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gr ill.co.nz

Regional Fare

Culinary southerly – food from the southern edge. p8

The Schuster Report New Zealand’s future focus must be on fine table wines p26

Photo: Linda Townsend

Winter 2011

Volume 9 Number 1

NZ $7.10 incl GST

A taste of New Zealand

Regional tastes to star in World Cup week p6 9 421902 251023


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Get Match Ready From 17-19 July at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds, the Restaurant & Bar Show features a full line up of information, advice and new products for everyone in the hospitality industry. DON’T MISS: MATCH READY SEMINARS All the information you need to prosper through the busy tournament time, supported by Auckland Tourism Events & Economic Development including Justin North & Leon Grice. BOUTIQUE WINE SHOWCASE Discover new premium labels - tickets only $20 LEADING INDUSTRY SUPPLIERS All under one roof – secure your orders before kick-off

BAR MASTERS Sponsored By MONIN Celebrating NZ’s hottest talent THE TELECOM MASTERCLASSES Pete Goffe-Wood – South African Restaurateur of 20 years, columnist and Judge of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants will be sharing with you lessons from the Fifa World Cup in South Africa - Successes, failures & what he’d be doing to prepare for the busy tournament time. Book when you register online - $35 19TH ANNUAL NZ CULINARY FARE The largest culinary competition in the southern hemisphere – 70 categories

REGISTER NOW FOR FREE ENTRY! randbshow.co.nz

17 - 19 July ASB Showgrounds I Auckland


editorial

A great taste of New Zealand

H

ere at grill we’re passionate about all the great things that make up a Taste of New Zealand; our food, our beer and wine, our bars, restaurants and cafes – in fact everything that plays a part in the hospitality and food service sectors. We love it so much that we bought the best of all the business publications in the sectors so we can make sure that you, our readers – those who work in the industry and help to make it great – get the best possible advice and information to help you do your jobs and run your businesses, even better. Grill is now part of a much bigger family of publications dedicated to serving the information needs of your industry. Mediaweb’s food and beverage and food service stable now includes: Hospitality – long established and respected monthly, the leading information source for the wider industry; Grill – the irreverent, sometimes incorrigible younger sister publication, appealing to the heart of hospo insiders, a quarterly seasonal resource guide for chefs and restaurateurs; Food & Beverage Today – New Zealand’s first hospitality industry newspaper for the licensed café to convenience food sector, the fastest growing and most dynamic area of food service; Catering Plus – a bi-monthly focusing on the needs of the less-glamorous but big-business institutional arm of the industry that consumes a huge portion of its resources; Thirst – the monthly beverage (obviously) section of Hospitality magazine, dedicated to covering beer, wine and spirits for the food service sector. FMCG – the leading monthly brand addressing the information needs of the supermarket sector, with a particular focus on food and food products; BWS – self-explanatory really! This one runs inside FMCG, reaching the supermarkets and liquor outlets; C-Store – and lastly the convenience store section of FMCG, that also reaches petrol stations and the fast-growing chains and independent C-stores that are springing up around our cities and everywhere that clusters of residents gather. So we have you all covered really and that gives us a big responsibility to live up to – and hopefully exceed; your expectations of an industry information channel. And because increasingly you are gathering online and on mobile, as well as in person, we’ll be there too. As fast as the media marketplace is changing, we’re developing online platforms to provide you with the information you need, when and where you want it. foodnews.co.nz – visit our online news resource and subscribe to the twice-weekly enewsletter to keep updated on the latest significant happenings nationwide and worldwide. hospitalitybiz.com – and use our online directory where we’re building what will be the largest and most comprehensive database of products and services for the sector. We’re pleased with what we’re doing but would really like your feedback; email the editor/s and tell them what you do and don’t like and what you want more of. We’re especially pleased with our Taste of New Zealand initiative – which is about the heart and soul of New Zealand food and beverage – which will have a tangible expression at the taste of New Zealand Festival in Auckland just before the RWC final. Read all about this in the cover story on pages 6-7 and the Regional Fare piece on pages 8-15; and sign up to the TONZAs (Taste of New Zealand Awards) at www.grill.co.nz.

TONI MYERS

Resource Editor John Clarke john@mediaweb.co.nz Consulting Editor Keith Stewart keith@keithstewart.co.nz Copy Editor Gill Prentice gillp@mediaweb.co.nz Contributors Geoff Griggs, Sam Kim, Innes Moffat, Daniel Schuster, John Hawkesby Advertising Account Manager Lisa Morris 021-651 601 0-9-832 9936 lisam@mediaweb.co.nz Design & Production Jan-Michael David Production Manager Fran Marshall 027-430 4559 franm@mediaweb.co.nz Subscriptions subs@mediaweb.co.nz 09-529 3027 $27.80 a year (incl GST) for 4 issues Printing & Pre-press PMP Print Publisher Toni Myers A Mediaweb publication

Mediaweb Limited PO Box 5544 Wellesley Street, Auckland 1141 Phone 09-529 3000 Fax 09-529 3000 enquiries@mediaweb.co.nz www.mediaweb.co.nz © 2010 Mediaweb Limited ISSN 1179-4356

PUBLISHER

Auntie Hine. www.grill.co.nz


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contents WINTER 2011

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Regional fare COVER STORY 6 A taste of New Zealand

Celebrating the use of our best local products Regional fare and TONZA recipients will be on show at the Taste of New Zealand festival in the final week of the Rugby World Cup.

EDITORIAL Cover: TONZA recipient – Riverstone Kitchen, Oamaru. (see page 15) Left to right are Daniel, Sam, Christian and Bevan.

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A great taste of New Zealand.

TAPAS 4 The Restaurant and Bar Show, Nestlé Toque d’Or’, Culinary Fare, Telecom MasterClasses and more.

Culinary Southerly –

8 The food of the southern edge Westland/Fiordland, Central Otago and Otago/Southland.

9 Westland, Fiordland and Stewart Island

This is a story of genuine wild New Zealand and wild foods, of oysters, whitebait and crayfish.

10 Central Otago A countryside of lakes and mountains, of intensely aromatic herbs and wild berries, of sophisticated dining, and with wine to boot.

14 Otago and Southland Distinctly pastoral, this southeast district is moist and cool and boundered by a rich marine resource. A place of sheep, swedes and not a little cheese, it is home to the best people in the land and some of the best regional eateries.


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17 MAINS

ATTITUDE

16 Wine

30 Beer

Growing pains in Central Otago Is there life beyond Pinot Noir for Central Otago? By Sam Kim

Cheese and beer – a perfect match The idea that wine and cheese are perfect companions is, I’m afraid, one of the great myths. By Geoff Griggs

17 The Red Report The Emissions Trading Scheme The ETS will not reduce global greenhouse gas emissions but it will increase the price of meat for New Zealand restaurateurs. By Innes Moffat

18 Market Intelligence The heart of the magazine and our industry The latest seasonal update on the supply of the material we sell – food.

26 Wine The Schuster Report New Zealand’s strength is its fine table wines and must be our focus for the future. By Danny Schuster

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33 Animal Lovers The good egg Diners are very much aware of the need to protect the welfare of hens. By Keith Stewart

34 A taste of Excellence France’s Surviving Elite French restaurants which actually deserve to be called the élite By Keith Stewart

36 Restaurant Association We welcome back one of our own Marisa Bidois returns to the Restaurant Association of New Zealand – this time as CEO. By John Clarke

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Hospitality – A Career? It is and a bloody worthy one at that.

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ut if we are going to promote excellence in our industry we need to promote the notion in our young that working in hospitality is more than just a fill-in job; it is a career choice. One of the best ways of promoting this idea is through the annual Nestlé Toque d’Or competition. This can be seen in the number of past competitors that now hold leading positions in our industry. These are the examples we should be holding up to our young people. As our premier student culinary and restaurant service competition, it is an essential component in maintaining and improving standards in the hospitality sector. Once again our top culinary students from around the country will battle it out at the prestigious Nestlé Toque d’Or competition on July 18, held as part of the New Zealand National Culinary Fare at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland. In its 21st year, the competition involves teams of two culinary students and one restaurant service student partaking in a live cook-off. They must make six covers of a three-course meal in just two-and-a-half hours, which will then be judged by a panel of chefs and other culinary professionals including SkyCity’s director of kitchens, Mark Wylie. Each team is awarded scores in the areas of food preparation, hygiene, presentation, taste and service of food, meeting strict deadlines for the delivery of each course, and developing their own unique menus using predetermined ingredients including those from the competition’s primary sponsor, Nestlé Professional. Other sponsors of this year’s event are Beef and Lamb NZ, vegetables.co.nz, Akaroa Salmon and The House of Knives.

And for the first time in the history of the New Zealand competition, a team from another country will be involved. The Hospitality Tourism Training Centre in Rarotonga is taking part after a spot was vacated by another team. Last year’s winners were Rhys Barrington, BonnieLee Smith and Gavin Larson from the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. Incredibly, this was the 13th time a team from the school had won the competition. When asked what she thought was the secret of their success, Smith put it down to the more than 100 hours the three students spent practicing. “The key to our team’s success was teamwork, hard practice and luck,” she said. The 19th Annual Culinary Fare will take place at the 2011 Restaurant and Bar Show at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds July 17-19. The NZ Culinary Fare is among the largest hot kitchen competitions in the world and is where rising hospitality talent is tested and acknowledged. Promotions and job offers follow success at the competitions and employers of the industry are never far from view as they look to discover their next chef, barista or new serving staff. “Every year the Culinary Fare grows in importance to the hospitality industry. Many of the winners from last year have received well-deserved exposure as well as promotions and job offers,” said Mike Egan, president, Restaurant Association of New Zealand.


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Are we match ready? The Restaurant and Bar Show kicks off on Sunday 17 July at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds. There will be seminars, debates and panel discussions throughout the three days of the event. Headlining the programme are the Telecom MasterClasses Pete Goffe-Wood is this year’s guest restaurateur at the Telecom MasterClass. Goffe-Wood is a seasoned South African chef of over 20 years, a veteran (as a restaurateur that is) of the Fifa World Cup and past judge of Restaurant magazine’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Having just faced the intensity of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup in South Africa, Goffe-Wood’s inside knowledge will be very important for bars and restaurants seeking to win the custom of the 85,000 international visitors and fans expected to be in New Zealand later in the year. Goffe-Wood will talk you though the dos and don’ts of preparing for major tournament time. There will be one Telecom MasterClass each day; tickets are $35 each and numbers are limited.

The Great Chefs Debate 2.30pm Sunday 17 July (free entry) Three of the country’s leading chefs tackle the current and controversial issue of utilising local product as a mainstay of the menu and discuss the merits and realities of sourcing and using local products: The three chefs on the panel are: Paul Jobin – Executive Chef – Restaurants  SKYCITY Auckland

Chris Fortune – Executive Chef at Marlborough Convention Centre, Chair of Farmers’ Markets NZ 

Simon Gault – Executive Chef – Nourish Group

The moderator for the debate will be grill editor, chef and resource scout John Clarke

Go to www.randbshow.co.nz for all the information on the show.

COMPANY PROFILE

Could Marlborough be New Zealand’s Champagne? 1.00pm Sunday 17 July (free entry)

Keith Stewart – RadioLive talkback host, wine writer and FoodNews editor, leads a debate on the value of ‘brand New Zealand’ to hospitality operators during the busy tournament time.

Eden Park’s kitchen and food and beverage areas: note the TV screens in front of the kitchen hoods – just to make sure you don’t miss out while getting your refreshments!

Kitchen Hoods for Rugby Supporters! Halton Foodservice solutions for quick-service restaurants, provided by Ravenscroft New Zealand, are designed to provide excellent thermal conditions for productive kitchen work and high-efficiency emission control.

Features include: • Ability to target conditions • Optimal extraction efficiency without recirculation of the pollutants into the space, thanks to the unique Halton Capture Jet system • Optimal lighting, low noise level, and low-velocity draught-free supply air system,

preventing cross-contamination of fresh air • Aesthetic design that can be adapted to any kitchen configuration. Get in touch at www.ravenscroft.co.nz Nationwide: 03 389 2231 Auckland: 09 533 0311

www.grill.co.nz


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cover story

Chef Ben Batterbury – True South Kitchen, Rees Hotel.

