old back has taken a bit of strain with all the lifting, carrying and unpacking, but guess that is part of it all.
My team and I got busy in the kitchen, Gabi & Jaimi got stuck into setting up all the elements needed at the venue for the workshop, and the BHC team put the final touches to the rooms. We all met up later on at White Sands for dinner, and to plan further. We were all on a bit of a high, I have to say, and you could feel the energy bouncing off the walls with our excitement.
Then the next day, the guests arrived, and with this, we were officially launched.
Gabi really held the room with her compassion, understanding and her deep wisdom, as she shared her presentation on finding your purpose in life, or your IKIGAI.. She tapped into the core of each person there, and I know that every person felt this. There was deep sharing, and this brave group did not hold back. They were open and showed vulnerability, feeling safe and held, and trusting the process. There were tears, but there was more laughter overall, which is fabulous!
We served a nutritious and energising lunch, to make sure that our guests did not go into a slump. The afternoon included playtime, in the form of Vision Boards, and the group (albeit some of them a tad reluctantly) got stuck in to this project, and some amazing work was created.
The sun came out, and it was a gorgeous day, so Gabi added in some exercises that would take place on the beach, to enjoy the fresh air and the nature. This was followed by a session of yoga and exercises by Dominique, as well as a meditation. The sunsets were spectacular, going from yellow to orange to deep deep scarlets.
Dinner was an interactive cooking experience, which everyone jumped at and got stuck in. People mingled freely, chatting openly to each other, forming deep connections over the chopping boards & steaming pots. I remember looking around at some point, and my heart was singing with happiness to see this.
There was more retreat work the next day, and we finished off around lunchtime.
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Cape Town tourism brought international media to Ginger and Lime for a South African feast.
SNOEK PATE WITH HOMEMADE MIELIE BREAD
VEGETARIAN SAMOSAS WITH A DANJA CHUTNEY
BOEREWORS SNACK on braai with tomato relish/ mustard/ caramelised onions/ rolls
SEARED VENISON SKEWERS (done on the braai) with traditional South African pap and a cumin-pomegranate and fig glaze (also option of mushrooms)
MASALA LINE FISH of the day with a lentil curry
LAMB CURRY with sambals
OSTRICH BOBOTIE with yellow rice
A VEGETABLE CURRY rotis
KOEKSISTER ICE CREAM with reduced melktert liquer
Siphokazi from Masterchef came to play with us in the kitchen and was a hit with the guests.
Hope on Hopkins | Uber Ice Tea | Groot Constantia
I believe that things can’t stay still, they need to continually grow and evolve. And so it is with Ginger & Lime. Once the rough concept became a reality, it seemed to have a life of it’s own, on a journey that almost runs parallel to my own life, and I am able to detach and observe.
What I fascinates me over and over again is the ability of food and wine to heighten experiences, conversation and life in general.
I, like most others that are passionate about food, am obsessed with Chef’s Table. I savour each programme, digesting every detail, nuance and emotion that each chef awakens in me and then I wait a while in between before I allow myself the pleasure of devouring another episode. Each one is so incredibly unique and each chef has their own story, and I want to hear each one, and dedicate the respect to this person that they deserve for bearing their soul to us. They are incredibly brave to do so.
In particular, I loved these words by Francis Mallman, Argentina:
‘The energy just rolls with us and people from the outside get attracted to this. They feel the magic!
I need a joyous, festive, feeling in my kitchen, with the hours and hard work we do as a team, we must have this.’
These echo and ring true for the experience that happens when we host one of our interactive courses. No matter how hard the day has been, or how late the night before was, how sore the back might be, when the guests arrive in the kitchen and we do the welcome chat of how the evening will run, my team and I also feel this incredible energy that seems to carry us through on a high of note. All tiredness, physical and mental, melts away. We work smoothly as one, we dance around each other in the kitchen, and we have incredible fun doing so. We each give our all, every single time, as it should be. Our guests feel this magic, feel this passion and in turn become ignited by it. There is a joyous and festive feeling in my kitchen, which spurs us on to keep giving, to keep doing more to make this experience more than what was expected.
