Autism awareness

Autism Connect Learning Centre board members are marketing and events coordinator Candice Thys, from Durbanville, treasurer Danielle Michaels, from Brackenfell, and coordinator Nicolette Ripepi, from Mitchell's Plain.

Parents and friends of Autism Connect Learning Centre enjoyed “a dinner between friends” at Soute, in Salt River on Wednesday April 17.

Funds raised will be used to grow the autism centre in Strandfontein.

Autism is a developmental disorder of varied severity that is characterised by difficulty in social interaction, communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behaviour.

Children who are diagnosed with autism, experience difficulties in four key areas of their life – social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, repetitive behaviour, and differences in sensory perception.

A six-course tasting dinner and wine pairing was prepared by chefs Andrew Hill, from Lansdowne, and Keanon Michaels, from Strandfontein.

They were assisted by Mitchell’s Plain School of Skills hospitality teacher Xenophon de Jongh, pupils Anthony Pasquallie, Neo Ely and Daniel Colli; and junior chef Nontobeko Gumede, from Langa.

Sommelier Pearl Oliver Mbumba, from Muizenberg, led her attendants from Elite bar services Eugene Majiet, John Witbooi and Robin Majiet, all from Rocklands.

Together they served up a bread course of steamed corn bread, smoked snoek chutney, and whipped wild garlic; cheese course of first goats curd, smoked tomato smoortjie and onion crumbs; a vegetable course of turmeric barley risotto, toasted shaved coconut and fresh coriander; a meat course of coffee braised shin, plum compote and beetroot chips; dessert course of banana with chilli sugar, textures of coconut and passion fruit gel; and friandise course of orange jellies encrusted in popping candy, mini nut clusters, and a mini koeksister with coffee crème.

For more information about autism and the centre visit