Long ago, in a very different Ballito, my mother used to attend weekly art classes that were held at Seaforth College (now Ashton International College) and every week she would bring our little Jack Russell-Terrier, Jack, along with her.
Jack was not too fond of the arts but he was fairly fond of my mother’s company so, dutifully, he would join her for a weekly excursion. However, Jack would inevitably grow weary of the pleasant conversation made between brush strokes and would embark on his own expedition to find somewhere more pleasant than a room full of turpentine and wet paint to sniff around in. This journey would always conclude the same way – with Jack hopping across the road to The Well shopping Centre, through the doors of Food Matters, where someone would always be waiting to feed him a biscotti.
A lot has changed since then, of course. My mother now spends more time with a copy of Adobe Indesign than she does with tangible art supplies, Food Matters has moved from their quaint cafe in The Well to an impeccable base of operations geared towards catering for large, gallant events and Jack has since moved on to scour for more crumbly treats somewhere in the ether.
I haven’t thought about Jack in a long time – probably because I haven’t had a good biscotti with my coffee in a long time. But then, the other week, Jacqui and Jiff Rey invited a cluster of event organisers and wedding planners (and other movie roles that you would been written for Katherine Heigl to play in the late 2000’s) to the new Food Matters headquarters for a small banquet to sample some of their finest wares. I had also agreed to attend in order to take a few pictures and, more pertinently, help myself to a free lunch.
The food, of course was exquisite, and everyone seemed very happy to be eating it. But I was more entranced by a smell that was wafting in the air of the kitchen. I traced the smell to a small square oven with a freshly laid tray of biscotti laid inside, waiting to be born.
There’s a lot of things that Food Matters does well – if you’ve attended an event that they’ve catered for, you would know. But it’s important to never overlook the simpler items on the menu. Whenever I think of Food Matters, I think of their scrumptious, crumbly biscotti biscuits. And I think of my old dog Jack.