The hours are long, and physically this work is exhausting, so I know I need to recharge from time to time, or there is a huge risk of burnout and throwing in the towel.
Having said that, I am presently in the Seychelles, and I am doing just that. I have not been here before, and what a wonderful experience it is to discover new places and all that they have to offer. How blessed to have this opportunity!
I knew of course that Creole cooking is big here, and that they use a lot of spices and are well known for their aromatic curries. This of course is right up my alley, as there is nothing more satisfying to me than the complexity of a well balanced curry. And then of course there is the ample supply of fresh seafood, being a remote island, which is again, right up my alley.
I will share some of my experiences with you, but I do want to note that there is a discipline to Seychellois cuisine that I had not expected. Each place seems to offer fairly similar dishes, and they are prepared strictly as the ancestors no doubt have done for centuries. It is bound by tradition and a formula, and certain ingredients that deny experimentation, as if they don’t want any surprises, but are comfortable in the familiarity of knowing what to expect on their plates. Interesting! In a way this is to be admired, as for us from South Africa, we seem to have so many different ways and styles of cooking, that there is not that sense of heritage that they display here (apart from of course the Cape Malay Cuisine, which remains true to its roots).
The curries are mild, and favour turmeric and a blended premixed mild curry powder of the usual kind (coriander, cardamom, cumin, chili, paprika and so on) along with lots of ginger and garlic. When I asked for extra chilli on the side, my request was met with a little resistance, and I actually felt that it was just not the thing to do! I can only imagine the conversation in the kitchen when the request was put through… the raised eyebrows, the beautiful Seychellois language expressing firmly just how wrong this was.
On that note, the language is amazing, and the locals really sing when they speak in a very lilting, lyrical way. Seychellois is French, but in a simple, primitive and almost childlike form. Even the spelling seem to be phonetic, and easy to pronounce. I feel it is more Caribbean than African in the intonation and sound. Really charming and beautiful! I have heard no loud voices, and no anger. Just many very white smiles and a pure light shining through the eyes that is wonderful to see. These are gentle people who seem to go through life life at their own pace, in true laid back island style, not in much of a hurry.
Arriving here, and stepping out of the crisp air-conditioned plane, you feel like someone has thrown a wet blanket over you as the humidity hits you. You do seem to get used to it somewhat, as when you are on holiday, and can swim often, it seems okay, and I am not a fan of heat or humidity.
There is a special exotic scent that seems to be in the air everywhere, hard to define, but some vanilla, lemongrass and perhaps a hint of cardamom. Subtle and soothing.
The other thing of beauty to behold is of course the lush thick greenery and vegetation. For those of us coming from the drought stricken Cape, this is a sight for sore eyes!
We arrived at Eden Island late on the first evening by taxi, so had absolutely no idea where we were. Husband was slightly grumpy that no restaurants were open at 10.30pm, but fortunately for us, the wonderful Rosemary from Eden Island had stocked the apartment with breakfast goodies for our stay, so scrambled eggs on toast it was, washed down with a gorgeous bottle of Kevin Arnold Shiraz from duty free. Not too shabby!
We awoke the next morning to the beautiful view of the Eden Island marina and the palm trees outside the window. There is not a thing out of place in this complex, and it is incredibly well maintained. First thing, jump in our own golf cart (Gav loved this the most) and head for a swim at one of the beaches which is right there on your doorstep. Beautiful aqua clear, calm water, postcard perfect. We had now arrived!
Being the adventurous sort, we of course hired a car and headed off to explore the island. Map in hand, we navigated our way to Victoria and then over the most amazing mountain pass to the West side of the island coming out at Port Glaud. When I say hairpin bend, after hair pin bend, I mean it!!! Phew! It was thick tropical jungle all the way, the kind with those monkey ropes hanging down that you would expect to see Tarzan swinging from. The roads are incredibly narrow, and with busses heaving down the other side of the road at serious pace, we were in dire need of a drink once we came down on the other side!
