Foodies flock to Karoo festival

2019-04-24 06:01
Estelle Armoed, of Cradock’s True Living restaurant, ready to welcome visitors to the Karoo Food Festival from April 26 to 28.Photo:CATHERINE KNOX

Estelle Armoed, of Cradock’s True Living restaurant, ready to welcome visitors to the Karoo Food Festival from April 26 to 28.Photo:CATHERINE KNOX

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COOKING fundi, Charl Leslie, is just one of the fun-loving foodies who will make the annual pilgrimage from Port Elizabeth to Cradock for the 7th Karoo Food Festival from Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28.

“We love Charl,” said festival organiser, Lisa Ker. “He always shows up and contributes even if he has to rush back to PE for his Sunday morning (radio) show.”

The popular radio personality will share the free deli market stage at midday on Saturday, April 27 with cookbook author, Tony Jackman, to bounce ideas around and share their passion for Karoo food.

Jackman will present a festive Karoo menu at his restaurant that night.

This is on the itinerary for a group tour of PE food and wine lovers. The tour was organised by a Cradock tourism project.

Neville Prinsloo, one of the team, said, “Our aim is to take care of every detail for a small group so no one has the hassle of designated drivers, etc. They can just party non-stop and we will deliver them home to PE on Sunday night.”

Ker added, “Another group is travelling from Gauteng and back by train, which means their fun can continue all the way home again.”

The festival is a laid back round-the-clock party where everyone is instantly family, feasting on delish traditional kos with a twist.

Community street cooks work side by side with leading Karoo food personalities. Locals never miss the chance to regale visiting history lovers with recipes and reminiscences from historic farm kitchens.

Hospitality students from the Hantam project radiate optimism for the future of a great artisan culinary tradition.

There’s lots to enjoy for everyone: festive Karoo menus at partner restaurants, a braai night (pumping craft beer and live music), a two-day food market with tastings, masterclasses, free demos, fine coffee, gin bars, live music and so much more.

Farm-hopping adventures with a ceramics class and walnut-picking, Pecan trail running for the whole family and the Swaershoek mountain bike race (categories for all levels) will keep the adrenalin levels high.

The main venue is The Palms – a walled inner city venue with extensive grounds, big trees and lots of shady nooks. During the two-hour masterclasses, participants can learn how to make soft cheeses (feta, halloumi, etc), salami and cabanossi, ferments (including kombucha and kefir), spicy food with health benefits, traditional preserves and condiments and breads from a farm kitchen. One can also learn how to paint Karoo food with artist Annari Oosthuysen (wine-tasting included).

For details, keep an eye on the facebook page and karoofoodfestival.weebly.com, write to karoofoodfestival@gmail.com or call 083 257 8601.

The festival’s founding sponsor is Theron du Plessis (Cradock) joined by PSG.

This year, the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Authority has come on board with generous support.

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