Who's Your Hawkes Bay Legend?

Legend
1.
an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field. 

The search for a super-visionary that has helped to shape New Zealand’s Food and Wine Country into the amazing playground for foodies that it is today is on again, and we’d love to hear from you.

In 2021 Sir Graeme Avery (Sileni Estates) was crowned the inaugural legend for his lasting and momentous impact on the landscape of food tourism. It was with your help that Sir Graeme was nominated among over 90 inspirational individuals including Kim Thorp (marketing & branding consultant), Sam and Mary Orton (Orton’s catering), Jeremy Rameka (Pacifica restaurant) and Kate Radburnd (Radburnd Cellars) who have all made outstanding contributions to the Hawke’s Bay food and beverage story.

Now we’re all set to discover the 2022 stories of F.A.W.C! Hawke’s Bay Legends and your help is needed. Know a winemaker who has revolutionised the industry? A food producer whose humble harvest speaks volumes? Or perhaps a chef who has broken new ground?

You can let us know who you think deserves to be crowned the 2022 Hawke’s Bay Legend at fawc.co.nz/hawkesbaylegends

Nominations close July 11, 2021, with the first Hawke’s Bay Legend announced on the opening night of 2022 F.A.W.C! Summer Series this November. Previous nominees may be nominated again.

F.A.W.C! will run from November 4th – 13th, with chefs, winemakers, artisanal producers, craft distillers and tastemakers from across Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand coming together for the annual event. A HIGHLIGHT for your foodies’ calendar.

If you want to be the first in the know, make sure you sign up to become a F.A.W.C!er at fawc.co.nz.


Denise Porter-Howland / Eleventeen Ceramics

Some of us may fail to see the appeal of a discarded cigarette butt in the gutter, or a forlorn apple core tossed aside, but not ceramicist Denise Porter-Howland of Eleventeen Ceramics. In her series ‘Beautiful Rubbish’, she takes the unlovely and unloved detritus and reimagines it, turning the sense of abandonment and sadness into surreal pieces with beauty and humour.

“It comes from feeling a bit on the outside and trying to fit back in,” she says. “They are not meant to be perfect but almost cartoonish. People might think of human teeth or rotten banana skins as gross or grotesque, but these are glossy, a little bit bigger and a little bit brighter than real – they look like they’ve been made by Mickey Mouse.”

Denise tells of her favourite piece, the result of a happy accident. Tiny tentacles reached from the inside of a black dish, and an experiment “using glazes that I shouldn’t” sheened the bottom with a rich puddle of deep, dark greens and blues. Packing it carefully for shipping, she suffered a brief pang. “My heart just went, ‘Oh, off you go now.’”

But she gets a huge sense of satisfaction when customers make a piece their own. “People have personal reasons for choosing a piece and they insert their own feelings into things. When they get it into their own home, it sits with their own stuff and takes from a new environment.” And sometimes that transports her idea to new places, such as an ashtray littered with ceramic cigarette butts being used to serve food, or a fried egg plate hanging on the wall.

In addition to the ‘Beautiful Rubbish’ art pieces, Denise also crafts a homewares range, transforming black and white mid- fire clay into strong, usable pieces such as vases and roasting dishes, often with a soft black, tactile finish that begs to be held.

A quirky fascination with feet and an obsession with footwear led Denise to her latest project, a collection mapping her own life history in ceramic shoes. The Nike Air Max is already made and is drying in the garden before its journey across town to the kiln. A slinky Prada slingback and classic Nike Jordans in scarlet and mint green are next – you can see these at Artspace Aotearoa, on Auckland’s K Rd, in July. TRACY WHITMEY


Love your local

New Wellington wine bar Graze offers delicious wines with thoughtful and ethically focussed bites in a relaxed local setting.

