Thursday, October 6, 2011

Back with a

Light switch.........on.  I know there is an oven in here somewhere.

There are certain lessons you can only learn with age.  Certain tricks which only Mother Time will divulge to you.  Sometimes when you saturate yourself in something you wind up drowning.

Ever since setting foot in a magical world of make believe cookery my mind became obsessed by food.  A steady flame of intrigue was doused in a petrol of potential as fanciful dreams became real life experiences for me to live and breathe.

And then, like being at the end of a 10 course degustation menu, my stomach and mind could take no more.  Full to the brim with ideas and thoughts about food an uneasy malaise took over as I vacated the kitchen and distanced myself from my frying pan.

Too much of a good thing........

Well as it turns out the above is all rubbish.  So here I am.  Back again to share my love of food.  After spending far too many late nights trying to remember if I poured a 1/4 cup or a 1/2 cup of wine into that sauce, or whether I added any extra seasoning, I decided I needed a break......but it couldn't last.  You can never deny yourself that which you truly love.

The last few months have seen me out and about enjoying the inspiration and creation of others.  Some weeks ago was The Food Show in Auckland.  A veritable mosh pit of foodies bouncing to the rhythm of tiny samples of wine and the Heller's sausage and bacon stand (honestly I've never seen a free food scrum like it!).  It was a day of good food and good wine.  A few of the products I found really excited me and you'll see them in my next few recipes.  Along with much consuming there was also a lot of learning and I managed to catch a few professional prodigy chefs saying a few words too!

Celebrity Chef!
Always cooks with love this one 
More recently was a pleasant surprise from my Wife.  A weekend away to the Coromandel to attend the Whitianga Scallop Festival.  Intended as a celebration of the start of scallop season it wound up as more of a celebration of the local vineyards but was a great trip away. thoroughly enjoyed by the both of us.

Paella for 100 anyone?

Yes Please!!!!

Slipper Lobsters....Like eating little aliens.  Ripley?!?!?

Nothing like putting on a good smile if you need to shift some bird balls 
Another reason to visit the Coromandel.... 

Sandwiched in between was perhaps my most pressured cooking experience since being on the Masterchef show.  Cooking a 3 course meal for my Mum's seventieth birthday with 18 guests.  It was a magnificent occasion and something I was so honored to treat my family to.  Many hadn't even known I had this cooking obsession until they saw me on the show.  Here's the menu I cooked:

Smoked Salmon and Potato Cake Stack.  Poached Quail Egg with Wasabi Mayonnaise and Tomato Chipotle Butter.

Crispy Pork Belly with Parsnip Puree, Braised Fennel, Apple and Fig Compote and a Thyme Jus.

Coconut, Lime and Ginger Cake.  Cardomon Panna Cotta. Bourbon scented Caramalized Mango and A Vanilla, Cardomon Syrup.

My two brothers helped me prep all day and we knocked out every course in a combined and orderly fashion.  Probably the first time you could ever say that if all us siblings were involved!  It really was a true family celebration and something I am still immensely proud of.  Happy Birthday Mum!

Mum has allowed me to share these recipes with anyone else who feels like treating someone special to a fancy meal and these will be on the site shortly.  I also have a review of Number 5 restaurant in the city and a beautiful vegetarian lasagna recipe.  Sometimes when you saturate yourself in something you wind up drowning.

It's good to be back.


  1. Welcome back! Hurry up with the photos from Mums b'day - I still haven't seen any after 18+ hours of labour!!!

  2. I'll see your 18 hours and raise you a few weeks preparation. It seems I was either too busy cooking, or sampling the food, to take any decent photos. It will live in our hearts forever though eh?