Review: Gourmet Braai Festival at Hidden Valley

10 Sep

Hidden Valley Wine Estate against the majestic surrounding mountains (photo courtesy of Manley Communications, photography by Gideon Nel)

I was invited to attend the Hidden Valley Gourmet Braai & Wine Festival on Saturday the 31st of August. Knowing that Chef Bertus Basson would be in charge of the kitchen (and the fires), I couldn’t wait to see what he has prepared for us!

Chef Bertus Basson is one of SA’s culinary greats – famed for the phenominal success of Overture Restaurant at Hidden Valley where he is the chef and co-owner. Overture has been in the Top 10 of SA’s Eat Out Awards 5 times since it opened in 2007. Bertus has also been a judge in the recent tv show The Ultimate Braai Master, so the heat was on to show his true colours on the grid.

Bertus Basson braaing up a storm (picture courtesy of Manley Communications)

After being greeted at the door, I tasted the fabulous new Hidden Gem and Hidden Secret red wines, as well as a barrel selection that has not been bottled yet.

A fully booked Overture Restaurant at Hidden Valley – view from my seat.

We were seated at a long table alongside other food industry friends, and the waiters started to bring out platter after platter of amazing starters, snacks, salads, meats, sides and dessert. Here is the full menu: (R350/person)


Roosterkoek with apricot and almond butter

Smoked Hidden Valley olives

Hidden Valley olive tapenade

Grilled squid with salsa verde, chilli, capers and fennel

Pickled fish with a coriander emulsion and a gem salad


Lamb wors with tomato and crisp waterblommetjie

Bourbon basted smoked pork loin with flour tortillas, sweet corn and avocado

Sugar cured jersey rump with bourguignonne sauce and crisp potato

slaw with dill and mustard cream

Maple roast sweet potato with pecan nuts

Ash roast beetroot with pumpkin and labneh


Tannie Hetta’s apple pie with custard cinnamon ice cream


Smoked camembert with walnut & ginger

I was amazed by Bertus’s ability to turn simple ingredients into an amazing feast. Dishes like the roast beetroot and the maple roast sweet potato were my absolute favourites, although the braaied meats were also really delicious. I also loved the pickled fish – it reminder me of the wonderful curried mussel cracker that my Dad used to make us on December holidays at Keurboomstrand, but Bertus’s coriander emulsion just took it up a few notches.

After this tremendous feast, I am inspired to make roosterkoek again – one of the joys of a real South African braai. This festival was a true celebration of South African braai culture, and I can surely recommend you to join in for the next events. Unfortunately, the tickets are currently sold out, but you can place your name on a waiting list for a possible extra date! Otherwise, there’s always next year…

Thank you Hidden Valley and Manley Communications for this huge treat.

Ready to be sent out to our tables: the beetroot salad (photo courtesy of Manley Communications)

The fabulous pickled fish, as served at our table.

A selection of braaied meat cuts, served platter style to each table (picture courtesy of Manley Communications)

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2 Responses to “Review: Gourmet Braai Festival at Hidden Valley”

  1. Nicola September 18, 2013 at 13:30 #

    Wat n fees!

    • thefoodfox September 18, 2013 at 13:31 #

      Was julle ook daar? Dit was regtig ongelooflik!

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