I’ve been talking to Max Gordy for less than an hour, but in that time eight people have popped their head round the open door, keen to find out what’s going on at the old butchery in the Wellington suburb of Kelburn. That interest is gold as ‘local’ and ‘neighbourhood’ are at the heart of what Max and his wife Stina Persen are creating with their new venture, Graze Wine Bar. “Kelburn is small but bustling and quite charming,” says Max, who used to live in the area. “We want to create something special in our little neighbourhood. Somewhere fun and fresh is much needed in the area, somewhere with a bar-ish atmosphere but an upscale, relaxed place to have a wine and dinner, where people can pop in and have some fun.”

Max and Stina are familiar faces in Wellington’s hospitality scene, having most recently been at Thorndon’s Hillside as head chef and front of house, respectively. As at Hillside, Graze has sustainability at its core, and Max and Stina aim to make Graze as low impact as possible, with minimal waste. It’s an operating ethos that pervades the entire business, from the menu to the fit-out to how they treat their staff.

Max promises honest and thoughtful food, and that means working with carefully selected suppliers whose values align with their own, to offer a fish- and plant-based menu focussing on ethically sourced produce exclusively from Aotearoa. He’s been working on dishes such as ocean-speared butterfish cured in bull kelp salt to make butterfish bacon, and smoked eggplant served with pinenut milk and fig-leaf oil. Keeping it super-local, the fig leaves for this oil are collected from just around the corner.


In fact, Max’s dishes often feature ingredients that he has foraged himself on his walk to work; at the right time of year local reserves will yield chickweed, elderflower, kawakawa, fig leaves and even porcini, if you’re lucky. “I forage because it offers a unique sense of locality. And that’s what makes us special.”

Built in 1957, Graze’s new home operated as a butcher’s shop right up until last year, when Max and Stina set about a hands-on remodelling project that has transformed the space into a tiny wine bar seating just 25 guests. “It was a great space, but we didn’t realise it would take so much time and effort,” says Max. “Maybe I was just a young, naive guy but it’s felt hard with lots of road bumps to go over. I’ve learned so much that, as a chef, I never thought I’d need to know.”

Worth all the work, Graze has an industrial aesthetic, with exposed concrete, iron shelves, tabletops fashioned by a friend from old floorboards, and upcycled denim covering the banquettes. The pair used the COVID-19 downtime to sift through op shops, building recyclers, auctions and garage sales, sourcing glassware, tiles, light fittings and colourful glazed Crown Lynn crockery that Stina upcycled to give the place a touch of quirk. Not only does that go to the core of their no-waste mantra, but, as Max tells it, “We’re colourful, funky people, and we didn’t want it to just be like every other wine bar.” TRACY WHITMEY


Traffic July 2022

MANGAWHAI

It might be a while off yet, but Pacific Coast Beverages, a start-up microbrewery, is starting work on a vineyard, courtyard bistro, distillery and brewery, to be opened later this year on the Mangawhai Harbour.

