Catalina Bay Farmers' Market

Last Sunday we headed for Catalina Bay Farmers' Market.  Housed in an old Airforce hangar at Hobsonville Point, it’s been three years since the last visit.  It may have moved hangars, changed its name and now operates Friday-Sunday, but it was disappointing to discover that the ferries still don’t operate on weekends.  Thankfully, with ample parking onsite, it’s less than 30 minutes’ drive (off-peak) from Auckland’s CBD.

 Tackle the stairs or follow the path down the road; there is limited parking on the wharf

Tackle the stairs or follow the path down the road; there is limited parking on the wharf

 Join the throngs of people enjoying the weekend market

Join the throngs of people enjoying the weekend market

Ready for a coffee we wandered towards the water and grabbed an outside table at Fabric. With views of the water, ferry wharf and soon to be opened coastal walkway, it was a pleasant way to kick things off and loved by locals and visitors alike.

 Enjoying coffee outside at Fabric

Enjoying coffee outside at Fabric

 Newly built boardwalk

Newly built boardwalk

 Hobsonville Point ferry wharf

Hobsonville Point ferry wharf

It was then time to explore the farmers’ market. With a variety of stallholders from: fresh produce from Salty River Farm; an amazing array of Whitestone Cheese; delicious Lalele Organic gelato and freshly squeezed juices; rice, beans and grains; cakes, chocolate and coffee; to artisan breads – Gourmet Gannet are soon to start building an on site artisan bakery which opens in early 2019 – it would be easy to simply grab fresh meat or chicken, chorizo sausages and lunch would be ready in no time. But if you’d prefer something ready to eat think bagels, burgers, pastries, crepes, fritters and more.

 Walking inside, it’s a hive of activity

Walking inside, it’s a hive of activity

 Beautiful salad greens and herbs from Salty River Farms

Beautiful salad greens and herbs from Salty River Farms

 A cabinet full of Whitestone Cheese

A cabinet full of Whitestone Cheese

 Smiling faces at Lalele Organic, while Mulan (background) keeps the juice machine going

Smiling faces at Lalele Organic, while Mulan (background) keeps the juice machine going

 Gourmet Gannet, artisan bakers

Gourmet Gannet, artisan bakers

Show your support and visit Catalina Bay Farmers' Market soon. You’ll find them on Hobsonville Point wharf: Friday 11am - 7pm and Saturday and Sunday 8:30am - 2pm.

With glimpses of blue skies, longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures, that should be all the encouragement we need to explore further than our own backyards. 

Enjoy

Michelle

Eat, Drink Craggy Range

Heading to Hawke’s Bay last November an invitation to explore the kitchen garden, chat with the new head chef and of course, eat and drink at Craggy Range Winery situated on the banks of the Tuki Tuki River, was an amazing way to kick off the NZ Foodwriters' conference and Summer F.A.W.C!.

 Craggy Range Winery from Te Mata Peak lookout

Craggy Range Winery from Te Mata Peak lookout

 Dine alfresco on Terroir's terrace

Dine alfresco on Terroir's terrace

Handing us a glass of 2015 Craggy Range Rosé, we embarked on a leisurely walk through the vines to the kitchen garden – one imagines kitchen hands easily clock up their steps each day, as they run back and forwards fulfilling last minute requests for freshly picked vegetables and handfuls of herbs – set within lush protective hedges.

 2015 Craggy Range Rosé

2015 Craggy Range Rosé

 A walk amongst the vines

A walk amongst the vines

 Te Mata Peak makes a dramatic backdrop

Te Mata Peak makes a dramatic backdrop

Aaron Drummond, General Manager and Casey McDonald Head Chef talked us through the change in direction for Terroir Restaurant – a more relaxed atmosphere and an increased focus on showcasing locally sourced produce – something we experienced firsthand as we enjoyed an array of tantalising dishes served as shared plates with Craggy Range wines to match.  The potato focaccia was such a hit, the recipe is included at the bottom of this post if you fancy making it yourself.

 The kitchen garden

The kitchen garden

 Stunning array of leafy greens and fresh herbs

Stunning array of leafy greens and fresh herbs

Sitting on the terrace we devoured dish after dish of locally sourced Hawke’s Bay produce, and enjoyed catching up with other members from around the country so much, that a planned visit to the wine cellars was something that would need to wait until next time.

