Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Sunday, October 15, 2017
‘I love fresh and seasonal food, am partial to a crisp gin and tonic, and love nothing more than going out for dinner, whether it’s a fancy
restaurant, a cheap noodle joint, or to someone else’s house.’ Delaney Mes
Who better, then, to scout the country from north to south and everywhere in between, to come up with a list of restaurants that she knows can be relied on for a great evening out.
Although she studied law at university, food and good coffee has always been at the centre of Delaney Mes’s life. In fact, she even started writing her popular Heartbreak Pie food blog to help mend her broken heart.Mes, without a doubt, lives and breathes food. She’s the first to say she talks and thinks about it all the time.
Today, warm and personable Mes has left law behind, and she’s become a familiar name on our food scene. She writes for various publications, is often on the radio talking about food and has run events for people.
Now she toasts our flourishing and exciting restaurant industry with her gorgeous new book, New Zealand Restaurant Cookbook.
A follow-up of sorts to Penguin’s bestselling New Zealand Café Cookbook, winery restaurants, breweries, neighbourhood bistros and fine dining establishments all make an appearance, with recipes that draw from a broad range of cooking styles and international cuisines.A celebration of New Zealand’s diverse and thriving dining scene, the New Zealand Restaurant Cookbook is an indispensable companion. As well as introducing new and iconic restaurants throughout the country, the book highlights some of the most popular dishes from their menus for readers to recreate at home.
As with any list, conversations often centre around who doesn’t make the cut, and Mes is the first to admit that narrowing the selection down to just - 50 was a near impossible task because there are so many great places to eat these days.She’s keen to make it clear that this is not a list of the top 50 restaurants in the country. There are plenty of those sorts of lists that are published regularly.
Rather, hers is a representative list of 50 restaurants that she feels consistently deliver the whole package required to make an evening special. To her mind, a great meal doesn’t just mean what’s served up on the plate. It’s the total experience that makes an evening out a memorable one. Yes, it’s certainly about the food, but it’s also just as much about the PEOPLE, service, and the décor.
In an industry where a restaurant’s survival is at the mercy of an often fickle consumer, all of the restaurants in Mes’s book enjoy loyal followings because they offer the whole package.
Collectively, Mes believes the restaurants she has chosen also reflect what people are looking for from a quality, local dining experience. Paddock to plate is not just a food trend, says Mes. She believes it’s become much bigger than that. It’s a way of eating for everyone. Provenance and authenticity has become hugely important. People want to know where the food has come from, and they expect it to reflect the local community. Or, as with the family-run Gemmayze Street, the menu and décor strongly reflect the family’s Lebanese roots.
People also want beautiful, fresh, seasonal produce, and many of the restaurants either have their own kitchen gardens or have excellent local suppliers and, in some cases, foragers, to ensure they have the very best available produce on their menu. Many restaurants have also invested in unique and distinctive interiors to create a sense of place.
Mes says defining what a restaurant is these days can be challenging, as many cafés have become all-day eateries and day-time cafés transform at night into amazing places for dinner. Her selection reflects this trend.Vineyard and winery restaurants, which attract tourists, play a larger role in promoting New Zealand to the world.
Each of the restaurateurs in the book, she feels, bring something fresh and unique ‘to the table’.Mes says she hopes people will love the book as much as she loved working on it, because it ‘showcases the best of what New Zealand food has to offer’.
New Zealand Restaurant Cookbook is a gorgeous snapshot of what dining in New Zealand is like at the moment, and is the perfect accompaniment to your next foodie foray.
DELANEY MES has been a judge of the Metro Restaurant of the Year Award as well as the Metro Café of the Year and Best Bars issues. She has a weekly column writing recipes for the Herald on Sunday. Delaney’s love of food and travel has taken her around New Zealand and overseas, from visiting farmer’s markets in Christchurch to trying the best tea in Sri Lanka to sampling street food in Tokyo, and everything in between. She shares her food and travel writing on her website delaneymes.com, which has an enthusiastic following.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Bright red, jammy fruit is topped with sweet balls of dough that do an excellent job of mopping up the bubbling juices below. Be generous with the cream.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
The Nourished Baby
by Dr Julie Bhosale
Among some of the most worrying decisions parents have to make concern when to shift their baby onto solids, and then what solids to give them. Evidence shows that these decisions have potentially significant lifelong consequences.
This takes place against an increasingly frightening global picture of children’s health. Across both developed and developing countries, childhood obesity continues to soar, along with iron deficiency, and the beginning signs for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In New Zealand, one in three children is either overweight or obese.
While undertaking research for her doctoral thesis at AUT, Dr Julie Bhosale saw this with her own eyes. She measured children who, at the age of 10, were overweight and had high blood pressure. ‘The fact that a child just a few years older than my elder son had one of the biggest red flags for a heart attack before they were even in high-school was hard for me to comprehend,’ says Julie.
