Michel Roux

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Private Edition - Letter from the Editor Les Aupiais featuring also Grand Dédale

Not bullish perhaps, but charmingly buffalo-ish.
Hotly in pursuit of making a great deal of money from telling people what they already know, or making their lives hell – but with promise of redemption via reduction – I’d like to announce the Seychelles Diet. It has nothing of the digestive lockdown of Dr Atkins, the anti-social caveat of ‘be prepared for gas’ attached to the Cabbage Soup Diet and the depressing and curt instruction to eat prunes for breakfast in the Beverly Hills regime. To be fair, the island diet is costly in the short term, but it yields positive returns in the long haul. For the first week, it requires an airfare and a luxury villa as basic ingredients to kick-start the regime, but no financial dross, no fatty loss, I say. From Johannesburg, Mahé is a four hour flight. That alone makes the island an accessible hop into the blue. Just ask the hundreds of South Africans who’ve bought property on Mahé’s reclaimed land, Eden Island, and found rare, deep-water berths for their yachts. Desroches is only 45 minutes by charter flight from Mahé and is the real inspiration for the diet. This is a teaser of course. Not a word more until our September edition when I reveal all in the travel story. Here’s a hint; start thinking of ways to make your deep-sea fishing mates bring you back swordfish so that you can make your own carpaccio. You’ll also need a modest mountain bike with a basket attachment. I’ll have a new picture by then. It offers proof that several micro-breaks in the year effectively recharge you when you’re working at high-wire career level. Why the exploration of a new business now? I’m inspired by South Africa’s entrepreneurial spirit, where small-town savvy is adding to the economy. Try stationing yourself slightly off the beaten track near Wellington in the Boland at the splendid Grand Dedale guest house with Italian Angelo Casu at the helm. Yes, Wellington is Mrs Ball’s Chutney domain, but she’s long been factory produced. The business now is buffalo mozzarella. Buffalo Ridge Farm is owned by attorney Wayne Rademeyer, who oversees the production of creamy balls of soft cheese quite unlike the gelatinous and tasteless yellow rubber we’re used to. The Mediterranean water buffalo – curious, ingenious (they switch water systems on and off) and social creatures – were flown in from Australia by airfreight some years back at eye-watering cost, and have landed with their dark, furry rumps in butter. In gratitude, they produce white gold. Up the road, Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse has bolstered their disease-free buffalo breeding stock for local ‘export’ to game farms and reserves. Under the hammer at R250 000 a beast, it’s serious bloodstock. And that’s not all, as they say. In the same geographical zone, Foxenburg Estate’s herd of fat white goats produces delicate chévre (with none of the oily-hide smell of some goat’s cheese) and delicate oyster mushrooms. And then there’s designer/inventor Gakiem Fakier who is exporting his sleek kit cars, and Dutch team Tin Korver and Paul Rohof, who have set up a business to further stimulate the design and décor industry. The theme of this issue of Private Edition is seize the moment, and while we’re doing well on the home front, off shore it takes on a more sinister meaning. In Captains of Industry , Paul McNally outlines the drama unfolding in the Indian Ocean as Somali pirates continue to attack and seizecontrol of cargo ships. It seems that South Africans will think and create in a sluggish world economy, will fight for market share and will not lie down in the face of stiff international competition.

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