Reviews and News

Kiwi food legends Julie Biuso and David Schofield to end nationwide tour

posted Oct 5, 2011, 12:40 AM by Chris Fortune   [ updated Oct 5, 2011, 12:40 AM ]

Auckland, October 4, 2011.

While New Zealand’s rugby players are massively celebrated, some equally important field stars are finally getting some of the much-deserved spotlight. Nationwide Farmers’ Market festival Out Standing in their Fields has been showing off our best artisan food producers and chefs over the last month to affirm our international reputation for excellent food and wine. Multi-award winning food writer Julie Biuso and Chef of the Year David Schofield will be giving Auckland a taste of genuine kiwi cooking for FREE with the region’s finest local seasonal ingredients at Parnell Farmers’ Market on Saturday 15th, and Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market Friday 23rd respectively, 10am-noon. For more info, check out

Both chefs embrace eating locally and seasonally. For Biuso, it’s the short supply chain that’s important: “it hasn’t had to travel so far (so it is also kinder on the planet) and generally isn’t stored for long periods. Think of asparagus, picked, packed, off to the market, sold and in the cooking pot within 1-2 days. Eating seasonally keeps us in touch with the planet, ensures we eat food at its best while it is full of nutrients. It’s generally cheaper, too.” Schofield reiterates: “I'm not only supporting the local producers but I'm also buying things at their peak for freshness and taste,” Schofield states. “I really love talking to and chatting with producers who care and love their craft and especially finding out from them a little history about their produce.” Schofield grew up in Wellington but has grown to appreciate Auckland’s food culture: “What I do love about Auckland is the fact that it's a melting pot of cultures and flavours. Seeing some great producers setting up in Auckland and producing artisan produce similar to what they would get from the home countries. Just look at the local mozzarella and olive oils.” Biuso also loves the whirlwind of international influences utilising our own fresh produce. She has her own vegetable garden like many kiwis and chickens, all in a busy

Farmers’ Markets NZ is steering the shows as part of the REAL New Zealand Festival, a series of quintessentially kiwi events to see and do around the country. Biuso notes what New Zealand has to cherish: “Freshness. Every visitor comments on it. As soon as you travel you can’t help but pine for fresh salads, fresh fruit, unadulterated food that tastes good. NZ is literally the land of milk and honey. I love our artisan producers and the pride they take in producing top-notch food.” Farmers’ Markets NZ Chairperson Chris Fortune agrees, adding that “supporting Farmers’ Markets means supporting local producers and communities, developing relationships between both producers and consumers.” To reward Farmers’ Market shoppers, each show will draw a “Market VIP”, who gets prioritised and special tastings.

Various businesses have jumped up to support real NZ food, including InterislanderTaste Magazine,FMG Insurance, and The Breeze
Farmers’ Markets NZ

Radio NZ Interview with Jim Mora

posted Sep 4, 2011, 5:24 PM by Chris Fortune

Blenheim chef Chris Fortune gives his recipes for Gnocchi and Preserved Lemon and Tomato Salsa.

Outstanding in their Fields

posted Aug 21, 2011, 4:26 PM by Chris Fortune

Out Standing in Their Fields is coming to Marlborough.

No, it's not a bunch of rugby players from all over the world throwing a ball around while wearing overpriced shirts!

The real Out Standing in Their Fields is all about cooks and chefs using fresh produce direct from local producers.

It is coming to Marlborough on September 3 and will then feature in 15 other towns around New Zealand in the next two months.

For more information, visit

At a time when we are all looking at the cost of everyday things in life, it is important to remember to buy food seasonally. This means planning your meal with what you have, rather than what you want.

This is the key to lowering your food bills – you may want tomatoes and capsicums, but unless you are prepared to pay a small fortune, you are better off cooking with leeks and celery.

You want lamb racks or pork chops, but long, slow-braised lamb necks and sticky pork ribs are a cheaper and tastier option.

Out Standing in their Fields is all about showcasing the grassroots cooking of New Zealand – what comes from the farm fields, kitchen bench, paddock or sea to your dinner plate.

Of course, this is nothing new. This is what our mothers did, and what their mothers did before them – the ability to adapt and use what is around us rather than expecting everything to be available all the time.

Sometimes, cooks and chefs forget this very simple message and order goods from all over the world – snow peas from South Africa, capsicums and tomatoes from Australia, smallgoods from Italy and sauces and essences from France.

Out Standing in Their Fields is about reconnecting the dots that hold communities and businesses together, trading in your own communities first before exporting.

I am sure there will be some outstanding rugby played and some outstanding meals and parties all over New Zealand while we enjoy the sporting event of the decade, but the No1 outstanding event will be in our own backyard on September 3, Father's Day, at the Marlborough Farmers' Market, 10am to noon, Queen St car park, as local chefs and cooks use local products to provide you with an outstanding demonstration of grassroots cooking.


