Last year I wrote a very positive post about the 2009 edition of Eat In magazine. I’m not sure if it was because of that, but this year I was invited to the actual Eat In awards ceremony and lunch. It was great to meet not only some of the people that are involved in the magazine, but some of the small producers that received awards for their fabulous products.
I believe that Eat In magazine does some very important work; not only does it inform the public about great local products which have been produced with love and care, and provide a list of outlets where this products are available. It also, and I believe this is just as important, provides a public platform where the best producers can receive the accolades and attention they deserve. With so much big marketing and propaganda around, small producers, especially in outlying areas, slip under the radar. I hope that Eat In magazine grows from strength to strength and continues to provide this excellent, much needed service.
The lunch was a treat. Many of the ingredients were provided by the producers and the preparation was done by Sense of Taste (these guys are really good). It was a three course lunch, with the main course consisting of several dishes to which you could help yourself from the centre of the table. I very nearly over ate. The Waverly Hills organic wines were responsible for me not returning to the office that afternoon. My one complaint about the lunch, was the presence of imported bottled water. Eat In prides itself on supporting local and sustainable products. We have plenty of excellent local bottled waters, but what I would prefer to see is jugs of filtered tap water, ice, lemon and mint voluntary. It was also disappointing to see, at least in my vicinity, that everyone was happy to drink the water. Bottled water (even if it’s not imported) is a scourge which will ruin us. You can read why I believe this here.
At the table I was seated next to John and Jenny of Langevallei Jersey Farm in Robertson. They won the Best New Product award for the clotted cream. Such a lovely couple, I had a good chat with them. On my other hand was Joseph, a very interesting gentleman who won the Earth award with his sprouts. I learnt a lot from our conversation, including the fact that a piece of earth the size of your arm squared can produce enough energy to keep you alive and process all your waste. I hope to get the Slow Food Mother City convivium to organise a visit to Joseph’s place soon. But the highlight of the day was meeting Jason Lucas (winner of the Paddock:Prepared award) of Lucas Jamon (I am half Spanish after all). He took the time to explain the process involved in making what are considered the best serrano hams produced outside of Spain.
Below I have listed the winners, but have not gone into details about the various awards (how they were judged, etc) nor the various producers. You can find this information in the magazine or on the Eat In website.
Best New Products: Clotted cream by Jenny Cream Products and fromage blanc by Buffalo Ridge
Grocery: Apricot jam but Kathy’s Marmalade
Bakery>Sweet: Baked cheesecake by Garden of Aidan
Bakery>Savoury: Rye bread and pork & red wine pie by Foodbarn Bakery & Deli
Earth: Garden sprouts by The Kitchen
Dairy: Brie by La Petite France
Fish: Fish by Delicious
Paddock>Fresh: Rump steak by Hope Meat Supplies
Paddock>Prepared: Serrano style jamon by Lucas Jamon
Best Organic Producer: Wine jellies by Waverly Hills
SA Heritage Award: Smoked salt, smoked pumpkin seeds, citroenkonfyt & moskonfyt by Doornkraal
Best Outlet>North: Cheese Gourmet (Johannesburg)
Best Outlet>South: Main Ingredient (Cape Town)
Best Outlet>East: Num Num (Knysna)
Best Market>North: Pretoria Boeremark (Pretoria)
Best Outlet> South: Neighbourgoods Market (Cape Town)
Best Outlet> East: The Food Market (Durban)