Welcome 2013…you are going to be a fantastic year

And so 2013 has arrived.   Christmas celebrations came and went, followed by the big decision as to what one should do for New Years, all through our busy little town the big discussions of where, what and how while buzzing around and getting in your last bit of 2012 before that first day of 2013’s hangover sets in and you spend your day lazing around.

Sitting now and watching the news, you really take in all that happened last night, from the tragedy of the fires in Cape Town, to the tradition of the Annual Malay Choir Parade being cancelled due to Mother Nature’s wrath.  All this makes you really think hard about your year that has passed, and your year ahead, waiting for you to embrace it all.

I had a wonderful 2012, I started the year by marrying my best friend, my soul mate and the one person who never judges my choices, who supports me and loves me unconditionally. Babe, you bring a smile not only to my face, but also to my heart…every day I fall in love with you more and more.

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Mid-way through the year I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Food & Wine Bloggers Indaba in Cape Town, little did I know that this was the kick-start to so many new challenges, goals and dreams that will be accomplished in 2013, along with this, I spent the day with my wonderful friends, catching up, drinking wine and enjoying delicious food.  This needs to be done more often girls!

Along with these two events, so many other wonderful moments for 2012 spring to mind…

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Now all long 2012 was not always sunshine and roses, there were a few tears, a few days of feeling defeated…there were days of internal screaming and shouting in my own head, but with each one of these days, came the unconditional support and love from my wonderful family and friends, who makes even the darkest clouds have a silver lining.

I do not have any New Years resolutions…this explains it all…

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So…with this, farewell 2012, it has been great, thank you for not ending.   2013, the year of the snake, this year is the first year since 1987 to have all its digits being different numbers. I embrace you and cannot wait to experience all you have to offer.

Food and Wine Bloggers Indaba 2012

So it’s been almost two weeks since the 3rd Food and Wine Bloggers Indaba, and let me tell you, I still smile at the great memories, of not only the whole experience but of old friends, new friends, and of course the wonderful organizational skills of the beautiful Browniegirl aka Colleen Grove.

Before I go any further, I have to give Colleen a round of applause, I attended the first FBI 2 years ago, this year, Colleen, you have set your standards extremely high, you are going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to beat this experience!  You did a wonderful job, and I have to say a big thank you for not only putting it all together, and for all the hard work, but for the warm welcoming hug, and all the love you give.  As mentioned before, you inspired me not only to blog, but with day to day inspiration with your stunning desserts.

The morning started off with excited hugs and long time no see’s, and of course our lovely gifts from Yuppiechef – our knife & apron, which has a lovely space on my knife magnet between my collection of Scanpans.  After coffee, busy chattering, meeting new friends, and  buffet of welcoming cookies, off we were to the conference room to kick off the Indaba.

As each speaker enlightened us with their know how, many people where taking notes and as I looked around the room, I could see the busy fingers of fellow bloggers tweeting, causing #FBI2012 to trend.  Such an achievement for such a young event. Many things were learnt which shall soon be put into practise…which I know will only open more doors for me.

After lunch was served, a buffet of beautifully presented mezze’s of deliciousness, and wine was drank, thank you Tangled Tree, we broke up into our different workshops.  As a chef, I blog for the networking and inspiration, so for myself, the inspirational workshops were Hands On Cupcake Decorating Workshop and Bubbly & Canapé Pairing Workshop.

The hands on cupcake workshop was presented by Grace from Cupcakes by Design, and boy was it loads of fun.  Not only was Grace a wonderful teacher with her knowledge and know how, but she was so friendly and gave personal attention to each one of use that sat around the table.  We were taught about fondant, shaping, different design techniques and then left to ourselves to design away.

We could decorate 4 cupcakes which were baked by Grace, and this was my end result.

At the end of the first workshop, we enjoyed another wine break, and some lovely little pastries, which I have to just single out, the Tangled Tree Shiraz was a beautiful combination with the moist rich chocolate brownies that were served. Happiness still fills me as I remember the flavours on my palate.

The second workshop that I attended was called Gorgeous Bubbly & Canapé Pairing Workshop, presented by Pieter ‘Bubbles’ Ferreira, who had us from the first cork pop.   Chef Garth Almazan of Catharina’s cooked up a storm for the pairing.

Our first pairing was freshly shucked oysters with a Vietnamese dressing, which was paired with Graham Beck Brut Zero 2005.

I love the whole play of anything Asian influenced saucing, such beautiful fresh flavours, which just worked so very well to with the oyster.

Second up was something that really boggled my mind.  I was skeptical, but at the same time intrigued.  Malay style scrambled egg with a cured salmon terrine, paired with Graham Beck Cuvee Clive 2005.

This was without a doubt the top pairing for me.  The bubbly on its own stood out, as did the canapé, but together they complimented each other and the dance that went on in my mouth was slow and delicate with a few edgy steps and in seconds I was swaying with happiness.

Third up was a Graham Beck Brut Berry Terrine with macerated berries in a raspberry and pomegranate balsamic syrup, paired with Graham Beck Brut Rose NV and Graham Beck Bliss Demi Sec NV.

I am going to firstly admit that I am not a huge dessert fan, and I personally didn’t enjoy the texture of the terrine, but having said that, the raspberry and pomegranate balsamic syrup was out of this world.  I personally enjoyed the dish more with the Graham Beck Brut Rose NV and found the Graham Beck Bliss Demi Sec NV slightly to dry and harsh.

The day ended with a few prizes, which I never win!

And a lovely auction for Lavender in Lavender Hill Charity, and of course 3 goodie bags filled with such wonderful bits and pieces, and many hugs and kisses from old and new friends.

What a day!  Again, a big thank you to all the wonderful sponsors and people who spent hours of their times to make this all happen.  Pick n Pay, Yuppiechef, Nomu, Tangled Tree and everyone else who helped to make this all happen.  I definitely look forward to #FBI2013