2kg live Marlborough mussels

500g leeks

30g Marlborough garlic 1/3 cup sauvignon blanc white wine

Zest of 3 lemons

2 Tbsp grape seed oil

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3 Tbsp garden herbs

Sweat the leeks and garlic. Add the white wine and lemon zest and simmer for four minutes.

In a large separate pot, place the de-bearded and scrubbed mussels and cook over a high heat until opened (about three to six minutes). Remove any that do not open. Toss through the leeks and lemon. Tip on to a large platter and serve with crusty bread for all to share.

Taste Farmers' Markets Awards 2011

posted Mar 28, 2011, 1:46 AM by Chris Fortune

To be in to win, vote for your Favorite Farmers' Market CLICK HERE

Vote online and you will also be entered into the draw to win one of the following New Zealand cookbooks. There are two copies each to be won! 

Julie Le Clerc's "Made By Hand" & "Simple Cafe Food" CLICK HERE

Dean Brettschneider's "Global Baker"  CLICK HERE

Adie McLelland's "Black Dog Cottage Cook Book"CLICK HERE

The Ripe Deli Cookbook CLICK HERE

Simon & Alison Holst's "100 favourite ways with chicken"  CLICK HERE

Simon Gault's "Nourish" CLICK HERE

Genevieve Knights' "Pavlova"  CLICK HERE

Paul Jobin's "A Pinch of Salt"  CLICK HERE

Chris Fortune's "The Kiwi Sizzler Smoking Book"  CLICK HERE

Michal Haines' "Scent of the Monsoon Winds"  CLICK HERE

Annabelle White's "Annabelle White's Best Recipes"CLICK HERE

Cooking with Charles Royal CLICK HERE

Anne Thorp's "Kai Ora"   CLICK HERE

Havelock Mussel Festival 2011

posted Mar 15, 2011, 2:24 AM by Chris Fortune

My favorite festival is about to happen  on March 19, 2011 the atmosphere is great, the food is exceptionally tasty and fresh and the  entertainment  is first class but the overriding number one reason that the Havelock mussel festival is my favorite in NZ  is the community spirit and fun that i have their every year.

NZ's first ever Master-chef winner, Brett McGregor  will be providing cooking demos this year in the live cooking theater sponsored by Regal Salmon where you will be treated to the taste of the freshest and tastiest mussels and Marlborough seafood.  Local school children from Havelock and Linkwater will also assist myself and showcase the future NZ Master- chefs to the festival goers as we slice, dices, steam and bubble and boil in the kitchen. 

The Havelock Mussel Festival Committee has invested into the local schools and we are currently running  a series of cooking demos called "What¹s on your Plate"  It is an inquiry into the influences on our food choices using the social format approach.  Our focus  is to look at what food choices are grown locally (and what is more local than Mussels !)  and what is available to  students and their families for consumption, as well as the impact that this has on them, their community and globally.  Mother nature and seasonality are mixed with some fun to then be baked into a interactive  and social kitchen experience.  Students from these cooking demos at Havelock and Link-water School will be attending the festival and participating in the cooking demos

My Love affair

posted Mar 11, 2011, 3:19 AM by Chris Fortune

My love affair began a number of years ago.

I did not tell my wife at first, as I knew she would not approve, but as time went on, she accepted that we were just meant to be.

All the signs were there – the empty pottles in the recycling, the shells in the compost bin that were not there the day before, and the sneaky container hidden at the back of the fridge.

What is there not to love about the world-famous Marlborough mussel? It is affordable and sustaining, not just where it is farmed but also on the plate.

Mussels are environmentally friendly and go well with most other foods, particularly at the barbecue, where they are extremely easy to cook.

So tell me – what there is not to love about the mighty Marlborough mussel?

Once again the Marlborough Mussel Festival is on our back doorstep. We get to spend a whole day submerged in the world of mussels while enjoying the great hospitality of the Havelock community.

It is one of the most enjoyable events I do each year, with cooking demonstrations and catching up with people and family as we make a day of it.

The humble mussel does not always get the attention it deserves, and it is the poorer cousin of Marlborough oysters and scallops, but I don't see them having a big party.

This is the mussel's day and Havelock's big event, with profits being put back into the community.

While our Marlborough mussels may travel the world and show up everywhere, from fine dining restaurants to humble buffets, you can't help thinking that this multimillion-dollar industry in our backyard, a lot of which may not be seen above the surface of the water, certainly knows how to celebrate the success of what a community can achieve over the many decades it has taken to make the New Zealand Greenshell mussel world-famous.


(If you use Vogel's bread, then call them Vogel's mussel fritters.)

