Text Louise Liebenberg; pictures Salvelio Meyer
IT was a blissfully balmy February evening and guests dressed to the nines for the Lion Roars Foundation’s glitzy fundraiser in aid of the Animal Welfare Society.
The event was held at Leo’s, Lion Roars’ new restaurant in Walmer, Port Elizabeth, where a huge outdoor section had ingeniously been covered by one of those magical Touareg tents that Kimon and Jacquie Augoustatos have introduced to the city.
Guests snacked on fabulous canapes (like award-winning Plettenberg Bay chef Delvin Reck’s chicken and chorizo risotto balls – recipe below!) and sipped sparkling wine poured by Distell’s lovely Sarah Gibson, all the while mingling with guests and friends amid the evocative sounds of TwoTone Music’s Ulagh and Gareth Williams.
There was also the opportunity to taste wines and single malt scotch provided by wine and spirits advisor Ronelle Wright, from a newish and very exciting enterprise called Le Barrique.
But the guests all came in support of Port Elizabeth’s Animal Welfare Society which is desperately in need of funds to enable this dedicated non-profit organisation, which we learnt does not receive a cent of municipal or government funding, to attend to long-overdue expansion and other projects.
To help the AWS do just that the Lion Roars Foundation dreamed up last Thursday’s fabulous fundraising dinner at which they would auction off three well-known chefs and foodie personalities and other envy-inducing prizes.
The winning bids were for a Miglio bracelet which raised R1250, a Saracens rugby jersey snapped up for R3400, and an idyllic weekend for two at luxurious The Robberg Beach House in Plettenberg Bay, which went for R4200. But the big bids to aim for on the night were the three chefs on auction, with Delvin Reck, 2011 Sunday Times Stalwart Chef of the Year from Scottys Restaurant in Plett going for a whopping R12000, and Lion Roars F&B manager Jennifer Borreiro (nee Kerr) and Algoa FM’s Charl Leslie, host of ‘Charl Cooks’, each going for a not-to-be-sneezed at R10000.
The total raised by the auction was R48540; add to that the R7690 received in cash donations on the night, minus expenses, and the AWS should be well on their way to putting at least some of their bold new plans in place.
The evening was a hit by all accounts, with guests drawing inspiration from Barrie Bramley’s talk on getting tech-savvy in the 21st century (yes Barrie, Salvelio is checking in on foursquare as we speak!), sitting down to a sumptuous meal at tables delightfully decorated by designer Lee-Anne Griffiths and enjoying the energy and verve of TwoTone’s talented Divas on stage later that night.
Scroll down for Delvin’s recipe (this one’s a keeper) and more social pictures from the night.
Recipe: Delvin Reck’s chicken and chorizo risotto balls
These canapes were so awesome that I thought it would take serious powers of persuasion to get Delvin to part with the recipe! Fortunately he is a charming man and was happy to do so. I can’t wait to try them myself and Delvin even offered to be on speed dial when that happens, in case I get stuck somewhere along the way! He says this recipe yields about 25 risotto balls if sized slightly bigger than a golf ball. Salvelio and I often host tapas-themed meals instead of the usual three courses, and these risotto balls would also make a great tapa.
2.5 litres chicken stock; 50g butter; 100g finely chopped onion; 125ml dry white wine; 400g risotto (arborio) rice; 150g chicken breast, finely chopped; 150 g dry-cured Spanish chorizo, chopped. PLUS: 75g butter; 150g grated Parmesan cheese; 150g grated mozzarella cheese. For dipping: 200 to 300g all-purpose flour; about 300g breadcrumbs; 4 eggs, beaten. For frying: about 2 litres of cooking oil.
You will also need a heavy-bottomed pot for the frying, and three trays for the flour, egg and breadcrumbs – this is the order in which you will be dipping your risotto balls before frying.
Melt the 50g of butter; add chopped onions and cook until see-through. Add the raw rice and cook until the rice is hot. Add the wine until absorbed; now slowly add the warm stock, 75ml at a time, until absorbed, stirring all the while. Cook for approximately 17 or 18 min.
Meanwhile, separately cook off the chicken and chorizo and then add it to the cooked rice. Add both cheeses and now add the extra 75g of butter. The risotto should be nice and creamy now.
Set aside and refrigerate till very cold, then roll the balls to the size you are comfortable with.
Having set up your three trays with flour, egg and breadcrumbs, dip the balls in each (in that order) before frying in oil that has been heated to 170 degrees. Cook until golden brown, drain on kitchen paper and serve with extra grated parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.