Thursday, April 28, 2011

Marlborough in the running for Taste of the Year

When Marlborough Farmers' Market started 10 years ago it was only the second such market in the country.

But despite the relatively small population of Blenheim and the surrounding areas, market president Chris Fortune says people have embraced the ethos of "authentic and transparent" food grown close to home.

Out of 43 eligible markets in the Taste Farmers' Markets Awards 2011, Marlborough is sitting in sixth place as customers' favourite, but there is still time to register a vote. Voting closes on Saturday.

"We're doing really well – it's a good sign of the strength of the base and support that we have in Marlborough," Chris said.

"But all the markets are reflective of their own regions – what works in Auckland doesn't necessarily work in Marlborough."

The markets gave food businesses the opportunity to have a retail outlet in their region, Chris said.

Although New Zealand was still relatively new at farmers' markets, it was catching up fast.

"Australia only had them one year before New Zealand so we're still the babies of the group, but we're looking at what's happening in farmers' markets around the world.

"(Marlborough) is certainly a growing market."

In the 2011 awards, Tauranga is leading the voting, with New Zealand's first farmers' market, Hawkes Bay, second.

Chris said rural people were generally more supportive of the markets and cities could struggle to become established. However, once they do they have the population to make them grow.

Those interested can vote at and be entered into a competition to win a trip to Singapore.

Transparency of Marlborough

Having settled in Marlborough over a decade ago after eating the grass on the other side of the fence, it was not a hard decision to start using local produce.

While the rest of the world is busy hunting and gathering from exotic corners of the Earth, the real tastes can be found right here in our own backyard.

We have some of the best aquaculture farms, and practices that produce a word-class product that can be found not only on New Zealand dinner tables but all around the world.

While I am not tempted by flashy promotions and marketing campaigns for the latest food fad or trend, I put just as much emphasis on getting to know the people who produce our proteins and starches as I do on cooking them. This gives me transparency and awareness of what I am cooking and serving to my guests and family.

Having been involved with New Zealand King Salmon for at decade, it is no wonder that the company is now seeking to increase the size of its operation as it meets the needs of the marketplace. I have visited the salmon farms and worked with the staff through the highs and lows

The proof of success is in the pudding or, to put it into context, in the taste of the salmon that is dispatched from Marlborough every day of the week.

Transparency comes with years of hard work, and this is part of the story of why New Zealand King Salmon has become one of the world leaders in salmon production and sustainability.

If a product is local, it gets my attention. If a product is local and tastes great, I am interested. If a product is local, tastes great and has a sustainable and proven record, then I am more than interested. If a product is local, tastes great, has a sustainable record and is produced by a transparent company or people, then it will take pride of place at my dinner table for my family and guests.


2 large salmon fillets

1 cucumber

3 litres water

200g brown sugar

300g salt

3 lemons, sliced


3 egg yolks, beaten

3 tsp dried mustard powder

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp dried oregano

15 drops Tabasco sauce

Olive oil

5 Tbsp white vinegar

Combine all the dressing ingredients except the olive oil in a blender, using low speed. Maintain speed and add the olive oil very slowly until the mixture thickens and is the consistency of mayonnaise.

Season to taste and refrigerate for up to a week, using as needed.

Place the salmon pieces in the brine for at least two hours and then rinse well. Pat dry and place on a smoking rack.

Place 2 cups of smoking chips in the smoker and hot smoke for 15-25 minutes or until the salmon is medium cooked.

Cut the cucumber in half, scoop out the seeds and peel the flesh into long, thin strips. Place the smoked salmon on top, sprinkle with the capers and drizzle with the garlic dressing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

NZ cookbooks at Taste Farmers' Markets Awards 2011

Vote online for your favourtie Farmers' Market and you will also be in to win one of the following New Zealand cookbooks. There are two copies each to be won!

