Day one: Savour New Zealand – the story so far

Savour New Zealand One day down but one more to go – will I be still standing at the end of it? Yesterday was the first day of Savour New Zealand and it had to be experienced to be believed. I took four from a choice of sixteen masterclasses. The sessions may only have been an hour long but the chefs and cooks managed to get through a huge amount in that space of time. As they prepared dishes in front of the audience there was a kitchen frantically working backstage to produce and send out individual tastings of each dish. With an average of two tastings to each of the classes – and that’s not to mention the accompanying wine – it’s no wonder that I’m having a breakfast of lemon and ginger tea this morning! I don’t have much time as it all kicks off at 9.30am again but see below for some highlights.

Things I tasted: Patricia Wells‘ Six Minute Salmon with Rosemary at 9.55am (Bistro Cooking); Chicken with Mole Sauce, Chocolate Tart (Craving Chocolate); Dean Brettschneider‘s fabulous Sourdough bread (Knead the Dough); Rabbit Bistayeea and Sauteed King Prawns with Ras El Hanour, Angel Hair Pasta and Lentil Vinaigrette from Greg Malouf (Middle Eastern Magic). And that’s not to forget the fabulous seafood lunch courtesy of Pacific Catch – a freshly shucked Bluff oyster for starters followed by divinely coloured Seafood and Saffron Stew with Garlic and Parsley Scones. If you were hungry after that there was a lemon cake placed on each table. All those dishes, of course, came with accompanying wine.

Chefs and cooks I met: I interviewed three people yesterday. Greg Malouf talked to me about the month he just spent in the Lebanon and Syria, Dean Brettschneider shared his crusading-like zeal for teaching people about bread and Anthony Bourdain was undoubtedly much nicer than he comes across in his books! These interviews will all appear on the site – just as soon as I’ve a chance to transcribe them.

Cookbooks I now want to buy: I own all of Anthony Bourdain’s books already – but they’re in Ireland. Not very helpful if you want someone to sign your copy. Thanks to the Christchurch library I am familiar with books by many of the presenters but that doesn’t stop my dawdling in the on-site bookshop! Dean Brettschneider has three books out and the newest one, Taste – Baking with Flavour, is something that I’d like to get my hands on soon. I have been fascinated by Greg Malouf’s first two books – Arabesque and Moorish – and am looking forward to his new one, to be released in November. I think Patricia Wells’ Bistro is going to be added to my collection at some stage soon and maybe, along with that, her James Beard award-winning The Provence Cookbook.

Time to get out the door – let day two begin!



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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2 Responses

  1. Rena says:

    Very interesting, Caroline. Sounds like a yummy way to spend a weekend. Why don’t we have something like that in Ireland?

  2. Caroline says:

    Good question! I don’t know if people are as interested in food in Ireland as in New Zealand and they would certainly have to be in order to pay $750 for a ticket. I must admit that I initially thought the price was high but, for the kind of weekend that it was, I’m now thinking that it was nearly reasonable. Maybe we’ll have to start off something similar in Ireland at some stage in the future. Any interest?

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