A COMMUNITY OF CLASSICS
Wixworth was created by exploring various recipes for a classic dry gin. A formula that has been around for many years. We took what we learned, and did not conform. We created a classic dry gin our way. A classic. Originally created. We are building a community with those who also believe in staying true to themselves. Their trade might not be their own. But their recipe is. Our community of classics comprises those who contribute and conserve to our people, our places and our way of life. To what has been. To what may come. We are classic. Our spirit is one.
#Donotconform #BeAclassic #originallycreated
A TWIST ON THE TRADITIONAL: THE GLAMFOODIE’S RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Charmaine Ramalope-Makhubela’s is the face of GlamFoodie – an upscale food event planning company for a clientele of fine food and wine lovers.
Charmaine’s culinary adventure began after quitting her job in IT. She had grown tired of the ordinary, day-to-day work cycle and wanted to pursue a career that excited her. Her true purpose in life was food and she decided to follow her heart and make a career out cooking.
Her leap of faith was no half-baked idea. It just so happened that the foodie revolution was taking off and Charmaine saw this as the perfect opportunity to stake her claim in the culinary world.
“I saw the rise of the foodie as a fascinating and disruptive movement that enabled anyone who had a passion for food to make it in the industry. I didn’t have a formal qualification from a culinary school but I believed that, because I could take a classic recipe and give it my own twist, I could offer something completely different from other foodies,” says Charmaine.
It was also during this time that her grandmother passed away. Having been raised by her single mother and grandmother, it was as a major blow for her. Charmaine had a soft spot for her grandmother – she was her greatest influence and inspired her love for all things fine. Her family had lost its matriarch, but her legacy of living life to fullest lived on and only motivated Charmaine more: “My grandmother’s passing was a big turning point for me. It made me realise that life is short and every moment should be appreciated. I was about to turn 30 at the time and I remember thinking I couldn’t continue living a life without true purpose,” says Charmaine.
Charmaine set out on her culinary journey with zero start-up capital, infrastructure or industry connections. She had to build her business from scratch. But it was the traditional recipes and homemade dishes passed down from her grandmother that would shape her career. “I fell in love with how my grandmother was able to take classic recipes and give them her own twist using humble ingredients, which made her meals so special. She not only introduced me to traditional African dishes, but through the many cookbooks and recipes, I also got to experience an array of different cuisines,” says Charmaine.
Charmaine started developing her own recipes and creating content on her GlamFoodie blog to showcase her flair and passion for conscious eating. She soon started making a name for herself by scooping a host of cooking competitions including the NutriDay Breakfast Party Recipe Challenge and the Freshpak #MySummerIcedTea recipe competition.
Charmaine became one of the first South African foodies to turn a passion for food into a profitable business through GlamFoodie WINE&DINE – a monthly fine dining platform celebrates haute cuisine, luxury wine and spirit brands. It afforded her the opportunity to collaborate with highly acclaimed chefs and led her to host a cooking show on VIVA Nation TV, as well as being selected among eight contestants to compete in the very first The Tastemaster SA reality cooking show.
Charmaine is a force to be reckoned with. Her future aspirations include completing her Advanced Nutrition Diploma and being an advocate for conscious eating and a leader in my industry.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
4 Ostrich Fillet Steaks
3 tablespoons butter
Salt & Pepper
1 shallot, minced
shot of WIXWORTH GIN
1/4 cup demi-glace or reduced beef stock
1 teaspoon juniper berries
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Season the ostrich fillet steaks with salt flakes and ground pepper and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat and sear the ostrich on all sides. This should take 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove the ostrich and let it rest on a cutting board.
Add the shallot to the pan and saute for 2 minutes, stirring often. Switch off the heat, add the WIXWORTH GIN to the pan, then set it back over high heat. Flambé it if you’d like, either way, let it cook down a bit then while deglazing the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the juniper and rosemary, then the demi-glace or reduced stock. Let this cook down over high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, let any bubbling stop, Stir in more butter if you wish and strain the sauce.
Serve with ostrich over pea purree, glazed carrots and garnish with pea shoots.
1 egg white
15ml lemon juice
100ml Cucumber, Pineapple & Mint & Juice
2 shots WIXWORTH Gin
Pea shoots, mint and dill to garnish
To make the Cucumber, pineapple and mint juice, blend ½ cucumber, ¼ cup pineapple chunks, handful of mint, dill and pea shoots and cup cold water and strain
Combine ingredients in a glass and shake with ice then add ice and shake again. Strain into a gin glass and garnish with pea shoots, dill and mint.