We came across a restaurant right on the beach, and decided to stop for lunch. This was called Le Del Place, Porte Glaud, and has the most idyllic view across to small islands over the crystal clear bay. This little bay, we discovered later, is one of the best snorkelling places on the island. We settled ourselves outside on the wooden deck and sampled the SeyBrew local beer, which slipped down a treat in the heat, have to say, and I am not a beer drinker!
The menu had a mix of Creole specialities as well as the usual burgers and so on for those with less adventurous palates. I decided to have the Crab Curry (crab is my all time best seafood), and Gav had the fresh fish of the day. Mine was superb, and I insisted on cracking every leg, sucking out every piece of that sweet meat, as Gavin cringed and tried to pretend he didn’t know who I was! I was covered in the turmeric based yellow curry sauce, as was most of the table, and needed a shower once I was done! It was delicious, and I loved every morsel. They serve it with a Pumpkin Chutney (baked cold pumpkin that is mashed up with finely chopped onions, thyme, red chillies, coriander, honey, lemon juice and vinegar), coconut chatini, aubergine chatini and Laaaaantils, as they say (lentils). Gavin kept asking them to repeat themselves, as he had no idea what they meant!
My meal of the trip had to be the fresh Palm Heart salad, at La Plage in Beau Vallon. Again a beach restaurant, we sat on the deck right on the beach, with unbelievable views. A really friendly French owner, who clearly took immense pride in his restaurant, explained how the palm heart was delivered whole and then had to be shaved, much like Parmesan shavings, and that the yield per tree was very small. I have to say that I kind of felt bad that a tree had to go simply to supply us with this delicacy, but it was one of the best things I have ever had in my life. It was simply prepared, just with a very light vinaigrette dressing, and a few tomato slices.
Another fabulous dish that they served was the Prawns Saganaki, hardly a purist Creole dish, I know, but worth a mention as it is one of the ones that we have on our Mediterranean course, and I have actually never seen it anywhere else. Man it was good! Plump juicy prawns, creamy tangy melted Feta and rich tomato sauce. Heaven! Must do that one again on our menu – so look out for our next Mediterranean inspired cooking course.
Beau Vallon is the most popular beach (and yet is was really not very busy at all) where they have a night food market on a Wednesday night which is very famous. We sadly missed this, but if you happen to be there for this, don’t miss it. There are many locals on the beaches, and most bring along copious amounts of food in storage containers and have a picnic under the trees on the beaches. I was dying to sample what they had bought along, as it looked amazing.
We did head into Port Victoria early one morning to go to the food market, one stop I never miss in each new place I go to. Parking is definitely a problem here, and watch out for rush hour traffic, as the roads can become very congested, as generally there is one road in, and one road out. I have to say that the market was a tad disappointing, apart from the super fresh fish (including shark … minus the fins) which were really straight from the sea. Not ONE tomato in sight!!! Limited spices that were prepackaged, and definitely more for the tourists than for the locals.
We enjoyed a superb Indian meal at Maharajah Restaurant in the Eden Bay Plaza, that was really worth a visit. One restaurant that we did mean to visit, but ran out of time, was Mari Antoinette, which is on the hill above Port Victoria.
We decided that having done two days of driving around, really doing a thorough recce of the island, as we do being in production, that we would head over to the small island of La Digue for a night and check that out. The ferry ride to Praslin is about an hour, and of course on island time, left 20 minutes late. A motley mix of travellers of all ages from all over the world, from weary parents of toddlers and newborns, to the many honeymoon couples, with that happy but somewhat smug look of satisfaction on their faces, and several locals doing their commute to or from work.
