January 1, 2021
What will 2021 bring?
In particular, for our hospitality industry it’s a big question.
This is a collection of conversations that I had across a time period that spanned lockdown to the end of 2020 to find out the different approaches our hospo folk are taking in New Zealand, and how they are feeling about their future. I also wanted to take the opportunity to recognise their impressive work through immense challenges and celebrate some wins.
One thing is for sure, we can no longer take great hospitality or the talented teams behind a great experience for granted. It’s time for us as customers to really think about those experiences and truly value the places that deserve our support.
A massive thank you to this group of extremely talented hospo professionals for generously sharing some straight-up thoughts...
Marisa Bidois - Restaurant Association of New Zealand
Tony Stewart - Amisfield - Arrowtown
Alex Davies - Gatherings - Christchurch
Elizabeth Buttimore - Arbour - Blenheim
Sean Golding - Golding's Free Dive, Shepherd - Wellington
Lucas Parkinson - Ode - Wanaka
#Cuisine #KelliBrett #nzflavour #nzfoodstories #nzrestaurants #nzhospitality #CuisineBites
October 27, 2020
This renowned New Zealand chef and ex-restaurateur has sliced up his heart to serve it to you in a multitude of pieces in this episode. As a result, it is a conversation that is way too special to be condensed into 40 minutes… it’s a story of an uncompromising quest for taste, texture and flavour, unending curiosity, incredible skill and great resilience.
As the phenomenon that is Visa Wellington On A Plate draws to a close at the end of October, this month-long celebration of all things food and drink in Wellington has once again dished up a fantastic array of deliciousness alongside plenty of opportunities to have a think about our NZ food culture and understand a little bit more about what that might be.
So find yourself a comfy corner and settle in, you may want to listen to this one in two-parts, but do listen. It's an intimate glimpse inside the mind of a chef who continues to play a major part in the development of the Wellington & the New Zealand food story. The very talented Martin Bosley...
#Martin Bosley #CuisineBites #KelliBrett #NZFlavour #NZFood Story
October 12, 2020
I'm told that Wellington had well and truly established itself as New Zealand's culinary capital in the 80's. The long lunch was in and as patrons quaffed champagne through their expense account meals it seems 'French Inspired' was the theme behind the most discerning menus.
Chef, food writer and quintessential dinner party bad-boy Grant Allen is reuniting an incredible lineup of chefs over 3 fabulous nights during Visa Wellington On A Plate to celebrate favourite Welly restaurants and dishes from the era that brought us lobster bisque, flambé and eggs in aspic. At the time Grant was sashaying front of house at now-iconic restaurant Pierres. In this episode of Cuisine Bites we take a look back at some of the influences that have driven our restaurant scene and influenced our chefs. I promise you this one will be highly seasoned and deliciously crispy...
In Crispy Bits...
The Marine Stewardship Council is launching New Zealand’s first-ever Sustainable Seafood Week this week with an aim to empower Kiwis to choose sustainable seafood to ensure we have seafood for generations to come. I speak with Anne Gabriel Head of the MSC.
October 3, 2020
In a post-COVID world what does Visa Wellington On A Plate bring to the table with regards to tourism, economic development and the telling of the all-important New Zealand food story? The festival runs for the month of October with hundreds of venues right across the greater Wellington region participating, and along with all of the excellent eating and drinking options on offer, there is no denying that WOAP builds a special spirit of collaboration. Hear from Sarah Meikle the Chief Executive of the Wellington Culinary Events Trust and Program Manager Beth Brash on finding common ground at a time when our hospitality industry needs us most.
In Crispy Bits...
A world-first for NZ as Loveblock Wines develop the first Sauvignon Blanc to replace sulphur with green tea.
Josh and Helen Emett to open their first Auckland restaurant Onslow.
New Instagram page nz_flavour curates a snapshot of chefs plates across the country.
July 1, 2020
Amisfield Restaurant & Cellar in Central Otago is home to New Zealand’s Cuisine Good Food award-winning Chef of the year Vaughan Mabee. So it stands to reason that this superb winery restaurant should be on your radar as one not to miss. In the lead up to the awards last year Vaughan had held the title of New Zealand’s most innovative chef for 2 years running. Vaughan then led his talented team to take home 3 hats at last year's Cuisine Good Food Awards.
One of the great pleasures about producing this podcast is that there is always a helluva journey and a terrific story to tell when it comes to the people behind the food that we eat. This glimpse inside the mind of a great chef is a ripper…
In food news, the Black Lives Matter movement has raised an interesting reaction from some major brands within the consumer market. Victoria University of Wellington's marketing and international business school head Val Hooper says it has been a huge wakeup call as brands scramble to reassert their commitment to respect.
