Yesterday, Fiance and I finally got to Taste of Cape Town, an incredible food and restaurant festival. Why do I say finally, you ask?

I had bought a Groupon for tickets to Taste of Cape Town, meant to be used Thursday night. After spending about an hour getting dressed up and ready for the event, we went down to our rented car, which we’d driven just the day before. And it wouldn’t start. This is an old car, that in the past has been sticky to start but always would eventually get going. But that night, it just wasn’t gonna cooperate. We even tried pushing it to give it a running start. Nope. That car wasn’t going to take me to Taste. We live in the Southern Suburbs, so a cab wasn’t an option since the festival would be half over by the time we got there.

The next day, we called the rental company who sent out some mechanics. After awhile, they did it! The car was starting, albeit a bit begrudgingly, as usual. They had me start it so I could see for myself, and it was good to go. We’d go to Taste that night instead.

A few hours later, we got in the car. Fiance went to start the car. And it wouldn’t start again. I’d really been looking forward to this festival, so this felt like a very cruel joke. After sitting in denial for several minutes, I made Fiance take me out to dinner at Lyra’s so I could drown my sorrows in mojitos.

We called the rental car company Saturday morning to let them know. Unfortunately they don’t have any mechanics on the weekend, so Monday morning it would be. This time, we at least had enough notice to arrange a cab. It kind of worked out- there was an abundance of wine and it saved us the argument of who was driving home!

Taste of Cape Town was definitely worth the trouble. Fiance went on a cured meat frenzy, starting out with a chorizo roll. I had paella, which was truly incredible. Spicy, savory, very well-flavored. The mussels and fish were perfectly cooked.

We went to a chef’s demonstration called “Robertson’s Butcher’s Block”. Robertson’s is a local spice company. They were working with The Big Green Egg on this and I was staring at the eggs enviously the whole time. I’ve wanted a Big Green Egg for years, they’re one of the most incredible pieces of cooking equipment I’ve ever seen! BBQ, smoker, oven, and anything else you could think of.

Caroline McCann, owner of Braeside Meat Market in Johannesburg, led the demonstration.

She showed us how to remove the center carcass of a chicken to lay it flat for the “braai” (barbecue) or for the oven. I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to butchering anything, so this was really informative.

Then a local farmer spoke. They farm only Afrikaner cattle, a breed I’d never heard of before this. They discussed the importance of knowing your farmer and where your meat is coming from. Caroline taught us that you can tell if a chicken is free range by the breasts: if you can see little indents where feathers had been, it is for sure free range. The farmer told us that a good indication that beef is free range is if the fat is yellow.

It was an incredibly informative and interesting presentation! Afterwards, we promptly went to their stand and got some “biltong” (like jerky). Oh, how I love cured meat.

Next, pork belly with chutney, some type of barbecue sauce, pea puree, a “pork puff” (similar to pork rind), and a potato ball from the restaurant Azure. I don’t know if there’s any food better in the world than pork belly.

And a special trip to the Jack Daniel’s tent for Fiance. He got the single barrel whiskey, while I indulged in honey whiskey. I’m starting to come around to whiskey, and you couldn’t not like this- it was like candy.

Then we decided we needed some cured meat to take home with us, so we stopped by Cape Mountain Charcuterie’s stand and got some Spanish chorizo. I made an incredible hash for breakfast with it that I’ll be sharing with you later this week!

Last but not least, dessert. Sorry for the not so great picture- it was very, very dark. I had a lemon merengue cupcake and Fiance got a Rollo tart. We both left incredibly happy.

If you’re in South Africa, you can catch the Taste festival next in Durban and Johannesburg! It was a great food fest, and I’m so glad we were finally able to find a way to attend!