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Contents Issue 1
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Taupo local rules the roast
Up and go
Cooking up a storm
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Taupo’s Jessica Rutledge takes out the title of Wild Bean Café Barista of the Year.
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We look at some nifty ideas for breakfast and brunch menus to keep up with the crowds over the summer.
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Hayley Barnett heads off to the Cook Islands for a magical food trip, checking out local methods and some excellent local recipes.
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Fairtrade’s caffeine fix offers growers a lot more options, says Angus Coull
Tough economic times are having an unexpected boon for food retailers – a return to popularity for homely comfort foods.
FBT I January 2012
Looking forward Happenings to a big one It’s going to be a big year this year. 2012 always ran the risk of being something of an anti-climax after the tumultuous events of 2011. With everything from floods to earthquakes to the Rugby World Cup, it was quite a year to live up to and it would be perfectly normal to expect 2012 to be quiet by comparison. I don’t think it will be, however. There are some major big-picture developments likely to hit everyone this year, with the European debt crisis threatening to plunge the world into depression. Also the political shift locally towards a more rapaciously capitalist, asset-flogging, benefit-bashing era of National government will affect us all. For the industry we are looking at one of the biggest shake-ups ever, with the Food Bill likely to become law this year. This will alter the way we do things and we need to be ready for it. We also need to be lobbying on our own behalf as an industry.
FBT I January 2012
The liquor industry closed ranks and aimed for the common goal in its lobbying of MPs over reform to the liquor laws, winning some firm concessions in the process. That’s how we need to approach any changes to how we prepare and serve food, otherwise we run the risk of allowing politicians to make uninformed decisions on issues that directly affect our industry. However, that is a few months away yet. While there might be clouds gathering on the horizon, it’s still summer here in New Zealand and that’s the best time of year for many of us, especially businesswise. Beachgoers will be looking for pies and coffees, sales of fish and chips will skyrocket and lazy weekend brunches will be the order of the day. Here’s hoping you are all making hay while this glorious summer sun shines. Don Kavanagh, editor
Januar y 14 Blues Brews and BBQs Festival, Hawke’s Bay A& P Showgrounds, Hastings. Januar y 28 Auck land Seafood Fest ival, Wynyard Quar ter, Auck land . Febr uary 10 Nudi e Foodies Sounds Adventure weekend, Wai-N atur Naturist Pa rk, Blenheim. Febr uary 25 Grea t Kiwi Beer Festiv al, Hagley Park North, Christchu rch. March 31 Magica l Mangawhai Win e & Food Festival, Olive Gr ove, Mangawhai .
Got something h appening?
Let us know and we’ll tell ever yone else. Email the date and event de tails to donk@m ediaweb.co.nz and we’ll let the industry know.
“rules the roast”
A search for the country’s top barista has found a coffee-making champion in Taupo local Jessica Rutledge. A barista at Wairakei Wild Bean Cafe, Rutledge won the supreme national title at the finals of Wild Bean Cafe’s annual barista competition, held in Auckland last month. Jessica competed against five other regional winning baristas from around New Zealand. The judging panel included coffee connoisseurs and trainers from coffee roaster Cerebos Greggs and Wild Bean Cafe. The six competing baristas were judged on the entire coffeemaking process, from preparation and extraction to pouring and customer service. Having been tested on all the skills she has acquired since becoming a barista at Wild Bean Cafe three years ago, Jessica was pleased to see her hard work pay off. “It’s nice to be able to say I’m the best. I have always been a bit of a perfectionist so being recognised for the effort I have put in is very rewarding,” Jessica said. It was later that evening that Jessica was announced the supreme national barista winner,
at a separate awards ceremony. She was presented with her award by the event’s MC and well-known New Zealand singer Jackie Clarke. “It was great mingling with the baristas from other stores at the prize giving. We all had a lot in common and it was fun trading work stories about our different cafes. They were really great people and they all seemed to enjoy their Wild Bean Cafe as much as I enjoy mine,” Jessica said. Frank van Hattum, General Manager of Retail for Wild Bean Cafe, says Jessica’s commitment to producing a top quality coffee really shone through. “We congratulate Jessica on her national win. She excelled in a very competitive environment and her exceptional barista skills make her an asset to Wild Bean Cafe,” said van Hattum. Jessica is equally appreciative about being part of the team. “Wild Bean Cafe puts a lot into training their baristas, which I think really shows in our confidence when making coffee. Also, like our coffee beans, our hot chocolate and sugar are 100 per cent Fairtrade certified, and our used coffee grinds are recycled as compost.
