Owing to a veritable smorgasbord of delights, the 2017 Good Food & Wine Show Cape Town was a roaring success!

The 2017 Good Food & Wine Show (GF&WS) Cape Town has sadly concluded, and the nostalgia has set in! Take a look back at all the highlights of this recent event, held 2-4 June at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

Music and food lovers would certainly agree that one of the most exciting and energetic appearances was by chef and TV personality, J’Something, who also happens to be the Mi Casa frontman and a restauranteur. He combined music and cooking in his Chefs Open Theatre demonstrations. Joining him on stage was Ramon Gouws, Head Chef of his new restaurant, Something’s Cooking by J’Something; food stylist and chef Elise Ruddle (who J’Something calls his ‘food mother’); and Mi Casa bass guitarist Carlo Jooste.

But J’Something’s soulful combination of lovely food and ‘the food of love’ (ie music) wasn’t the only union that made his appearance memorable. During one of his presentations, he invited an audience member onto the stage - Azlyn Adams just  happened to be celebrating her birthday. J’Something and the crowd sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her, after which, he brought her boyfriend Clint onstage…who then proceeded to get down on one knee, and propose! Azlyn accepted immediately! Now that’s how to host a show!

The Chefs Open Theatre was MC’d by celebrity chef and food stylist Nti Ramaboa, who had help from the likes of Africa on a Plate host Lentswe Benghu. She was buzzing with energy, leading the audience in a chant to welcome Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, South Africa’s first chef to be awarded a Michelin star. Coming home to South Africa from his restaurant in France, Jan Hendrik wowed everyone with his charm, his go-getter attitude to life, and, of course, his cooking.

International chefs also appeared at the Chefs Open Theatre. British legend Marco Pierre White cooked in front of an ecstatic audience, and UK-born Indian chef and restaurateur Reza Mahammad collaborated with TV and radio personality Jenny Morris. They had previously worked together on the TV show Reza and Jenny’s Food Academy. Marco, Jan Hendrik and Jenny and Reza also hosted their own intimate Chefs Table events. These took place at the Table Bay Hotel, in the case of Marco and Jan Hendrik, and at Jenny’s kitchen at the Cape Quarter, for Jenny and Rezas.

Beyond the Chefs Table and Open Theatre presentations, the CTICC was packed with demos and displays that attracted numerous visitors. Celebrated SA cake-maker Dorothy Klerck revealed a stunning creation: the largest elephant cake in the world. A collaboration between Dorothy, GF&WS, Slim Lady Wines and The Elephant Project SA, the cake is a means to highlight the dwindling number of African Elephants across the continent. All funds raised as a result of Dorothy’s massive masterpiece will be donated to the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Another celebrated local food personality, Sarah Graham of Sarah Graham’s Food Safari, also made numerous appearances. She and noted private chef Neill Anthony joined forces as part of the Cooking with Chefs programme, and she also contributed to GF&WS’s Eat Well, Live Well demonstrations, which were hosted by Institute of Culinary Arts-trained chef Vanessa Marx.

And then there were the various stands, representing popular companies, brands and publications. Awards were given in four categories to those who created the best stands.

Johnnie Walker Black Label won gold for the Best Custom-Designed Stand, with Flora being awarded silver and The Department of Trade and Industry getting bronze. In the Shell Scheme Stand category, gold went to Malfy Gin, silver to Afrikoa Chocolate, and bronze to Darling Sweet. Gold and silver awards were awarded in the Best Newcomer category, the former to coffee brand Black Insomnia, and the latter to artisan bakers Philosophy of Yum. Lastly, in the Most Innovative category, gold went to TotalGaz, and silver was awarded to Campari SA.

Cape Town’s 2017 GF&WS was a joy for all visitors, thanks to the participation of many notable figures and brands in the local and international culinary and lifestyle sectors. Based on the success of this three-day-long event, we certainly have great expectations for GF&WS’s July run in Johannesburg, and its October show in Durban.