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

Our Abundant Hauraki Gulf

It’s incredible that in a country surrounded by sea that New Zealanders, from home cooks to restaurant chefs, need to reach for imported sea salt.

Imported salt and pepper in The Foodie Inc's pantry

Imported salt and pepper in The Foodie Inc's pantry

One Sunday morning Greg Beattie from Hauraki Salt Company was at a farmers market watching a chef showcase fresh local produce.  Surprised to see the chef season dishes with sea salt from England, Greg caught himself wondering... what if a local artisan sea salt was available. 

Auckland's Hauraki Gulf at sunset (photo supplied)

Auckland's Hauraki Gulf at sunset (photo supplied)

With a background in horticulture and landscape design Greg has always felt a close connection with nature, insisting from a young age that he have a patch of the family garden to call his own.  At seventeen, his very first garden maintenance job was for a successful entrepreneur and his wife who owned a large home and garden in the country. One morning over coffee his client said, “Greg it’s fantastic what you do for us in the garden but working in the service industry you will be forever trading hours for dollars, what you really need is a product. It’s the only way you can really leverage your time.” Thanking him for his advice, Greg said he would keep it in mind.

Four years ago Greg suddenly fell very ill and was off work for almost a month.  Being a self employed landscape gardener trading hours for dollars, his financial health suffered, alongside his own. During his recovery Greg had plenty of time to think and remembered the advice from 20 years earlier – what he really needed was a business he could grow and generate income from, that didn’t require hands on involvement.   Scribbling ideas and searching the internet for inspiration, nothing really took his fancy.  Frustrated he put it aside until that day at the farmers market.

Greg wading to sea water (photo supplied)

Greg wading to sea water (photo supplied)

Hauraki Flake Sea Salt is the first artisan salt product in New Zealand; with no additives it’s nature at its best. Hand-harvested and made it small batches, it takes 4.7 litres of salt water to make 100g of flaky sea salt.  After the water is collected from the Hauraki Gulf, the salt making process takes around 24 hours. Five hours of boiling, then a further 19-20 hours in the salt pan on a low heat – the long slow evaporation helps form larger salt crystals. Given it’s a 24 hour process, with things happening at the same time every day, it’s an easy process to follow to maximise production efficiencies.

Available in 100g bags for your home pantry

Available in 100g bags for your home pantry

To get your hands on this new product go to Hauraki Salt Company's website  – you can purchase online or from one of retailers listed.  If you want to see you local food store stock Hauraki Sea Salt, send Greg an email and put them in touch.

What's not to love about a local product that's made from an abundant and sustainable natural resource.

Michelle