A taste of New Zealand

Our regional tastes are to star in World Cup week

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ick of the idea that New Zealand is a roast leg of lamb and a pavlova? Well pay a visit to the Taste of New Zealand Awards TONZA section at the ‘Taste of New Zealand’ festival being held in Auckland between the semi finals and final of the Rugby World Cup and see what some of the finest chefs from provincial New Zealand are doing with their local flavours. TONZA is a project of Mediaweb, food industry publishers responsible for foodnews, and trade magazines FMCG, grill, Hospitality and others. TONZA

seeks to identify those establishments that put in a genuine effort to reflect the flavours of their home regions, and to develop some sense of local cuisine throughout this diverse country. Each establishment will be represented by a number of tapas-sized dishes that best reflect its culinary philosophy as well as the particular characteristics of regional foods. Visitors will be able to try food from New Zealand’s leading advocates of eating local, and hospitality professionals who have yet to be persuaded by the local phenomenon may become converts to an

enthusiastic New Zealand cuisine. Leading from the south will be Queenstown’s True South Kitchen from the acclaimed Rees Hotel. Chef in charge at True South, Ben Batterbury, recently wowed New York’s most celebrated palates at the James Beard centre in New York with a dinner celebrating ‘New Zealand Taste’. Now Festival patrons will get the chance to sample from this inspired selection of deep southern flavours. The TONZA programme aims to increase awareness of the range of regional and artisan foods available throughout


cover story

the country, to encourage cafes and restaurants, even takeaways, to stamp the food they offer with a unique character of place. It could be pipi cooked in their own juices with fresh baked bread by the wharf in Opononi, shucked-to-order oysters in Bluff, fresh fillets of blue cod at Moeraki, Rachel Scott’s paroa moana bread in Canterbury, fresh crab on the waterfront in Nelson, wild pork in Taupo, venison and cabernet merlot in Hawkes Bay – the list goes on and on. This is not a poor country when it comes to food. It is only poor from the

supported by regular coverage in respected trade journals such as Hospitality and grill, which will continue to run stories on where to find unexpected resources. grill, for example, was the first to identify the potential of local herring and subsequently convinced a local bait purveyor to supply the food service sector. One of the ways this information is broadcast is through the medium of Market Intelligence (see pages 18-25), a food resource service pioneered in this magazine and a favourite with chefs throughout the country. This published version of Market Intelligence will be boosted by the development of an application for smart phones and other handheld devices. This ‘app’ will not only serve as a guide to the establishments that hold TONZA status, it will also identify who and where the sources of produce and other raw food materials can be found. Backed up by an extensive database of website services, TONZA is set to become the shop front for New Zealand’s most innovative food initiative. An initiative Mediaweb hopes will lay the foundation for a national food identity that is both sustainable and exciting. The programme is voluntary, and requires establishments to register their interest and details at grill.co.nz by clicking on the TONZA logo. They will then be evaluated for TONZA membership by a team of hospitality experts who will assess their commitment to quality local produce and products and creating dishes that celebrate our abundance. The Taste of New Zealand Festival is the beginning of something very big for New Zealand food. It is intended to carry both the hospitality industry and all New Zealanders along with it. Maybe it will one day be the inspiration for a national feast day, where the whole nation celebrates its abundance with grand dinners for gathered family and friends. A day set aside for families to meet together for an old-fashioned hakari.

Dining at the Rees Hotel.

Photos: Rees Hotel

By Keith Stewart and John Clarke

perspective of what is being offered in too many of our restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs – food that is lacking in imagination, verve and character. The first step in addressing this in TONZA’s programme is to add some enthusiasm for what we already have to the local hospo culture. The next is to show the world what we are doing, and where to find that relatively elusive ‘Taste of New Zealand’. The TONZA logo will be proudly displayed in those establishments that join the scheme, and whose menu and wine lists meet the aspirations of the programme. Mediaweb will hold a regular TONZA event where the best of regional cuisines are celebrated in style and in front of our national media and visiting journalists. Getting chefs on board is only part of the process, so widening awareness of our food resources can only happen when the whole country is taken along for the ride. This is what will begin to happen at the Taste of New Zealand Festival, where the chefs who share TONZA’s ideals work hand in hand with Mediaweb to tempt as many as 30,000 visitors to become fans of local produce as much as they are of local rugby. Another key aspect of the programme is to spread pride in regional culinary identity by also identifying the sources of raw materials that are the foundation of good food. This might be a miller providing stone ground organic flour from locally grown wheat, or something as simple as the pristine salt from Marlborough that is the whole country’s treasure. A classic example of what is there under our noses was one of the stand-out dishes offered at the James Beard Foundation by Ben Batterbury – Curio Bay sheep’s milk pecarino, produced by Blue River in Southland, and served with Jazz apples and a glass of Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2007 – the North and South holding hands through the remarkable flavours of country and craft. The whole programme is also being

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Regional fare fare Regional

The Culinary Southerly

FOOD OF THE SOUTHERN EDGE Westland/Fiordland, Otago/Southland and Central

The grill Regional Fare Campaign and Taste of New Zealand Awards (TONZA) programme’s continuing function is to stimulate interest in and promote the use of unique local foods and foster the development of a truly indigenous cuisine.

Heartland food from a glorious landscape These three regions, Westland/Fiordland/ Stewart Island, Central and Otago/Southland cover the largest section of the South Island, in territory, and conceptually. From the northern wedge of Westland, where lush grassland is almost as heady as the mild, wet climate to the dry, hot-and-cold spare country of Central, this is a land of mountains, lakes and particularly wild seas. Not a place for the faint hearted, it also yields powerfully individual flavours that are epitomised by Bluff oysters, the essence of the South. Simple yet rich, these are the ultimate hunter-gatherer spoils, dredged from the wildest piece of sea in the country, Foveaux Strait, they are a Kiwi classic. Their appeal is such that it is not unknown for great chefs to open the first arrival of the season and feast straight from the can, before later diners are presented the pride of Foveaux Strait on more sophisticated items of culinary equipment. As comfortable in a silver-and-damask fine-dining restaurant as they are on the seaman’s block and washed down with a jug of Speight’s, Bluff oysters do seem to have more flavour and deep sea resonance than any oyster alive, even if most Bluffs get to the country’s food fans in a decidedly dead condition. Therein lies their archetypical character; they are without fuss or

sophistication, but ooze flavour and location like all great regional foods, characters that are to be found in the best of the southern region’s offerings. This is country with a heart of rock, of rocky mountains and rocky headlands, rocky vineyards and rock strewn rivers. At its extremes it is wet above all else, whether in Northern Westland or in the bays of Stewart Island. Wet enough for some of the world’s great pasture country, from North Otago to Southland, and in between for damp, cool forests that yield a great range of game. Metropolitan culinary culture has been slow to make it here, but there are some real treasures in places you least expect them; establishments which are striving to give their abundance of food resources the sort of cuisine that it deserves. Central, of course, boasts some of New Zealand’s finest boutique lodges and five-star hotels as well as luxurious culinary experiences, but many err on the side of ‘international’ cuisine rather than a celebration of local produce. Often it is left to the winery restaurants of this much-blessed region to turn out the finest examples of regional culinary art. These casual eateries should be an example to the rest of the country, for their success in the pursuit of a pure local cuisine to match that much vaunted 100% Pure claim.


WESTLAND, FIORDLAND and STEWART ISLAND IMPRESSIONS OF THE WEST This is genuine, wild New Zealand, most of it perched between the southern ocean and the Southern Alps which reach 3000 metres up from the coast in less distance than a fit man could run before lunch. It is an area much promoted in the Wild Food Festival held annually in Hokitika and is a treasured destination for the most ardent hunters, who track such prizes as whitetail deer in Stewart Island, wapiti in Fiordland and exotic tahr and chamois in the alpine country of Westland. Westland is naturally dominated by softwood-hardwood forest and subalpine grassland. It is cool and moist, with mean annual temperatures between 7.5 and 12.5 degrees Celsius, with annual rainfall above 3200mm. EXPRESSIONS OF THE WEST To get there requires either a brisk sea voyage or a spectacular mountain pass over and through the Alps. Or you could meander down from Nelson through less spectacular mountain country before the dramatic Buller Gorge gives access to the region’s northern extremity, which happens to be coal and dairy country. The coal is of no interest to us; but the dairy should be, as in keeping with the character of its people the coast

boasts one of the few dairy processing operations that are independent of the giant Fonterra. Sadly, that attitude has not delivered a suitably idiosyncratic cheese that would speak more eloquently of “The Coast” than its tired, battered pubs and the tired battered hoki that is its largest marine resource. The presence of hoki in the region is neither notable nor obvious, most of the fishing being done out of the Port of Nelson. But for gourmets who are quite happy to eat another perceived threatened species, this has become a prosperous hunting ground for those in search of southern blue fin tuna. Most of the prime specimens can be purchased at auction in Tokyo, but occasionally one finds its way onto the plates of lucky Coasters and their friends. The Great Fish of the Coast for most Kiwis is not large, fierce or deep water, but minute, pale and estuarine. Whitebait is the pride of the Coast in culinary matters, and one that the rest of the country is prepared to acknowledge. Once a resource treasured in almost every region of the country, the Coast remains the last substantive supplier of this tiny, tasty critter. There are few, if any, New Zealand restaurants of note that do not offer West Coast whitebait at some stage

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Panoramic view, head of Lake Wakatipu.

during the season. A whitebait fritter in mid September is surely the foodie highlight of any visit to a Coast restaurant. Speaking of restaurants, it is when you are almost at the point of leaving the Coast that one worthy of attention appears. In tiny Franz Josef, where the focus is on pointy mountains and one glacier, can be found Alice May, an establishment that is as noted for its conviviality and Norse-themed design as anything. The food is hearty to match and no adventure in this region is quite the same without a dish of Alice May’s venison stew. Fiordland, wetter, colder and more isolated than the Coast is not really a place you can get to by car, as its heart is only opened by helicopter or via one of the rare boat trips that take visitors into this wild south west corner of the country. In effect it is an extension of Westland, with the best of its foods being found in Queenstown eateries that do make an effort to offer local flavours. Stewart Island is in a similar situation, although the cold water blue cod and mutton birds that are the best known gourmand prizes from its maritime wilds are more widely distributed around the country, even if, as with Fiordland crayfish, they are at their best when eaten in the deep south.

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Photos: DEstination queenstown

Regional fare


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Regional Regional fare fare

CENTRAL OTAGO IMPRESSIONS OF CENTRAL Having journeyed down the Coast, the plucky travelling gourmet wends through Haast Pass on the rim of Fiordland, and on into Central, which really has become one of the great culinary destinations in New Zealand, if not the world. Central, aka Central Otago, although some of it is actually Southland, is an inland area without coast, if you don’t count Lakes. It covers alpine and sub-alpine country between St Mary’s, Kirkliston and Grampian ranges in the east and north, with Etterick and Kingston marking its southern points and the eastern shores of Lake Wakatipu, the Richardson Mountains and the Southern Alps to the west and north.

This is a distinctly romantic corner of New Zealand, and the lush, aromatic wines of Central have added to that romance, as well as delivering an essential sophistication to a region that was once as wild as its neighbours. Its food remains wild, however, although farmed venison is a tamer version of the once essentially wild meat that hunters sourced from the huge wilderness. This is cold, semi-arid country, where annual rainfall in the parts that count for food production is rarely above 400mm. Most of Central has an average temperature of just 10 degrees Celsius, but given the extremes of winter lows and summer highs this does not fairly represent the short, hot summers that deliver its

great wines and fruit. This is also countryside of intensely aromatic herbs and wild berries, resources just waiting to be tapped by local culinary explorers – but with wine. EXPRESSIONS OF CENTRAL The sophistication that wine has brought has certainly enhanced the culinary self awareness of Central with two winery restaurants, Carrick and Amisfield, setting the standards by which Central cuisine is being judged. These are accessible places, both in their casual ambiance and their architecture of inclusion, as well as in the rustic sophistication of their menus. These are places where you go for both the flavour of food and a taste of place. Amisfield chef Jason Innes has been with the establishment for five years, a sign


Regional fare

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Across Lake Wakatipu.

