Food and Drink

Community

Community

As we were record­ing his pod­cast the oth­er day, former beer writer of the year Phil Cook said some­thing that has stuck with me. He said that 2014 was the year of the beer com­munity. Actu­ally, he said that too many of his com­munity ideas had happened at the end of 2014, so it was […]

Being Middle Earth in the Middle Kingdom

Being Middle Earth in the Middle Kingdom

Zhong­guo is the Chinese name for China, and trans­lates lit­er­ally as ‘Middle King­dom’. It is a coun­try that sits in the middle of the north­ern hemi­sphere, and with 1.4 bil­lion people is a power­ful, re-emer­­­ging eco­nomy. The say­ing usu­ally goes: ‘If 1 per­cent of China’s pop­u­la­tion enjoyed wine, then the prob­lems of the inter­na­tion­al wine […]

The Larder

The Larder

In the day­time, The Larder’s plain decor and food cab­in­ets suit its descrip­tion as a diner or cof­fee shop, but after dark it has lofti­er ambi­tions. After all, few cof­fee shops start the meal with an amuse-bouche, but we were served demi­tasses of sweet­corn soup with pars­­ley-infused olive oil. The emphas­is was on ‘sweet’, though […]

Say hello to halloumi

Say hello to halloumi

After fla­vour, I con­sider tex­ture to be the most import­ant ele­ment of any recipe. This salad com­bines three lay­ers of my favour­ite tex­ture — crisply crunchy, prefer­ably from being recently fried — to make some­thing very simple but rather spec­tac­u­lar. As the weath­er gets colder, it can start to feel like there’s lit­er­ally noth­ing fresh […]

The humble rice-paper roll

The humble rice-paper roll

Fresh spring roll, sum­mer roll or salad roll is a Viet­namese dish tra­di­tion­ally con­sist­ing of cooked shrimp, rice noodles, and plenty of fresh herbs and veget­ables for fla­vour and crunch. Once your ingredi­ents are prepped, the rolling fun begins as sheets of rice paper are softened in water and used for the wrap­pers. These light, […]

Brewurism

Brewurism

I’ve been tri­al­ling this word for a while now: brewur­ism. It’s a clev­er port­manteau of ‘brew­ing’ and ‘tour­ism’. For too long Wel­ling­ton has been the poor cous­in of the Wair­ar­apa when it comes to alco­hol-based tour­ism. But now our new crop of inner-city brew­er­ies and cel­lar doors are pulling in vis­it­ors who have been drinking […]

Blackenbrook celebrates ten years

Blackenbrook celebrates ten years

Black­en­brook vine­yard recently cel­eb­rated its tenth birth­day. As vine­yards go, it is pretty young — not even a teen­ager yet. Don’t let its youth con­fuse you though. Its wines would sug­gest a much more estab­lished vine­yard. The idyll­ic 20-hec­tare vine­yard, with a north­ern aspect, looks over Tas­man and the Moutere Inlet. Ursula and Daniel Schwarzenbach […]

Whitebait

Whitebait

We’re told that White­bait is not just a relo­cated White House; it’s part of the trend away from stil­ted ‘fine din­ing’ to a more cas­u­al exper­i­ence, though still with high-end food and pri­cing. There are no cer­tainly no white table­cloths, but there’s also no mis­tak­ing this for a ram­bunc­tious diner. The con­ver­sa­tion was a polite, […]

Sweet tooth

Sweet tooth

Being born in April, one’s mind can’t help but turn, cur­rently, to thoughts of cake. Actu­ally, my mind turns to thoughts of cake most days of the year. For those of you who aren’t April babies, there’s still a gen­er­al sweet-tooth mood in the air with the pres­ence of East­er eggs — which have inev­it­ably been […]

Eat like an oligarch

Eat like an oligarch

There are a lot of parts to this dish, so the recipes can be made togeth­er to assemble the com­plete dish, or each indi­vidu­al com­pon­ent can be made on its own and used in a dif­fer­ent way. I believe in treat­ing anim­als with respect, and to me that means using happy, free-range anim­als and leaving […]

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