Tokara’s Richard Carstens Award-winning chef to serve locally inspired dishes … with a twist

tokara_300x300_v1.jpgAt the centre of the Cape Winelands lies the Simonsberg mountain, a fynbos-rich massif, home to exceptional vineyards since the 17th century. It’s here on the southern slopes, with unrivalled views over False Bay to Table Mountain, that the Tokara Estate is situated, with its lush vineyards, olive groves and its award-wining restaurant, headed up by the talented and multi-award-winning chef, Richard Carstens.

Renowned for producing exciting and mouth-watering contemporary cuisine, Carstens has, for the last few weeks, been hard at work designing a dinner menu for the four hundred guests at this year’s American Express Friday Night Barrel Auction – the precursor to the Cape Wine Auction sponsored by Nedbank Private Wealth – which will be held in Tokara’s Delicatessen on Friday, February 9. In 2017, these events raised R22,3 million that was distributed amongst 27 Cape Winelands charities via The Cape Wine Auction Trust.

Says Cape Wine Auction organiser Darielle Robertson: “Richard has planned an amazing “Harvest Table” which will feature a stunning range of dishes that take full advantage of local and seasonal produce and which will pair well with the award-winning wines we will be serving on the evening.”

Adds Carstens: As a team we feel honoured to be part of this prestigious event, and the menu showcases what we offer at Tokara, reflecting local producers and seasonal produce.”

So what is on the menu for those fortunate enough to be there?

For starters, the tables will be heaving with a variety of breads: baguettes, sorghum and fynbos sourdough, seeded loaf, bread sticks and crackers, along with marinated Tokara olives and tapenade; charcuterie with homemade preserves, pickles and chutneys; cumin, coriander and kapokbos beef lollies; snoek with vinegared rice, tamarind and pickled onions; smoked trout with watermelon, garlic and chilli; Prins Albert parmesan biscuits with yoghurt, black pepper and lemon; compressed cucumber with lemon pith puree, olives and herbs and panisse (chickpea fries) with goat’s milk cheese and tomato.

Main course dishes from which to choose, will include: Simonsberg fynbos-glazed chalmar beef with mustard and peppered “Cape Senses” sauce; Wood-fired rainbow trout with herbs, gooseberries, Tokara olive oil and macadamia “Romesco” and – for the vegetarian guests – roast marinated field mushrooms with spinach, almond cheese and vegan “parmesan.”

Diners will be spoilt for choice with side dishes that include: tomato and grain salad with buffalo mozzarella and black garlic; potatoes with herbs and crème fraiche; roast carrots with almond and honey; seasonal figs with almonds, fennel and grapes; baby marrow and squash with parmesan, Tokara olive oil, garlic and lemon.

And, for those with a sweet tooth and room to spare (loosen those belts!), dinner will be rounded off with a selection of homemade nougat, seasonal fresh fruits, cheeses with preserves, seed crackers, almond and olive oil polenta squares and nuts and dried fruit.

A selection of award-winning wines from a number of estates will be served to accompany each course.

This year, tickets for The Cape Wine Auction and Friday Night Barrel Auction – an annual highlight on the Western Cape social calendar to raise money for educational projects – were sold out in record time and organisers are hoping to beat last year’s staggering R22,3 million that was raised and distributed amongst 27 Cape Winelands charities via The Cape Wine Auction Trust.

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The Cape Wine Auction
Regarded as the most extraordinary international wine event to be hosted in South Africa and the leading event on the local wine calendar, the Cape Wine Auction (CWA) takes place annually over two days at different wine estates in the Western Cape. Prominent wine aficionados from around the globe, hosted by South Africa’s iconic winemakers, are invited to make a serious difference in aid of charity when the bidding opens once-in-a-lifetime offerings including rare wine collections as well as exclusive hand-selected local and international wine and gourmet and travel experiences. To date it has raised nearly R55 million with all proceeds raised at the auction, with no deduction, allocated to beneficiaries who make a profound impact on education and the lives of children in the Cape Winelands.

The Cape Wine Auction Trust
Established in 2014, the Cape Wine Auction Trust was created to raise money for education in the South African winelands. It is well established that the most effective method for uplifting underprivileged communities is education. This global showcase of South African wines is committed to changing people’s lives through the powerful tool of education – from cradle to career – and the Cape Wine Auction Trust has been established with a clear mandate to raise funds for education in the winelands.



To date the trust assists 27 beneficiaries within the winelands. The Cape Wine Auction Trust trustees are Siobhan Thompson, Paul Cluver, Mike Ratcliffe, Ken Kinsey-Quick, Wendy Appelbaum and Raymond Ndlovu.  In terms of entrepreneurial brain muscle and all round business acumen, it’s a pretty formidable team.

Blue Diamond Fund
Ken has extensive experience in hedge funds with an established track record. Ken is a C.F.A. and C.A.I.A. charter holder. He has earned a B.Com from the University of Cape Town.
CEO of Wines of South Africa
Siobhan is the CEO of Wines of South Africa. Previously, she was Distell’s global head of marketing for the company’s liqueur brand portfolio. She holds a BTech in Marketing and has completed the Manchester Business School’s Advanced Marketing Strategy program.
Wendy Appelbaum is a Non-Executive Director of Sphere Private Equity. She was honored as one of the Leading Woman Entrepreneurs of the World in 2006.
MD of family-owned Warwick Wine Estate since 1999 and he is also co-founder and Managing Partner of Vilafonte Vineyards. He is an international wine judge, industry commentator & respected marketing mind.

Raymond is a businessman with expertise in various sectors across the financial services industry.He is also co-founder and Non-Executive Chairman of Franschhoek-based Black Elephant Vintners & Co.
Paul is the managing director of De Rust Estate, which is a fourth generation family owned and family run agricultural business which has been in the family since 1896.Before joining the family business he studied B.Sc. at Stellenbosch University majoring in Horticulture and Economics. Later on he also obtained a degree in Philosophy majoring in Value and Policy studies.

Together with his family Paul has taken De Rust from being a leading apple producer to being one of South Africa’s top wine estates, stud breeder of Hereford cattle while being rated as a leader in sustainable production and conservation. The family business has also recently launched a craft cider.

Issued on behalf of the Cape Wine Auction by JAG Communications:
Grant Bushby: / Janine Walker:

Images courtesy of Tokara Wine Estate.

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