 TukiTuki venison tartare with tarragon and fried anchovy

TukiTuki venison tartare with tarragon and fried anchovy

 Calamari and fennel salad

Calamari and fennel salad

 Hohepa haloumi with vine roasted beetroot & burnt honey

Hohepa haloumi with vine roasted beetroot & burnt honey

 Rauhine Ranges salt baked milk-fed lamb with herb pesto

Rauhine Ranges salt baked milk-fed lamb with herb pesto

 Poached meringue with rhubarb and sheep milk yoghurt

Poached meringue with rhubarb and sheep milk yoghurt

Ensure you visit Craggy Range Winery when you’re in Hawke’s Bay – if you’re keen to see the kitchen garden, ask if it possible when you book your table – you won’t be disappointed.

Enjoy!

Michelle

ps Foodwriters NZ were guests of Craggy Range Winery, but as with every The Foodie Inc post, the views expressed here are those of the writer.

Winery Lunches, Hawke’s Bay

With more than 70 wineries in Hawke’s Bay – New Zealand’s oldest and second largest wine growing region – deciding where to sit back, relax and enjoy a leisurely lunch takes almost as long as the lunch itself. Heading to Hawke’s Bay to catch up with friends before F.A.W.C. there was no shortage of opportunities to indulge.

Friends who had relocated to Waiohiki were keen to go somewhere local. Church Road Winery was a short drive from their new home and bed and breakfast, Omaranui Garden View.  Hawke’s Bay turned on a stunner of a day so we grabbed a table on the terrace overlooking the picnic area.  It wasn’t hard to envisage the domain dotted with people enjoying wine and platters on summer weekends, but given it was a Tuesday we had the serene backdrop to ourselves.

 The grand entrance

The grand entrance

 The dining hall and tasting room

The dining hall and tasting room

 Perfect picnic spot

Perfect picnic spot

With nowhere else to be, we meandered our way through an impressive menu – punctuated with local artisan produce, each dish was perfectly paired with a Church Road wine – after all we had several months of catching up to do. It was the perfect excuse for being last to leave.

Travelling solo the next day, I drove the short distance from Havelock North to Clifton – the gateway to Cape Kidnappers and the gannet colony – and the Te Awanga wine growing area; home amongst others to Elephant Hill, Rod McDonald Wines and Clearview Estate wineries.

 Looking out to Cape Kidnappers

Looking out to Cape Kidnappers

Today’s remit was a casual lunch, somewhere a lone diner wouldn’t look out of place.  Turning into Clearview Estate a group of cyclists moved aside; the uneven gravel under their wheels revealing the unmistakable clinking of wine bottles hidden in their backpacks nestled in the woven baskets.  Suddenly, memories of a hilariously funny afternoon biking through the vineyards more than 10 years ago came flooding back, but that’s a story for another day!

Umbrella shaded tables in the courtyard were in high demand.  The cyclists headed for a wine-tasting – undoubtedly not the first of the day – before settling in for what looked like the beginning of an all afternoon lunch; the Takaro Trails car was in the carpark so this may have been their final stop.  With so much more to see and do, crab sliders with a lightly chilled Pinot Gris were the perfect combination, before heading to my next stop.

 Indulge in a wine tasting at Clearview Estate

Indulge in a wine tasting at Clearview Estate

 Crab sliders and a cheeky Pinot Gris

Crab sliders and a cheeky Pinot Gris

If you’re staying in Havelock North, Black Barn Vineyards is just around the corner. Take your pick from wine tastings, a leisurely lunch or simply grab some provisions from their store.  Their growers market, set amongst the trees, is a great way to kick off a Saturday (9am-noon) during summer.

Friday afternoon to kick off the Foodwriters NZ conference, we were guests of Craggy Range Winery, where we were treated to a smorgasbord of dishes created by the new head chef Casey Mc Donald, so keep your eyes open for an upcoming post.

Some handy links:

Hawke’s Bay Trails - Napier and Hastings | NZ Cycle Trail

Hire bikes:

Hawke’s Bay Wines – great source on information and maps etc

Grab a food and wine map from the local information office, it’s far easier than using your mobile.

Enjoy!

Michelle

2017 in Review

The Foodie Inc had ambitious plans for 2017 – a foodie bucket list of sorts – but really an excuse to explore more of New Zealand’s food and wine scene.  The goal was something new each month, but one couldn’t resist indulging in some old favourites too.  Admittedly, blogposts were infrequent – studying for Le Cordon Bleu Master of Gastronomic Tourism took up every spare moment – so please enjoy a few photographic highlights from last year, with more foodie adventures to be shared very soon.