Photos: The Rees, true south

The entrance to the Rees Hotel.

of the air of culinary honesty at play. Taking the lead in Central’s regional identity in recent times has been the Rees Hotel in Queenstown, where chef Ben Batterbury and general manager Mark Rose have been tuned in to the remarkable prospects of southern cuisine. Indeed, Batterbury presented his taste of the region at James Beard House in a gathering of America’s foodie elite in New York in May this year. Batterbury has named his headquarters at the Rees, the “True South Kitchen”. One of the aspects of management at the True South Kitchen is that they do not buy meat through a butchery, but direct from producing farmers, ensuring that the source of all their produce is clear, as is the ultimate quality. Both Havoc pork (almost local, located in South Canter-

bury) and Cardrona Merino Lamb feature amongst these. Fruit, too, is a singular pleasure down here, where orchards blossomed along the Clutha from Cromwell to Ettrick until the high dam at Clyde drowned most of them. There are still apples and especially stone fruit; cherries, peaches, nectarines and most splendid of all, apricots to feast on if you time your visit right. This is also a place where some sense of the south’s dairy richness can be experienced from the cheese board. This is not a tatty dried edge bits and pieces mess such as is found in the least of the country’s cafes and restaurants, but a genuine glimpse of pastoral creativity in a land well suited to such arts. Locals include Whitestone and Gibbston Valley, a truly classic finale to the True South.

Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu.

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Regional fare

Expressions of central – wine A selection by Danny Schuster (DS) and John Hawkesby (JH). Quartz Reef NV ‘Methode Traditionelle’ JH: Mellow, lively tuned, mild bread and yeast, lighter style, very pleasant. DS: Pale straw, fine bead, fresh yeasty bouquet, simple fresh structure, fine acidity in dry finish. Quartz Reef 2006 Vintage ‘Methode Traditionelle’ JH: Medium style, lovely brioche, bready nose, smooth, excellent flavour weight, delicious finish and great value for the price. DS: Pale straw, persistent bead, complexity in bouquet and flavour depth, firm acidity in long finish, great bottle. Pasquale Waitake Valley Riesling 2010 JH: & DS: Found the wine out of condition due to faulty seal. Coal Pit Sauvignon Blanc 2010 JH: Closed nose, minerality with undeveloped fruit, firm finish, needs time. DS: Fresh, youthful, herb like spice with herbaceous hints, simple in austere finish, should make fine bottles in time. Try it with seafood. Coal Pit Sauvignon Blanc 2009 JH: Hints of kerosene & marzipan on nose, fresh acidity with capsicum hints in finish. DS: Lifted aromatic nose, herb like tones and green hints in flavour, medium weight in dry finish, fine balance of acid & fruit, ready. Pasquale Waitake Valley Pinot Gris 2010 JH: Pear, rose petal aromas, medium style with balance and lovely acidity, moreish finish. DS: Stonefruit, fresh nose, medium weight, austere texture with fine acidity in long, dry finish.

Quartz Reef Pinot Gris 2010 JH: Lively nose, pear, pecan nut and melon, lovely balance, supple in dry finish; food friendly. DS: Pale straw, bright, white peach, rose petals, classical nose, medium weight with ample acidity, off-dry in supple finish. Pasquale Waitake Valley Gewürztraminer 2010 JH: Great nose, lychees & turkish delight, restrained flavour, balanced, should develop with time. DS: Light bodied, spicy traminer with charm, ample aromatics with fresh flavour, fine acidity in undeveloped finish. Needs time. Black Ridge ‘Old Vine’ Gewürztraminer 2008 JH: Rich, complex and in your face aromas, punchy bouquet in contrast to gentle, sweet flavour and soft finish, unique style wine. DS: Concentrated traminer nose, complex, lees aged flavour with minerality in long finish. Should be great with Asian flavours and spices; I liked it a lot. Mt.Difficulty ‘Long Gulley’ Pinot Noir 2009 JH: Gloriously restrained nose with hints of greatness, light, sensual and super smooth flavour. Needs time to develop in finish. Easy drinking style. DS: Typical pinot, fresh, supple in lifted nose and flavour, medium weight, lots of charm and supple tannins in toasty finish. Fine summer wine. Pasquale Waitake Valley Pinot Noir 2009 JH: Excellent depth to colour, complex dry herbs, fruit and earth, lifted flavour, quite complex in appealing finish. DS: Next to the very good pinot gris and fine traminer, the best wine from the estate. Ripe fruit, red fruits and

spice, generous flavour and ample fine grain tannins in finish. Better with time. Mt.Difficulty ‘Target Gully’ Pinot Noir 2009 JH: Lovely colour, earthy, mysterious nose of great promise and expectation. Velvet smooth, balanced flavour, sophisticated style. DS: Full bouquet with high vinosity, ripe fruit and plum/spice flavours. Undeveloped in tannic finish; needs more time but well made. Coal Pit ‘Tiwha’ Pinot Noir 2009 JH: Rich, dense bouquet with dark cherries and hint of exotic spice, very good balance, classic Otago Pinot in elegant style. Most enjoyable drinking style. DS: Depth in colour and bouquet, ripe, rich with mineral notes and lots of charm, dense, ripe flavour, finishes with great balance and length. Should make fine bottles in time. Black Ridge Pinot Noir 2007 JH: Big, Otago ‘take that’ fruit, with underbelly of earth and spice. Gentle tannins but with generous flavour. “Colin Meads meets Audrey Hepburn” style. I liked it. DS: Well coloured, focused in elegant style, mineral/astringent notes in ripe flavour, lifted finish. Coal Pit ‘Tiwha’ Pinot Noir 2008 JH: Depth in colour and full bouquet, herbs, spices and lovely red fruits, mellow flavours and full bodied style, perhaps a little closed at present, needs time. DS: A robust, full bouquet, ripe fruit and high vinosity, great aromatic quality in flavour, hints of corruption in nicest possible way, developing maturity in medium weight finish.


Regional fare

13

Bendigo district.

Mt.Difficulty ‘Pipeclay Terrace’ Pinot Noir 2009 JH: Complex, full bouquet, dried herbs and truffle hints, very ‘old world’ style with balanced, sophisticated flavours and lovely finish and tannic structure. George Clooney with a sly smile. DS: Full complex bouquet, high vinosity, generous flavour and tannic frame to last. Fine balance, ample depth in long finish. Should make great bottles in time. Rippon Vineyard ‘ Mature Vine’ Pinot Noir 2009 JH: Gloriously complex nose, lifted and fine, red fruits, hints of pepper and earthy undertones in flavour and lovely tannic structure in finish. Well made. DS: Generous, ripe bouquet with lots of charm and subtle complexities of old vines, focused flavours, supple texture and hint of corruption in a long, aromatic finish. Deceptive in fine tannic structure, I believe this wine will age into great bottles with time. Quartz Reef ‘Bendigo’ Pinot Noir 2008 JH: Mellow, complex with ripe fruits and dry herb spices, understated but with nod to greatness in flavour with bit more time. Superb structure, balance and length – top wine. DS: Deep and complex range of fruits, spices and toasty oak in full bouquet, generous flavour, ample tannins in long finish. As good as it gets; one to keep. Brings memories of the first great pinots made by Rudi Bauer for Rippon all those years ago.

The wines of the Central region The wines of Central Otago present unique challenges to both grape growers and winemakers alike. Unlike the more familiar coastal regions to the north, where the maritime climate moderates temperatures or soils are of alluvial nature, the volcanic terroir and the wines of Central Otago reflect the drama of the local climate. Cold winters and hot summers, the minerality of soils, and purity of mountain air provide these light bodied wines, white and red, with lifted aromatics and focused flavours, fresh acidity and austere astringency rather than tannic finish. At their best, the focus, aromatic quality and elegance or purity of flavour of these wines can be remarkable. In lesser vintages, the site selection and precision of vineyard work are all important, as fruit ripeness and balance of flavour, body and acidity can be difficult to achieve. Due to size of the region, variations in geography, topography and micro-climates are no less important than vintage quality. Gibbston Valley, Bannockburn and Wanaka each provides the local vignerons with a unique set of conditions, their common features often offset by locality and site specific conditions. This results in a multitude of structure and flavour nuances, collectively known as the Central Otago specific wine character.

Love it or not, these wines are what they are, often uncompromising, sometimes in your face, but never boring. Their flavour profile and fresh acidity makes the best of them great food wines, red or white, not that some world-class bubbles are not made here also. Vineyards and wine cellars of all sizes, from small artisan operations to medium and large producers, can be found in the region, Central Otago being one of the most rapidly expanding wine regions of the past 15 years. Local winemakers have achieved a lot in a relatively short space of time in the terms of wine volume made, as well as marketing effort, since the commercial early efforts of the mid-1980s. Pioneering efforts to grow grapes and make local wines date to the 1970s, although the rapid growth of Central Otago vineyards came some 20 years later. In contrast, the Waitaki Valley vineyard developments are more recent, with first vintages coming in the past few years. The group of wines tasted demonstrate the vintage variations, with 2008s being most consistent in quality, the 2009s lighter and more elegant in an aromatic style and with supple texture, whilst the 2010s perhaps favoured white wines ahead of the red. www.grill.co.nz


Photos: Graham Warman

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Regional Regional fare fare

OTAGO and SOUTHLAND IMPRESSIONS OF OTAGO/SOUTHLAND There is no obvious line where you notice you are leaving Central for the Otago-Southland region, except to know when you are well inside because the country, while still big, has shifted from being one of alpine perspectives to a rolling hill country aspect that is distinctly pastoral. Geographically, this region fills the area from Sand Hill Point around the southern coast to the Waitaki Valley, bounded inland by the Kakanui, Rock and Pillar, Lammerlaw, Umbrella, Garvey and Eyre ranges. It is moist and cool, bounded by a rich marine resource that ranges from rare treats like toheroa to the delicacies of sole and brill. The green carpeted hills are the home of lamb that its adherents claim is the bestin-the-world, and even less one-eyed gourmets are prepared to accept this may well be true on trying the real thing. Southland is also home to Bluff oysters, that epitome of New Zealand flavour that moves shellfish fans in every corner of the land. While Southland is also the site of New Zealand’s first dairy factory, there

is little to show for it in a culinary sense, unless you count the cheese rolls that most southerners insist are a taste of their place. Those not enamoured with evaporated milk, grated industrial ‘cheddar’ and sliced white bread are bemused by their enthusiasm for this iconic crusty agglomeration of processed food. EXPRESSIONS OF OTAGO/SOUTHLAND A visit to Bluff during the oyster season will not necessarily deliver oysters such as dreams are made of, but they can be had if you know where to look. Neither Bluff nor neighbouring Invercargill are strong in restaurants which deliver local flavours, rather these places are an extension of the generally culinary desert of the West Coast. Dunedin and North Otago are another matter, however, for there are restaurants here, cafes that care and a couple of regional stand outs that are of a cross-the-world-to eat-here quality. Both are near the picturesque stone built town of Oamaru, North Otago, but while in Dunedin a visit to Best Café opposite the law courts

Fleur's PLace, Moeraki.

in the central city is a must. This step back into a 1950s’ Kiwi dining-out experience is truly amazing, and the fish and chips which are its speciality will charm most. Sole and chips, if they have it, can be beguiling, turning lunch (they don’t do dinner) into the closest thing to a culinary Kiwiana theme park. Dunedin is also home to Emerson’s, the wellspring of New Zealand’s craft beer revival, and still one of the best craft breweries around. If you get your fish and chips to go, make sure you have an 1812 or Bookbinders to go with them, but it is Emerson’s organic Pilsner that first wowed the beer world. Heading north out of Dunedin, the first essential stop is at Fleurs in Moeraki. This little slice of rustic chic on the Otago coast delivers the best taste experience of the south’s marine magnificence. Fleur Sullivan has been captivating southern foodies for decades, first at Fleurs in Clyde, and latterly here in Moeraki, which was once famous only for its rocks. Panfried blue cod here gives you the best sense of this wonderful fish that you will find in a restaurant, only matched


Regional fare

Moeraki basin.

as venison pie, fish and chips and Mt Cook Salmon and the southern vegetables that are notable by their absence elsewhere can here be found on centre stage. That means this is the place to find swede, brussel sprouts and cabbage prepared with respect and panache. The dinner menu makes the most of outstanding Okaahu lamb, and does fine

TWO FINE EXPRESSIONS OF THE SOUTH Near the southeast coast in Southland is Blue River Dairy, and there is also a dairy farmer in Southland. Nothing unusual except this one is milking sheep, 15,000 of them. No stranger to innovation Keith Neylan was one of New Zealand’s early helicopter pilots before moving into deer recovery, then taking on mussel and salmon farming, and now he’s left dairy cows behind to farm and milk sheep. These sheep are the foundation of the wonderful Blue River Sheep Dairy cheeses and ice cream. Neylan bought Blue River, a business which bought and processed sheep’s milk near Balclutha and moved his sheep and the milk processing ( a rejuvenated old ice cream factory, now very high tech), back to Southland. Neylan has combined two symbols of the south, sheep and dairy farming, to create Blue River which produces a fantastic range of cheeses from sheep’s milk – try them.

things with Havoc pork, Karitane crayfish and southern grown Hereford beef, all without losing their special local character. After the drive across the Alps, down the West Coast, through Central and Southland and up through Otago we have worked up quite an appetite. But Riverstone would besot even you if you had just rolled in from Oamaru.

