HOT OFF THE PASS | This week in food news: July 23 2020

Our food editor fills you in on the latest in the world of food and wine

23 July 2020 - 10:43
A 200m-long table with 1,000 empty seats was set up in Wellington in the Western Cape on July 22 2020 to raise awareness about the loss of jobs and income in the hospitality industry caused by the harsh lockdown restrictions.
A 200m-long table with 1,000 empty seats was set up in Wellington in the Western Cape on July 22 2020 to raise awareness about the loss of jobs and income in the hospitality industry caused by the harsh lockdown restrictions.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

My shout out of the week goes to the chefs and restaurant staff across SA who, united in the devastation of their industry due to lockdown regulations, came out in protest on Wednesday.

Eateries carried their empty tables and chairs out on to the pavements and into the streets as part of the “million seats on the street” campaign, which aimed to highlight the stark reality of the situation, which has led to many jobs losses and business closures.

Chef Steve Maresh of The Local Grill in Parktown North, Joburg, said it had been a “fulfilling” day as he felt for the first time the restaurant industry had stood together. He added that he was “most amazed” by the support, saying “staff we haven’t see in three months came to join the protest”.

The protest was spearheaded by Wendy Alberts of the Restaurant Association of SA, who explained that the industry’s attempts to engage with the government had fallen on deaf ears.

Beyond protests, here's what has been making news in the world of food and wine:

FOOD SAVED FROM THE BIN FEEDS THOUSANDS

Though many of the restaurants in The Square at Joburg’s Melrose Arch are closed during the  lockdown, it was bustling last Saturday as I joined a group of volunteer chefs at a makeshift kitchen to chop and peel a mountain of vegetables.

This was one of the hubs set up around SA by non-profit organisations Chefs with Compassion and SA Harvest, which collectively cooked up more than 77,000 litres of wholesome soup to feed those in need in honour of Mandela Day.

Even more impressive, most of the ingredients used were surplus produce “rescued” from the bin. Read more in this weekend’s issue of Sunday Times Lifestyle.

Each of Von Geusau's CBD slabs contains 20mg of CBD.
Each of Von Geusau's CBD slabs contains 20mg of CBD.
Image: Supplied

A DOPE NEW CBD CHOCOLATE

Local chocolatier Richard von Geusau never fails to surprise chocolate lovers with his Von Geusau’s handcrafted creations.

His latest, made for BioMedCan, is a 70% dark or milk chocolate slab with the addition of cannabidiol oil (CBD), a natural hemp extract said to boost the immunity, ease anxiety and improve sleep.

I tasted the dark slab. It had a good snap – a sign of a quality chocolate – but it was missing something in terms of mouthfeel. I also didn’t notice any of the promised beneficial effects, so I ate more the next day. It tasted more like a good slab of chocolate – or maybe the feel-good factor had finally kicked in.

At R119 for a 100g bar, they are gluten-free and free of artificial flavours​. Visit vgchocolate.co.za