“It’s nice to know such a big company cares about the small things,” said Jessica. When asked about her plans for the future, Jessica said she’s very happy with where she’s at. “I really like my job and I plan to be a barista for a long time yet!” This was Wild Bean Cafe’s ninth national barista competition. There were 71 “Supreme” entrants, across six different regions, who competed in the regional finals during November. The six “Supreme” regional winners then went on to compete in the finals for the
national Wild Bean Cafe “Supreme” barista title, held in Auckland on December 2. In addition to the “Supreme” category, each region included “Rookie” and “Manager” categories to identify upcoming and established barista talent within the store’s network. The national “Rookie” barista winner was Shobana Hakeek, from the Dallington Wild Bean Cafe and the national “Manager” barista winner was Shannon Radcliffe, from QE2 Wild Bean Cafe – both from Christchurch.
FBT I January 2012
Up and go
r o f s a e d i w e –n h c n u r b d n a t breakfas
With the last dregs of chilly mornings behind us, those lazy weekend brunches in the sun at the local seem all the more appealing. The breakfast trade is big and stretches to business breakfast meetings, post-gym workout breakfast to go and those mid-week indulgences. As we move into summer, it’s time to review the breakfast and brunch menus that will entice all those wanting to celebrate and relax. We did the early morning rounds to see what’s hot, new and still on trend for this summer.
Cultured eggs Ah, the humble egg. Poached, scrambled or fried – it’s still an
essential breakfast ingredient but becomes the platform for a host of additional ingredients, spices and condiments in the cultured egg craze. North Indian-style eggs have been on Auckland café Gala’s menu for years now, inspired by family background and their lasting popularity on the menu. But India isn’t the only player in the world of ethnic eggs. The Huevos a la Flamenca at Twenty Three (Eden Terrace) is a Spanish combination of Serrano chorizo, ham, shrimps, aromatics and cress, baked in egg and served with bread for dipping. Much more exciting than that old Spanish omelette. Eggs get the Dutch
treatment at Zus & Zo (Herne Bay) in a dish called Uitsmijter. So, if you want to get more out of your egg dishes this brunch season, go global and get inspiration from around the world. The essential baked egg can go Italian, Mediterranean or wherever you’d like to take it.
What’s trendy? Sardines and mince, old fashioned homemade baked beans – everything your grandmother probably served on vintage crockery. The long-winded vintage and retro revival has been making its way into cafes for a while now, although some might argue it never left.
Mince on toast is making an appearance; the best choices are full of fresh herbs and tomatoes without too much garlic. Sardines and other breakfast fish are making an appearance too, so it’s worth digging out some of the old cookbooks or your grandmother’s recipe, experimenting and putting it on the menu. Baked beans work best with fresh basil, tomatoes, a little bourbon, bacon and borlotti, cannelloni and red kidney beans. Season with plenty of salt and pepper, served on thick, crusty toast with parmesan shavings. The smell alone is intoxicating and makes a great addition to the Big Breakfast Plate.
FBT I January 2012
Up and go
– new ideas for breakfast and brunch
The big black pudding breakfast Are there rules to this big boy breakfast? Well, the basics of a breakfastoriented mixed grill to start with. For the last couple of years black pudding has been a popular ingredient for this dish but the spotlight may be shifting. Black pudding must be done well or not done at all and it could be argued that whilst it sounds exotic, it can overpower the rest of the elements. Incorporate at least two proteins, including a wellmade artisan sausage and bacon. Check out the local butchers making their own sausages and find one that’s herby but not too garlicky, so it doesn’t overpower the plate. Grilled tomatoes are being substituted for roasted, juicy whole numbers that make the plate look stunning and create a beautiful centerpiece. Swap in creamy herb mushrooms rather than fried and then finish it off with a generous dollop of homemade chutney or caramelised onion jam – that’s the on trend way to do the big breakfast this season.