Prep Time: 30mins
For the ice cream
2 cups pineapple
1 medium banana
1/2 cup coconut cream
For the syrup
125ml passionfruit juice
1 shot WIXWORTH GIN
toasted coconut flakes
dehydrated pineapple slices
To make the ice cream, freeze your pineapple and banana until solid or overnight.
Place your coconut cream in the freezer upside down for a few minutes. This will help separate the cream from the liquid, you want to use as much cream as possible to prevent the ice cream from forming ice crystals.
Place frozen pineapple chunks, banana, and coconut cream in a food processor.
Pulse until ingredients begin to combine.
Blend until smooth and creamy.
Serve immediately as soft serve ice or you can freeze in an airtight container if you prefer firmer ice cream.
For passionfruit and gin coulis, in a medium saucepan, combine the passion fruit juice and sugar.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Pour WIXWORTH gin shot and set aside to cool before serving over ice cream and decorate with coconut flakes, dried pineapple slices and edible flowers.
#Donotconform #BeAclassic #originallycreated
A passion forged in fire
and shaped in steel
“Every time I work, I learn and discover something new about the material and myself.’’ – Alon Fainstein, blacksmith, artist, and Wixworth classic.
Alon’s blacksmith journey began in 1995 when he learned how to weld and fabricate steel furniture. This experience sparked an interest in metalworking, but the way he viewed the medium changed when he was introduced to a seasoned blacksmith.
“The second I walked into the workshop of an elderly Italian blacksmith, it struck me that this was the medium I was destined to work with. I learned that, when this stubborn material is heated, I can manipulate it into whatever I my imagination renders”.
Alon’s artistic roots run deep. As an introverted young boy, the art room in junior school was the only place where he felt that he could fit into the world. His teacher recognised that he had a unique talent and gave him the freedom to create his own work, while the rest of the class was restricted to the curriculum.
“My parents understood and supported my gravitation towards art. I painted for hours and hours, and loved ceramics. Even when my mom arranged play dates, I would lock myself in my room away from the world so that I could create art. Outside of that environment, I felt like a fish out of water. It was the only thing that really made sense to me and it was liberating, even at a young age.”
After creating traditional steelworks for over 15 years, Alon realised that something was missing. The artistic freedom he experienced all those years ago was what he needed to rekindle, and he decided to dive back into his art form to express himself: “It felt like something was gnawing at me that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Creating my own works from the inspiration that lay deep within me was artistically liberating – I could listen to my inner voice rather than a client’s strict brief.”
This reawakening inspired Alon to build a studio which supported the scale of his work, and in which he could immerse himself and fill with his creative energy. It was a space in which he connected with steel and his true self on a different level, and crafted the first piece of his first solo exhibition – a chair aptly named, ‘Connect’.
“In this beautiful domain of the unknown, I found my biggest inspiration – it was unlearning everything I had learned up until this point. Giving up control and letting the work guide me.”
Alon Fainstein is a blacksmith and artist who creates steel artworks in his studio in Cape Town, South Africa.
#Donotconform #BeAclassic #originallycreated
From breaking into song on the streets to breaking onto the world stage
It’s Christmas Day in 2010 and cousins Callen Petersen and Jody Abel are opening their Christmas presents – a violin and an acoustic guitar are unwrapped. They proceed to serenade the suburb of Goodwood in Cape Town with Christmas carols as they make their way to their uncle’s house, with their musical instruments in tow. Uncle Leon gives them R50 for their efforts. Little do they know, the spontaneous musical rendezvous is the moment that their music career begins.
Fast forward a few years and Callen and Jody combine their love of pop music and classical instruments to form a duo under the musical moniker, ‘Acoustic Element’. One part violin, one part guitar/beatbox, it’s a unique dynamism that transforms a once part-time passion project into a sought-after live act the world over.
But, the cousins’ journey is not one of overnight success. As a little-known duo performing at weddings, private functions, and markets, Callen and Jody pay their dues while studying towards degrees in fashion design and marketing, respectively.
After a short stint in the corporate world, they decide it’s time to call it quits. Callen and Jody walk away from their corporate careers they worked so hard for, with little else than a handful of live performances and a debut record deal under their belts. They set their sights on making a name for themselves in the music industry.
