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South Africa Chapitre

Pretoria, October 29, 2012

Pretoria in October and November is a city covered in a purple blanket. The jacaranda trees are in full bloom and their purple flowers cover everything.

The Capital Hotel School is situated opposite the Presidential estate and was a fitting venue to host this Chapitre. The Bailli of Pretoria and Director of the Capital Hotel School, Ronel Bezuidenhout, and her team planned an unusual Gala dinner to follow the Induction Ceremony. They asked six professional members to each prepare a course for the dinner, apart from preparing the course they also had to pair it with a suitable wine.

The event commenced in the late afternoon with the inductees and guests arriving for the Induction Ceremony.  Twenty-one new members were to be inducted, 8 promoted and 17 members were welcomed into the Ordre Mondial. The Inducting Officer was Bailli Délégué François Ferreira, with Allison Rutowitz, Member Honoraire of the Conseil d’Administration, Bailli Délégué Honoraire, as the sword bearer.

After the ceremony everyone gathered in the foyer for Cap Classique sparkling wine with canapés prepared by the newly-inducted Vice-Conseiller Culinaire, Mareliz Pretorius from Armar Catering. Guests and members were then invited to take their seats for dinner.

The first course was a selection of antipasti prepared by Chef Fortunato Mazzone, from Rittrovo Restaurant. Whilst the course was being served, Chef Fortunato entertained the diners with some opera arias. This really set the tone for the evening.

Prepared by Maître Rôtisseur Nicholas Froneman, from The Palace at Sun City, the entrée was Oxtail “Bobotie” ravioli and twice-cooked pork belly served with beetroot shoots, smoked and truffled butternut puree, and Granny Smith apple and currant compote. Such full flavours were perfectly suited to those of a South African Pinotage.

The main course was a truly South African/French fusion of rooibos smoked Impala loin, rabbit in a filo parcel and duck shank confit. This inspired course was prepared by Chef Marlise Whelan of Brasserie de Paris.

A sumptuous blue cheese terrine served with fresh figs, strawberries and radish shoots prepared by Chef Samson Mashile, of Granita Restaurant on Kievietkroon Estate, was the cheese course. To complete the culinary decadence, dessert was a study of strawberries with mocha crème prepared by Chef Jan Botha of Hemmingways Restaurant at Leriba Hotel & Spa.

Between the courses guests were entertained by local singer Louis-John making the Gala Dinner a function all will remember for a long time.

François Ferreira
Bailli Délégué