2 cups cooked chopped mussels

1 carrot, finely grated

2 Marlborough shallots, diced

1 chilli, finely chopped

A large handful of coriander or chervil, roughly chopped

2 cloves Marlborough garlic, finely minced

5 slices white toast bread, diced into small cubes (5mm square maximum)

Slug of Marlborough white wine

2 eggs

1/3 cup flour

Salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Heat a little grapeseed oil in a pan and shallow fry spoonfuls of the mix. Drain on paper towels and serve with fresh lemon or lime.

Picton Farmers' Market proposed

posted Mar 11, 2011, 2:49 AM by Chris Fortune

The Marlborough Farmers' Market committee has postponed plans to set up a market in Picton, but would like to hear more from residents about the idea.

Market chairman Chris Fortune said the committee had thought about having a market in Picton for a few years, and talked to the Marlborough District Council about it in December.

Mr Fortune initially wanted a monthly market, beginning in March, but said more time was needed to organise it.

The committee still hopes to run a trial market from December 2011 through to April 2012, and wants to hear Picton residents' thoughts on the idea, particularly where to hold it and when (Saturday mornings or midweek).

The Picton Waterfront and Nelson Square are among the locations considered so far.

The Marlborough Farmers' Market is held at the A and P Showgrounds in Blenheim on Sunday mornings from October to June, and in Market Place in Blenheim on Thursday afternoons for shorter seasons in winter and summer.

It is one of many markets throughout the country that provide a place for local producers to sell their goods.

A Picton market would allow Marlborough food producers to sell direct to Picton, as well as giving Picton residents another place to shop, Mr Fortune said.

Council reserves officer Dafydd Pettigrew said he had been involved in the discussions on a farmers' market and did not think there would be a problem obtaining a permit.

Mr Fortune said several Marlborough producers had already expressed interest.

Do you want a farmers' market in Picton? Where and when should it be? Email your suggestions to

Wider Horizons Toastmasters Club

posted Mar 11, 2011, 2:46 AM by Chris Fortune

O P E N    D A Y

Wider Horizons Toastmasters Club

WED MARCH 16th 10 – 12 noon

St Mary’s Parish Church Hall, Maxwell Road, Blenheim


Programme includes


·       Marlborough Olive Oil Use

and Tasting Demonstration (interactive)

Chris Fortune is presently Chef and Chairperson of the Marlborough Farmers Market and also Chef at the Heartland Hotel and Marlborough Convention Centre.   He is passionate about local fresh cuisine…. and Toastmasters


·       Renate von Petersdorff – Picton Artist and Potter

Renate, one of our newer members, is presently exhibiting at Highfield Winery and talks about her firing techniques and glazes


Gold Coin Entry

For more details contact Cathy Brown 573 9111 -  021 045 1799

“Celebrating Toastmasters International Week”

Taste of Good Books

posted Feb 3, 2011, 8:39 AM by Chris Fortune   [ updated Feb 14, 2011, 4:02 PM ]

To celebrate Marlborough Wine Festival, Bookworld Blenheim is hosting an evening of Marlborough food and wine tasting on February 10.   Wine critic Belinda Jackson will discuss wine and food matching, and Chris Fortune will talk about his enthusiasm for local food and for recipes that demonstrate the unique taste and flavour of Marlborough food.  Recipes will be available, and copies of his cookbooks and of cookbooks by other Marlborough authors will be on sale.

Visitors will be able to taste Auntsfield wines and place an order at 20 per cent discount for their favourites.

The event has been co-organised by store assistant Janet Steggle.

"We are trying to tie in events with what's going on in the community," she said.

"Obviously the focus here is on the local aspect of the Marlborough Wine Festival and the Marlborough Farmers' Market."

The event opens at 5.30pm, with a talk starting at 6pm.

Those wanting to go should call 5784909 by Tuesday, February 8 to reserve a place.

Entry is by gold coin donation to Marlborough Community Hospice.

New Zealand's leading Garlic & Specialists food Manufacturer

posted Feb 1, 2011, 8:42 AM by Chris Fortune

Chris Fortune, Executive Chef of Marlborough Convention Center and Heartland Hotel comments

" The Springbrook product range is exactly what busy chefs are looking for as the quality and consistency is guaranteed to be of the highest standard and I have a philosophy that if somebody can make it better than I can then it deserves a place in my Kitchen both at work and home. When you want the best product available on the market place then you do do not need to look any further than the Springbrook range of garlic and other value added sauces and condiments."

New Zealand's leading Garlic & Specialists food Manufacturer

Springbrook's extensive range of gourmet products will instantly enhance your menu and make your customers dining experience a dream come true!

For 18 years Springbrook has led the way with an outstanding commitment to producing garlic and other specialty products that have been developed by some of the most competent chefs in New Zealand and providing solutions for the Foodservice, Retail and Export markets.

Looking for a processed, peeled, fruit or vegetable product? Can't find the perfect sauce or seasoning? Springbrook is devoted to process to your unique specifications and bring to you quality product you need, your way, at a very competitive price.

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