AUCKLAND

One of Wellington’s most revered coffee roasters, Havana Coffee, has opened on St Georges Rd in Parnell with an open-door roastery giving a glimpse of the magic. We told you something was afoot at Candela on K Rd – its new late-night spot Barcita continues the theme of Spanish- inspired bites in a moody, intimate space. Next-level fish and chips come courtesy of Nate’s Plaice in Grey Lynn, which offers a sustainable seafood menu using fish caught fresh locally – it’s headed by Nathan Ward, who recently opened One Fish Two Fish in New Windsor. On game day, head to Schapiro’s in Eden Terrace, Auckland’s American-style sports bar by Otis Schapiro (co-owner and head chef at Lilian). Robby Hekkers, a former barista from Grey Lynn’s late-lamented Crumb, has opened Lucky Strike in Mt Eden. Nothing goes together like a burger and a beer, and when it’s craft beer and the goods from Birkenhead’s Real Burger, what more is there to say? The folk behind Newmarket’s Leafe and Journal in Ormiston have banded together in Amble + Birch, bringing all-day dining to Plunket Ave in Manukau. Great news, Cassia is back – the Fort Lane favourite finally reopened after spending a month closed due to flood damage and it has a new menu packed with new dishes such as lamb kulcha with chilli and coconut. We’ve loved the Parade pop-up on Ponsonby Rd, so we’re beyond delighted that it has a permanent spot right next door – a fitting home for some of the best burgers you can wrap your hands around. Already a hit in Christchurch, Town Tonic comes to Auckland with a smart new venue on Constellation Drive. What was The Dominion pub in Mt Eden has had a spiffy new facelift, emerging as The Bridgman, with chandeliers and crushed velvet giving a super-luxe vibe to the old building and a definitely- better-than-just-pub-grub menu. Chur Bae in a former florists at the City Works Depot is the baby of the Bae brothers, with a cool and casual offering of Kiwi classics with a Korean take. For the most indulgent dirty dogs in town, be sure to see the fourth outpost of Good Dog Bad Dog in Onehunga Mall, which has all the favourites including mac ‘n’ cheese dogs, chilli cheese dogs and fried Oreos for dessert. Tacos, nachos – no problem at De Nada Mexican Eatery & Taqueria, newly opened on Mt Eden Rd. The Churchill is back – yes, gin with a view returns at Auckland’s highest rooftop bar at the Four Points by Sheraton on Queen St.

HAMILTON

Taranaki-born Haedyn Woollaston joins the team at Ernest after a long spell overseas and then a stint at The Old Forge Kitchen in Te Aroha.

WELLINGTON

For tangy, sweet, crispy, crunchy chaat and other South Asian street food, head to Chaat Street in Victoria St, and while you’re there don’t forget to try a chilli margarita, bubblegum martini or street- style drinks such as milky chai. Fortune Favours has scooted over to Miramar next door to Gorilla Burger – you can bring your burger through to have with your beer. Dunedin favourite burger joint Re Burger opens in Wellington’s Tory St, bringing next-level over-oversized burgers and fries, too (if you can fit any in!). The hardworking team at Abandoned Brewery have realised the dream of a shiny new large-scale brewery and pop-up tap room in Porirua. Farewell to Yanbu Vang, whose Tibetan and Dubai-cuisine restaurant Gunusu closed its doors recently. Hugely successful Middle Eastern pop-up Kisa now has a permanent home in Cuba St, where the team behind Mr Go’s and Ombra celebrate cuisine from Turkey and the wider Middle East, including Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Israel. Make Flùr on Cuba St part of your new morning routine for superb freshly baked, handmade pastries by Sarah Mackenzie (formerly of Rita and Floriditas).

CHRISTCHURCH

The old Fermentist Brewery in Sydenham is now home to independent brewery Two Thumb, which promises a combo of brew bar and restaurant. Until the restaurant is up and running, the truly extraordinary craft beer can be paired with bites by Illicit Food, whose craft truck will operate on the site in the short term.

WĀNAKA

Local foodie personality Sharyn Mathias has sold much-loved food store and café Florence‘s. As yet, Sharyn can’t share secrets on Florence’s future, save to say it will morph into a fantastic eatery open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


SOUPED UP

Warming and deeply satisfying, Fiona Smith’s soups will nourish you all winter long.

 

I am a firm believer that a hearty bowl of soup is a complete meal. A balance of vegetable, protein and carbs packed into a bowl and eaten simply with a spoon is my idea of comforting bliss. The question is, with many of us reducing our meat intake, or with some family members with a plant-based lifestyle, how do we pack flavour into the bowl, without the rich, thickening, umami kick of a meat-based stock?

There are many tricks you can use to add flavour when not using a meat base in soups. Cooking onions and other vegetables well at the start of cooking is a great place to start. The longer you cook them, the more flavour they will have and I find a sprinkle of salt at the beginning really helps with that.

