Reviews and News
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 www.outstandingintheirfields.org.nzBoth 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.
Blenheim chef Chris Fortune gives his recipes for Gnocchi and Preserved Lemon and Tomato Salsa.
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 outstandingintheirfields.org.nz.
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.
OUTSTANDING MARLBOROUGH MUSSELS WITH LEEKS, MARLBOROUGH GARLIC AND LEMON
2kg live Marlborough mussels
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.
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.
TIP TOP MUSSEL FRITTERS
(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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
D A Y
Wider Horizons Toastmasters Club
WED MARCH 16th 10 – 12 noon
St Mary’s Parish Church Hall, Maxwell Road, Blenheim
· 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”
ecipes 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.
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