Eggs-cellent breakfast Is it possible to beat poached eggs on five-grain toast for a simple, satisfying breakfast? Yes – by
FBT I January 2012
ensuring that the eggs are freerange. For many consumers, the question of free-range eggs is a make or break point on the menu. A number of cafes are now asking customers the question direct, so go ahead and find out what they want. If your customers want free-range (most will say yes and happily pay a little extra), let them know once you’ve made the change, then it’s down to the seasonal sides to make all the difference. Roasted Portobello mushrooms, streaky bacon and spinach are all classics but have you considered offering alternative proteins and vegetable options? Roasted vine tomatoes or a plate of fresh sliced tomato and avocado with olive oil, basil, salt and pepper to taste is a great idea, or slightly under poaching the eggs and ducking them under the grill with a parmesan and herb sprinkle on top. Offering cured meats, smoked salmon or peppery corned beef in addition to bacon creates a world of choice for the customer and is a great way to pick up on current trends as well as seasonal offerings.
couple of great options for twisting up the classic Eggs Benedict or Florentine. Substituting English muffins for freshly made potato cakes makes the meal even heartier but a real favourite for us is Floriditas (Wellington) poached eggs with fresh grilled asparagus and hollandaise. In fact, their deconstruction of the Benedict is really quite clever and allows you to change out seasonal ingredients like that asparagus. Cafés offering a choice of bread and toppings with the all-important sauce offer plenty of choice to the customer for a customisable breakfast treat. It’s also perfect time to consider the hollandaise variation again – adding wholegrain mustard and serving your Benedict with ham off the bone is delicious, especially for Christmas leftovers or to inspire folks into the season. Try a truly Kiwi variation on the Benedict, herb potato cakes with warm corned beef, poached eggs and the mustard hollandaise is tasty and will stand out in the crowd.
with a couple of clever twists and alongside other battered treats such as crepes and waffles. They make a perfect sweet and savoury dish if French toast isn’t cutting it for your customers anymore. Twist sweeter with cinnamon, manuka honey, rolled oats, cranberries or blueberries for pancakes and waffles, even a little chocolate chip doesn’t go astray. Then serve with fresh fruit, a little cream or even ice cream for the little customers. Serve crepes stuffed with fresh fruit, a compote and marscapone, or a delicious variation served in Hamilton – thinly sliced poached pears with cinnamon sugar and lemon juice. Go savoury with bacon and a poached egg on herb and parmesan waffles or smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill on crepes or a small hotcake stack. These dishes are easily convertible to smaller portions for a kids menu, which is something else to consider as schools get closer to the summer break.
To hollandaise or not to hollandaise?
We’ll drink to that!
Call them flapjacks, hot cakes, a short stack or plain old pancakes, this Saturday morning treat is fast making a comeback on the menu
There’s nothing like those warmer days to get the ice blender working extra hard and it’s a wonderful time of the year to consider a few
No arguments here, we’re in favour of hollandaise but have a
additions to your smoothie menu. Flavours like mango, coconut, lime and apple are refreshing and lighter options than traditional banana berry smoothies, perfect for Saturday brunches. Fresh Granny Smith apples blended with lemongrass and lime make for a delicious, zingy morning smoothie with the added guilt of dairy products for those wanting to make a healthy impression. Also the seasonal
reinvention of iced coffees returns, so it’s time to get the syrups and whipped cream ready. Our favourite iced coffee features a little vanilla ice cream and blended Mint Slice biscuits for an extra minty, chocolate, coffee-rich hit. They’re sinfully good. Making sure a range of refreshing summer morning beverages are on offer is mandatory, including summer bubbles for those champagne breakfasts.
As corporates head towards the Christmas closedown, every meal is the opportunity to celebrate, so don’t neglect this important addition to your specials menu.