From there it is another quick ferry ride for fifteen minutes to La Digue. The golf cart from the hotel was waiting to fetch us on the jetty, and it was a 5 minute ride to the hotel right on the water. Wow Wow Wow, is all I can say! We have stayed in many places, but Le Domaine de L’Orangerie has to be way up there with some of the best ever.
The beautiful neutral colours with rough contrasting natural textures used throughout was so soothing to the eye. A wonderful palette of tones is used here, and exactly my colours, from a warm caramel to grey beige to a creamy oyster shade and everything in between. Incredibly natural and yet luxurious. I felt instantly calm and at peace and at home. We were taken on another golf cart up a steep hill to our suite. Again, so well thought out, and gorgeously decorated. The large bathroom with a bamboo shower and a huge stone bath was outdoors, with worn wood, stones and rocks used to finish it off. The view was into the lush green tropical vegetation with a large balcony. We were so overwhelmed, we immediately asked to stay another night to really absorb this beauty.
The pool area was so inviting with huge comfortable loungers and a wet bar, just calling you to come and get a Pina Colada or an ice cold SeyBrew. We were in heaven! Then feeling somewhat guilty for the overindulgence of all things bad for you, we decided to go for a snorkel, from the beach a short walk from the hotel. Everyone rides around on bicycles, and there are very few vehicles on the island, these being mainly utility style or taxis. The snorkelling was fantastic! Crystal clear water, and loads of fish of all sizes and bright colours. We were really amazed to find this right on the shore, as usually one has to go out on a boat to see such abundance and so many species!
We hired bikes the next morning and did a full ride from one side of the island to the other, which is a great way to see and experience all the sights there are. It is so unspoilt and natural, with lush green vegetation and the typical palm fringed soft white sandy beaches. The one unique feature they do have are the huge boulders on several of the beaches. We rode through an interesting vanilla plantation and then saw the house that the movie GOODBYE EMMANUEL was shot at, a typical Seychellois Plantation house, of which they seem particularly proud as it is marked on every tourist map.
We left reluctantly and headed back to Mahe on the last ferry. The next day we packed up and drove across the island to the West coast, another gorgeous drive over a winding pass, and stopped for lunch at a very small beach called ANSE DE SOLEIL. You drive down a very steep and curved road and come out at this small beach restaurant called CHEZ JULIEN. I highly recommend a visit here. Feet in the sand, casual and very local. You can go for a swim in between courses, that kind of place. We enjoyed a barbecued fish and salad, and of course an icy SeyBrew. The meal didn’t look like anything, and I have to say, it really makes me very uncomfortable when my food looks at me as I am devouring it, but it was incredibly tasty.
Then a short hop and we arrived at the BANYAN TREE. And when I say arrived, I do mean ARRIVED. It is a spectacular property! It was owned years ago by Peter Sellers and George Harrison, so you can imagine the parties that must have happened there! A massive banyan tree set at the entrance welcomes you to paradise. Vast natural gardens with large rocks and water features. It is a combination of a well established Colonial and Seychellois beach style property, with dark wood inside and light wooden almost Carribbean style architecture on the outside. Spectacular long private beach with wild waves, which is so great to see after the calm flat lake like seas we had been experiencing. We were taken up to our suite by golf cart, and again just blown away!
You get your own pool with a covered indoor/outdoor style lounge area, a jacuzzi, set on a wooden balcony high on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Palm trees everywhere to ensure your absolute privacy. Again a classic well appointed comfortable room, with a huge window, so it feels like you are almost outside. From the moment you open your front gate and enter the villa, you could walk around starkers, as not one person looks onto the balcony or the room. A real honeymoon spot. We immediately headed down to the sea for a walk along the beach and good swim in the waves, which was so energising. You hardly see anyone, as the property is huge, and privacy seems to be the order of the day. There are only 60 villas, on this massive property. Thankfully we are fairly connected with the management, and received a good family/friend rate! The staff were so caring and yet professional, that you almost felt like you were staying at a friend’s house, and yet they were discreet and left you to your own devices to enjoy your privacy too.