A 35 minutes ferry ride delivered us to Waiheke Island for headland Sculpture on the Gulf.  Thought provoking sculptures, stunningly spectacular views and if the trip wasn’t field research for a university assignment due three days later, a leisurely winery lunch would definitely have followed. 

Volunteering at the New Zealand Cheese Awards, learning how to make pasta with Stephania at Pasta Cuore and blending our own wine (got our names on the bottle) with The Hunting Lodge’s crown blend rose challenge were more hands-on experiences.

Persistent rain and mud underfoot didn’t detract from the captivating experience and fabulous company at Monique Fiso’s intimate dinner party – Hiakai – the photos simply don’t do the evening justice, but then the lighting wasn’t designed to be camera friendly.

Exploring outside Auckland saw The Foodie Inc Go Wild in the Waikato (NZ Foodwriters trip and photo credit), attend The Seriously Good Food Show in Tauranga in July and finally made it to F.A.W.C. Hawkes Bay in November. 

In early August “a truffle hunt” in Canterbury’s Limestone Hills with Rosie the Beagle and a decadent five course truffle-infused lunch at Black Estate, 2017 winery restaurant of the year really did knock one off the bucket list!

And when you live in Auckland you can’t ignore: Auckland Restaurant Month from Street Eats to restaurant takeovers and simply an excuse to indulge in special menus and catch up with friends; The Food Show in Auckland in July; and let’s not forget Taste of Auckland in November.

So what is The Foodie Inc planning for 2018?  Ticking a few more things off the ever-expanding foodie bucket list and aiming to share four new posts each month:

  • More stories about local food producers like Hauraki Salt Company and Tea Tree Orchard
  • Must see / do destinations or experiences, like the once in a lifetime night at Hiakai
  • An event, a cooking class, a farmers' market or a food truck like The Rolling Pin for you to check out for yourself
  • Sharing recipes cooked or created in the previous month in Recipe Resolution

Thanks for supporting The Foodie Inc – your feedback is very much appreciated.   Look forward to sharing more memorable food and wine experiences and places to explore in 2018.

Enjoy!

Michelle

2017 Auckland Food Show

Let’s face it, people often inadvertently move in circles. The day at The Food Show, started and ended with donuts. 

 Donuts from  The Pie Piper  and  Doornuts

Donuts from The Pie Piper and Doornuts

The leisurely meander through the halls of The Food Show with foodlovers Genie, Bunny Eats Design and Bri Dimattina Food Adventures entailed many looped routes as we strolled from the Fresh Market to the Healthy Hub to the Artisan Village and everything in between. 

 Hot and cold smoked  Aoraki Salmon

Hot and cold smoked Aoraki Salmon

  Leaderbrand  living wall

Leaderbrand living wall

  The Olive Lady 's green pickled peppers

The Olive Lady's green pickled peppers

We tasted and then tasted some more, talking to fellow foodies and producers along the way.  Cameras were always at the ready, stallholders became accustomed to displays being rearranged, and products being lined up, always obliging with a smile or friendly banter.

 Cameras at the ready for  Good Buzz Kombucha

Cameras at the ready for Good Buzz Kombucha

 Spotted Morgan from Bonnie Oatcakes helping out at  Fix & Fogg  stand

Spotted Morgan from Bonnie Oatcakes helping out at Fix & Fogg stand

 Rubs from  Wild Fennel Co

Rubs from Wild Fennel Co

  Thomson Whisky  tastings while we wait for our cooking class to start

Thomson Whisky tastings while we wait for our cooking class to start

We even made ourselves lunch at the Casa BarillaCooking School which was heaps of fun – free but pays to book.

 Casa Barilla Cooking School

Casa Barilla Cooking School

 Ready to cook...

Ready to cook...

 Italian sausage & mushroom penne

Italian sausage & mushroom penne

Thanks to The Food Show for the complimentary ticket to Thursday’s opening day. The Food Show runs until Sunday 30 July.  For tickets and information go to www.thefoodshow.co.nz

This photo journal shows just a handful of the amazing food and wine producers so we hope you choose to travel The Food Show in circles – you might be surprised what you notice the second time around! Enjoy the show.