There are plenty of umami flavour-bomb ingredients you can use, but don’t feel restricted by keeping cuisines authentic. Miso, Marmite, cheese, soy pastes and sauces all add amazing umami flavour. If your diet is not strictly plant-based, fish sauce is magic; I add a splash to many fish and vege dishes – you can’t actually taste it but it adds wow.

Seaweed is great for boosting the umami flavour in soups. Kombu is famously packed with umami, but any chunky- style, dried seaweed works perfectly, and I love it when the seaweed almost dissolves into the soup. I have been using wild wakame from Pacific Harvest, or Korean dried kelp in my soups.

Another great thing about soups is they can be easily adapted to what vegetables you have on hand. Add vegetables at appropriate times to allow them to cook and add more liquid as and when needed; liquid evaporates at different rates depending on temperature and pot size, so top up with water as you need to, a little at a time, so the soup doesn’t become too watery.


Felicity O’Driscoll Book Reviews Issue 212

Felicity O’Driscoll of Cook the Books reveals her favourite vege-based cookbooks. Find out more at cookthebooks.co.nz or visit 19 Williamson Avenue, Grey Lynn, Auckland.


SIX SEASONS: A NEW WAY WITH VEGETABLES

JOSHUA MCFADDEN, ARTISAN, $79.99

This is a book that celebrates all the ways to use all parts of a vegetable at its peak. With over 225 recipes, it encourages you to eat what’s in season in autumn, winter and spring, then a summer of three parts – from early freshness to late abundance, when we can preserve for year-round use. It would take a year of cooking to pick a favourite recipe and I’m not quite there yet.




MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK

MOLLIE KATZEN, 10 SPEED PRESS, $49.99

In 2024 ‘the Moosewood’ will celebrate 50 years in print. What started out life as a hand-illustrated, spiral-bound book was fully revised in 2014 to celebrate 40 years and acknowledge that times had changed, and with it so has much of what we understand about nutrition and healthy eating. It’s still handwritten, it still has the quirky illustrations and it still has the Gypsy Soup, the Cauliflower Cheese Pie and the Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.

 


VEGFUL

NADIA LIM, NUDE FOOD, $55

This is possibly one of the most useful vegetarian books I own and probably the one I’ve recently used most often. I like the adaptability of it – most recipes can be made vegan, dairy-free or gluten-free if needs be without compromising the end result. I like that the ingredients are readily available and, if you are eating seasonally, very cost-effective. The tacos with walnut and almond chilli are superb.



BAZAAR: VIBRANT VEGETARIAN RECIPES

SABRINA GHAYOUR, MITCHELL BEAZLEY, $49.95

Middle Eastern flavours just seem to make vegetarian food come to life. Is it the spice, the earthy grains, the aromatics or the abundance of herbs? Whatever it is, the modern queen of Persian cooking, Sabrina Ghayour (author of Persiana) has absolutely captured it in Bazaar. From Grilled Haloumi Flatbread to Potato, Ricotta & Herb Dumplings with Walnut Sauce, there isn’t a recipe I haven’t enjoyed and so many more I want to cook.


We're Watching... Angel Apun / Luntian

Vegan Filipino food without compromise on taste is the goal of this food entrepreneur, discovers Tracy Whitmey.

 

It would be fanciful to say that Angel Apun’s business is built on the back of two rescue rabbits, but unravel the strands and it’s all there. The way Angel tells it, it was caring for two adopted bunnies, Fluffy and Pepper, that awakened her empathy for animals and was the impetus for her to become vegan five years ago. It was quite a turnabout for a self-confessed adventurous eater, who previously had no qualms about eating offal, grubs, camel meat and snake blood, among other ‘delicacies’.

But it was hard to find plant-based versions of the Filipino and South-east Asian food she loved. Determined not to miss out on her favourites she began to experiment, and in 2020 she started her business Luntian (which means ‘green’ in Filipino) to share plant-based versions of traditional Filipino food – dishes that are usually heavily dependent on pork, chicken and seafood.

