Monday, May 5, 2008

Savour New Zealand

On Sunday I was lucky enough to go to Savour New Zealand. Savour is a three day event with master classes held by NZ and international chefs. Each day there are 4 classes with 4 options for each class, so if you went for all three days you would see 12 of the 16 classes. I went to classes by Govind Armstrong, Claire Aldous, Michael Meredith and Jason Dell. Each presenter demonstrated a number of recipes and there were two tasting plates an matching wines at each session.

Govind Armstrong was the first class in the morning. He is a chef with his own restaurants in Los Angeles and Miami, and focuses a lot on local fresh produce. The first tasting plate was pan fried John Dory with cauliflower cous cous. The cauliflower cous cous was a revelation –he pulsed raw cauliflower in a food processor until it resembled cous cous and then blanched it and used it in the same way you use cous cous. The dessert tasting plate was also fabulous – churros with dulce de leuche ice-cream and milk chocolate sauce. I cant wait to try making the ice-cream in my ice-cream maker!

Next, I went to Claire Aldous who is the food editor of Dish magazine. I went to Claire’s classes for many years at the Epicurean Cook School when it was open and I love her style of food. Dish is my favourite magazine. Claire’s class was fantastic as she showed you four different recipes but gave ideas as to how each recipe could be presented differently to give quite different results. She did a delicious looking pork fillet with pumpkin cous cous and tomato jam and the highlight for me was the pudding – a set mixture of yoghurt, cream, vanilla etc served with an almond topping and poached figs. Divine!

In the afternoon I went to Michael Meredith. Michael is an up and coming chef now owning one of the most popular and exclusive restaurants in Auckland, Merediths. He was completely inspiring! Very special occasion food and quite complex, but interesting flavours and textures. His first demonstration was of a crab and avocado salad with cubes of passionfruit jelly, puffed rice (cooked, cooled rice, deep fried so it puffs like pop corn) and foam. It really was a taste explosion in your mouth. Secondly he did quail wrapped in nori sheets, dipped in beer batter and fried, with pickled melon. So yummy and unexpected.

Lastly was Jason Dell who is the chef at Blanket Bay Lodge, an exclusive lodge in Queenstown. This was a really interesting class as he asked us to wear blind folds when tasting the food which was great as it really made you concentrate on the flavours. We also did an olive oil tasting like that. Jason really focuses on NZ products and produce. He prepared salmon three different ways including a hot smoked salmon with a vanilla sauce using Heilala vanilla paste which was divine. Pudding was an olive oil and chocolate mousse.

It was a fantastic day and I was so spoiled to be there!! It was great to also meet Garth from Heilala Vanilla and to catch up with Helen from Foodlovers and others. I would love to go again next year!

Then, it was home all inspired to make dinner!! Last night we had a Malaysian rice salad, which I adapted from a recipe from Dish – cooked rice mixed through with fish sauce, chilli, crushed garlic, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, basil and lemon juice. A great flavour combination. We had it with kippered hoki and green beans.


Cakelaw said...

Sounds like a great event Tammy - and it must be fun to meet some other bloggers.

I have nominated you for an award:


Debbie said...

Hi Tammy
Great to meet you at the Savour opening! I only wish I had been able to go to the classes as well!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the day apart from arriving in class and finding I had no cookbook as should of been in bag supplied so how was I to know that.? I enquired at the Savour reception regarding the book and the lady there refused to believe me. So went back at luchtime and asked again and finaly she deceided to take my name down with a list of others who missed out also. I was rather annoyed about this as I asked for the recipes for my classes and she gave out the wrong ones. Which I didnt realise till I went back to class again.
It would of been nice to had this book and got the Chefs to sign it and also take notes from the demonstrations but that was not to be.
I conacted Savour who advised me they would be sending the books out by mail and this should of happened a few weeks ago and still nothing arrived. I asked them when they would be coming out and when it didnt arrive by that date I would contact them again. They always replied. Now over 2 weeks has passed since the last promised date and Savour now dont reply to any emails as before.
If they were honest up front and left a note in the bags with the missing books. It would of been far better than for them to tell no one.
I discoved a sign later in the day mentioning the missing books.
But now unsure what they plan to do.
I wonder if any others have got their missed cooking books.?
That was the only thing that spoiled the day as my Delegates Pass should of included this.