Local café or farmers market? Last but not least, cafés are doing a quick trade in making their tried and true winning recipes available in take home style. Packaging your
signature muesli for regulars going on a sneaky weekend away, or your brioche, breads and sweet treats (including cake pops, marshmallows, biscotti and cookies) in takehome packs is a great sales boost. If you’re making in-house relishes or chutneys, making them available for purchase is an excellent Christmas gift idea for those wanting to share a few of their choice tastes with friends and family.
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FBT I January 2012
Trina and Steve Armstrong of Koru CafĂŠ, Aitutaki
FBT I January 2012
Cooking up a storm By Hayley Barnett Mention the Cook Islands and you’re likely to think of pristine, white sand beaches and clear water lagoons. The last thing that springs to mind is fine Cook Islands cuisine. Don’t the locals live on coconuts and bananas, you might ask? While coconuts and bananas still feature in many of the local dishes, the end result is quickly changing. Over the past few years Cook Islands cuisine has become a highlight on the average tourist itinerary, not only with progressive dining, which enables tourists to eat at a local home and experience true Cooks culture, but also with sophisticated menus such as degustations and fine dining in restaurants and cafés to cater for a new breed of tourist. “With a higher demand for luxury comes a new demand for quality, consistency and innovative ideas,” said local chef and owner
of Coco Latte Tokerau Turia. “Now there is much more diversity in restaurant cooking. Local people have always done things the way their ancestors have done them but now that they are catering for a more international market the style of cooking has changed. They’re using their own seasonal products rather than importing and are taking it in a new direction.” Big name resorts such as The Rarotongan are offering sevencourse degustation menus, showcasing the best of island cuisine including fresh seafood and locally grown fruit and vegetables. And independent restaurants like Tamarind House and The Hidden Spirit Café and Grill have made names for themselves by offering dishes that would rival those found in top New Zealand eateries. Sue Carruthers of Tamarind House recently published a new cookbook titled South Sea Cuisine, which offers up 140 pages of tropical recipes with
a guide to tropical fruits and vegetables. Pacific Resort offers traditional dishes such as Ika Mata, raw fish in coconut cream, and has taken a more authentic twist with their seafood inspired menu. With increased travel to the outer islands, it’s even possible to get a decent coffee in paradise. Trina and Steve Armstrong set up Koru Café in Aitutaki about five years ago after realising there was a need for good coffee and good food outside of the luxury resorts and they say business has been booming ever since. Famous for their delicious brunch menu it’s worth leaving the resort pool to sample the best French toast in town. But with the higher demand for top notch nosh comes the need for quality service. Cook Islands Tourism director of destination development Metua Vaiimene said service will become a major focus for the islands over the next year.
FBT I January 2012
Cooking up a storm “We’re in the process of putting strategies together to ensure the Cook Islands are continuously reacting to the market place,” said Vaiimene. “We want to improve overall standards of service training and that’s about making sure people gain internationally recognised qualifications. It’s important to focus on quality service, but we also need to preserve what is special about the islands.” Vaiimene pointed out that it doesn’t mean the Cooks will turn into a resort-focused holiday destination. He said that although they want to get it right, they also need to make sure there is a balance between their renowned friendly and relaxed culture and world class service. “We don’t want to change what makes us special and that is the people. What we want to do is cater for the market while also catering for the needs of our country by linking the tourism industry with our culture and creative industries.” Vaiimene’s role was created as part of the Destination Development Strategy which was implemented last year and believes his role, along with many others around the islands, will fill a huge gap in the island’s tourism sphere. “Tourism in the Cooks has largely been centred around marketing and not so much on the development of the destination as a whole, but things are starting to change with the government seeing the importance in investing in this area. They’re beginning to plan for the long term because it’s so important to have sustainability in developing countries like ours.” Vaiimene also said they will focus on educating local farmers to help them to improve their current offerings. “Much of our food is imported from New Zealand but people here are getting smart about counting their food miles,” said Vaiimene. “By broadening the tourist experience Cook Islands food will soon become a big part of our overall offering to international guests.”
