One time, many years ago, Jono and I drove to Durban to eat the crumbed n fried olives at Cafe 1999. It was worth it. This time no one had to drive.
This time -
We went to Swaziland!
On a luxury bus!
For one night!
Cooked by Reuben!
In a glass factory!
And drank (a lot of)
Wine chosen by Neil Pendock!
Very happily the wine Mr Pendock chose is the wine we’d already decided to serve at Mess next yr! SECATEURS! We were much impressed with our new found taste-skills and celebrated by drinking much. We drank this wine out of the reason we were there. Wine glasses. Reuben has made a range of glasses with the Ngwenya Glass Factory. We went into the fire pits and watched the process. It was great to watch but also DANGEROUS.
THE BLOW & CRADLE
We sweated and turned pink and drank more champagne to replace our lost liquids.
Tell us what happened next.
It gets a bit , er, blurry, here.
We drank red wine out of red wine glasses
White wine from white wine glasses
Ate amazing food by Reuben
off glass plates.
And talked about food. and wine. and life. and laughed. a lot.
Wow, that sounds amazing.
It was ! Somehow - educated guess: the wine? - things got pretty raucous in the glass factory. We convinced the keyboardist (a kind man in a maroon waistcoat) to drop the Elton John and rock out to The Beatles. Everyone (including Mr Edcon, the distributor of the glassware) threw each other around the dance floor, doing that couples dancing thing that there’s no space for at The Attic, we ran around the factory, we smoked everywhere, I accosted Reuben in his kitchen - I hope to redeem myself someday soon. I have no idea what time we left but the bus trip was hilarious - much laughter, thanks to David Frederik Cope who gave us a running commentary on the mic.
FOOTLOOSE, IN A GLASS FACTORY.
At the hotel we kept the bar open - with me repeatedly begging the barmen to set up the Karaoke system - until…. 4am. Emma sampled their finest brandy & coke (a new experience) , Cameron fell asleep with a cigarette in his mouth, Colin was still going strong right til the end, and I took the wrong keys and walked into “my” room wondering why it smelled like “boy socks”. I then got lost on my way back to the bar - u know how confusing hotel carpets are? i decided to try and remember what the carpet near the lift looked like ….
The next morning we bussed it back to Joburg, a trip that was more than a little wobbly.
It was such, such a lovely weekend. In the most genuine and heart-filled way.
Much thanks to the Source SA team (who confirmed my theory that the more important and clever a person/company is, the more humble and great they usually are. This insight excludes Madonna - anyone over the age of 80 who wears a lilac leotard should not be allowed on MTV).
There are two Jonos in Joburg, and both of them cook. The Jono Hall (not the Jono Mess) had a Breakfast Lunch Supper Experiment recently, where he cooked .. Breakfast Lunch and Supper and ± 20 of us ATE & DRANK for 12 hours. I think I knew less people there than people I did know, but I think people became friends after all that time, all that food, all that togetherness. Kind of like Christmas without the presents or drunk uncle.
The food was incredible - my breakfast fav was an oats and apple and berry crumble pie with yoghurt and honey (and perfect scrambled eggs - a sign that Jono Hall might be a man slut? - a personal theory on boys’ ability to make scrambled eggs being directly related to their ability to have one-night-stands. Discuss in 160 characters or less). For lunch we had rolls with pork belly with a sweet relish and mayo and leafy things, a salad of naartjies and crunchy curry bites where the naartjie juice made the dressing inside your mouth, and roasted-grilled-ed potatoes with mustard seeds, and for supper a sublime prawns feast with saffron, tomato and currants glumph on angel hair pasta. finished off with a bowl of strawbs - :)
Here’s Jono Hall’s v cool blog and recipes. http://allyoucaneatforfree.wordpress.com/ Yums.
And Sam Swaine wrote http://leoeuf.blogspot.com/ Lots of nice yums here too.
I have been upset for a while about the dearth of pretty-delicious places to shop for food. You Know what i say: Fuck florescent lights and vacuum-packed-chicken-thighs and Woolies and their Christian magazines - were starting a market. It’s called THE SUPER and we think it will be.
Located in the Parkhurst village, our courtyard on 4th opens from 9:00 - 2:00 every Saturday, and a monthly night-market . Our partners are the purveyors of conscious, artisanal, happy food. They range from bakers to butchers and coffee to cupcakes.