Riverstone Kitchen is located on the Waitaki Plains, 12km north of Oamaru in North Otago. The cold, crisp winters and hot, dry summers make it the perfect place for cultivating a good range of produce. Traditional crops such as potatoes, brussel sprouts, wheat, oats, barley and sunflowers have always thrived in the rich soils of Kakanui, Totara and Pukeuri and more recently, cherries, berries, vineyards and dairying have been introduced to the area with success. The menu is short but tidy and focuses on local ingredients, with much of the produce from the family’s gardens. The dishes show a sophistication that belies the simplicity of menu, with subtle rubs and well-thought-out combinations of flavours. Riverstone Kitchen is a wonderful example of what can be achieved using local resources. A fine expression of Regional Fare and exactly that which a Taste of New Zealand Award (TONZA ), stands for.

Photos: BLUE River dairy

by eating it sashimi style still on board the boat. North to Oamaru, where Emerson’s ales can be found in the best local pubs and the quality of coffee is not strained in most of its cafes and you are at the mouth of another great southern river, the Waitaki. There are budding young vineyards here, hoping to run their north-facing slopes of white limestone in notable pinot wines, sooner, rather than later. There is also the very fine cheese-making business known around the country as Whitestone, which does deliver the great cheeses you expect from pockets of lovely dairy country in the valley. Ultimately the southern food explorer must end up at the Riverstone Kitchen, an establishment that is not only making local flavour its reason for stardom, but is fast becoming one of the best restaurants in the Pacific. The all day menu features modern classics such

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www.grill.co.nz


16

WINE

Growing pains for Central Otago Sam Kim asks – is there life beyond Pinot Noir for Central Otago?

C

entral Otago is in a hurry. In just six years, from 2003 to 2009, the region more than doubled its vineyard areas; the number of wine producers also doubled: there are now over 100. Although this sharp growth has slowed down in the past couple of years, it is a land of Pinot plenty with nearly 80% of the vineyards devoted to this darling grape. The new Pinot drinkers seem to have fallen in love with Otago’s fruity, supple Pinots. And why wouldn’t they? Many Otago Pinots are succulent, velvety and deeply delicious at two years old.

But will these fashionfollowing consumers move onto something new in the coming years? Possibly. Many of Hawke’s Bay Syrahs and Bordeaux reds are gloriously good and have never been better, while there have been an increasing number of disappointing Pinots. Some 2007 Otago Pinots displayed over-ripeness and showed early appeal, but are not ageing gracefully. Then came the high-cropping 2008 vintage and many wines tasted thin and diluted. With the 2011 vintage and large crops, some consumers may be turned-off by the lack of fruit intensity in these wines. Of course, there are outstanding producers who have been making stellar wines even in difficult vintages. These top examples exhibit fruit intensity as well as seductive texture and firm structure, ensuring the

wine’s gradual development in the bottle. With bottle age, they become enchanting beauties with spell-binding qualities, as they display lush fruit and seamless mouthfeel with layers of complex flavours. There is life beyond Pinot Noir in Otago. Riesling has been grown in the region from the very early years and, in the past few years Otago Riesling has become immensely delicious displaying classic structure and depth of fruit. I believe the top examples are some of the best in the country and soon they should be considered among the top Rieslings in the world. Thankfully they have largely moved away from severely dry, lean wines to off-dry and medium-sweet styles. They are pure, precise and racey with perfectly pitched acidity, leaving the mouth both watering and satisfied. However, these are tough times. Too much wine and too many labels for the market have made life difficult for most producers. Some will not survive the current period but those who can weather the difficulties will come out smarter and more knowledgeable. And with older vines, improved grape growing and winemaking, as well as intelligent marketing of their hand-crafted wines, this region’s reputation is sure to grow as one of the finest wine regions in the world.

SAM KIM IS AN INDEPENDENT WINE REVIEWER, SENIOR WINE JUDGE, AUTHOR OF THE WINE ORBIT BLOG AND GRILL MAGAZINE’S LEAD WINE COMMENTATOR. For informative wine comment go to http://wineorbit.co.nz


THE RED REPORT

17

Amazon Basin beef anyone? We can save the world by clearing rain forests to grow beef and plant pines on our pastures. By Innes Moffat

I

t is a shame the recent debate over the impact of the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) got captured by politicking and debates about the price of milk. New Zealand restaurateurs should be more concerned about the price of meat than the price of milk. While we all might worry about climate change, perhaps we should also be concerned about the threat to New Zealand’s food production posed by the imposition of the Emissions Trading Scheme. Introducing agriculture into the ETS will not reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, but it will increase the price of meat for New Zealand diners. The price of lamb, venison and grass-fed beef will be affected by the introduction of the ETS. The effect of the ETS in its current form will be a reduction in New Zealand agricultural production and changes in New Zealand supply do have an effect on the price. Unlike dairy products, where New Zealand has an

insignificant share of world production, New Zealand has a substantial share of world lamb, grass-fed beef and especially venison production. At current rates, the ETS is forecast to reduce the average red meat farmer’s after-tax income by 10% in the first year of agriculture’s inclusion, and by an increasing amount each year after. Their only alternative will be to plant trees – reducing livestock numbers and replacing productive pasture with forest plantations. Farmers would change their production practices to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions if they could – but the sad fact is that at the moment there is no practical method for reducing the amount of methane a sheep burps or amount of nitrous oxide released from pasture, and even if there was, the current form of the ETS does not provide any incentive to individual farmers to change – it slaps a blanket tax on food production.

No other country proposes subjecting food production to an emissions trading scheme – New Zealand remains alone in this. So New Zealand pasture-based production, with the additional cost of the ETS applied, risks being replaced by food production in countries that exclude agriculture (Australia and Brazil for example) from domestic carbon trading. In effect, New Zealand may be subsidising the clearance of the Amazon to grow more beef in Brazil. So sorry Mr Goff and Mr Key, your proposal to tax the farmers might play well with urban voters in an election year, but how happy will they be when restaurants start putting their prices up to compensate for the continued reduction in New Zealand meat production. Innes Moffat is the venison marketing services manager for Deer Industry New Zealand.

List of Local Distributors Zealfresh 0800 4 93253 info@zealfresh.co.nz PO Box 36495, Northcote, North Shore, Auckland www.zealfresh.co.nz/

Central Foods Ltd Tel: 0800 470070 centfdsltd@xtra.co.nz P O Box 358, Alexandra, Otago 9320

Bowmont Wholesale Meats Phone: (03) 2164721 enquire@bowmontwholesalemeats.co.nz P.O BOX 164 8 Invercargill www.bowmontwholesalemeats.co.nz

Meat Direct Wellington Telephone - (04) 4799 491 vic@meatdirect.co.nz www.meatdirect.co.nz

Firstlight Foods Tel: +64 6 878 2712 Email: info@firstlightfoods.co.nz www.Firstlightfoods.co.nz

Gourmet Direct Napier www.gourmetdirect.com FREEPHONE: 0800 737 800 EMAIL: sales@gourmetdirect.com

Ashbys Butchery 5 Michelle Rd, Wigram Christchurch PH 03 3417302 Fax 03 3417301

Bidvest Nationwide www.bidvest.co.nz

Food Chain Penrose Auckland 09-579 1880

www.nzvenison.com www.grill.co.nz


18

Market

Intelligence Better source information for professionals

grill’s specialist resource Editor John Clarke updates developments in produce, fish and meat supply each issue. The products and or companies mentioned in this column are there because we at grill believe they are of quality and have value to the industry.

IN THEIR

PRIME

Muttonbir ds, truffl es. Plenty winter fr of uit: tama rillos, pe lemons a rsimmon nd mand s, arins. Ya parsnip, ms, chok nice main os, crop spu Brussels ds, and sprouts. K a h a wai, pipe and Nort r hern Blue fin tuna, oysters a Clevedon nd best o f a ll Bluff oy And of co sters. urse that rhubarb.

SHOT TO

BITS

Our aprico ts, nectari nes and p New Zeala eaches. nd strawb erries and New Zeala feijoas. nd grown beans an tomatoes d .

Dry goods Grain/flour The best New Zealand stone ground organic flour, (in any real quantity anyway) is from New Zealand Bio Grains and should be something to look forward to this year. Chantal has a great selection of organic flours from offshore. Kinaki (Wild New Zealand herbs and seasonings.) Both horopito and dried kawakawa leaves are available through Pacific Harvest in Auckland. Try the fresh version but just make sure that whoever does the gathering knows what they are doing. New Zealand sea vegetables, dried karengo – sometimes called parengo, which is very similar to nori and kelp – similar to kombu, can be sourced through Pacific Harvest. You can gather and dry these seaweeds yourself if you know what you are looking for, or check with the local Tangata Whenua. The very fine Maldon Salt is imported by Greg Heffernan. He also imports a very good organic pepper. Maldon also makes an organic smoked salt that is an ideal finishing product. The wood for the smoking process is sustainable hard wood (mainly oak) from forests in the UK. These products, including Maldon sea salt flakes, are available from Greg Heffernan Ltd at nzmaldonsalt@xtra.co.nz. Murray River

Sous Chef . 09 269 6373 . 1/84 Spar tan Road . Takanini, Auckland

www.souschef.co.nz

salt is available from Sous Chef and is worth having a serious look at. Wild fungi All the good dries distributors/suppliers will have a selection of dried fungi products from overseas, but check the labels. Quite often, taking porcini for example, the front label says ‘porcini’, but when you check the tiny print on the back you see a number of Latin names. Many products labelled porcini that come into the country are bulked up with lesser boletes, so check carefully. For true porcini there should be only one name Boletus edulis. Anything else on the label, or more than one Latin name, and it is an inferior product and certainly not exclusively cepe. This may be all okay if it is cheap enough and it suits your purpose. Look for dried porcini powder – bloody handy as a booster. Sous Chef has a great range of dries from Menu and Igor including a top Arborio rice at a reasonable price and a range of Saparoso balsamic. A good gluten free pasta option you can offer coeliac diners and those avoiding gluten is the Coronilla range of organic dries, made from rice and quinoa flours. This produces a palatable pasta that is getting close to the real thing.

Dairy The array and quality of New Zealand cheeses is fantastic as I found out at this year’s Cuisine NZ Champions of Cheese


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Market intelligence

As Nature Intended

Awards. Go to our website www.grill. co.nz and search NZ’s Champions of Cheese to see the full list of winners and a great little cheese company near you. You can also check out The Produce Company website with 150 mainly local artisan cheeses listed. Battery Whatever, this sad excuse for an industry still produces the cheapest egg so if you are happy to use them, go for it. They are ubiquitous and they do the job ... ish. But if you have an issue with cage eggs have a look at our ‘Animal lovers’ column on page 33. Duck egg production has slowed down and they do not travel well, so you will have to find a local supplier. Some farmers markets will have them also. Free range and organic egg production is now an industry in its own right; seasonal supply has levelled out and they are consistently available. They are more expensive but if you want quality you have to pay for it. The Frenz organic free range egg is the best widely available egg for my money. Quail eggs are available all year from Canter Valley farms in North Canterbury. They can send them to you anywhere in the country and quickly too.

POULTRY

and Gameford Lodge both supply a good quality product. Poussin is available readily but for some reason the cost is a little high. And there is also the silly precious cringe factor to contend with. So many diners these days seem to have a thing about eating anything that actually might look like a dead animal, not to mention a baby one and one that might also have bones in it. Squab Not any more damn it. Turkey Try to get hold of Crozier’s Turkeys. Philip ‘The Turkey Man’ Crozier has been supplying the market for 45 years and they are still out there. These are genuine free range turkeys and are processed without being pumped full of additives. Or you could go for Canter Valley Farm turkey; it has a good range of whole bone-in turkeys, turkey roasts and portions.

