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Bid or buy: South Africa’s priciest pies up for sale

Creating the most expensive dish in the country to help the poor sounds like a contradiction, but it is not. By making 10 exclusive little “Sexy Duck and Jozi Bling” pies and auctioning them online, the organisers of this year’s Jo’burg Wine Show want to raise funds for children from impoverished communities.

The title of the culinary creation is perfect — it is made with expensive ingredients imported from all over the world: morel mushrooms (R5 000 a kilogram), duck confit (R800 a kilogram), Rougié duck foie gras (R1 000 a kilogram) and smoked duck Magret (R950 a kilogram). Last but not least, it will be topped with a gold-leaf pastry casing.

Those who wish to sample these bling-bling pies will need to pay for the privilege: they will cost at least R1 500 each. Ten pies will be auctioned online to raise funds for charity.

“It’s a lot of gold and a lot of duck,” Ronelda Visser, spokesperson of the wine show, told the Mail & Guardian Online. “We thought meat is quite ordinary and duck goes well with the champagne and wine we offer [at the show].”

According to Visser, the Jo’burg Wine Show — which runs from June 27 to 29 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand — is an event with a lot of bling.

“It’s the biggest wine show in the world and attracts big spenders,” she said, adding: “We wanted to grab the attention of the public. Everyone wants to do something good, but nobody has time for it.”

That’s why the show organisers came up with the idea of “blinging up” a traditional pie for charity. They were inspired by Spencer Burge, chef at Britain’s Fence Gate Inn in Burnley, Lancashire, who in 2005 baked what he claimed was the world’s most expensive steak and mushroom pie, costing diners more than £1 000 a slice (about R15 300 at the current exchange rate).

The money that is collected through the online pie auction will go to the Give Me a Chance trust fund, which helps children from the Kylemore community outside Stellenbosch realise their dreams through providing scholarship programmes, bursaries and sport equipment.

The pies will be auctioned online at Bidding opens on Monday May 5 and runs for three weeks.

The starting price of a pie is R1 500 but, said Visser, a real pie lover “would pay a lot more”.

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Imke Van Hoorn
Guest Author

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