2010 is almost over and being the last column in the year it is truly fitting to look back and see the highlights that have happened. Slow Food Marlborough celebrated regional Marlborough with monthly visits to local food producers and we did everything from Milking cows, collecting honey, sharpening knives to cooking over vines. We tasted the sweetest strawberries freshly picked, drunk Italian wine with local foods, and lifted the humble but satisfying Globe Artichoke out of the garden and into the pot. What started off three years ago as just a group of people sharing at the dinner table has now grown into one of the largest conviviums in in NZ – good things take time this group is all about taking the time to appreciate them. We are a bunch of unlikely foodies, oldish, youngish, familyish and from all around the world but choosing Marlborough to be our home, humble and modest but most of all hungry for knowledge
Farmers Markets around NZ have gone from strength to strength and a highlight for me was visiting the Gisborne Farmers Market and also the Hamilton Farmers Market, both not regions normally associated with culinary aspirations but certainly proving to me that the real food producers of NZ are standing up for themselves. Hosting visitors from England and America only strengthened the resolve to ensure that Farmers Markets are Authentic and transparent to all, for this is the only thing that differentiates us from everybody else. As the Chair of a Executive group located right around NZ it was a real pleasure to be working with some of the best foodies in the county
I found the time (in the middle of night) to write a new cookbook which is a step by step guide to smoking food and the Kiwi Sizzler Smoking book is now available in all good bookstores nationwide. I look forward to promoting this in 2011 as it will give me a good excuse to go fishing with the father in law to catch some Moki or Maori Chiefs at Marfels beach this summer.
My first book, Pick, Preserve Serve is now into its second print and it was satisfying to be told by the publisher that even I had to wait for more to be printed when I ordered earlier in the year.
The Marlborough Convention Centre and Heartland Hotel provide me with the heart of what I do, cooking – Christina, Helen and Abby are the backbone of the kitchens that I oversee and this is where the real ground work is done, day after day, night after night. With meals in the tens of thousands having been served over the last 12 months it is a great pleasure to work with a great team.
The Marlborough Community Gardens have gone from strength to strength, and has solid foundations for stage 2 that will be started this year – another great group of people that truly do make a difference in the Marlborough region and as a Trustee member it is with great satisfaction that I see the garden not only flourish but bear all of the fruits of the hard work put in
The Marlborough Farmers’ Market is now celebrating its 10 th year and hats off to Jennie Crum and the rest of the committee who put in the hard work behind the scenes and I look forward to working with them to continue making it a venue for local food producers to sell from. This formula that Hawkes Bay and Marlborough started 10 years ago is now emulated right around NZ and we seeing the difference that supporting local can make in regional communities.
Enjoy the rest of 2010 and I trust that 2011 is just as satisfying at the dinner table
Marfels Beach Smoked Fish
By gently curing and then smoking the fillets of white fish, you create a satisfying and tasty snack or meal that can be enjoyed any time of the day with crusty bread.
3kg Fish fillets, skin on
600 ml Water
¼ Cup sea salt
2 T Sugar
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 cups Wood chips soaked for 30 mins and drained
Mix the water, salt, sugar and zest together and submerge the fish pieces in the brine and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the brine and pat dry, place on smoking rack and smoke over a low heat for 40-60 mins or until cooked and translucent