FRUIT An expert panel on antibiotic resistance recommended that fruit and vegetables should be monitored for streptomycin residues – but this has never happened as far as I am aware. So do we know whether all farmers stopped using the spray when they were supposed to, or whether antibiotic residues remain in fruit? Apples All the New Zealand seasonal apples are still available so we don’t need any imported rubbish quite yet.

Chicken Factory chook seems to still appeal to many punters and it is the most economic option. Good organic free range chicken is something seriously special and some of the best are the organically farmed free range chickens and chicken portions from Rolling Hills.

Avocados Lots of last season’s good quality well priced Haas fruit have been enjoyed by all. New season stuff is out so do not get palmed off with last season’s fruit. Watch the quality for the next month or so.

Duck Although there is a lot more duck around these days, Canter Valley Farm

Berries Most of the berry varieties should have been shot to bits long ago. There will

Banana What can you say – they just keep coming in. Nothing like the real thing, but there you go. The few fresh sweet ones from Northland are well finished.

still be a few raspberries coming onto the market from one grower who has them under plastic, but you will have to pay. There are also a few blueberries available at a price. Loganberries are always around and the last of the Keri berries are finishing too. But otherwise it’s the frozen product, which is pretty good for most things anyway. Blackcurrants All over. Cherimoya also known as the custard apple. Coming soon. Citrus New Zealand lemons will be around from now on. New Zealand mandarins are well under way. All other local citrus will start to come on towards the middle of July also. Feijoas The season is about finished and it appeared to be a very average one. Grapes No New Zealand fruit. It is the tasteless black widow infested stuff from offshore until late summer. Kiwis The main crop New Zealand fresh fruit is in, but it has been up and down a bit so far because of the bug perhaps. Over summer and autumn when there is so much other good local fresh fruit around it seems odd to me that we have to have northern hemisphere kiwis. What is happening to the joys of seasonality? Mangoes Lots of good Kent mangoes – the green ones – about at the moment. Melons All varieties of New Zealand grown melon are finished, so if you must have them, it is the imported product for you. Miro – only if you happen to have some in your freezer or know someone that does. The gathering season is over for another year. Passion fruit The season for this fruit is now supposedly over for another year but I have seen a few (expensive!) in the marketplace.

The Free Range Egg Co. 7 Capehill Road, Pukekohe, New Zealand. Phone 0800 373 697 Email info@frenzeggs.co.nz

www.frenzeggs.co.nz


20

Market intelligence

Pears There will be a pear or two about, but they are deteriorating from now on. The nashi holds on a little longer. Imports are starting though. Persimmons Another good winter fruit. They finish about now, but are good keepers so they will be around for a while. Quince These wonderful things may still be ex-storage and as with pears they will be starting to deteriorate, but unlike pears there is no imported fruit. Redcurrants Are well over. Don’t you just love the seasons. Rhubarb Is around all year, but a fantastic fruit to have over winter.

the warming winter root vegetables are coming on.

Carrots Are always available and are a quite nice root at this time of year.

Artichokes (globe) Artichokes are not available until spring at least except for a few baby ones that should hit the suppliers at the end of August. The Jerusalem artichokes are here though and this is the time for this underutilised root vegetable.

Cauliflower is available all year and there were some very good heads at one market recently – and they aren’t all caulis.

Asparagus The season is done and dusted. The first of the new season’s will be along in September. You could, of course, buy imported from the US or the frozen stuff from suppliers such as Penguin.

Stone fruit All over, sadly. Tamarillos See there is lots of fruit in winter. Tropical fruit All the tropical stuff is as usual and it’s up to you to demand quality. Some quite good paw paw coming out of the Philippines at present.

NUTS Chestnuts have been coming to a place near you if you are one of the lucky ones, but they are about to end.

Aubergines Bugger all local of quality, but all the odd ball imported colours are in. Beans The New Zealand season is well over. There was a little local expensive hothouse stuff in the market, but like so much from now on, if you want it, it is really going to be imported product. Beetroot The main season is finished but beetroot is still produced, if in lesser quantity, until November.

Hazels are still hard to come by, but this is the season. Once again Chantal has them.

Broccoli is good now so long as the heads don’t get too wet.

Macadamia The New Zealand season for fresh nuts is over – plenty of dried and roasted though.

Broccolini is still plentiful, but the heads I last saw were a little too open and, for the quality, a little dear.

Wild walnuts are available from A Cracker of a Nut. Wild Hawke’s Bay nuts are often available from Chantal. All these nuts are getting older now. All other nuts are imported and it is up to you to demand quality.

VEGETABLES Yes It is now time for a winter root. Traditionally it’s comfort food time and all

Brussels sprouts are at their best until August. Cabbage The green varieties are available all year as usual and the red is just about done, except for an expensive trickle. Capsicum Absolutely the worst time for capsicums. Almost all the New Zealand grown varieties have gone. There will be some locally grown hothouse (usually hydroponic, and at a price), but it is mostly Aussie and Island stuff now.

Sous Chef . 09 269 6373 . 1/84 Spar tan Road . Takanini, Auckland

www.souschef.co.nz

Celeriac is also nowadays available most of the year, and so it should be. But winter is a great time for root vegetables and the quality is very good this season – if not the price. Celery is available all year and reasonable quality now. Chard (silver beet) You can get it all the time but from now on it is the most economic and available vegetable. Choko This handy early winter vegetable receives flavours very well. It will only be around, straight off the vine, until the end of July. But it keeps well so you will still be able to get it until mid August or so. I don’t know why we do not see more of this about as it grows like a weed and it should always be cheap, so make the best of it. Corn As I said there was good Kiwi corn in mid-April this year. We had the warmest autumn for years, (see raspberries) but it had to end. So unless for some reason you wish to use the expensive imported vacuum packed stuff, play the seasons, or there’s always the joys of frozen corn. Courgettes New Zealand zucchinis are finished so if you want them you will just have to pay for them from offshore. Cucumber The main time for fresh Kiwi short cucumbers has had it, but the telegraphs have come back in quantity – all hothouse of course. Fennel More Florence fennel is now available, with good quality and larger bulbs at this time of year. Garlic grown in New Zealand is getting scarce, but plenty of the Chinese (cheap) rubbish about. The imported American stuff is much better quality, but you have to pay for it.


21

Market intelligence

Ginger There was some fairly scrappy stuff around, but I see it has come right. Supplies of ginger in this country have always been sourced from offshore until recently but I found some organically grown ginger from Northland the other day; but I will not give you the price – you really do not want to know! Garnish Always available are the varieties of micro leaves – very cute if you go that way. Herbs Prices for all the annuals are up and will stay up until the end of October at least. All the fresh herbs are available all year these days so it’s now only a matter of grievous bodily invoices if you go overboard. Have you seen the price of chervil lately? Kohlrabi is available all year now and is in pretty good nick at this time of year. Kumara All varieties of main season: Beauregard (orange, softer, sweet), Tokatoka, (yellow, firm, good flavoured), Owairaka and Northern Rose, (traditional red, very firm), appear not to be woody (which can sometimes be a problem as the year progresses), and still to be of good quality. Leeks are at their best. Mushrooms and fungi Ah well, all the wild stuff is just about over. There will be the occasional field bits around but not much to speak of. Our commercially grown truffles should be available during this period. Bloody expensive, but fresh mature truffle is the reason for life. Too expensive? Check out the dries section of this column. All the other commercial mushrooms are available as usual. Onions Good supplies of jumbos with few New Zealand red onions around so you may need to buy the Californian ones soon. Parsnip was history, now a very contemporary root.

Peas are history. Pikopiko is available all year now; especially good this time of year. Potatoes Lots of good quality main crop potatoes all over the place and plenty of variety too. The (so called) Maori potato varieties are becoming more easily sourced as more and more growers are getting into them. You should get samples before you buy as there are about two dozen varieties out there. Each type has a different texture, taste and colour and some varieties are not long keepers. We have been getting some great quality peruperu in particular this autumn and they look like holding on through winter. The trick is they need to be kept in the dark and away from plastic. These old trad spuds are generally worth the trouble as they knock the socks off the more common commercial varieties. Earth Gems are pretty available, pretty expensive and pretty pretty. Pumpkin Main crop crown pumpkins and butternut are still out there, but quality is variable. Buttercup and Japanese squash are over till early summer. Radishes Salad radishes are all in good supply and there is still good daikon about. Salad leaves – as always. Rocket is more expensive now. Nice crunchy icebergs in the markets. And on the note of rocket it’s good to see real older leaves available but the silly marketing gurus are still using the name ‘Wild Italian Rocket’ for this product – hell’s teeth, ‘wild’, oh really! Shallot Still some of this lovely little lady about, but not much. Snow peas are available from late spring to late autumn mainly. There are always

the expensive few New Zealand grown ones and the expensive imports of course. Sorrel Not common, but there is more of this around than in the past and it grows all the time. Spinach It’s a fine time for this vegetable. Spring onions Always good supplies on the shelves. Swede and turnip If you like to use these vegetables, from now on is your time. Tomatoes New Zealand autumn crop is about over, but there will be some main crop New Zealand hothouse available from the end of August if we are lucky and rich. Mostly, however, it’s the stink imported stuff and that is all too damned expensive for the rubbish it is. Witloof This is one vegetable you need to use as it arrives as it can deteriorate fast unless stored very carefully. I am assured there is some out there waiting for some poor restaurateur who wants to increase his mortgage to serve this delicious vegetable to his diners. Yams Now we can have this great little root vegetable for a few months.

GAME MEATS We are heading into the skinny time for most wild game. Birds Farmed quail and pheasant are in shorter supply and guinea-fowl are finished. Wild birds The shooting season has come to an end for most of the duck species and we still cannot get them in restaurants. The same also applies to our pukeko, black swan, wild pheasant, and wild (Canada) geese at this time of year. Fish and Game New Zealand has the wild game-bird food festival on at selected restaurants throughout the country. During this festival each restaurant puts on a special wild game bird menu so

Sous Chef . 09 269 6373 . 1/84 Spar tan Road . Takanini, Auckland

www.souschef.co.nz


22

that hunters can have their bagged birds cooked in a range of dishes. I checked out some of these restaurants and the scheme was going a bomb. The whole thing is a damn good idea so let’s hope this year’s success is an incentive for expansion in the future. The muttonbird (Puffinus griseus), titi, harvesting season has just finished for this year so we will start seeing this delicacy now. The price keeps going up and so it should. This is the only native that can be harvested for sale. Somewhere around 250,000 a season, but no one seems to know for sure. Anyway the rats get a hell of a lot more. Some of the people in the far south set a group with the cool name Kamate Nga Kiore (Death To The Rats) to get rid of this vermin on the Muttonbird Islands. It has not put more birds on the market but it has given the birds and other fauna a better chance. Chamois This species manages to hold on to its condition better than some at this time of year, possibly because they don’t mate till later in winter. New Zealand is one of the very few places in the world where these animals are available and are worth the attention of the chef. This antelope should be farmed in this country. Crocodile (imported). A damn fine white meat. For supply see under kangaroo. Emu and ostrich meat is available for those who want it. Farmed wild boar Yes, there really is such a thing. Free range boar bred from wild stock and legally reared on farms. At present only available in limited quantities from selected outlets but more coming on stream all the time from Neat Meat, The Produce Company and Harmony Foods and sold under the Razorback brand. Great eh! Goat Tends to be skinnier from now on so choose only the fatter young animals. Hare Always remarkably well priced but like most game they tend to lose condition over winter. Kangaroo (imported). A damn fine

Market intelligence

red meat. Available from South Island Gourmet. Possum This tasty animal is so hard to get that road kill may seem the only option – but we cannot get them, which is a shame as there are always fat ones about even over winter. Rabbit It’s true as suggested in the last issue; rabbit numbers are on the increase. Try Premium Game in Marlborough – the only choice for wild rabbit really. Tahr is a wild mountain goat native to the Himalayas, now happily (barring DOC) at home in Godzone’s alps. This species is still in good condition until mid August. Sexually active animals really stink and this can seriously taint the meat. Venison Wild animals lose their condition from now on as the roar has knocked them around, hinds are in fawn and feed is tight over winter. Wallaby The annual Timaru wallaby hunt knocked over 1000 animals and there is plenty of frozen stuff around. New Zealand wild wallaby is available through some game packing houses.

Havoc produces a good ham, traditionally cured bacon and a fabulous range of sausages from free range pigs.