Your child does not have to be one of those statistics, though, as the first year of life offers a unique window in which the foods your babies start on lay down their nutritional and metabolic blueprint.‘The importance of establishing healthy habits in the first 12 months of a baby’s life cannot be stressed enough. How our babies are nourished with food, sleep and movement during this time sets them up for life. To me, true nourishment is the interplay of these cornerstones of food, sleep and movement, along with a sense of purpose (which tends to come slightly later in life),’ explains Julie.
While these key foundations of wellbeing are discussed in The Nourished Baby, the book’s primary focus is the food we feed our babies in that first year.‘Food is medicine. The nutrients from natural, wholefoods have been carefully designed by Mother Nature to provide what we need to not only sustain life, but to thrive — without the presence of the lifestyle diseases we see today,’ says Julie.
The Nourished Baby is heavily evidence-based and draws on a lot of research, but Julie’s aim has been to make the contents as reader-friendly, simple and accessible as possible.
Julie is also willing to tackle the big issues facing families today, including misleading labelling and marketing employed by some baby-food manufacturers. ‘I know the impact that first foods have on a baby and their health, and am frustrated at baby-food companies promoting their products as “healthy” homemade food. When I conducted my own research on products in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, the results were a huge surprise — in short, I’m check-mate on this billion-dollar industry.’
Today, Dr Julie Bhosale is an internationally-renowned family wellbeing and nutrition expert, author and speaker, whose 2015 viral postpartum body blog has been read by millions around the globe. She has been on national television, demanding for women to be supported in their choice of how they feed their babies.
In 2015, Julie also completed her doctoral thesis, gave birth to her second son and released her first cookbook, Healthy, Easy Dinners for Busy Mums. She helps mums and families all over the world, touring both locally and overseas. She is lecturer at AUT and an active researcher, and is involved in numerous projects affecting family wellbeing and wider communities.Dr Julie Bhosale is real and authentic in exploring the challenges we face as parents. A lover of coffee and chocolate, she knows the world is not perfect, nor that what you see in the highlight reels on social media are necessarily representative of everyday family life. You can trust her advice is practical, realistic and at the same time providing much-needed guidance for our families to flourish.
The Fearless Kitchen
by Vanessa BaxterBateman RRP $39.99
Vanessa Baxter is a Ronald McDonald House Ambassador, an active supporter of KOTO Charities, which help educate street kids in all areas of hospitality, and has recently been involved with Bridge the Gap, teaching youth in New Zealand prisons how to cook. In all of these endeavours, she is driven by her passion for cooking.
‘Going into the Child Services centre in New Zealand took me back to a visit to a similar institution in Melbourne when I was studying psychology and criminology,’ says Vanessa.‘The kids are in care, but they are in locked care. This is not a holiday camp, this is an institution. It is grey, it is plain, it is sparse. It was exactly as I remembered from 1987. My heart broke.
‘When we started to create food, it was slow to start, but the eating was fun. The kids were smiling. They found it hard to wait. Their tummies were too empty and needed filling. They had tried to share, and take turns and be patient — it hadn’t been easy. But we got there,’ says Vanessa.
Vanessa believes that barriers are broken when young people and adults cook together. Walls come down, children are so focused on the cooking on hand that they start to open up and relax and talk freely. Vanessa’s new cookbook The Fearless Kitchen encourages parents to bring their children into the kitchen and bond through cooking together.
‘Food is an experience and a way to broaden horizons. My recipes are appropriate for the whole family. I believe in expanding kids’ palates and pushing their boundaries in a safe, encouraging and non-judgmental way through involving them in the process of cooking,’ says Vanessa.
The Fearless Kitchen is wider than that, though: the preparing and sharing of food is a communal experience. The recipes here are designed to bring family, friends and flatmates together to have fun in making and then eating them.Vanessa had a totally different experience cooking on the reality TV programme MasterChef in 2013 where she was scrutinised, and criticised, both professionally and personally, but she turned her experience into a positive one and created her company The Fearless Kitchen where she hosts cooking classes for corporations and children, all with the same goal — to break barriers.
The Fearless Kitchen features recipes from the variety of countries Vanessa has travelled to, but the place that stole her heart was South East Asia, where the flavours still find their way into her dishes, peeking up to remind her of her colourful life as a nomad.
From Indonesian Soto Ayam, to Calzone Pizza Pockets, Crispy Pork Dumplings and Blackberry and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, The Fearless Kitchen is full of fresh, seasonal and delicious recipes designed for the family to make together.
‘Food is fuel, but food is so much more than that. It is about community and family. It is about bringing people together, about engagement, chatter, laughter. It is about the teaching of patience and manners. Food will be with us forever —embrace it.’ — Vanessa Baxter