Everyone has a Food Story

LATE at the Museum has been up and running for eight seasons so when a friend suggested LATE: Auckland Eats Itself, how could one refuse a midweek night of food, wine and debate; not to mention a cooking demonstration too?

People quietly milled about on the wide steps at the back entrance to Auckland Museum waiting for friends, before the doors opened just before six.  There’s a sudden surge towards the bar to order wine and tasting plates.  From tender, melt in the mouth peri peri pulled lamb sandwich and just seared, delicate furiyaki crusted Pacific tuna salad to a delightful mezze platter; long shared tables provided the perfect platform to mix, mingle and chat before the panel discussion.

Slow roasted lamb, kumara sourdough, watercress and beetroot relish

Slow roasted lamb, kumara sourdough, watercress and beetroot relish

Furiyaki crusted tuna, baby potatoes, wakame beans, tomato confit and lime dressing

Furiyaki crusted tuna, baby potatoes, wakame beans, tomato confit and lime dressing

Calamari, taramasalata, hummus, tabbouleh, feta, olives and pide

Calamari, taramasalata, hummus, tabbouleh, feta, olives and pide

Before long it’s time to move.  Noelle McCarthy, a seasoned hand at wrangling a debate, superbly moderated a cohesive discussion about the food of Auckland – the restaurants, the ingredients, and the changing flavours of kitchens citywide.  The panel brought a diversity of opinion: Connie Clarkson, Singapore-born author of Asian Flavours has an intricate knowledge of Auckland’s Asian cuisine; Professor Paul Spoonley from Massey University an expert on the social and sociological impact of food and migrant communities; Te Kohe Tuhaka, actor and chef of Marae Kai Masters fame; and Ben Bayly, executive chef at The Grove and Baduzzi, with a background working in Michelin-starred restaurants in London and France and local MKR judge.

Getting seated, waiting for the panelists

Getting seated, waiting for the panelists

The discussion transversed the relatively recent food truck phenomenon and food trends to fine dining restaurants, favourite dishes and what the panellists would request for their last meal ever; the influence of culture and immigrants on the Auckland food scene; reality television and the proliferation of social media; dining out and your responsibility as a customer and most importantly, the stories that formed and will continue to mould our own very personal food journey.

To hear the panel discussion firsthand, a podcast of LATE: Auckland Eats Itself will be available mid-November:  http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/smarttalk

The night culminated with Damaris and Renee Coulter from Coco’s Cantina sharing their inspiration, their commitment to melding food and community; and of course their love of tiramisu – an alcohol and coffee infused ladyfinger delight was the perfect end to a thought provoking evening. Thankfully chef Will Bezerra had earlier made enough tiramasu for all.

Tiramasu making underway

Tiramasu making underway

Plenty of tiramasu for everyone

Plenty of tiramasu for everyone

Season 8 of LATE at the Museum draws to a close very shortly, with one last event LATE: Auckland as an Island on Monday 9 November 6-9pm.  Moderated by Bill Ralston, hear from some of Auckland’s astute minds as they explore how Auckland is being shaped for the future.  For bookings click here LATE: Auckland as an Island but don’t leave it too long to decide, most sessions sell out before the night.

Me, I’m looking forward to season nine already.

Michelle

School Holidays Again

The term never went this fast we were we kids.  As an Auntie, there’s only one day each week of the school holidays to conjure up something new to discover or to reinvent an old favourite. But to avoid disappointment given the unpredictable spring weather, sometimes it’s best to wait until morning to decide what to do.

The Past Twenty Four Hours

Last night we walked to Mission Bay to see the Pixels Movie. Very entertaining, and if you can remember back to the eighties and video arcade games, there are plenty of déjà-vu moments for the adults too.  Tickets are only $9.90 for adults and children, Sunday to Wednesday at BERKELEY Mission Bay | HOYTS so a great price for families.

Today woke to heavy rain so our plans for a trip into the city were squashed.  But by the time the girls had eaten their pancakes, finished watching another movie on DVD and finally got out of their PJs – mind you it was now mid-morning, the sun was shining.  Scooters out, shorts, t-shirts and sunhats (yes really) and we were off down to the beach for an hour or so.  Grabbed a coffee (for me) along the way – it was definitely a two coffee day.

Gymnastics on the beach

Gymnastics on the beach

Sushi for lunch then bundled the kids into the car.  Off to JUMP – indoor trampolining, and arrived with seconds to spare. After an hour of non-stop bouncing you would think the girls would be tired. How can two 11 year old girls have so much energy and make so much racket!

No hands walkover at JUMP

No hands walkover at JUMP

Other kid-friendly things to do in Auckland’s unpredictable weather:

Grab a picnic and take a road trip – you’ll get wet anyway:

For other school holidays ideas, take a look at two earlier posts from July 2015:

If you’re lucky enough to have an extra week these school holidays, check out what’s happening during Artweek Auckland 10-18 October.

Feel free to share your favourite tip for school holiday fun in the comments.

Michelle