RED MEAT Generally it is not good news on the red meat front for the short term but at least the beef price is looking a little better. And yes, it has come to my attention again that some so-called meat suppliers are climbing on the back of the hard work that quality suppliers have done to put a decent reliably branded beef into the marketplace. This must be bloody annoying for all concerned and chefs and restaurateurs need to be very aware of what they are buying; that it is the genuine product. Chefs need to ask questions like: where the animals were slaughtered; hot boned or cold boned; and where is the branded packaging. Chefs should be able to trust their suppliers and get what they ask for and not get bullshit! And chefs, if someone tries it on you let us know at grill and we will follow it up. That’s what we are here for.

PRESERVED MEATS

BEEF

Harmony Foods produces organic small goods, cured products, salamis, dry cured bacon and Black Forest ham.

Well it had to happen. Cattle export schedules have fallen somewhat under the influence of the strong New Zealand currency. The global beef markets also continue to soften as high prices affect consumer demand. But the prices, though down a little on last month, are still strong. Local trade prices for beef are 40-70c/kg ahead of last year, but the trend is falling.

Prosciutto di Parma It is of course now possible to get Prosciutto from Italy. And there is a New Zealand version of Prosciutto that is better than anything I seen out of Aussie and bloody near as good as the original with something just a little bit Kiwi about it and is from the Little Boy range originally designed and developed by chef Jeremy Schmid. The range also includes pancetta, chorizo, salamis and their quite-famous-inNew-Zealand gourmet sausages. Their sausages by the way are all gluten free. All this stuff is available through Zealfresh.

DEER Farmed venison schedules are steady, but are predicted to rise to levels way above

Zealfresh . 09 419 9165 . Unit 2, 84-90 Hillside Road,Wairau Valley, Nor th Shore

www.zealfresh.co.nz


23

Market intelligence

last year in the spring peak period. So buy now while you can.

SHEEPMEAT Lamb At time of writing export schedule rises have slowed somewhat as the hot European summer, increased local supplies and tight economic conditions start to influence demand. But in local saleyards, the demand just continues to grow with store lambs breaking records in both islands. Prime lambs numbers are dropping, and so of course prices are firming up with lambs averaging $150 per head at many sales. The trend is rising – at 689c/kg average this is 188c/kg ahead of last year. Mutton prices continue high with prices still at record levels. In the south many in-lamb ewes are selling for up to $200 in the saleyards. Given the price, the best mutton for me is from two-tooth and four-tooth wethers (your supplier should understand this language). Don’t expect too much and quality is often down as farmers drop stock because they lack feed on the farm.

PORK

beautifully flavoured if delicate white flesh and the best fish come from the furthest south for my money.

Murrellen has a good quality control system in place for this problem and not just a few chefs favour this product. Harmony Foods processes and sells very good free range pigs as does Havoc in south Canterbury. Their pigs are stress free and free range and damn near organic.

Blue Moki The season for this beautiful fish will be full on by the time you receive this issue. Bluenose is a bloody good replacement for the bloody good Hapuku and all year round as well. It is still in fairly short supply in the local market but it has picked up a little and I’ve seen quite a bit of frozen bluenose available. I guess it must be convenient in easy-care kitchens or something. Most still goes to Aussie as usual.

Whole piglet is still available if you want it – costly though.

VEAL

Dory (black and smooth, mirror, in other words all deep sea Oreo Dory family) are available throughout the year from off the southern east coast. These are often quite good buying, and are worthy of attention. The fillets are small and quite thin but quite perfect for single servings.

This is the time for real veal and Zealfresh, Harmony and Neat Meat have good lines of supply. I have tried these products and, yes, they are all top quality veal.

FISH AND SEAFOOD SALTWATER FISH

Some say the Australian pork we are getting is of better quality than ours, as it generally has a higher pH. Pork with a higher pH is considered to have a much better flavour profile (this is the opposite in beef by the way). New Zealand imports about 10,000 tonnes of pork from Australia where about 30 percent of pig farmers use the growth hormone PST. That means if you eat Australian pork there is a one in three chance it will have been injected with PST. And did you know that Aussie male pigs are routinely chemically castrated? Is this drug in this imported pork? Who knows? But one pork producer in this country tells me that “women are not allowed to jab

these pigs and men who accidentally jab themselves twice are often out of action for years”.

Flounder The autumn flounder season is over and numbers will be tighter from now till late spring.

Frozen Convenient and economical and you get what you get.

Fresh

Albacore The season for this underrated fish is done and dusted. Alfonsino Fresh alfonsino is in the markets these days. Anchovy New Zealand has bulk anchovies swimming around it but they all go for bait as companies say no one is willing to pay for them. Maybe not for much longer; I still have someone working on it but it may take some time to get a result. Antarctic Toothfish This is a summer species only and NOT PC. Blue cod Now that the albacore season is over many fishermen are now working the blue cod fishery. Blue cod has

Green bone is terrible name for a wonderful fish. The season is finished. Groper (Hapuku) This is still a bloody good time for Hapuku and always bloody expensive all the time. Gurnard Always available and there are usually some small ones in the market and at a mere two bucks (yes $2) a kilo. Lovely fish you can’t afford to ignore. Hake Quite lovely eating if treated gently. The short fresh season for this delicate fish starts in July. Hoki This is our largest commercial fishery and June saw the beginning of the annual hoki harvest. So if you happen to be hanging out for a fresh piece of hoki this is your opportunity and it is better than many may think.

Solander . 0800 555 548 . seafood@solander.co.nz . Cross Quay PO Box 5041 . Por t Nelson 7040

www.gourmetseafood.co.nz


24

Market intelligence

John Dory The short full on time for this iconic fish is well over but there will always be a little available at a price. Kahawai Still a good time for those big kahawai, and I stick by my guns; as good at least as any other fish in the sea. Kingfish This is one of our best fish, especially for sashimi. It is damn hard to find as there is never enough quota. Ling The fresh season for ling started in June and will run till November. It is a bloody ugly fish but amazingly good eating when cooked fresh. The frozen and smoked product is available. Monkfish (stargazer) I cannot give this fish enough raps. This is one of our treasures of the sea. Mullet Less of this beautiful fatty fish for a while but there is always a few and at a great price. Orange roughy The fresh roughy season is August to October. Piper This is the best time for this forgotten delectable little fish. Rays Cut the wings off and dry them. You could use the cartilage as an alternative to shark fin as the practice of cutting the fins off sharks and junking the rest is supposed to be banned in New Zealand waters. Red cod Must have mothers so someone can love them. If you come across English or British cod it is just another alias for this cray-pot bait. Salmon, quinnat, king or chinook (sea cage) Plenty available and all three producers have good quality fish. Sardines You can order direct at Salty Dog Seafoods (0-9-433 7002). Can be supplied fresh or snap-frozen free-flow and you can designate the size.

Sharks Still a good time for doggies (rig, spotted dogfish etc) and school sharks, and they are all great eating.

few of these wonderful large flatfish are turning up in our other fresh fish markets. Warehou This is another southern species. The main season is starting and the price is always reasonable.

FRESH WATER FISH

Skate Still available at a very good price. I recently had a beautiful skate dish at a well known Auckland restaurant. Skipjack tuna There are no skippies for a while sadly. Our industry needs to take a closer look at this little tuna. Snapper The season has passed its peak, but there will always be a good supply about and still the small plate size fish are the best price. Sole The major catch is over and from now on it will be by-catch stuff. Supply is still restricted in the North Island as this is mainly a southern fish, but it is a much underutilised, premium fish at a relatively low price.

Eel, longfin and shortfin The fresh season is all year in the North Island. South Island eels start again in August. Smoked eel is always obtainable. The state of our eel fishery is becoming a disgrace, especially in the South Island. Salmon, sockeye can no longer be obtained from Mount Cook Salmon as it has stopped farming this smaller Pacific salmon. Salmon, organic sockeye is no longer available in this country sadly. Pollution seems to have killed off the last supplier.

Spotted gurnard Inexpensive and not a bad option, but bony as.

Salmon, quinnat Some good fish available and the fish are a little larger.

Tarakihi The main season is about finished but there will be some around as always. And there is the eternal frozen product, usually as ‘skin on’ fillets, and skinned and boned fillets, all in 10kg cartons and handy as back up.

Whitebait The seasons in the various areas around the country are now well over but not long to wait guys. Fresh bait will return in mid August with a bit of luck.

Trevally This fantastic common fish is usually well priced. The main season is over so there is less in the market. But by the same token at the moment this fish is of markedly better quality as trevally at this time of year are caught using ring nets around inshore reefs. Fresher, less squashed and tastier. Best very fresh as it is not a great keeper. Tuna This is the season for the northern bluefin tuna. This tuna has a far higher fat content than other tuna so get into ’em. The southern tuna season is over. Turbot and brill come from the west coast of the South Island and have always been a specialty in the area but now a

SHELLFISH Bluff oysters Yep, you can still get them now kiddies. Clams Restaurants will find the Golden Bay variety of cockle (littleneck) still okay, and this southern shellfish is always in good supply. The northern cockles are a premium shellfish, but are hard to come by. Clevedon oysters are always good, but are now coming to their very best. Geoduck Sometimes called king clams so as not to frighten the punters, Geoduck are even more oyster than oyster and delicious and at an average weight of

Solander . 0800 555 548 . seafood@solander.co.nz . Cross Quay PO Box 5041 . Por t Nelson 7040

www.gourmetseafood.co.nz


25

Market intelligence

a mere 450gm, (that’s 1lb in the old parlance), somewhat more substantial than your average shellfish. Kina Just the thing for that something extra in a sauce. Available live from some fish markets and the roes in pottles are available from Solander in Nelson. Kiwi surf clams (tough shell) and Pacific surf clams (triangle shell) You can always get these very big (for New Zealand anyway) shellfish but be aware that the meat to shell ratio is not as good as most other shellfish. Mussel (Horse) or razor clam I have noticed a few of these giants turning up in the market of late. You may hear the name ‘Chinese scallops’, well this is what they are talking about. Ask Solander, they may have them if anyone does. They are bloody tasty and bloody good buying – try them! Mussel (New Zealand Greenshell) This is our endemic mussel and a very fine thing it is too. We see so many now that we tend to take them for granted – well don’t. It also has a very high meat-to-shell ratio, higher than any other. It is always available live in the shell and fresh or frozen on the half shell. Mussel meat is still cool for bulking up that chowder. Nelson Bay oysters You should be able to get them as you want them now. New Zealand scallops Fresh are back. Octopus When it’s fresh it’s tasty, and brainy enough to wander off on its own. Oysters Farmed Flat (Bluff) oysters, are available from Solander and mighty fine oysters they are too. Effectively these are farmed Bluff oysters from Stewart Island. These giants come in pottles under the Southern Glory Oysters brand. There are also in-shell farmed flat oysters available from Tio Point Oysters in the Sounds. Pacific oysters will be at their fattest over winter and spring and the price is

reasonable though due to the herpes virus volumes may be down. Paua (farmed) These smaller versions of the wild paua are available and getting bigger and better priced all the time. Paua (wild) This is the seabed and foreshore packaged in a shell. Use it all year if you have the cash. Do not buy contraband paua! Pipi Very, very good eating, though usually only in local markets. Queen scallops These are a deep water type and can be sourced all year; however they are usually only available frozen. Squid The main season for our squid finished in May but you can always get frozen.

available frozen as clusters (that is legs and a claw), and at the very tidy price of $51 per kg. Effectively this is the same crab but all the way from Chilean fishermen who don’t seem to be afraid to go out and get them. The best part of the paddle crab season is supposed to run until June but these crabs are available all year. The best crab is a live crab; however for convenience New Zealand crabmeat is available from Foodchain in Auckland. A cheaper lesser quality frozen imported crabmeat (usually from Vietnam) is also available. Crayfish Not the best time for fresh crays. Cost has been up there a bit and the big catches are well done. The main season starts again shortly. Koura (farmed organic) This season is over. No more for a couple of months.

Tuatua (deep water) Yes, you can get them now and forever. It is important to swim these and all other sand-gathered live bivalve shellfish on delivery.

New Zealand prawn are available from the hot water prawn farm at Wairakei near Taupo. They have a more delicate flavour than other prawns and are worth a shot.

Tuatua (inshore) I feel these have the best flavour. As mentioned previously they are getting harder to source as inshore pickers are having a hard time of it at present due to compliance costs and the water is bloody cold too.