FBT I January 2012
The local offerings at The Hidden Spirit Café and Grill, Rarotonga
Cocktails at Pacific Re
l a e r e m o s f o e t Get a tas
with these delectable recipes.
TAMARIND BANANA CHUTNEY from Sue Carruthers of Tamarind House, Rarotonga 2.5 kilo bananas, chopped (or 2.5 kilos mixed fruit such as bananas, starfruit and papaya) 1 to 1 1/2 cups tamarind pulp** 500g onions, chopped 2 cloves crushed garlic 1 tablespoon grated ginger 2 level teaspoons salt 1 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon crushed chilli, more or less to taste 4c white sugar 3c white wine vinegar
soft, pass through a sieve to extract pulp.
**Soak 1/2 a 400g. block compressed tamarind in 2 1/2 - 3 cups boiling water till tamarind is
** Block tamarind is available from most oriental markets and supermarkets.
Method Combine all ingredients in heavy bottomed, nonaluminium saucepan pan, stir well. Boil gently, stirring often, for two hours till thick and jamlike. Take special care towards the final stages to ensure that chutney does not stick and burn. Pack in sterilised jars, seal while hot. Refrigerate after opening.
r NZ Kelly Hansen Cook Islands Tourism marketing manage Mata Marsters show chef d hea a tong Raro rt and Pacific Reso off the delicious Ika Mata IKA MATA (RAW FISH) from Mata Marsters, head chef at The Pacific Resort, Rarotonga 500g Fish (cut into cubes) = Yellow Fin 1 Onion (diced small) 2 Tomato (diced small) 1 Cucumber (diced small) 2 Fresh coconuts, grated and squeezed to make fresh coconut sauce or 1 Tin of Coconut cream 2 Lemons or 5 Limes
½c White Vinegar Salt to taste 1. Marinade fish in salt water and leave for 4 to 5 minutes 2. Then drain the water out to rid of all the liquid 3. Put fish in a clean bowl and add the rest of the ingredients together and mix it all up. 4. Add seasoning at the end
FBT I January 2012
s e v i g x fi e n i e f f a c e A Fairtrad powerful options for coffee growers By Angus Coull More than 40 coffee companies across New Zealand have opted to support producers in developing countries through selling Fairtrade-certified products. They range from small-scale operators like CIA Coffee in Dunedin to New Zealand’s largest coffee shop chain, Wild Bean Café, with its country-wide stores at BP service stations. All of them share the same goal of giving coffee drinkers the choice to enable the growers of the beans to trade their way out of poverty and look forward to a sustainable future. In her article ‘Land of the long flat white’ in the November edition of FBT, Tash McGill referred to the higher prices coffee growers are receiving leading to a questioning of the relevance of the Fairtrade system
FBT I January 2012
within the industry. For developing country coffee farmers, Fairtrade certification is about more than a fair price which provides a crucial safety net in times of crisis. It also plays a role in ensuring farmers get the benefits of high prices by removing unnecessary middlemen. Fairtrade Certification recognises developing country farmers and producers as partners in creating fairer trade systems globally. Producers groups are part owners in the system and are involved in managing Fairtrade International (FLO) strategy and standard setting through
consultation with the three producer networks who represent the 1.2 million farmers and workers in the Fairtrade system. In addition to fair and stable prices , Fairtrade certification is unique in providing additional funds to farmers through the Fairtrade Premium, which they then democratically decide amongst themselves how to invest – whether it be social, environmental or business development projects. Companies selling Fairtradecertified products recognise the unique selling point Fairtrade Certification offers and the fact that more than three quarters* (76 per cent) of Kiwi consumers believe that independent third party certification is the best way to verify a product’s social and environmental claims (*according to a recent GlobeScan poll, carried out for Fairtrade International).
