The Flavors of South Africa with Chef Benny

Celebrity Chef and Masterchef Judge Benny Maskwameng put on a fantastic lunch recently showcasing the flavors of South Africa; his first in the United States.  The meal was held downtown at the new IAC Brookfield and it almost felt like Chef Benny had been cooking there for years.  His infectious smile and booming personality were an absolute pleasure to watch as he created some of his favorite dishes like this Seafood Delight with tempura prawn tail, stuffed calamari, crayfish with avocado mayo and mussel with lemon-dill veloute.

Pan Seared Lamb Loin with red wine jus atop sugar beans, lentils and green peas with roasted butternut squash puree and potato croquettes.

And to finish a deconstructed Amarula Milk Tart with glazed fresh berries and a mixed berry sorbet.

Everything from the delightfully light avocado crayfish to the rich flavors of the lamb were incredible and that dessert...OMG.  It incorporated Amarula Liquor which is made from the exotic marula fruit found only on the plains of Africa.  The pulp is fermented into wine then distilled twice before aging in small oak barrels which impart a delicious vanilla, toasted almond flavor to the spirit.  It's amazing to use in tarts like the one above or as the main ingredient of a delicious cocktail.

I plan to make a frothy cinnamon Amarula apertif to complement the pecan pie at my Thanksgiving dinner this year. Cheers to Chef Benny for whipping up some egg whites into solid peaks in less than 2 minutes.  His charisma alone is the perfect excuse to get out and experience South Africa. Click on the link below for more on this amazing Chef and thanks to Tsogo Sun and South African Airways for an awesome event.

Tsogo Sun- Chef Benny