Cambridge food & beer pairing event

07 Aug 14

Have you attended a food and beer pairing event before?


We recently took part in a food and beer pairing demo hosted by renowned South African Executive Chef David Higgs of the Saxon Hotel. Together with SAB Brewer Anton Erasmus, the pair spent an hour demonstrating some delicious combinations of gourmet South African food and beer pairings. After each dish was demonstrated and discussed, it was shared with the audience.

The venue was Mountain Cambridge School in Hartebeespoort, Gauteng, which was converted for a day to become a foodie heaven for the 5th Annual Cambridge Food Festival.

 Here’s what you missed:

It was Saturday 7th June in Hartebeespoort and the Cambridge Food Festival was full of gourmet stalls and families enjoying the winter sun.

Cambridge food and beer pairing SAB David Higgs

Chef David Higgs was preparing his ingredients in the library of the school, which had been converted into a demonstration kitchen.

SAB_David Higgs,  Saxton Chef_left & Anton Erasmus,  SAB Trade Brewer_Right_at the SAB food & beer demo copy

SAB brewer Anton Erasumus nearby getting the beer tasters ready in taster glasses.


The audience arrived and David, Anton and their team got things started. David introduced each dish and demonstrated how to make it. He then described his choice of beer for pairing with each dish.

Anton then explained the intricacies of each beer: from the aroma and flavour profile to more technial aspects of each beer style.


First up: Seared tuna and fresh ceviche dressing with Flying Fish lemon.

Seared fish and a fresh, sweet dressing make a great pairing with the fruity, slightly tart lemon flavour.

SAB_Flying Fish Lemon paired with seared tune,  ceviche styled dressing & pickled cucumber copy

Taste-sized portions of the dish were swiftly served up by the kitchen team, with help from the learners of Mountain Cambridge School.


David made for some great entertainment. His passion for good food was infectious while his team from the Saxon Hotel assisted in the kitchen.


 Braised lamb shanks with parsnip purée and poached onion with Black Label.

Lamb shanks are naturally quite sweet and were complemented perfectly by the light dryness of Black Label.

SAB_Black Label paired with braised lamb shank,  parsnip mash & roasted onions

Pork belly & crackling cooked in duck fat served with green banana chutney, served with Loxton Lager.

The fragrant dish made a great partner to this lager, which is delicately flavoured with buchu fynbos.

SAB_Loxton Lager paired with confit pork belly,  green banana chutney & crackling copy


 A curried shoulder of lamb served with a tomato & ginger sambal paired with Pilsner Urquell

The butteriness of the curry stands up well to the boldness and bitterness of Pilsner Urquell.


SAB_Pilsner Urquell with shoulder of lamb,  curried & served with tomato & ginger sambal

 Lastly, a decadent, multi-layered dessert paired with Castle Milk Stout

A chocolate waffle, home-made Castle Milk Stout ice cream and salted caramel. This sweet and rich dessert combinations perfectly complement Castle Milk Stout, which tempers their richness with its slightly bitter but very smooth coffee, caramel and roasted barley notes. We used the new Castle Milk Stout Ultra Smooth.

SAB_Castle Milk Stout's new Ultra Smooth paired with chocolate waffle,  milk stout ice cream & salted caramel sauce

The results were absolutely delectable as well as a feast for the eyes! Many a photo was posted to Twitter. (Hint: Search #CambridgePairing).

SAB -- Food Pairing -- 14

And the crowd went wild!

SAB -- Food Pairing -- 12

The well-fed guests went home with a good portion of beer and food inspiration, appreciation and a goodie bag cooler box of beers to use in their own pairings at home. By our standards, we’d say this was a successful pairing!

SAB -- Food Pairing -- 13psd

For more on upcoming beer and food pairing demonstrations as even more pairing inspiration follow @MyBeerSA on Twitter.