At last; An Update!
It has been some time since this blog was updated but don’t think I have been sunning myself on a tropical island all that time; its been a busy time with all sorts of things.
From a cooking point of view I have had some amazing experiences, and have thoroughly enjoyed doing plenty of demonstrations, and also catering for special occasions and functions.
Some of these demonstrations and catering have been with my fellow MasterChef contestants. Leo and I did a demonstration at the Hawarden Show back in March which was great fun. Leo has now moved up to Auckland, so I ended up doing a dinner for Richard Loe and his guests on my own that Leo and I had intended doing together but it all worked out OK.
Richard had been the successful bidder for the Glenmark Rugby Club fundraising auction, securing our services to cook a dinner for 12. I did a seven course degustation for them, including the lamb rump, neck and jus with carrot puree, and a smoked fillet of beef, seaweed salad with tuna mayonnaise. The guests had a marvelous time and I really enjoyed the opportunity.
I also did two days as Guest Chef at the Two Rivers Café here in Cheviot over the New Year period along with Glenda Clark. We did an a la carte menu and the feature dish was the middle eastern inspired lamb backstraps. The place was booked out!
The Marlborough Wine & Food festival was another busy event, working with Hayley Bilton and Glenda. We did the charity dinner at Alan Scott winery and had a stall at the festival with Cloudy Bay Clams. Glenda’s spanish inspired Cloudy Bay clams proved very popular and people enjoyed trying the freshly shucked clams.
Glenda and I also had the most wonderful time visiting New York and San Franscico in April. Watch this space for a separate blog on that trip. We certainly had some memorable eating experiences!
One event that still makes me laugh thinking about it was the presentation that Glenda and I did at a Lions Club meeting in Christchurch, where we also judged the biscuit baking competition. It was a fun time.
Glenda is now furiously busy in her new restaurant, Shop 8 in New Regent Street. I’ve dined there a few times and the food is fantastic. If you haven’t already been, you should go soon!
My work at Harris Meats has also been a big part of the year so far. I’ve really enjoyed working in the small goods, and feel that my sausage making skills are right up there now. Going out to visit clients is also really valuable. The trips to visit our Blenheim clients have been a highlight, getting such positive feedback from them and I always enjoy visiting this area (and no, not just for the wine).
Pegasus Bay are long time clients of Harris Meats and I have had the opportunity to dine there twice for lunch recently. I just love the way they use the seasonal and local produce, and I absolutely devoured the beautiful entrée of figs and cheese; so simple but so divine. The pig’s head ballotine may sound horrific to some, but well worth trying. The pigs head is boned out completely, poached, stuffed, braised in liquid and then roasted in a hot dry heat. The result is a gorgeous rich dish, crispy on the outside, soft and succulent on the inside, with the ultimate pork flavour. It was served with quince, complementing the dish beautifully. If you see this on the menu, don’t hesitate to try and don’t worry, as you will see from the photo below, it has no resemblence to a pig’s head.
My work with Harris Meats is ongoing, I’ll be doing some supermarket demonstrations and promotions mainly at the New Worlds so be sure to check out this website or my facebook page to see when these are. We are very proud of the pork we are producing, all sourced locally and free-farmed. The result is the most tasty and tender pork you could possibly ask for and I’ll be doing some demonstrations to show you some simple and tasty ways of using this top product. I’ve got more recipes in the development line and these will be added to this website at various times.
As brand ambassador for Harris Meats, I will be doing a bit of travelling around to some of our clients, so you may well see me in Nelson, Marlborough and of course Canterbury and perhaps even over on the West Coast as I visit the Greymouth New World.
I will also be continuing to do catering for your special occasions, whether it be in your own home, or at a suitable venue. You can give me a call on 0272 484235 or always contact Harris Meats who will pass messages on.