Talking about rates, be warned…….. the Seychelles is one of the most expensive places we have ever, ever been, and we have traveled extensively! You just need to bite the bullet and go for it. A good way to try to experience everything is to share different dishes where you can, so that you can get to taste more things. Beer is of course affordable, but the wines and cocktails do push the budget somewhat. Such a crime to be charge 20 x the price for a seriously cheap SA wine, that you wouldn’t ever drink at home! Even the supermarket is incredibly expensive, and yet to buy the local fish is very reasonable and abundant.
Gavin went out on a fishing trip from the Ephelia Resort, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and he came back to the hotel laden with fresh fish like Bonita, Grouper and Kingfish. The chef prepared this simply, grilled with a lemon butter sauce, for us that evening. Unbelievably good! This kind of simplicity seems to be missing from most of the menus where they make so many mild curries and use sauces extensively, and tend to overcomplicate what should be a simple cuisine.
The Spa is set high up in the resort and is open to the elements, so this is a wonderful and unique experience, highly recommended as well. I enjoyed the yoga/pilates classes and there is a great gym too, so we did try to balance out the amounts of food that we consumed…… all for research purposes of course!
It was so refreshing to experience all this greenery, so restful to the eye after the harsh arid conditions that our drought in the Cape has created.
We were very sad to leave the island, but it is always good to leave wanting more, and that is how we feel. The Seychellois people are a gentle folk, which is … by their lilting language, a variation of French. The island is totally unspoilt and natural in so many places, and this is so rare to see nowadays when you are used to what has happened in the overcrowded, overdeveloped popular Thai islands or Mauritius.
After this break, I was so ready to get back into the kitchen and to whip up some tasty creations with my fabulous team!
MENU for 13 May 2017 @ 10am
PLANT BASED WITH ARABELLA
Quinoa and chia porridge with coconut cream, vanilla and cinnamon topped with seasonal fruit, almonds, buckwheat and a mint jus
Buddha Bowl with spice paste, baby corn, beans, snap peas, mushrooms and broccoli with brown rice served with fresh coriander and chilli
Saffron flatbreads with beetroot pate, grilled aubergine, pickled zucchini and carrot tzatsiki served with pomegranates and black sesame
Aubergine Pahi with flatbreads
Miso or seaweed broth with exotic mushrooms, chilli and lemongrass with poached egg and udon noodles
Raw cocao ferrero rochers, peanut butter banana ice cream and raw chocolate mousse with fresh berries
Book Online: http://bit.ly/2nkakpF
Liam Tomlin, the creator of Thali and Chef’s Warehouse in Cape Town visits our food studio each month to bring us mouth watering TAPAS in a demo style cooking workshop. You may have noticed chef John Van Zyl sous at some of these events and he joined once again in April. John will be back in April 2017 to bring you a second installment of this incredible tastebud tantalizing Saturday. Click here to book!
The Ginger & Lime food studio team hosted a brunch at the Peppermint Palace in March for travel agents and other like minded individuals in the Cape Town Tourism scene. Much fun was had and we think the fig dessert went down rather well! For more information on how we can work together please email us on email@example.com or visit this link for the presentation at the brunch.
All our courses and your private events can be booked via the email address above. Most our cooking experiences are available via this online booking system (subject to change).
Introducing by request
THREE BRAND NEW
Weekday lunchtime courses
Mon 13 March: Cooked with Clara: real, honest food made simple
(see menu) 10.00am- 1pm R575pp
Thurs 23rd March: Home Cooking made Easy Part 1
for Home based executives & Housekeepers
(see menu) 9.30 – 1.30pm R850pp (10 max)
Thurs 20 April: Authentic Indian Curries with Saba
(see menu) 10.00am- 1pm R575pp
Tues 25th April: Home Cooking made Easy Part 2
for Home based Executives & Housekeepers
9.30 – 1.30pm R850pp (10 max)
Housekeepers ~ Part One
Cooked with Clara
– Zucchini & Feta stuffed chicken breasts with lemon, garlic & herbs. Crumbed and oven baked.