This is something Dunedin Fairtrade coffee roaster Tim Neilson, onwer of CIA Coffee agrees with. “The fee to be a licensee of Fairtrade Certified™ products is nominal when compared with the benefits – both as a business and for the farmers we work with”. Fairtrade certification is based around a direct relationship with growers. Much of the work Fairtrade ANZ does through its producer support and relations team is to support farmers on the ground through regular visits to farmer groups in countries like PNG. Much of this work is done in remote areas where at present around 65,000 people benefit from the sale of high quality Fairtrade-certified coffee and cocoa. To find out more about the benefits of the Fairtrade Certification system visit www. fairtrade.org.nz
Hard times call for homely food Expensive food is on the way out as consumers opt for more homely fare instead, according to reports coming out of Canada. Rustic recipes are poised to heat up in 2012 as the economy and local food movement spur a demand for downmarket fare served in trucks and tents — as well as at traditional eateries. Food trends in Canada and the US tend to follow down here, so local food suppliers are keeping a keen eye on what’s happening across the Pacific. “By and large, the mood of the people is one of holding back a little bit,” says celebrity chef Massimo Capra, who runs Toronto restaurants Mistura and Sopra. “It’s not like people go out and eat caviar and champagne and beautiful balik salmon from Russia at all. Those days are practically over. Now it’s: get back to the comfort of comforting cuisine and comfort food.” “A lot of the food has been tamed down an awful lot and no matter where you go, there’s less ostentatious fare,” says chef John Higgins, director of George Brown College’s Chef School in Toronto. “I think people are looking for something simpler,” says Higgins. Montreal mega chef Chuck Hughes, who’s built a career on comfort food, believes the industry has reverted to what he calls the “more honest, real approach” of some 50 years ago. “I think cooking, like, 20 years ago was very uppity. I think the chef world helped create that kind of elitism. It kind of felt there for a while that chefs had this secret way of making things taste so good,” says Hughes, who beat
culinary star Bobby Flay on “Iron Chef America” earlier this year with a menu that included lobster poutine. “Food is special and we need to celebrate it, but we also need to realise that it’s one of those primary needs. To start overthinking it, deconstructing it ... I’m not into that stuff. I’m into, like, bacon-bacon — not bacon-foam.” Italian-born Capra has also always served rustic, elegant food but feels there’s now a proliferation of eateries putting a gourmet spin on such stickto-your-ribs fare as grilled cheese and pulled pork sandwiches, sliders, poutine, meatballs, and macaroni and cheese. “The economy is kind of dictating to us,” says Capra, noting he’s now in talks to do a pizza-themed project and would like to open a diner. “Everybody is a little bit scared, everyone around the world, and when we are scared what do we do? We just falter back to mommy, right? We default back to the foods that are comforting, you know — a little bit of spaghetti with just a little tomato sauce on top. “That’s like, ‘Ah, that’s home.’” Capra says the volatile economy has affected his business “in a large way” and he’s seeing a big demand for comfort food from patrons. “Even though Canada is doing relatively well and it’s doing fine, we depend so much on the south of the border, especially my business,” he says. “My clientele Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, it’s all business people and that took a big toll.” Says Marco Ormonde, chef and owner of The North Restaurant in Barrie, Ontario: “The price of gas, the
price of beef, the price of everything has gone up and restaurant owners are really suffering.” As a result, more patrons are turning to take-out, prepared food, says Capra: “Every time there is a downturn in the economy there is always take-out food coming up.” A big source of hearty, affordable take-out these days? The growing gourmet street food movement comprising high-quality dishes far beyond the traditional hot dog carts of yore. “A lot of (students) are asking about it,” says Higgins. “I think it’s a big thing and it’s going to get bigger.” Pop-up restaurants and food markets are also becoming popular forums for cooks who don’t have much startup capital, and for foodies looking for homespun chow. Hassel Aviles says she launched Toronto Underground Market (TUM) in September after she and her gourmand husband, Andrew Richmond, had trouble starting up their own restaurant business. Richmond, chef of pop-up taco stand La Carnita, is now one of the vendors at TUM, which attracts budding food entrepreneurs, chefs and home cooks alike. “This is why TUM started - people get frustrated because they don’t have a quarter-million dollars to start a restaurant, so you’re forced to be more creative and to think smaller-scale,” says Aviles, who was inspired by an underground market in San Francisco. “I guarantee within the next five years, street food will actually become a reality in Toronto because there’s such a demand for it.”
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Published on Jan 12, 2012