Turning the tables

When we sit down at a table to share food, we re-enact a ritual that’s embedded in our genes. We make a contract to recognise not only our good fortune (to be eating) but also our social sensibility (to share). We do it unthinkingly because most of us are fortunate enough to have tables, food and friends.

When Christine Cashmore sat down at her first Table of Peace & Unity on the slopes of Table Mountain 10 years ago with her 700 guests, she made us aware of just how important this ritual is. This year it will be no different—perhaps few more people—but its message remains: “to break bread, celebrate differences and laugh in the pursuit of a shared vision of peace and goodwill in South Africa”.

And if that sounds too hey shoo wow, keep in mind that since its inception the Table has raised more than R7-million for charity. This year the recipients of the money raised will be the City’s Angels, an initiative launched with Heart 109.4FM. Capetonians are being asked to nominate a City Angel, an “individual or organisation, who against all odds, has dedicated their life to helping disadvantaged children in and around the community”.

The tasting for this year’s event was held recently at the Cape Town Hotel School in Granger Bay, Cape Town. This year, chef Delia Harbottle from The Marine produced a miso-cured salmon on a bed of Asian salad, sesame oil and soy dressing and a prawn samoosa. The flavours were clear with a delightful sharp aftertaste. Executive chef at the Twelve Apostles presented his main course of braised Karoo lamb neck (deboned and rolled) with rosemary and thyme crust, a Port wine sauce and slice of potato Dauphinoise. The sauce was thick and enhanced the flavour of the already flavour-filled meat. Last up was desert by trainee chefs Nina Stepto and Marietta Hattingh: a chocolate mousse pyramid with apple and saffron puree and beetroot syrup. I wish I could tell what it tasted like but I had to leave the table early unfortunately. The wines served were all from Lazanou Organic Vineyards, and were superbly selected.

If you want to attend the Table of Peace & Unity or to nominate someone as a City Angel, visit www.tableofpeaceandunity.co.za


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