Highlights from the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair

The Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair is an annual event that aims to bring together the best in artisanal produce and craftsmanship. (Supplied)

The Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair is an annual event that aims to bring together the best in artisanal produce and craftsmanship. (Supplied)

The FoodWineDesign Fair, or as it is now called, the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary (FoodWineDesign) Fair aims to showcase some of South Africa’s premier crafters, makers and foodies. The fair kicks off at Hyde Park Shopping Centre rooftop with a VIP event on Thursday November 5 and then opens to the public on Friday November 6 until Sunday November 8.

In a city already saturated with markets, finding unique and under-exposed product offerings remains the biggest challenge for Artlogic events curator Roberta Coci. And it continues to draw huge crowds as one of Johannesburg’s most anticipated design and food events.
For those who feel like they’ve seen it all, the fair also presents itself as a convenient pop-up lunch spot. And if you’re looking for décor inspiration or an opportunity to start early Christmas gift shopping, the best day to head to the fair is Sunday, when vendors tend to drop their prices or be more willing to bargain in the interest of being making some sort of profit.

We asked Coci, responsible for sourcing the exhibitors and putting the fair together, to share her favourites and what we have to look forward to.

1. The Chefs in the City project: We have three top local chefs – David Higgs, Michael Holenstein and Thomas Hughes – preparing their signature dishes. I love this project, because each chef takes the stand for a day (Holenstein on Friday, Hugheson Saturday and David on Sunday) and it’s a rare chance to get to chat to these top talents and sample their amazing wares.

Chef David Higgs. (Supplied)

2. Featured designer: Every year, Artlogic works with a celebrated local designer to devise a new aesthetic for the event. Our 2014 featured designer is Joe Paine. With his focus on planters and outdoor furniture, he is an obvious choice for this year’s event, thanks to the exploding botanicals trend. Joe has designed the Concept Space which visitors will encounter as they enter the Fair, as well as the Sanlam lounge. The look is fresh and screams summer. 

3. Handmade Contemporary showcase: In order to celebrate the name change from FoodWineDesign to the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair, Artlogic is bringing this concept to life in a dedicated space at the event. From leather workers, to jewellers, ice cream makers and hand-pulled noodle experts, several artisans will take turns to temporarily showcase their craft at the Fair. Visitors will be able to view these producers at work and interact with them, thus gaining an exclusive glimpse into the studio life of artisans and a visual understanding of what Handmade Contemporary really means.

4. Journey Through Franschhoek: We’ve brought visitors a sample of fine food, wine and design from the famed Cape Valley. A select six producers have flown up to share their goods at the Fair. On the food side, there will be fresh bistro delights from Café des Arts, decadent French cheese platters from Fromages de France, and an array of creations by Huguenot Fine Chocolates. Anthonij Rupert, Black Elephant Vintners, Vrede en Lust and Grand Provence will be serving their fine wines, while master potter David Walters will be showcasing and selling his finely crafted ceramic tableware.

5. The LifePOD: This is a must-see concept exhibitor at the fair – they’ve set up an entire container house on the rooftop, which has been styled by Dokter and Misses.

The Sanlam Handmade Contemporary (FoodWineDesign) Fair takes place from November 7 - 9 on the rooftop of Hyde Park Corner. Tickets available at Webtickets or at the door. Kids 12 and under enter free.

Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine

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