“My favourite Filipino dish is kare-kare, which is a peanut-based and annatto- flavoured stew of oxtail, tripe and local veges,” says Angel. “The kicker of this dish is the bagoong, which is the Filipino version of fermented shrimp paste. Kare- kare isn’t complete without it, as it is the umami factor that binds everything together. I veganised this by making my own fermented shrimp paste (without the shrimp), but using local ingredients instead that we can easily find and source here in New Zealand. I also use a lot of textures from vegetables and fungi to replicate the sensory experience of eating kare-kare. This vegan kare-kare is one of the bestselling dishes on my menu, and even non-Filipinos who try it rave about it.” In fact, 80% of Angel’s followers are not vegan, but people who recognise that how we eat is impacting on the environment and who want to support sustainable eating without compromising on taste.

Angel’s wildly popular Saturday market stall at The Shed Collective in Oratia garners rave reviews, and to try her trademark vegan KFC (‘kunyare fried chicken’, based on fermented seitan) you’ll need to get there early and wait in line. A true labour of love, it takes many meticulous steps over seven days to bring a small amount to market, so once it’s gone, it’s gone – until next week.

Getting it right is a complex blend of cooking and science, and its success digs deep into many aspects of Angel’s experience: a street-food vendor at the age of 12, she has no formal culinary training but learned to cook by helping her dad. An unfinished science degree comes into the mix, as does a former career in sales and marketing. “I always say that possibilities in plant-based cooking are limitless, as long as we don’t limit our imaginations. I like playing with textures a lot and I understand cooking at a molecular level, so I use easy-to-find local ingredients such as kūmara and then turn them into meat-like textures that become the main protein of my veganised dishes.” So kūmara becomes the ‘pork’ in a Filipino-style crispy sweet and sour pork, and Angel’s handmade beef analogue (made from wheat) is the protein base in a vegan beef rendang that has people lining up for seconds.

While ‘made it because I wanted it’ might have been the spark that launched Luntian, it was grounded in some shrewd business thinking. Filipino cuisine is the rising star of the foodie world, rooted as it is in flavours from Spanish, Latino, Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, Pacific and American cultures. Hitch this to the increasing popularity of plant-based diets, or those who are vegan- curious, and you’re cresting a wave.

Though Luntian is just two years old, news of Angel’s enterprise has spread well beyond the market, and she was named New Zealand’s Filipino-Kiwi Chef of the Year for 2021 in the Filipino-Kiwi Hero Awards. Initiated by Filipino News, the awards are presented to Filipinos in recognition of their achievements in New Zealand, and include Masterchef NZ finalist Leo Fernandez as a past winner.

Reflecting both the vegan and Filipino migrant communities is a lot of responsibility, and Angel admits she does sometimes wish she was just running a food truck and serving her food. But she says, “What I hope I can do is pave the way for the next generation of humans who may be thinking of doing things differently within their own culture and experience. All I have done is pay homage to my culture but with a greener flavour.” luntian-nz.com


A GREAT NEW ZEALAND GOURMET WEEKEND

Cuisine editor Kelli Brett combines a little luxury with some outstanding Wairarapa flavour.

 

GOURMET TOURISM IS A THING

New Zealand is stepping up to become a serious player within this deliciously niche style of travel – niche because it’s designed especially for a new generation of discerning, well-travelled consumers.

