James Di­ack of La Stalla, Melville

Getaway (South Africa) - - Escape Bites -

Trav­el­ling is when I re­search new ideas, ex­plore new flavours and in­dulge my pas­sion for wine. My three favourite places in the world are France, Italy and Spain. In Spain I had some of the best Iberico ham I’ve ever tasted, made from pigs that roam around feast­ing on acorns. We tried it with our pigs here in SA and our acorn-fed wild boar is fa­mous now. A 15-course pair­ing menu changed my view on food. It was at Mu­garitz in San Se­bas­tian, Spain, and used in­gre­di­ents sourced from within five kilo­me­tres. My most mem­o­rable hol­i­day was barg­ing through Bur­gundy last sum­mer. My wife and I ate at Au Fil du Zinc in Ch­ablis. Ma­puto is just pure soul food. What a vibe that city has. Ev­ery­one should visit the Cape winelands – espe­cially the smaller, bou­tique wine farms. Many wine­mak­ers have this fan­tas­tic ‘can-do’ at­ti­tude, us­ing their own skill set and willpower. We have a beach cot­tage on the South Coast that has been in my fam­ily for years – we take all the dogs and re­ally chill. Ev­ery­one pitches in with the cook­ing and there’s al­ways loads of wine and lots of laughs. On hol­i­day, fresh bread, cheese, pick­les and char­cu­terie are the best. Paired with a crack­ing bot­tle of white wine. • La Stalla is a re­vamp of The Fed­eral. 010-900-4876. James also owns Il Con­tadino and The Na­tional (in Park­town North) and Coobs (Parkhurst).

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