Michelle

ps caught up with the girls at Mamas Donuts on the way out... lucky to be gifted a bag of mix on last week's 'Go Wild in Waikato' foodwriters trip 

  Mamas Donuts ... looking forward to making these at home

Mamas Donuts... looking forward to making these at home

The Chef and the Foodlovers

Twenty foodlovers, one chef and some trusty side-kicks cooked up a storm in the Electrolux Chef’s Secrets tent at last week’s Taste of Auckland 2016.  Marc Soper from Wharekauhau Lodge shared the recipe for one of his signature dishes – Manuka bark smoked Ora King Salmon, goat’s cheese, gin, local garden fruits and vegetables – for us to recreate.

 Ora King Salmon three ways

Ora King Salmon three ways

Welcomed by Julie Biuso and a punchy, passionfruit vodka cocktail this hands-on class kicked into action.  Divided into small groups – knife technique, smoking expertise, presentation and plating skills came to the fore, with the end result looking and tasting pretty impressive.

 Vodka cocktails to get things underway...

Vodka cocktails to get things underway...

 Our delightful host, Julie Biuso with Michelle from The Foodie Inc

Our delightful host, Julie Biuso with Michelle from The Foodie Inc

 Smoker in action (lid lifted for photo)

Smoker in action (lid lifted for photo)

 Mastering the plating technique

Mastering the plating technique

 Getting the plates perfect

Getting the plates perfect

 Finishing touches

Finishing touches

Our shared lunch was enjoyed with a glass of Single Estate Pinot Gris from Ara Wine, and to finish a sweet surprise from Miann

 Our shared table

Our shared table

 Miann provided the most mouth-watering dessert

Miann provided the most mouth-watering dessert

The Electrolux Chef’s Secrets are a fabulous way to interact with chefs at Taste of Auckland. and brilliant value for money, only $15 each.  It will be interesting to see who heads the line-up next year – can’t wait!

Michelle

Sunshine, Seafood and Taste of Auckland

When you head off to a food and wine festival with someone as passionate about New Zealand food, wine and local produce as you, you know there's going to be lots of food talk and even more eating!  What wasn't anticipated was just how much seafood would feature on our Taste of Auckland line-up. 

As 10am ticked over, the gates opened and everyone turned left to grab their 'crowns and wine glass' but with a fear of missing out on a seat at the table with Marc Soper from Wharekauhau Lodge, we headed straight for Electrolux Chef's Secrets tent to secure our spot for a late lunch (more on this event in another post).

 Manuka bark smoked Ora King Salmon, goats cheese, gin, local garden fruits and vegetables

Manuka bark smoked Ora King Salmon, goats cheese, gin, local garden fruits and vegetables

But before lunch there was time to drop in on the guys at Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar where we were delighted to be their 'testers' for the first oyster fritters off the grill for the day... chased down with fresh tuatuas.

 Oyster fritters

Oyster fritters

 Freshly shucked Mahurangi oysters

Freshly shucked Mahurangi oysters

 Fresh New Zealand tuatuas

Fresh New Zealand tuatuas

Te Kouma Bay oysters at Fish Restaurant looked oh so tempting.... but how many oysters can one eat in one day.

 Fish's Ora King salmon & Te Kouma oysters with dashi whip and coriander

Fish's Ora King salmon & Te Kouma oysters with dashi whip and coriander

But with clams escargot on our minds we wandered to ParisButter.  Thankfully we wanted clams... one person had bought ALL the Dulce de leche creme brulee just after opening!

 ParisButter Boys

ParisButter Boys

 Clams Escargot,,, clams escargot butter

Clams Escargot,,, clams escargot butter

Of course there is so much more on offer than seafood including cooking demonstrations with Yael from Ima Cuisine in action Friday afternoon...

 Yael plating up tasters of her Israeli chicken and rice

Yael plating up tasters of her Israeli chicken and rice

 Israeli chicken, rice and salad 

Israeli chicken, rice and salad 

...local food producers, wineries and more...

 Lalele's vegan gourmet popsicles

Lalele's vegan gourmet popsicles

 'Summer' offers us Beekist tomatoes and haloumi

'Summer' offers us Beekist tomatoes and haloumi

 Puhoi Valley's Kawau Blue Cheese

Puhoi Valley's Kawau Blue Cheese

 A little sweet indulgence from Scratch Bakers

A little sweet indulgence from Scratch Bakers

But you'll need to discover that for yourself... Taste of Auckland runs until Sunday 20 November 2016 with two sessions Saturday, and one Sunday afternoon. 

And if you scroll down you'll see a priceless photo of Bri DiMattina Food Adventures.. the moment Bri realised how ridiculous checking her steps was, considering where we had walked and how much we had eaten!

 Bri checking  her steps

Bri checking  her steps

Enjoy your weekend.

Michelle