CRUSTACEANS Bugs Your imported seafood supplier should have these and they can be a good economic option. Crabs (king and spider) As explained previously, quota for this very large tasty deep water crab has been allocated for a couple of years or more. Problem is right now it appears no one is that keen to go out and get them. But maybe by the time you read this there will be a trickle on the market hopefully soon turning to a flood. If not there is a brilliant new giant crab product available from Sous Chef; these crabs are

Imported prawn Ideally the only good prawn is a fresh one, but Sous Chef has a good supply. New Zealand scampi Always expensive and always exquisite, but there are some better deals at the time of writing for some reason. Scampi imported (frozen) Cheaper, larger and coarser and do not look half as good on the plate.

grill magazine would like to acknowledge our sponsors and the following for their support in the gathering of the unbiased information used in the collation of this column. The Produce Company, Jassid Fish Ltd, Wilson Hellaby and Neat Meat.

Solander . 0800 555 548 . seafood@solander.co.nz . Cross Quay PO Box 5041 . Por t Nelson 7040

www.gourmetseafood.co.nz


26

WINE

question is not The Schuster Report:canThe our wine industry grow grapes and make fine table wines of high value or Legislation – an develop markets here and overseas? Rather it is, do option FOR our we have the force of will, courage and discipline to wine puddle make the required changes

T

In the wake of yet another large vintage, NZ wine pioneer and international wine consultant Danny Schuster offers his ideas on a sustainable future for the industry.

he New Zealand wine industry needs good wine legislation that takes into account that it is still in the developmental stage. Periodic boom and bust cycles, current economic pressures, political realities, and the state of both international and domestic markets make it obvious that New Zealand’s wine industry needs a significant shift in strategic planning. If solutions are to be found to the present commercial difficulties, we need a planned sustainable future and for that we must address the issues of production volumes and marketing.

Neudorf- quality wines and quality marketing.

to deal with present difficulties and achieve our long-term goals? A coordinated effort by all parties involved, small, medium size or large, will be required if the industry is to succeed in these challenges. One of the key factors that has emerged from experiences in the past 40 years is that New Zealand does ‘not’ offer suitable conditions for sustainable production of reasonable quality bulk wines, red or white. New Zealand’s strength and future focus must be on the category of fine table wines for which its geography is best suited. This future offers higher prices and better returns that are justified by increasing wine quality ahead of current standards. Unlike bulk wine sales, this effort must be accompanied by supportive legislation, providing the consumer of fine wines with guarantees of wine’s authenticity, geographic origins and quality. Such legislation must also provide the growers and makers of wine with a predictable, economically sustainable production and marketing environment.

Currently, local wine legislation is on regulationside aspects of wine with regard to various labelling requirements demanded by our trading partners. Wine’s national origin, additives/preservatives, volume and alcohol content, as well as the registration requirements for exports are being taken care of already. To date however, none of the legislation in force deals with the key issue of over-production, one that should be of primary concern in fine wine production, a factor that clearly undermines efforts to develop a sustainable fine wine industry. In the leading fine wine producing countries of Europe no less than 36 different regulations are in place to support their fine wine industries. These cover the key areas of integrity of origin, especially precise identification of specific zones/terroirs, regulation of viticultural and winemaking practices and yields per vine and per hectare. It can and should be argued, that many of the regulations imposed in the EU are not well suited or even applicable to the New Zealand wine industry at this stage of its development and may in fact if instigated have a negative impact. By the same token, the Danny Schuster is one of the great pioneers of the New Zealand wine industry.


WINE

regulations dealing with stabilising production levels and yield controls found in all fine table wine regions throughout the EU should be examined and adopted if found useful. They may well resolve our short-term over-production problems and in the long term further strengthen our efforts to improve vine health, vine longevity and potential wine quality. It is no coincidence that the per-vine yield (vine density) and per-hectare yield (volume of wine made) form an essential part of wine legislation in all quality wine regions in the EU, as these greatly

influence economy of production, market supply and potential wine quality. These are not new concepts to New Zealand. All research and practical application data relating to limiting yields in European and New World countries point to significant improvements in vine health and longevity along with reduced vineyard input costs if yield is better managed. In EU regions with greatest affinity to New Zealand conditions the average upper limits are in the region of 60-70 hectolitres per hectare (Hl/ha equivalent to approximately 10 tonnes

per hectare, T/ha) for white wines and 40-50 Hl (or up to 6.5 T/ha) for red wines. Given New Zealand conditions and the fact that the majority of existing vineyards are of medium planting density (4000-5000 vines/ha) as well as being cropped moderately, this scenario could be achieved without undue economic pressures. Industry wide benefits would include a reversal of overstocking and economic pressures to cut prices in order to sell surplus production, as well as progressing towards a more stable and profitable fine wine industry.

27

References: • Terroir – Zonazione di Viticultura (2003), M.Fregoni, D.Schuster and A.Paoletti.(Italy) • Grape growing & Winemaking in cool climates (2001), Jackson D., Schuster D.(NZ) • Viticulture vol 1 & 2 (1992) Coombes B., Dry P., (Australia) • Physiologie di Vigne (1984) Champagnol F., Montpellier, France • Viticultura di Qualita (1998) Fregoni M., Piacenza, Italy • Precis de Viticulture (2000) Galet.P, Montpellier, France • The role of stored reserves on yield and wine quality (1980) Koblet W., Perret I. UC-Davis, Calif • Practical Viticulture (1978) Pongraz D., Cape Town, South Africa • Weinbau (1977) Voegt E. & Goetz E., Geisenheim University, Germany

www.grill.co.nz


TRAINING

When is the right time for training? By Steve Hanrahan, Chief Executive, HSI Training for skills in hospitality is growing. Over 246,000 unit standards of learning were reported to NZQA (the New Zealand Qualification Authority) by the hospitality industry in 2010. This was a 10.5% increase on the previous year, demonstrating that training leading to national qualifications continues to be on the rise across all training sectors. Cookery remains the most popular area of training for the industry, with over 82,500 units reported – that is 33% of the total. The cookery sector has a strong and successful history in embracing training, and many employers look for qualified cooks when making their employment decisions. Food and Beverage Service learning grew by 13% to 53,400 units reported, and it was good to see management training increased by 53%, albeit to a relatively low uptake of 4950 unit standards. The uptake of training in hospitality has grown from strength to strength over past years, and this growth in 2010 is no accident. Training to national qualifications is active across all the five sectors of hospitality – accommodation, cafes, bars and restaurants, clubs and food services. Last year, nearly 80 polytechnics and private training establishments offered

national qualifications; over 200 schools offered training in hospitality as part of the school curriculum; and last but certainly not least over 1700 workplaces (8.8% of the industry) offered training in national qualifications, with over 16,000 employees engaged in this workplace-led training. Having a vibrant and cohesive training sector is an integral part of the hospitality industry. Trained staff will offer a higher level of productivity, improved customer service through their skills combined with job satisfaction, and are more likely to stay in the industry than move outside of it. So, when is the right time for training? The time is never right and always right to develop and grow the training culture. If you’ve already developed a strong training culture in your organisation then give yourself credit for taking the industry lead in this. If you haven’t, don’t let it sit in the too-hardbasket. Give yourself, and training, some credit and build the training culture as part of building your successful business. And do give HSI a call on 0800 275 4474 if you’d like to talk to us about training.

For more information or to purchase a copy of The Kitchen, go to www.otago.learnhere.ac.nz

the ideal ingredient for satisfied diners

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BEER

Beer and cheese – a better match

W

ho can forget those great Kiwi cheese and wine parties of the 1970s and ’80s? You know the type of thing; little cubes of rubbery Colby and Edam with a pickled onion or segment of pineapple skewered onto

a cocktail stick. These culinary masterpieces were traditionally enjoyed along with the sugary box wines served in small, globeshaped glasses. (Whatever happened to all those funny little glasses?) Back then serving cheese with wine wasn’t so much about creating wonderful flavour combinations as pairing the bland with the equally bland. It might not have created a clash of flavours and textures, but it was hardly the most rewarding gastronomic exercise. But that was then and this is now; how times,

Karrakass Gouda.

and our preferences, have changed… As New Zealand has grown in stature as a world-class wine producer many Kiwis have come to appreciate the range of flavours and styles available in the world of wine and are buying higher quality wines. And it’s the same with cheeses. Sure there might still be a block of Tasty lurking in the fridge, but it’s probably not the cheese we bring out when entertaining guests. Soft, hard, mild, strong, smooth, sticky, sweet, tart or stinky, these days the stylistic diversity and quality of the best craftproduced New Zealand cheeses can be compared to that of our wines. But what about the basic premise that wine and cheese work well together? Do they really? Even some influential wine writers have their doubts. In his book The Perfect Match wine writer Brian St Pierre says that he’s “had to conclude that the idea of matching red wine with cheese, basically, doesn’t really work most of the time”. He goes on to say that the relationship between wine and cheese is “more like a cordially wary relationship than a real marriage”. Another wine writer, Joanna Simon, in her book Wine with Food, observes, “Matching cheese with wine is fraught with confrontations… The idea that wine and cheese are


BEER

perfect companions is, I’m afraid, one of the great myths.” And in the respected Decanter Magazine, UK wine and food writer Fiona Beckett concurs: “Cheese and wine. Bit of a no-brainer, most people would think. Goes together like bacon and eggs or strawberries and cream, doesn’t it? Well, er, no … As any of you who have had a much-cherished wine ruined by a mouthful of well-matured artisanal

cheese will know from bitter experience, it isn’t the blissful marriage it’s made out to be.” “It’s rare to find wines that echo any flavours in cheese,” claims Garrett Oliver, a noted American beer and food author and protagonist. “With wine, you’re almost always working just with contrasts.” So does beer cope any better? The answer, according to Oliver, is an unequivocal yes. Beer is far less acidic

and usually combines very well with cheese: “Beer has carbonation and bitterness to cut through the paste of cheese and then uses its full range of flavours to play wonderful harmonies. “It’s not very surprising, when you think about it,” says Oliver in his book The Brewmaster’s Table. “Beer and cheese are both traditionally farmhouse products, often made by the same person… They both derive, to some extent, from grasses, though

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one could argue that the cow has a bigger effect on the grasses than the brewhouse does. They are both fermented and aged, and the type of microflora doing the fermenting greatly influences the outcome. They both balance sweetness and acidity with fruitiness and fermentation flavours. Many cheesemakers have become brewers and vice versa, and it’s not hard to see why.” Oliver suggests there are

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BEER

three major considerations when matching beers with cheeses. Firstly, try to achieve a balance between the texture and flavour intensity of the two. Milder cheeses harmonise better with gently-hopped lagers and delicate wheat beers, while stronger cheeses can handle more robust stouts, porters, or barley wines. Next consider whether to ‘complement’ or ‘contrast’ the flavours. To complement you should look to echo some of the flavours in the cheese with similar characteristics in the beer. For example, the nut and caramel aromas found in many aged semi-hard cheeses – mature Goudas and the like – are plentiful in malty beers like brown ales, bocks and doppelbocks.

