South Africa’s culinary capitals Cape Town and Johannesburg will in September play host to a celebration of street food prepared by some of the country’s best chefs and food makers. We’re talking the type of food you’ll need both hands to eat: vinegary fish and slapchips, gatsbys stuffed to capacity and the best braai, straight off the fire.
This year’s Visa Street Food Festival is dishing up a new flavour in Cape Town. Not only will it launch its first ever night market, but its Business of Food themed conference, Visa Food Studio, will bring together top chefs and speakers in a day of interactive tastings, workshops and demonstrations.
The fourth edition of the popular festival will kick off in Cape Town at the Side Street Studios in Woodstock on Saturday 2 September with the launch of the night market, and continue on Sunday 3 September with a full day of street food, live DJ’s and free talks.
A week later, on Sunday 10 September, the festival will move to Common Ground, 16 Staib Street, Maboneng in Johannesburg.
“The Visa Street Food Festival is more popular than ever,” said director Hannerie Visser. “Street food is something everyone can relate with, and South Africans have always been fans of informal dining, whether it’s pancakes at a church bazaar or bunny chow in a corner shop. With more food trucks than ever popping up, the festival will not only give visitors the chance to taste all their favourite foods, but also create a platform where food makers can educate visitors.”
Thembeka Ngugi, Visa’s senior director of marketing for Sub-Saharan Africa, says Visa is proud to be partnering with the festival for the first time as headline sponsor.
“With Visa’s payWave enabled cards and connected mobile devices, this year’s festival will be the first to go cashless. Visa’s easy-to-use and secure tap and go technology will make sampling the authentic street food easier than ever.”
Launched in Cape Town in 2014, the Street Food Festival combines a vibrant street market, where local chefs showcase the best of what South Africa’s street food has to offer, with talks by some of the country’s leading food makers.
Among the lineup of speakers at the Cape Town event are food blogger Ming Cheau Lin, pâtisserie chef Nikki Albertyn of LionHeart pâtisserie studio and pop-up supper club Third Culture Experiment.
In Jo’burg, festival goers will be able to attend talks by Jako van Deventer, from The Rogue Cheddar, freelance food writer, recipe developer and food stylist Dorah Lydia Sitole, and small scale urban farmers the Kotze Rooftop Garden Co-operative.
In the Mother City Chefs Wesley Randles of award-winning restaurant The Shortmarket Club and Andy Fenner of Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants will also be offering a taste of their Convivium – a showcase of local food, chefs and producers – at the festival for the first time.
“This year we want to close the gap between real, authentic street food that’s being served on the side of the road in townships and fine-dining restaurants,” said Fenner. “We want everyone eating everything and learning from each other. Being involved in this event is a great way for us to do that.”
Feeling inspired to #CreateAStir? Then make your way over to the Nola stand. One of South Africa’s most loved mayo brands will be showing you how to add a fresh twist to some of your favourite meals, with a range of tasty treats to savour.
While snacking on all the delicious pavement-style food, you’ll get to listen to some of the country’s hottest talent, with a music line-up that includes Dope Saint Jude, electronic music whizz Felix Laband and DJ’s Roastin’ Records, K-$ , DJ Okapi and many more.
Visa Food Studio
On Thursday 31 August, two days before the Visa Street Food Festival kicks off in Cape Town, a full-day food conference will take place at Workshop 17 at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Aiming to empower food-makers with the necessary tools to transform their passion for food into a career, the hands-on conference will offer tastings, workshops, demonstrations and talks, and cover everything from sustainable food practices to get a new business off the ground. Tickets cost R1 500.
There’s a lot more to experience
In Cape Town, from tasting the best pap and tripe to doing your own printing, this year’s festival is crammed with more tastes and events than ever before. Some additional Mother City highlights include listening to crate talks by the sausage master Josh de Kock and cake designer extraordinaire Nikki Albertyn, a live totebag screen printing bar, a long table session with chef PJ Vadas of the Hoghouse at Spier wine farm, a live DJ set by Dope Saint Jude and testing your knowledge of chili at the Hot Sauce Library.
And then there’s the food: deep fried Mac and Cheese balls, authentic Ethiopian coffee, pap and tripe, steamed bread and trotters, bunny chow, and – this is Cape Town after all – the best samosas.
In Johannesburg, don’t miss the crate talk with writer and chef Dorah Sithole, the best in live entertainment presented by South Africa’s hottest music agency Black Major, a long table session with award winning chef Vanessa Marx, and tasting copious chili concoctions at the Hot Sauce Library.
The Jo’burg street food menu is eclectic, from butter chicken on chips and spicy jerk chicken to footlong boerie rolls, scrumptious grilled cheese sandwiches and the best thickshakes on the continent.
Festival Times and Dates
Cape Town Saturday market – 2 September (which includes the first-ever night market)
Doors open at 5pm and closes at 9pm.
Cape Town Sunday market – 3 September (which includes vendors, free talks and live DJ’s)
Doors open at 9am and close at 4pm.
Johannesburg Sunday market – 10 September (which includes vendors, free talks and live DJ’s)
Doors open at 9am and close at 4pm.
Tickets are available at www.webtickets.co.za and if you pay with Visa Checkout, you will get a 10% discount on your ticket price. Tickets are also available at the door.
For more information on the Visa Street Food Festival visit, www.streetfoodfestival.co.za.
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