Winemaker: JD Pretorius
Background: After a stint of 18 years as Chef at Catharina’s Restaurant, Garth Almazan, has packed his bags to embark on a new venture in Paternoster. Last week Steenberg’s general manager, John Loubser, welcomed their new Executive Chef at Catharina’s, Archie Maclean at an interesting luncheon. Interesting because Archie, who hails from Scotland and comes with an excellent track record, has embarked on an adventurous journey breaking new ground on the culinary frontier with the intention of bringing excitement to all palates with his ‘contemporary heritage’ cuisine.
Archie’s motive is to create a sensory experience that resonates the spirited life and times of the feisty Catharina Ras, Steenberg’s 17th century founder.
His menu is interwoven with fresh indigenous ingredients which Catharina would have hunted, grown and prepared herself. “Catharina is the adventurous one and I need to follow in her shoes,” is how Archie describes his role as new Executive Chef. “As a farm, Steenberg has such a deep and colourful history and we want our restaurant experience to bring the adventure of Catharina Ras to life. This is the crux of our contemporary heritage food.” Signature dishes include seared tuna wrapped in crisp salmon skin; salmon trout served with a horseradish and sour fig risotto; panfried crocodile tail; and grilled Zebra loin.
For the tasting menu Archie had carefully paired his dishes with a selection of some excellent wines including a few from Steenberg Vineyards. For the delicious vegetarian starter Archie had chosen the superb Semillon 2014 from Steenberg. Harvested from two blocks of Semillon on the estate the wine was fermented in a combination of 500L and 600L first, second and third fill French oak barrels. After fermentation the wine spent 9 months settling in barrel before being racked into a stainless steel tank, where it was lightly fined and stabilised before bottling.
Result: Aromatic beeswax and honeyed notes with added freshness of grapefruit. Steely minerality with gentle oak mingle with the fruit on the palate.
When to drink: now till 2019
Drink with what: Enjoy it with Chef Archies tasting menu starter of grilled cauliflower steak, parmesan gnocchi, beetroot puree with a beetroot, mushroom and basil ragout. But if you are not able to visit Catharina’s then try it simply with Salmon fish cakes.
Expect to pay: R202.00