But contrasting flavours and textures can also work well. Most cheeses are high in fat, many are creamy and they’re almost always mouth coating. Unlike wine, beer’s natural carbonation makes it brisk and palate-cleansing. The yeasty spiciness and soft spritziness of Belgium’s Abbey and Trappist beers (such as Leffe and Chimay) makes them a delightful foil for the fatty texture and flavour of many soft white cheeses. Oliver also reckons that dense, sticky goat cheeses require a more highly carbonated beer. A tart, light-bodied wheat beer, like a German hefeweizen, does a great job of cleansing the palate between mouthfuls. Imports

like Schofferhofer (ideally the orange labelled, cloudy version) and Schneider Weisse are just the ticket, but yeasty weissbiers from Kiwi breweries like Emerson’s, Croucher and Tuatara are equally impressive. Fresh mozzarella is ideal for salads, salsas and pasta dishes. The sweet dairy flavours of this type of cheese contrast beautifully with a nutty, toasty dark lager like Mac’s Black or Founders Long Black. A tangy, sharp, mature farmhouse cheddar (like Barry’s Bay) will contrast delightfully with a hoppy pale ale such as Renaissance Perfection, Moa Five Hop, or Tuatara IPA. Alternately, a malty brown ale like Founders Generation Ale or 8 Wired Rewired will perfectly complement the cheese’s nutty flavours. Serve the beer with a chunk of cheddar, fresh multigrain bread and pickled onions for a classic ploughman’s lunch. And remember, says Oliver, to avoid a clash of acids, pickled foods are always far better matched with beer than wine. With lots of chocolate, coffee and other dry, roasted malt flavours, a big stout or Porter can handle the complexity of a tangy, well-aged cheddar or a sharp, blue vein cheese. Invercargill Pitch Black, Renaissance Elemental Porter and Three Boys Porter are just a few New

Zealand craft beers which will work wonderfully with either of these styles of cheese. But perhaps the ultimate marriage made in beer heaven is the pairing of a creamy blue vein cheese with an English style strong ale or barley wine. Thomas Hardy’s Ale and Fuller’s 1845 Vintage Ale are perfect partners for a Stilton or similarly tangy blue cheese, as is Emerson’s Old 95, a strong pale ale from the multi awardwinning Dunedin brewery. As Garrett Oliver concludes, “When Stilton meets a barley wine, especially a nicely aged English barley wine, the harmony of flavours is nothing short of astonishing. Colston Basset is my favourite; it’s a buttery, earthy version that brings an entire barnyard of flavours to the table. A great barley wine just wraps around those flavours, caresses them with its sweetness, then subsumes them into its profoundly deep malt flavours, a riot of fruit, sherry, baking bread, and earth. Absolutely stunning – the perfect end to a great meal.” Cheers! • More advice on beer and cheese matching (including an excellent downloadable guide to beer and food matching) can be found at the US website www.craftbeer.com.

GEOFF GRIGGS, grill’s BEER RESOURcE WRITER, IS NEW ZEALAND’S MOST AUTHORITATIVE COMMENTATOR ON THE SUBJECT. Dirty Devil, perfect partner for a Emerson’s Old 95.


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Photo: FRENZ

ANIMAL LOVERS

The good egg T

he inclusion of restaurants and cafes into The Good Eggs Awards widens the impact of cage-free eggs beyond the retail market and into the hospitality sector. Many establishments have already taken advantage of public interest in animal welfare matters with regard to their food supply, and these awards are the first to recognise this. The Good Egg Awards have been a feature of the annual food trophy round in Europe and Australia for a while, and the same organisation that manages those awards, Compassion in World Farming, is also involved in the New Zealand effort. New Zealand SPCA is also involved, expanding the influence of its Blue Tick logo into hospitality operations. “We are extremely proud to be able to extend our SPCA Blue Tick programme by introducing the Good

Egg Awards project to New Zealand business,” says Robyn Kippenberger, Royal New Zealand SPCA chief executive officer. “The awards will go a long way to extending the reach of the SPCA Blue Tick programme into the commercial arena. We believe consumers are very much aware of the need to protect the welfare of hens and that producers and retailers will benefit from the focus on humane farming. “While companies that do not currently have the Blue Tick can enter the awards if they use cage-free eggs, we expect the programme will encourage wider uptake of the Blue Tick amongst these companies.” Judging the awards also involves professional kitchen expertise, with the inclusion of chef Jonny Schwass on

By Keith Stewart

the panel. The other judges are: Robyn Kippenberger, National CEO of the RNZSPCA; Katy Read, head of food business at Compassion in World Farming; and, the Green Goddess and urban chook farmer Wendyl Nissen, whose columns for the New Zealand Herald and the Herald on Sunday are widely read by those concerned with the nature of the food they buy. The awards advance the possibility that the SPCA Blue Tick will be promoted by restaurants using cage-free eggs, especially as the public profile of the advantages of cage-free poultry farming become more widely known. Some high quality egg suppliers, such as FRENZ, whose eggs have scored high marks in grill tasting panels, provide cafes that use their eggs with signage promoting the ‘genuine free range’ nature of their eggs.

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A taste of Excellence

France’s Surviving Elite Marc Haeberlin.

S

tanding out amongst the comings and goings of Guide Michelin, other restaurant directories and the ruminations of various restaurant critics from a wide range of publications, there are a number of restaurants in France that deserve to be called the élite. This group of culinary masterworks has shown that key ingredient in any claim to authority – consistency of quality. The following list is a FoodNews editor’s opinion, backed by regular consumption of critical reviews of restaurants as well as the opinions of New Zealand chefs who regularly visit French restaurants as part of their intelligence gathering. Most have the highest Guide Michelin ranking of three stars but not all, as the demands of meeting Michelin’s service standards are increasingly seen as a compromise for top quality food at accessible prices. L’Auberge de l’Ill, Illhauserne, Alsace Still family run with Marc Haeberlin in charge in the kitchen, this French culinary landmark has boasted three-star status for

Yves Camdeborde.

almost half a century (since 1967). Service is impeccable enough for Michelin, but subtle enough for the most modern diner. Paul and his brother, Jean-Pierre, were among the earliest of the classic properties to employ women in the dining room. The food is classic, immaculate, and innovative enough to keep the most adventurous gourmets returning year after year. La Règalade, Paris The home of Yves Camdeborde’s bistro revolution, this remains one of the essential foodie destinations in Paris. Now under the direction of Bruno Doucet in the kitchen, the brilliant desserts such as sourbet aux fruits rouges avec sa gelée de Campari or Grand Marnier soufflé are as essential as a full moon for a late-night walk in the city of romance. Le Maison Pic, Valence The latest generation in charge in this remarkable family establishment is Sophie Pic, considered the finest woman chef in France and the longest to hold sway over Troisgros restaurant.

Troisgros strawberries.

Photo: Pierre Even

34

Michelin three-star quality. Anne-Sophie is the fourth generation of Pics in charge here since 1889, when her great grandmother – also called Sophie – took over Auberge du Pin and committed its kitchen to cuisine de terroir. Her son, André elevated the cuisine even further, gaining a third Michelin star in 1934, which was lost during the move of Restaurant Pic to the centre of Valence, before her grandson, Jacques Pic reclaimed three-star status in 1973. Sophie Pic may not recognise the foam in her great-granddaughter’s repertoire, but much of modern Pic would be familiar to her. Senderens, Paris Another master who abandoned three Michelin stars in the interest of a food, not service focus was chef/patron Alain Senderens. Changing his sumptuous establishment’s name from Lucas Carton, he also demoted the importance of service to a marginal attraction, but his food continues to be spectacular, if not exactly cheap. A particular favourite for those who

Ducasse Plaza Athenee.

Alain Passard.


A taste of Excellence

Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire, Paris Modern and fusion are terms well used in this haunt of Paris gourmands. Indeed, Gagnaire could be one of the originators of the idea of fusion food, and was certainly an early believer in the blending of science and art in the kitchen, although without the technical obsession of Adria. Taste-challenging as well as mind-bending for over a decade makes this worthy of at least one visit. L’Arpege, Paris If you like grand French cuisine in sumptuous style without losing any edge in culinary art, this is arguably the finest restaurant in Paris right now. Chef Alain Passard is nothing if not innovative, but his understanding of the essentials of flavour is second to none. He dumped red meat from his repertoire in 2001, so is something of a vegetarian hero, but crayfish and pigeon are enough to keep staunch carnivores

very happy indeed. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Paris One-time Chef of the Millennium, this is arguably the best place to experience Robuchon’s undeniable culinary genius. Rich without being grandiose, complex and well seasoned with the latest culinary ideas from around the world. Restaurant Bras, Laguiole, Aubrac, Southern France A modern mecca for local and organic fans, the produce-focused cuisine of Michel Bras is amongst the most exciting in France right now. If beef from the rare Aubrac cattle, fresh herbs and vegetables from the restaurant’s gardens or grilled duck liver in the hands of a top chef excite you, then a trip into heartland France should be on your planner. Stella Maris, Paris If the French had an equivalent term to the Kiwi ‘feed’ it could be applied here. Here is generosity of spirit and serving size

matched with kitchen creativity as is rare even in the land of food. Certainly a must if you find eating as entertaining as a night at the theatre. Chef Tateru Yoshino is an unlikely star of Paris. Maison Troisgros, Roanne Up there with Pic and Auberge de l’Ill among France’s culinary greats, the brothers Troigros may have been separated by death, but the food continues to epitomise why France has such a reputation for cuisine. A perfect place for a stop-off between Paris and Restaurant Bras in Laguiole. Since Troisgros gained three-star status in 1968 its consistency has been remarkable. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenée, Paris Located in the famous Hôtel Plaza Athenée, the cafe for the rich and famous also has substantial claim to be the “Best in Paris”, if only because Alain Ducasse’s control of kitchen standards is so high. Expensive, lush in décor and cuisine, with service standards second to none, the food is deceptively simple for such a menu.

SOUS CHEF – uncompromising fine quality

Sous Chef is all about providing quality products to the hospitality industry. They are serious about searching, tasting and sourcing the best products available from around the country and internationally for you and your customers. Sous Chef has exacting standards and stand by the quality of their products.

Sous Chef only carries products from producers who, like themselves, strive only for the best. A family concern of commitment and high values Sous Chef prefers to deal with suppliers similarly values-aligned and has a range of products that have been sourced over the years from farmers, artisan producers and chefs who enjoy food and have a passion for quality. Sous Chef is the creation of Simon and Bryan Gault and was started in 1997 when Simon Gault returned from Europe to find that he could not the same quality of imported products in this country that he had come to expect while in Europe. So what did he do? Well, Gault being Gault, he went and imported a full

40kg wheel of the best Parmigiano Reggiano. So, with just a little extra – granted, very high quality – cheese on his hands, Simon Gault proceeded to hit up his mates in the kitchens around town. Sous Chef grew from these small beginnings to what it is now, the premier supplier of the best quality goods to the best restaurant kitchens in the country. A fine example of what you can find from Sous Chef is the PolyScience Sous Vide Professional. Its aesthetics, portability, easy handling and flexibility are unique and without compromise and it comes at the very good price of just over $1000 (+ GST) to the trade. Go to www.souschef.co.nz or call the nice people at Sous Chef (09) 269-6373.

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COMPANY PROFILE

like their food and wine matches presented à la maison.

35


36

RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION

RANZ welcomes back one of its own MARISA BIDOIS RETURNS TO THE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION OF NEW ZEALAND – THIS TIME AS CEO. JOHN CLARKE SPEAKS WITH HER AS SHE PREPARES FOR HER NEW ROLE.

C

harming, efficient and knowledgeable; Marisa Bidois will be welcomed back to the Restaurant Association by many in the restaurant sector. She returns to the hospo fold as chief executive officer, and with a BA (with distinction) in management/employment relations and completing her LLB, this is a position she is more than qualified to fill. Bidois has a good handle on the inner workings of the association having previously filled dual roles as the Restaurant Association’s employment relations advisor and manager of the ‘taste’ venue in Auckland’s Eden Terrace for three and a half years before leaving to take up an associate position at Transfield Services, an international essential services provider, late last year. Her position as the employment advisor for the association brought her considerable respect as a key contact for the industry and she was instrumental in assisting many operators through often

demanding and distressing employment and business situations. Bidois has been a key columnist in this publication giving sound and invaluable advice on both employment relations and professional development over the years. Her role at ‘taste’ saw her developing and managing all of the association‘s education and training initiatives which included bringing international keynote presenters, Claire Clarke (formerly Head Pastry Chef at The French Laundry) and Fernando Peire (renowned restaurateur and director at The Ivy, London) to New Zealand. She comes from a strong hospitality background and understands – and loves – the real stuff of the industry, with over 15 years‘ experience ranging from cafes to managing some of Auckland’s top restaurants. Bidois has some passionate views on the industry. “Respect for the profession, and it is a profession - probably the larg-

Marisa and Claire Clarke.

est in the country - is what we deserve. But working in this industry is not considered worthy and aside from the top chefs we don’t get the kudos that we deserve. It takes a special kind of person to work in this business; one who can be professional and still have all the skills and personality to make clients feel at ease and have a great experience.” Given that it is hard yakka with very little of that kudos to go round – except to the odd masterchef – grill asks, ‘Why come back?’ “I came back to follow a dream; to work at inspiring the industry I love,” says Bidois. We suspect she took a drop in income to come back to us; but perhaps that is what the hospitality bug does to you. And this is what Fernando Peire emailed to grill when he heard the news; “Great news on Marisa! She deserves it and all best wishes.” We could not have put it better ourselves.

Marisa and Fernando Peire at the Feast.


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Grill Winter 2011  

Grill Winter 2011

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