Julie Le Clerc's "Made By Hand" & "Simple Cafe Food" CLICK HERE

Dean Brettschneider's "Global Baker" CLICK HERE

Adie McLelland's "Black Dog Cottage Cook Book"CLICK HERE

The Ripe Deli Cookbook CLICK HERE

Simon & Alison Holst's "100 favourite ways with chicken" CLICK HERE
Winner Chris Brock - Hamilton
Winner Andy Collins - Hamilton

Simon Gault's "Nourish" CLICK HERE

Genevieve Knights' "Pavlova" CLICK HERE

Paul Jobin's "A Pinch of Salt" CLICK HERE

Chris Fortune's "The Kiwi Sizzler Smoking Book" CLICK HERE

Michal Haines' "Scent of the Monsoon Winds" CLICK HERE

Annabelle White's "Annabelle White's Best Recipes"CLICK HERE
Winner Helen Sebastian-Pace - Auckland
Winner Bethaney Davies - Christchurch

Cooking with Charles Royal CLICK HERE

Anne Thorp's "Kai Ora" CLICK HERE

Caffe L'affare's "How to make really good coffee"CLICK HERE

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Taste Farmers Markets New Zealand Awards 2011

News > Tauranga Farmers' Market still in front (just)

Tauranga Farmers' Market still in front (just)

There are now over fifty Farmers’ Markets scattered throughout the country from Keri Keri in the North to Invercargill in the South. Tauranga Farmers' Market is currently leading the consumer voting polls for Best Farmers Market and here is a little taste why...........fresh seasonal produce from the market

From the Tauranga Website CLICK HERE

Organic orchard lifeblood of market |

Organic orchard lifeblood of market | "In Marlborough's endless sea of grapes, Bob and Jennie Crum's organic Renwick orchard offers something of a life-raft.

With 20 varieties of plums, seven of blueberries, a feijoa block and newly planted kiwifruit vines, Windsong Orchard's diversity is perfectly pitched to meet the Marlborough Farmers' Market season.

'We've tried to get the widest range of production for the longest time over the season, set up basically for the Farmers' Market,' says Ms Crum.

The development of the orchard has been closely linked to the local producer market, established 10 years ago, with strong support from the Crums."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Marlborough Puffery

You might be forgiven for thinking that we live in a town that is full of negative doom and gloom citizens, this is judged by the number of personality driven media campaigns and Puffery that is currently placed on the Marlborough District Council.

Our present and past council staff and councillor’s fronted by Mayor Alistair Sowman have done a outstanding job of representing our region, the assets that we have now and the infrastructure that we want for our children. They gather all of the facts, they make decisions based on these and they move towards the future.

The majority of negative people have half the facts, are personality driven and keep pulling things backwards and sideways, and are the first to preach a undemocratic society or that they are exercising there democratic right depending on what side of the fence they are standing on today.

I will personally contribute, to a one way air-ticket to Australia, to those negative people that feel that they are hard done by here in Marlborough. Part of our role as community citizens is to support the people who put themselves forward into the position of governance, right or wrong they me be, they have all of the facts and work in all of our best interests as a community. To redeem your "I am a Negative B**** " voucher for your one way air ticket please send a self addressed envelope to P O BOX 991, Blenheim


Chris Fortune


Professional Love Marlborough Consultant

PS: Great Communities don’t just happen ! They are created, nurtured and substained by caring, connected and involved residents…..Peter Kenyon

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Taste Cooking Demos in the super city

CHRIS FORTUNE at the Taste Cooking Demos in Auckland Sunday 10 th April

Since winning HELL’S KITCHEN in May 2003 Chris has relises he can no longer stand behind a Cow

Having been busy working and running restaurants for the last 15 years he is now enjoying helping raise his young 8 year old son and 4 year old daughter. Never to be far from the hotspots though, Chris is also currently working for the Heartland Hotel Blenheim and the Marlborough Convention Centre as the Executive Chef and presides as the Chairperson for the Marlborough Farmers Market and chairperson of the New Zealand Farmers Market Association. Chris is passionate about all NZ food producers and supports local fresh honest cuisine. This gives him a much broader and deeper appreciation of how produce gets to the kitchen. Having run many different kitchens and an active member of different organisations both in Marlborough and New Zealand Chris understands that no longer can a chef hide in his kitchen; they must represent their philosophy and understanding of hospitality.