June 22, 2020
The third in our series of very personal kitchen conversations, this episode celebrates Chand & Sid Sahrawat. They are the couple behind 3 highly respected and loved Auckland restaurants, Cassia, Sid at The French Cafe & the Cuisine Good Food Awards Restaurant Of The Year 2019, SIDART. Listen as we share two very different conversations. The first before Covid-19 and the second post lockdown as the Sahrawat's were coming to terms with what the aftermath of a global pandemic might mean for their business. We start at the beginning, where the paths of these two diverse and extremely talented individuals crossed unexpectedly in Auckland. They went on to produce a partnership where a commitment to perfection is paramount...
However in the end, this episode of Cuisine Bites became, by default, a conversation that all of our restaurateurs, chefs, front of house teams, cafe owners, baristas, sommeliers, in fact, any person working in the hospitality industry will understand only too well. As much as I know that they will love it, it’s not the industry that needs to hear it. It’s all of us who have taken eating out for granted in the past that need to hear this conversation, and hopefully, start to realise what it takes to sustain the dining experiences that we can be proud to support in our new normal.
In food news listen to William Drew Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants explain the 50 Best For Recovery program.
Have a listen and continue to eat and drink well…
June 17, 2020
Our very special guest is one of those people with a name that is instantly recognised and following that recognition, there is always a big smile. She is one of our most loved New Zealand restaurateurs, a South Island legend with a career spanning well over 40 years and she has played a HUGE part in transforming two sleepy regional towns into international destinations. I caught up with Fleur Sullivan (long-distance) as she sat in her restaurant kitchen, behind closed doors during lockdown. I wondered how this magnificent woman had ended up in the tiny town of Moeraki at 'Fleurs Place'. As you're about to hear, it’s been a long and incredibly interesting road to the establishment of one of New Zealand's most iconic restaurants…
June 8, 2020
There is a fabulous new show on THREE. It airs at 5.30 on Saturdays and it’s called A New Zealand Food Story. It follows multiple award-winning chef, Ben Bayly, as he works towards opening his new Restaurant Ahi, with an aim to encapsulate the essence of New Zealand.
So there is really no better time than now to take a look at how Ben has become one of our highly respected NZ chefs. Ben has been extremely generous in the telling of his story that concludes with a question that many hospitality professionals are asking themselves right now.
“How do we still keep the same experience for our customers and take away all of the crap?“
Recorded in two parts, before and after COVID-19 lockdown, I think it’s fair to say that Ben & I were both very different people by the time we got to the end of this one...
March 14, 2020
It’s a glorious but tough gig working your way up the professional culinary ladder. Working long hours, in sometimes hot and cramped spaces, giving so much of yourself for very little in return. You can understand why many don’t end up choosing to be a chef. However, those that do, that stick at it and find a great employer, an inspiring mentor, a platform that allows them to shine. Those young chefs have a light in their eyes and a fire inside them that demonstrates just how rewarding a career carved in a professional kitchen can be. So it was with great interest that I accepted an invitation from San Pellegrino last year to travel to Sydney and watch the San Pellegrino Young Chef Pacific Region Finals where 10 outstanding young chefs would put their hearts on a plate in front of some of Australia's culinary heavyweights.
Listen in to this inspirational competition as it unfolds and meet our three New Zealand finalists, one of whom went on to win the Fine Dining Lovers Food For Thought Award. The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Awards Final is scheduled to take place in May in Milan. At the time of posting this episode we are still awaiting updates on the event date. A huge thank you to the large cast of legendary hospo people in this episode...
Danielle Alvarez Jock Zonfrillo Christine Manfield Peter Gilmore Michael Meredith Ryan Henly Marc De Passorio
So proud of you Abhijit Dey, Giada Grilli & Andrew Tranter and congratulations to Jose Lorenzo Morales at Lume in Melbourne who was announced the Young Chef Pacific Region winner.
January 24, 2020
So very sad to hear of the passing of chef Tony Bilson. Here's a tiny bite from a chat we had 10 years ago. I remember him being so excited as he told me about his recent trip to Northeast Arnhem Land and the cooking techniques learned from the Yolngu people. Techniques that are now being experimented with by many young chefs. Tony played such an important part in the developing Aussie food culture across an incredible career. His 2011 book Insatiable is one of my favourites...