Features editor LOUISE LIEBENBERG has roped in her food-and-fun-loving Latin hubby to launch a new foodie blog on The Herald and Weekend Post website.
MAYBE Faith Popcorn started it all when, some time in the mid-90s, the US trend forecaster hatched the word ‘cocooning’ and said in future we’d increasingly retreat from society to clamour for the comforts of home.
Popcorn may have got it wrong a little as it seems we’re not socialising less, but rather doing more of our socialising – and entertaining – at home.
We’ve seen it in our own lives, here in South Africa, where the phenomenon no doubt has a lot more to do with the current economic climate (and, for some, niggling security worries) than with Popcorn’s powers of prediction.
And when it comes to eating and entertaining, the rands and cents of it all is now an undeniable factor.
That’s why my Spanish hubby Salvelio Meyer and I decided to start a foodie blog that would inspire regular home cooks who are pressed for time – and need to keep an eye on the grocery bill – to create dishes that are fast, fabulous and fun.
Having been the Eastern Cape reviewers for a national restaurant guide for several years, it’s true to say Salvelio and I nowadays get a greater kick out of cooking at home than eating out – not least because eating out has become such a luxury.
Enter The Global Table, the new foodie blog we’re launching on the Weekend Post’s new-look website today.
In it, we’ll feature regular video clips and slide shows showing you how to knock your guests’ socks off with inspired (and easy) dishes that are not only wholesome for the most part, but appropriate to South Africa’s seasons.
There will also be regular interviews with Eastern and Southern Cape chefs and foodie personalities, who’ll share their foodie tips and do-able recipes.
Other sections will include a diary with details of upcoming cookery classes, food and wine events and any other newsy bits, whether there’s a new restaurant in your neighbourhood or a talented new chef in town; the latest kitchen gadgets on offer and our ‘test kitchen’, in which we’ll test recipes from new cookery books on the market.
The point, says Salvelio, is that it’s still possible to eat splendidly without breaking the bank, even if the likes of truffle oil or salmon steaks have been firmly scrapped from the shopping list.
“With The Global Table we’ll definitely be steering clear of any food that’s pre-made or contains bad-for-you additives or artificial ingredients. There’s no reason to take shortcuts by feeding your family and your guests rubbish.
“Even the best chefs in the world will tell you that keeping things simple, and using fresh, seasonal ingredients, is the way to go.”
Given Salvelio’s Spanish roots, many of the dishes will have a Mediterranean flavour – like today’s video-clip showing you how to make that delicious Spanish cold soup, gazpacho. However, The Global Table will cover all sorts of cooking, including food from around the world, South African favourites and more.