Cape Town has become a destination of choice for foodies the world over. In fact, the city was named the best food city in the world in 2016 in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.
For those wanting to do more than just enjoy the flavours and the comfortable and classy locations where this food is served, there are many opportunities to learn how to cook different types of cuisine in the city and the surrounding areas. Often, the cooking or drinks-making lesson is turned into a social session when the participants share the fruits of their efforts together at the end.
Avukile Mabombo, the Group Marketing Manager of Protea Hotels by Marriott and African Pride Hotels, says it’s an opportunity to make new friends and learn something new.
Mabombo suggests the following for Cape Town travellers:
Authentic Indian cuisine
Learning about spices is a crucial element to tackling Indian cookery, and the well-known Indian restaurant in Long Street, Masala Dosa, has set up classes to teach you how to get the best out of your cumin, turmeric and curry. Join a Saturday class and learn how to blend spices, as well as how to make Indian breads and the delightful paneer cheese.
Chocolate lessons: Honest Artisan Chocolate hosts regular Bonbon Workshops where one is shown how chocolate is made. More importantly, you get to eat what you made.
This Japanese food has become so popular it’s almost replaced Italian cuisine as the world’s most popular food. Because it requires fairly specialist knowledge to make at home, it hasn’t yet taken off as a style of cooking most families enjoy at home. But, one can learn the skills from a professional sushi chef at the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers in Century City. Classes are held on certain Saturdays, and participants learn to make a platter of sashimi, nigiri, vegetarian maki, California rolls and salmon roses. What’s best about it all is that one gets to eat it all afterwards!
Cape Malay cooking: Uniquely Capetonian, Cape Malay cooking blends the flavours of the East in a way not found anywhere else. From mild curries to the delightful flavours Bobotie, these are recipes well worth knowing. Join a class run by local resident, Zainie Misbach, in the iconic Bo-Kaap area and learn the intricate art of samosa folding – making a pocket of special pastry that is then filled with spicy chicken, mince or vegetables.
Cheese-making: If the taste of Cheddar, Gouda, Emmenthal and the like is something you crave, this Stellenbosch course offered by the Cheese Academy is bound to appeal.
At Stellenrust Wine Farm between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, you’ll truly immerse yourself in the art of wine-making – figuratively and literally. Those participating in the class climb into barrels with grapes up to their waists and stomp the grapes like wine-makers of old used to do.
Gin-making: The New Harbour Distillery is the place to visit to learn about gin and how to make it. Classes are hosted on the last Saturday of every month. And if gin is your poison of choice, Fire&Ice Hotels by Marriott in Cape Town, Pretoria and Melrose Arch, have just introduced an OTT (over the top) G&T menu, and with creations like Jungle Slang and The Tropicalli, you know you’re in for sensory treat.
This article was first published by IOL on 16 February 2018