HOT OFF THE PASS | This week in food news: August 27 2020

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

27 August 2020 - 00:00
A young Paolo Adamo with his parents in Cortina restaurant's heyday in Joburg's CBD.
A young Paolo Adamo with his parents in Cortina restaurant's heyday in Joburg's CBD.
Image: Adamo family

In the early 1970s, my sister Jenny and I loved our family outings to Cortina restaurant in Plein Street, Johannesburg.

Apart from the delicious authentic Italian food for which the owners, the Adamo family, were famous, our real treat was the chance to ogle gorgeous twin brothers Paolo and Raffaele who, in sleeveless vests that showed off their rippling muscles, would manoeuvre paddles in and out of the fiercely-hot pizza oven like seasoned athletes.  

With times changing, Cortina moved to Hyde Park and from there the brothers branched out to restaurants of their own.

I followed Paolo to Cucina Italiana in Parkmore.

I’ll never forget the zampone — a stuffed pig's trotter cooked with slow-braised lentils — he’d spent hours making specially for me, nor the day he taught me how to preserve fresh artichoke hearts. We peeled hundreds of them, cooked them in large cauldrons with fresh lemon juice, and bottled them in olive oil and vinegar. Delicious.

For Paolo, there was only one way and that was the traditional Italian way.

So it was with great sadness that I learnt he had passed away recently, his dream of seeing his Italian cookbook published sadly unfulfilled, yet the passion for the food he loved and shared so generously never to be forgotten.  

Beyond the loss of a true food traditionalist, here’s what else has been making news in the world of food and wine:


Yotam Ottolenghi is another chef who has never failed to inspire me over the years. His new cookbook, Flavour, a compilation of a 100 plant-based recipes, is bang on trend and will have his fans, like me, chomping at the bit to get hold of a copy due out in the UK in early September.


The far-reaching effects of Covid-19 have forced Kentucky Fried Chicken to change their famous slogan, "It’s Finger Lickin’ Good".

The move came about after a KFC ad, which showed people licking their fingers and touching their faces, aired in the UK and evoked widespread criticism. It was seen to encourage behaviour that could promote the spread of the coronavirus. The UK Advertising Standard Authority agreed.

KFC has indicated their slogan change is just temporary, saying the tagline “doesn’t feel quite right” in the grips of a global pandemic.

For now, they’ve replaced it with a punch line that’s not quite as catchy, perhaps too wordy, but way more responsible: “That thing we always say? For now. Ignore it.”