Long ago, the ancients ate some rotten meat. Some threw up. Others died. They put some salt on it. They could eat the food then. When ice became part of their life, they rejoiced. Hooray. Uncooked out of the fridge meat is bad, it will kill you. And now, many modern years later, we eat bloodless, leeched packs of meat inside very cold shops. A few years ago I spent a month in France WWOOFing (look it up) and at one stage i stayed in a 13th C chateau (sp?) and was flabbergasted at how they left their meat out all day long, all week long, and how fucking awesome and incredible the food was, esp the meat. honestly, they left these slabs of flesh lying around their 13th C kitchen, the dogs were even in the kitchen, and we;d come in after a 3 hour ride and the lady of the house would wash her hands, go over to the meat slabs, lean into the tray and talk to the pieces in baby french and then slip slap the stuff around, using a more brutal sounding language. So now, a few years later in SA, we’re all oo 28 days aged and stuff, but do you know how that happens - the process is gross, the enzymes are having a little party, breaking up all the proteins and stuff, ingesting each other. anyway today, i am like soo Liberal (that’s a capital if you’ve grown up White English South African, a friend recently called me a Pinko… hahahha) and i am looking at all our food today and it’s about 37 degrees and we don’t have a fridge at our new venue and i am thinking: how comfortable do i actually feel about not fridgeing the food? luckily, we have bags and bags and bags of ice and cooked pork belly and some trout and, i think, that the only thing that could possibly go off is the caviar. (does anyone know the answer to it? I mean, it’s an egg… from the far North?) so i put it on a bag of ice. and i’ll let y’all know tomoro how it went down. K
Carmen just put me on to this German site which catalogs the uber-cool lives of Berliners and their apartments. It’s all in German so i have no idea what they’re banging on about but i know it makes me jealous: freunde-von-freunden
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aficionado says: “the coolest dining experience I have had in the last year.”
“Warm, comforting, indulgent and wholesome communal eating prepared by people that simply love good food. The Mess is a guerilla (pop up) dining experience that has the cities tongue wagging (and salivating). I had the honour of attending one of Kate and Jono’s long tables, which included a meal of artichoke hearts, rabbit stew and broken figs, drizzled honey and camembert.”
chrisroper.co.za says: “good food with a twist of attitude”
“The food is an attraction, but even more enticing is the fact that you’re sitting on a street corner in a relatively deserted city, an oasis of good cheer and quirky service […]friendly Kathryn White, who joins you at the table to eat […], and chef-for-a-night Jonathan Cane. Eating there is an experience I’d heartily recommend, with one caveat – don’t go if you have a fear of lung cancer.”
jobusy says: “The food prepared in the pop-up kitchen was so delicious and original (a bit too original for me)”
“Watch this space… or rather, don’t. Next time Mess hosts a dinner for twenty or so fans it will be somewhere completely different.”
missmoss lyndall’s list says: things i like right now #10 (in no particular order)
“Cam put me onto their blog so I spy on their goings ons every now and then. The food they’re cooking, the fact that they’re educating people with new ingredients and methods, and just the way they pull it all off makes me want to rip my ‘green with envy’ eyeballs out.”
“I love what Kate and Jono are doing in Joburg with their Mess. It’s fun and thought-provoking and human, and looks goddamn delicious.”
superette says: “they’re making some pretty mega food and in such a great way. I especially like their new No Vegetarians and No Menu Plans rules, definitely something I’d like to apply to the Supper Clubs. It also seems like Jo’burgers are way more willing to go along with it than our Cape Town customers who arrive for a West Coast Lobster Supper Club with a shellfish allergy and vegetarian requests… For real realz. It also looks like they’re really good at having a really good time. So Capetonians stop trying to be so damn awesome, check The Mess out and aspire to be like an arsetastic Jo’burger for once in your life.”
Die Beeld: “The Mess is ’n Johannesburgse weergawe van so ’n “ondergrondse” restaurant … bied Kathryn White en Jonathan Cane ’n ete aan, elke keer by ’n ander plek in die stad (dit staan bekend as ’n “pop-up”- restaurant)”
the foodie says: “based on their blog they appear to be ridiculously talented in the kitchen, naturals behind the camera and also really really really good-looking. It made me hungry. It made me thirsty for red wine. It made me want artichokes. It made me wish I could pull off the retro bicycle with casual v-neck look.”
Men’s Health says: “we’re keen to sit down to dinner at The Mess, a pop-up restaurant that’s attracting attention all over Joburg.”