The days when you get a call from your boyfriend saying “don’t plan anything for dinner tonight. I want to take you out” don’t come too often so, no matter what you’ve been thinking about cooking, it’s time to put it aside. Especially when you discover that you’re going to New Zealand’s only Moroccan restaurant – Simo’s in Christchurch.
Bibliocook - All About Food Blog
Published in Ireland’s Food & Wine magazine in June 2005.Most people think of New Zealand and imagine spectacular scenery, lots of wine, and, thanks to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, a landscape populated with hobbits. But, since arriving in New Zealand six months ago, I’ve discovered that an interest in food permeates the very air the people here breathe. There are numerous food magazines, lots of cookbooks by New Zealand writers, the meals you get in cafés, restaurants and people’s homes are, almost invariably, fantastic and every road trip is punctuated with stops at country stalls selling fruit and vegetables, hazelnuts, cheese and yoghurt. Go to the farmers’ markets and you’ll find an emphasis on organic and regional foods alongside a wide range of artisan food makers. Much is known about New Zealand wine – Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has a justifiably excellent international profile – but the world is only just starting to wake up to the innovative food industry humming away in this little country.
One of the birthday presents that came from a very thoughtful friend in Ireland was a very welcome book of Irish Cooking by Clare Connery. While this was a book that I might not have ever noticed in bookshops in Ireland, having several Irish cookery books already, here in New Zealand it is a pure treasure.
I’ve been temping lately and Friday was my last day of work in a lovely office so I decided to make some queencakes aka buns aka muffins aka cupcakes aka fairycakes (take your pick!) to bring in for morning tea.
While I was still in Ireland when The Restaurant television series started, the lack of a television set precluded me from actually seeing the stars in action but the recently published book of the series gives a good picture of how the show worked.