So, I’m on a mission over the next few months to showcase a taste of our very best for you, and what better way to start than with a glorious weekend with the team at Wharekauhau Lodge, nestled beneath the stunning Remutaka Range on Wairarapa’s south coast? Back in the 1800s,
New Zealand farmers would bid ferociously to get their hands on a Wharekauhau stud ram for their flock. Today, the farm covers some 1,300 hectares and carries 300 head of beef cattle and 6,000 sheep, and the very first glimpse of this magnificent estate will fill you with a sense of arriving somewhere special. The property’s strong farming heritage translates all the way through to the lodge today, with everything made by hand and sourced from the land. Now owned by American businessman and vintner William (Bill) Foley and his wife Carol, it’s run by general manager Richard Rooney, who has been at the helm for more than 10 years. He’s no stranger to farm life, having grown up on a farm just outside Rotorua, and it is clear that he has mastered the art of creating personalised memories for a clientele that is used to experiencing the extraordinary. In 2018, Richard was named one of the top 20 luxury resort general managers in the world by Luxury Travel Advisor.

 

GOURMET TOURISM IS A THING

New Zealand is stepping up to become a serious player within this deliciously niche style of travel – niche because it’s designed especially for a new generation of discerning, well-travelled consumers.

So, I’m on a mission over the next few months to showcase a taste of our very best for you, and what better way to start than with a glorious weekend with the team at Wharekauhau Lodge, nestled beneath the stunning Remutaka Range on Wairarapa’s south coast? Back in the 1800s, New Zealand farmers would bid ferociously to get their hands on a Wharekauhau stud ram for their flock. Today, the farm covers some 1,300 hectares and carries 300 head of beef cattle and 6,000 sheep, and the very first glimpse of this magnificent estate will fill you with a sense of arriving somewhere special. The property’s strong farming heritage translates all the way through to the lodge today, with everything made by hand and sourced from the land. Now owned by American businessman and vintner William (Bill) Foley and his wife Carol, it’s run by general manager Richard Rooney, who has been at the helm for more than 10 years. He’s no stranger to farm life, having grown up on a farm just outside Rotorua, and it is clear that he has mastered the art of creating personalised memories for a clientele that is used to experiencing the extraordinary. In 2018, Richard was named one of the top 20 luxury resort general managers in the world by Luxury Travel Advisor.

CUISINE, CULTURE AND COMMUNITY

There is no getting around it, a meal at Wharekauhau is definitely a special occasion, but despite its incredible aura of exclusivity, there is that cosy and casual feeling of great Kiwi hospitality at this grand, luxury hideaway.

Executive chef Rob Cullen treats the entire estate as his pantry, and with extensive vegetable and herb gardens, premium coastal lamb and beef, and beach, valley and foothill foraging options at his fingertips, you can expect an ever-changing menu that will allow you to taste a wealth of flavours from some of the most outstanding artisan producers and growers of Aotearoa. From within the Wharekauhau kitchen, Rob curates and cultivates a community of suppliers that is as passionate about the creation of exceptional food – if not more – than he is. His inspiring ingredients list includes hand-speared butterfish, octopus and sea tulips from Ocean Speared, wild venison and fresh native honeycomb from Awatoru, crayfish and pāua from Tora Collective, farmed kingfish from Ruakākā Kingfish, hand-crafted salami and cured meats made from heritage pigs at Poaka, fresh truffles from Kings Truffles, hand-made cheese from Cranky Goat and Drunken Nanny, and the hugely innovative pāua saucisson and ocean mortadella from New Fish. The Foley family owns around 30 vineyards in New Zealand and the USA, so you can expect an opportunity to taste some of their best and rarest bottles along with some of the finest in the country.

YOUR PERFECTLY GOURMET DAY

If a full weekend is out of the question, the estate welcomes day visitors to experience a taste of their unrivalled Wairarapa hospitality. This includes ‘trust the chef’ dining; an adventurous ATV quad bike trail; and a competitive sporting clay target shoot. You might helicopter in from Wellington city, up and over the fabulous Remutaka Range and out over the dramatic Palliser Bay to touch down on the lawn, where you will be greeted with a glass of champers and a multi-course lunch before your flight back. Or you may prefer to relax in the Hauora Spa and experience a treatment that is exclusive to Wharekauhau – the Foley Vine Body and Soul – focussing on the natural skincare qualities of the humble grape. Who knew? But what a terrific idea. You’ll receive grapeseed exfoliation, followed by a crushed grape mask, facial and a full-body massage that will exceed your grape expectations.

