Last weekend we featured in the New Zealand Herald WEEKEND magazine - where the feature writer took the readers through her Local Food Experience with us. She and her friend were just the nicest people and we really enjoyed having them for the day. I have so many pictures that I could share, but as I am just starting this blog business I will start by keeping it short and working out how this whole system works. Maybe by my next post (in 2 weeks time) I'll have a better hang of it - and be able to post a whole collection ! The main thing is that our Local Food Experiences are really unique. We did a lot of research both here in NZ and overseas to investigate for ourselves first hand, exploring what was on offer in various places, and what we enjoyed the most. In the end we designed a format that we felt bought the best bits of everything we had ever done together, in to one package. We are just so blessed to live in such an amazing foodie heaven up here in the Matakana Coast region. In the past 12 years since we left Auckland city (which is only 45 mins away) we have got to know so many wonderful people, producing all sorts of amazing food products. Some grow them, some farm them, some produce them - but what they all have in common is their love for their products. I really hold my hat off to these people as it takes such a lot of hard work and often a real commitment to the land and nature - to do things properly and sustainably - which they also buy into up here. We have people working with bees, hunting wild boar, naming all of their water buffalo, tending their gardens with great respect for the soil, upcycling stuff, making beeswax wraps to avoid using clingfilm, making gelato out of their own organic lemons.......I could go on and on - but I don't need to tell you about all of them at once. At the end of the day- we have this amazing slice of paradise in New Zealand, which is absolutely a favourite emerging food destination. Mark and I know and love all of our local foodies. Our 'Local Food Experience' which runs on a Saturday (if you want to include the Matakana Village Farmers' Market Tour), or during the week (with food producer visits instead) - is our premium food experience product, and it is where you get to meet some of these amazing people and get an insiders view into their products. It is a day that involves all the senses - firstly taking in all the sights and sounds of the local village Farmers market, listening to the stories of some of our local artisan food producers and taking in the aromas and tastes of the food, whilst also doing some hands-on cooking with Chef. No wonder our media guests loved it ! More on this great foodie experience next time.
Introducing Kathryn Jansen from 'The Vegery' who shares with us her 'Vitality Wrap's journey from home kitchen to dedicated production facility – helped by The Gourmet Within incubator kitchen and Chef Mark Griffiths' expertise.
8-Wired's haul of medals, including golds for Hippy Berliner and Hopwired IPA.
It's been hard to ignore the accolades coming out of this area this week, with both food and brewing awards happening - and Matakana locals grabbing up some of the action.
8-Wired Brewing in Warkworth scooped the pool with 12 awards out of 13 entered! Great news for them since the terrible accident at the brewery in the first week of September, when one of their giant kettles exploded, putting two of their team in hospital with serious burns. Latest news is that they are recovering well, but it'll be a slow and careful process...
The iconic Melbourne lanes with it's funky bars and cafes.
This edition is about new food trends and upcoming events - beginning with a roundup of what's going down in Melbourne right now. The Gourmet Within had a friend over this week who's recently moved to Melbourne and she confirms what we all kind of knew: Melbourne is the food capital of the South Pacific. However - what goes down there, goes down here - sooner rather than later these days, since we're pretty onto it too!
Dads. How great are they? They bring home the bacon (mostly), sort out that lawnmower (sometimes), go nuts on the football sidelines (usually) and they crack really bad jokes. What's not to love? Sadly, Father's Day has many dutiful offspring - and wives - scratching their heads for a gift. Why are they so hard to buy for?
Well, in fact it's easy really - it's got to be food related, since we all know that the way a dad's heart is through his wee tummy.
Raw food seems like it's here to stay. Thousands of people are discovering the health benefits of eating raw, and there are some folk turning it into an art form. And after a trip to Matakana markets where we sampled some new Raw Eats products, we're sold, too.
What a lead-up we had to getting TGW to the Food Show 2015! There were weeks of planning around what we wanted our stand to look like to best represent Matakana as a premium food destination. We got some of our fantastic local food producers on board, and we showcased their delectable comestibles to 36,000 people.
There’s a challenging and very exciting week ahead for The Gourmet Within. Our first ever appearance at the Auckland Food Show – and we’re taking a bunch of our favourite Matakana artisan food products, and their producers, with us.
Stefano's courtyard on Waiheke is great for long lunches.
Good grief, it’s nearly over! The Gourmet Within crew has been holidaying all over the North Island, sneakily checking out foodie deliciousness wherever we go.
Carmel and Chef Mark were in Waiheke with their family; they made their traditional pilgrimage toStefano’s Italian Pizza and Pasta in Surfdale. Apparently they all experience terrible cravings for Stefano’s Feta e Aglio pizza, which includes artichokes, feta, garlic, rosemary and olives.
We're very excited here at The Gourmet Within. Our inaugural blog post! It's been a long time in the planning. We're aiming to bring you all sorts of things you need to know (and possibly a few you don't) about the foodie scene in and around the Matakana area and further afield as well. And of course, we'll keep you informed about what's happening at The Gourmet Within.
We've spread our yummy net from Puhoi to Pakiri - there are loads of artisan food producers here, whose wares we are looking forward to sampling and keeping you informed about. We'll also keep track of gourmet events including, of course, our own regular and delicious food experiences. Cookery classes for any style and palate, corporate team-building fun (make it as competitive as you like!) – and soon, private fine dining as well.