“Looking back, it was risky ditching our day jobs in pursuit of our musical dreams, but we believed we had what it took and never looked back. We knew that we had something special to offer and knew it was possible,” violinist Callen explains.
A few months later, the leap of faith finally starts to show signs of fruition: “We started to turn heads and realised that people really enjoyed our unique sound of contemporary pop- meets-classical,” guitarist Jody points out.
The duo lands a residency at The One and Only Hotel in downtown Cape Town – the establishment proves to be the springboard for breaking through onto the international music circuit. Speaking about their time there, Callen explains: “We got booked for our first ever international gig from putting in a string of solid performances at The One and Only. The first of many overseas gigs was in Stockholm, Sweden, where we performed alongside some legendary local artists in front of an awesome crowd”.
From those humble beginnings of playing Christmas carols in the streets all those years ago, to performing alongside some of the biggest international superstars, the Acoustic Element journey has come full circle. On Christmas Day in 2019, Callen and Jody retraced their steps and walked down the very same street in Goodwood to play Christmas carols for Uncle Leon and the rest of the neighbourhood: “My uncle and his wife came dancing out of their house after we surprised them with an impromptu performance to repay him for his act of goodwill. We ended up staying and playing a few songs, and neighbours (some of whom we had never met) ended up staying until late in the evening on this memorable Christmas Day. It was truly a special homecoming for us,” says Jody.
Acoustic Element is based in Cape Town and has performed alongside some of South Africa’s hottest artists – like Lira, Freshlyground, Beatenberg, Cassper Nvoyest, Jimmy Nevis, and Matthew Mole – and with a host of renowned international artists in Austria, Germany, the UK, Greece, Qatar, and India.
#Donotconform #BeAclassic #originallycreated
A TORCHBEARER IN THE BATTLE AGAINST RHINO POACHING
“Whether we realise it or not, we are all connected to nature. Our survival depends on it and if we let it slip, there’s no getting it back.” – Elise Serfontein, StopRhinoPoaching.com founder, rhino poaching activist, and Wixworth classic.
In March 2010, Elise Serfontein received a call from her friend about three rhinos that had fallen victim to poachers. It was a Sunday afternoon and all she could do was cry herself to sleep. When she learned that helicopters – the very aircraft that played an instrumental role in her line of work at the time – were used in the poaching incident, it added insult to injury: “I was both devastated and dumbstruck – I couldn’t imagine anyone in the close-knit aviation community to be so cruel and turn to rhino poaching. It really hit a nerve and I felt the urge to do something,” says Elise.
In July 2010, Elise launched Stop Rhino Poaching. Today, the non-profit organisation (NPO) is known as StopRhinoPoaching.com – an independent web-based platform dedicated to raising awareness and support for the war against rhino poaching.
Her inherent desire to nurture and protect the natural world around her was fundamental in the launch of her project, which can be attributed to her upbringing. “I loved nature as far back as I can remember. My parents taught me the names of birds and animals and my sole ambition in life was to work with birds,” says Elise.
Elise’s interests were different from those of others at school. Her mom always believed in her and encouraged her to follow her heart. A career in conservation was seemingly written in the stars and her childhood love for nature soon developed into a lifelong calling to protect rhinos. From hand-rearing baby birds to becoming a torchbearer in the battle against rhino poaching, Elise’s selflessness and fighting spirit have kept her ambitions of protecting rhinos alive: “You see the worst that humans can do. You think of the thousands of rhinos that have been killed and you realise the sheer onslaught against them, as well as the rangers who risk their lives in the line of duty,” says Elise.
Giving of oneself to a cause is not a popular life choice in an individualistic world that is commercially focused. Elise trusted her intuition, believed in the good and answered the call to protect rhinos. “Right now, deep in my heart, I know that I am doing exactly what I was meant to do. How many people can say that, let alone be able to live it?” asks Elise.
The rhino is a symbol of our wild spaces and South Africa is the species’ last remaining stronghold. Elise and her NPO continue to make a difference to stop rhino poaching in South Africa. Visit www.stoprhinopoaching.com for more.
Elise is also one of Wixworth Gin’s ‘Classics’. Wixworth prides itself on being authentic and staying true to oneself, to one’s passion, and to one’s way of life, and is building a community of classics, with the likes of Charmaine, who share the same ethos.
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