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

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