– Baby potatoes squashed with olive oil, lemon rind, parsley, chives & love.
An easy side dish, which can become a salad with the addition of other goodies
– Bowl of beautiful greens: How to blanch these to perfection and then dress with a fresh vinaigrette & toasted almonds.
– Ridiculously easy brunch bread: Mozzarella, Basil, Tomatoes,
Pancetta, olive oil and all things good. Rolled up & baked
Authentic Indian Curries with Saba
– Enjoy a mango lassi (Indian style yoghurt-mango milkshake)
– Potato rolls with minced and fried chicken tikka
– Shahi butter paneer (smooth and rich masala curry)
– An aromatic lamb Roghan Josh dish
served with sides including
w/ peas and rice
Nathalie is a private chef who’s foodie intentions are pure! With a passion for healthy, honest, clean cuisine she aims to inspire you to get back in the kitchen where the real magic happens. Let’s live better and feel better by eating better. Her recipes are all delicious and with commitment, is easy to integrate into your lifestyle. Her courses are great for those interested in plant based diets, simple superfoods others who are trying out veganism or full on braai loving meat eaters. Nathalie is travelling again in 2017 to Indo to work in Bali as a chef at places that cater for surfer’s yoga and retreats, she will however be holding regular events at the Ginger & Lime food studio.
Follow her adventures on Instagram @Earth_2_Plate
To find out about more courses by Nathalie:
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / Katy 083 660 1146
Umami sushi bites with naturally pickled ginger, homemade Ponzu & eggless wasabi mayo
Main Event //
Build your medicinal Buddha bowl with
Gluten free wraps
Beetroot and chickpea cakes
Probiotic turmeric carrot, cabbage and fennel flower slaw
Tandoori Cauliflower skewers
Spiced cucumber, coconut & spring onion salad with seasonal garden herbs & greens
Curried Almond dressing
Coconut Yogurt Raita
Probiotic tomato and tamarind chutney
Sweet Endings //
Cooling Mint ‘nice cream’ with raw chocolate hardening sauce
Salted date caramel, whipped ‘cream, chickpea fudge & spirulina coconut sprinkles
p: +27 82 567 1677
Contact us directly: Katy email@example.com or 083 660 1146
We had such good fun at our recent Asian Fusion course – this one aptly named 和食 Japanese Cuisine. Adrian Shields visit us for some delicious food including a gorgeous beef dish and the new style sushi we experimented with.
The menu in February included:
Edamame beans with chili salt
Roasted baby carrots with a tahini dressing
Watch the magic happen:
new style Salmon Sashimi & upside down yellowtail or tuna sashimi with chili and ponzu dressing
Get stuck into creating these two dishes…
Beef Tataki with a tosazu dressing on a bed of noodles with wasabi mayo and then Chicken Yakitori on shaved cucumber ribbons with pickled ginger
fresh playful interactive segment making
a Salmon Poke Bowl with avocado, pea shoots and edamame beans and an asian inspired baby spinach with truffle oil, grated parmesan and sprouts
our evening will culminate in a dish
Asian broth with seared asian suck breasts, seasonal greens served with asian style egg and noodles
We finish off the evening with
Green Tea ice cream and papaya with a lime, ginger and mint dressing
All ingredients are subject to availability and menu may not be exactly as described.
Stuck on what to get that special someone this Christmas, or maybe you are attending a wedding and are loathed to buy the couple yet another toaster. Well how about a voucher to attend one of our cooking experiences. An interactive and hands on cooking class in Fresnaye. Vouchers can be purchased for yourself and a plus one or for a couple or a group of friends #girlsnight
Enjoy a memorable evening in our food studio with some great like minded guests, delicious food, good wine all in the comfort of your hosts Fresnaye home near Sea Point. Bookings or queries can be made via firstname.lastname@example.org