Bruce Robertson’s new restaurant, the showroom, has been the topic of discussion in these pages before. I was involved in setting up his wine list and now am working with Bruce on a series of food and wine evenings with a difference — they are live.
While most wine and food evenings are rather static affairs where the kitchen tries to complement the wine with dishes created for that night only, and the producer stands up to say a few words (often uncomfortably) that usually default into technical notes and harvest reports or a few choice cliches, we decided to go the route of pure entertainment. Canapes amongst the Ferraris, Bruce kicked off with a fruits de mer soup that featured a live goldfish swimming in the bowl beneath the soup. Then it was into the evening, Bruce and I on microphones and with cameras projecting us onto screens set up on both levels of the restaurant. Anthony Hamilton Russell was the first to present his wines, but his brief was to keep his story short, most of the evening was interactive banter between Bruce on his pass with live demos of the food and myself on the balcony talking about the wine and interlacing with his commentary.
Four courses later and the opinion was that it worked a treat, so we have three more coming up this year, all with leading wine producers: Flagstone, Rustenberg and Graham Beck (more info on site).