After we retired from our corporate jobs in 2002, we started to look for the exotic food items we saw on the TV chefs’ programmes. We were able to find many of these ingredients in diverse locations all over the Western Cape, but there was no single outlet at which they could conveniently find all the products they wanted. So, realising that there must be other foodies looking for the same types of products, we decided to open a gourmet shop to cater for enthusiastic and adventurous cooks who wanted more than the standard supermarket offerings. 

We had no budget for advertising, so we started to write a weekly newsletter about food and wine and to collect names for our mailing list. This has evolved into MENU, which now reaches thousands of people all over the world by email subscription, through this site and as more or less weekly blogs.

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Lynne is an experienced and enthusiastic cook and spent nearly 30 years in England, working in the publishing industry, before she returned to Cape Town after the 1994 elections. She worked at Safmarine in the Public Relations department and then at the UCT Graduate School of Business as an administrator on the Executive MBA programme.

John, after spending a couple of years reading English, History and Political Science at The University of the Witwatersrand, decided to train as a photographer and embarked on the four year diploma course at the Polytechnic in Regent St, London. During the course of this he worked for a year in Oslo, Norway, where he learned to speak Norwegian. After his return to South Africa in 1971, he worked as an advertising photographer until 1978, when he joined AGFA as a sales representative. He was promoted to Regional Sales Manager in Johannesburg and then transferred to Cape Town at the end of 1986, where he worked until his retirement in 2001 as Regional Manager, Consumer products.

We met studying at the Cape Wine Academy where we both graduated with the Diploma in Wine in 1996.

John has a Satour licence to operate as a wine industry specialist tour guide. Our mutual interest in good wine and food led to the start of Main Ingredient at the end of 2002. We were married in 2003.