Karoo Food Fest

Already loved as a national treasure on the culinary scene, the 10th annual SPAR Karoo Food Festival is set to become an even bigger melting potjie of flavour in 2023.

To celebrate this landmark occasion in Cradock, the popular foodie gathering from April 27 to 30 will now include a Karoo Potjie Master competition to prove that potluck does not come into it when preparing this South African favourite.

Convened by well-known food editor and journalist Tony Jackman, teams of aspirant masters will have the chance to compete in a range of categories. These include Potjie Champion Dish, Most Innovative Potjie, Bravest Potjie, Best Starch Side Dish, Best Dressed Station and Best Dressed Team.

It will be all action from the moment teams arrive at Jenkins Creek on De Doorns Farm on the Sunday as they only have four hours to impress the judges.

The entry fee of R500 includes meat and fresh vegetables from SPAR Cradock and SUPERSPAR Tams. A portion of the proceeds will go to the CPS solar panel project.

“We want cooks to let their imaginations take them to the dish that makes all the difference,” said SPAR Karoo Food Festival co-organiser Lisa Ker.

While the inaugural competition will no doubt set tongues wagging, it is just one of the amazing events on offer at this year’s festival, where the Big 10 will be toasted in style.

Ker said the Friday would see a “full-on” Karoo street party in Market Street where visitors could sample wines and locally produced spirits while dancing the night away.

Karoo Food Fest

The SPAR Karoo Food Festival, which celebrates its 10th birthday this year, promises to be one to remember with a Potjiekos Master competition, live entertainment and loads of family fun. Photo: Supplied

“Even last year we were under Covid-19 restrictions so to be able to host the festival as it should be is something we’re really happy about.”

The Saturday and Sunday will be devoted to delicious food, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, live music and a range of activities for families.

“We are so excited about the festival, which obviously makes such a big difference in the community. We look forward to it the whole year.”

It will certainly be a busy day at Jenkins Creek on the Sunday, as this is also the venue for the Amy Bell Charity Cycle.

The event raises funds for the Amy Bell Centre for Children in the town. It is one of the global projects named in honour of the late Texas philanthropist who sought to help underprivileged children all around the world.

There are 60km, 30km and 15km options and riders can enter on Quicket by selecting the “Karoo Festival 2023” option.

The Trust is also putting on a show for the little ones by hosting the Kids Funfair@Karoo Festival on the Saturday and Sunday.

With jumping castles, water slides, a colouring-in competition and an assortment of games on offer under the watchful eye of caregivers, parents will have all the time they need to browse or relax with a drink.

SPAR Eastern Cape advertising manager Roseann Shadrach said the retailer was delighted to be able to share in the festival’s 10th birthday celebrations.

“We are committed to investing in the local community, which is what the festival is all about,” she said.

“As a group we are acutely aware how the Covid-19 pandemic affected traders, so it’s wonderful that we can make them part of such a momentous occasion.”