French Market Newsletter-Fires-CT Cycle Tour-FM opening in J’burg-Gluten free Risotto-Weekly Recipe 9 2015 Risotto aux Truffes et Champignons

Dear French Market Shoppers

This is probably the first time I will say that I have been glad to see some rain in Cape Town, All weekend I watched the fires blaze on the Hout Bay mountain slopes across the valley from me and only the rain was able to finally put the fires out. I will never forget watching the rings of fire encircling the mountains and reaching right down to the sea at Chapman’s Peak. fire on chapmans peak 002 (400x288)

If the wind had not changed direction the damage would have been far worse. My thoughts go out to the people who lost their homes in Noordhoek and Tokai. I have heard many stories in my shop from clients telling about the efforts of the community helping each other all over the peninsula. We are fortunate to have a tireless fire service who worked without stopping to protect us as much as humanly possible.


Despite the huge fires this week, the 38th Cape Town Cycle Tour will take place on Sunday albeit over a 47km distance instead of the usual 105kms. I have one client riding for the first time so I am sure he is pleased it will be a shorter route. There are thousands of volunteers around the race route will be supporting the 35,000 cyclists to ensure the race goes smoothly. It should be very exciting and extremely fast on this new route. Tonight on Fine Music Radio on People of Note at 19h30 the Race Director, Dave Bellairs is being interviewed and will talk about the new route. On Sunday I will be up at 4 am and will be spending my time in a tent sorting out Start tickets (someone has to do it!).


If you are entertaining visitors from up country then I am sure you will need a good cheese and pate platter to offer them. I have plenty of delicious, tasty, gooey cheeses on which you can feast while you watch the cyclists wizz by. My Bries and Camemberts are at a perfect ripeness and just waiting for you to come and taste them.


IMG_9427 (396x400)With all the cyclists needing to carbo-load, I wanted to find an easy dish that could be suitable. I have recently brought in some gluten-free instant Risottos, with different flavours including some with truffle flavour. These can be cooked in 15 minutes and are very tasty. The recipe I made takes a bit more time but has that little extra flavour. The mushroom cap is filled with melted butter and mushroom juice and adds beautifully to the risotto. Whichever you use, it is easy to make and will help the cyclists on their race. Click on link to see recipe on my site


The wine to accompany this dish should have a good flavour but not overpower the taste of the truffle risotto. I decided that a white wine from the hills of Roussillon in the very hot, southern part of France, would work well. Therefore I paired it with a Chapoutier Bila-Haut Blanc 2013. It is blended from Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu. This is an easy drinking wine, which, despite its youth is very smooth. The colour is pale with green reflections and it has a taste of grape fruit and pineapple. It held its own well with the heady risotto flavours. The price for this wine is R150.


As I have mentioned to a couple of you I am seriously exploring an opportunity to replicate my French Market shop inside an existing business in Blairgowrie area of Johannesburg. We hope to open in April and we are currently looking for a young staff member to work in the deli section (FM) for us. The key requirements are to sell French cheese and other gourmet products. I am looking for a young person with maybe 1 year’s college, some knowledge of France, an enthusiastic and friendly person, a passion for good food, willingness to learn etc etc. If you happen to know of any family members or friends in Johannesburg (or re-locating) who could be interested, please let me know. I will supply training and the position reports into the owner of that business. This work requires a dedicated and serious attitude, we work hard and it is physically tiring but would be great for someone who loves French food and wants to be part of a growing business.


My best wishes to all of you who are cycling, don’t forget to stock up on Crème de Marron tubes for energy boosts. I hope you have a safe ride and look forward to seeing you again soon at the shop.


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