However, an overnight stay at one of the 16 cottage suites or the three-bedroomed Foley Villa will deliver the ultimate Wharekauhau escape. Expect total relaxation, adventure, five-star pampering and delicious indulgence – and with the help of the remarkably talented lodge team you can orchestrate your own exclusive and unique experience.

WARNING!

Wharekauhau Lodge has one extreme element of danger. In your room you will find a jar of Mrs Eglington’s shortbread. In the 1930s, she would bake these for afternoon ‘smoko’ for the farmhands who were working the land. I’m not sure if anyone has ever documented the danger of being alone in a room with a jar of shortbread that is this good. You can find the recipe below – although, it’s probably not a good idea. wharekauhau.co.nz

View Mrs Eglington’s shortbread

THE BIG FINISH

A perfect way to round out your gourmet weekend would be to make the gorgeous 40-minute drive from Wharekauhau Lodge through to Martinborough, where you will find more than 20 premium wineries within biking distance of the village square. Cycling the vines is a tremendous way to sample the region’s best drops, or you might choose to let someone else plan your itinerary and take a half- or full-day guided tour with Martinborough Wine Tours. martinboroughwinetours.co.nz

A gourmet approach to a day in Martinborough should include an exploration of the village square and a visit to these three spectacular tastes of local flavour. Please note that booking ahead is advised. At Moy Hall you can taste homegrown pinot noir, syrah, pinot gris, viognier and sauvignon blanc wines from a little Scottish longhouse – owned and operated by Carolyn and Philip McArthur – where a view of the surrounding vineyard is an absolute delight. Lunch is relaxed, with a small and thoughtful menu that changes often, but if it is on, you must order the homemade gorgonzola and sage gnocchi. You will thank me for it. moyhall.nz

After lunch head to Olivo on Hinekura Road, where Helen and John Meehan are creating top-quality artisan olive oils at the oldest commercial olive grove in the Wairarapa. Helen gives tree-to-table tours and will take you through a tasting of her vibrant flavours. Make sure you grab a bottle of their now legendary porcini-infused olive oil – it’s superb on risottos, pasta or anything to do with eggs. olivo.co.nz

For dinner I suggest Karahui Wine Bar & Eatery, located in the historical old bank on Memorial Square, where you can experience the considerable talents of chef David Napier and an interesting selection of wines. The team is slick and offers superb hospitality. The house-made aubergine tortellini with Sichuan dressing alone is worth the drive… from anywhere. karahui.co.nz

Kelli travelled to the Wairarapa courtesy of 100% Pure New Zealand and wairarapanz.com For a constantly updated list of Wairarapa cellar doors and opening hours, go to wairarapanz.com.


THE MAGNIFICENT BOOK OF VEGETABLES

ALICE HART, WELBECK, $65

 

Honestly, you can’t turn a corner these days without falling over a stack of vegetarian cookbooks, and from the masses in my office it’s difficult to choose just one. What makes this book stand out is quite simply that it is crammed with food that I want to cook and want to eat. It’s not by a celebrity author and it doesn’t have a trendy gimmick or even a catchy name, but I can do without all those if every dip into the pages gives me the wherewithal to get a great dinner on the table. Arranged by season, it’s the cooler weather dishes that appeal just now: the likes of a gentle stew of roast butternut, fennel and white beans sweetened with roast garlic; butter beans formed into little nuggets with harissa and aubergine, flavour- pumped with red peppers and a cool dab of yoghurt; the drama of a beetroot lentil and coconut soup to brighten the dullest day. And for next summer I’ve bookmarked a salad of candied beetroot and haloumi with fig and cardamom dressing. No longer need meat-free days be a dour ‘but it’s good for you’ experience; here you’ll effortlessly hit your five-a-day in style. TRACY WHITMEY