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Chefs spill the Beans

Michal McKay persuades some of the Bay’s best culinary experts to divulge a few of their inside secrets about creating star-rated cuisine.

Michal McKay09 February 2017

BB33

Word of warning – this is not a beginner’s guide to becoming an instant success in the kitchen. For tips on the right temperature for grilling cheese on toast, look elsewhere.

But for aspiring cooks who like a little praise for whipping up something exceptional in the kitchen, who better to give the inside story than those who toil over a hot stove daily for their living? And what’s more have garnered more than their fair share of awards as a result.

So we begged some top chefs to spill the beans on their favourite ingredient of the moment and their most favoured kitchen utensil. The reveal is full of surprises.

Francky Godinho

When he took over the charming Provencal-style building which houses St Georges restaurant, this experienced chef knew he was in for the long haul. The lease was for 17 years, which defi nitely required a lot of confi dence plus commitment. The multi-award winner (Emirates Culinary Guild Chef of the Year twice; NZ Chef of the Year twice and Cuisine Recommended Restaurant a couple of years ago) is no stranger to delivering.

His passion for original and beautifully presented food is inspired by textures and nature. And is reflected in his large bio-diverse garden. “Possibly the largest in the North Island. We are talking about 1,500 leeks, 400 caulifl owers, sometimes 70 kilograms of beetroot at a time.” Flourishing in front of summer dining guests it says it all. “All year round we grow 90% of our produce. We pick from our on- site working garden, another off -site and a third in the making.” So it is no wonder that his own lush fresh produce is the sum of what his most favourite ingredient (in this case ingredients) might be.

His passion for original and beautifully presented food is inspired by textures and nature. And is refl ected in his large bio-diverse garden. “Possibly the largest in the North Island. We are talking about 1,500 leeks, 400 caulifl owers, sometimes 70 kilograms of beetroot at a time.” 

Francky’s heritage is Goan food – “which is really diff erent to anything else in the world” – so unsurprisingly he thrives on experimentation. An instinct which is constantly fed by whatever produce the garden is providing. Garden-to-table dining is his mantra because “it creates unique aromas, colours and fl avours from the most authentic produce which comes from a sustainable garden. At this time of year I love the local berries and we are always planting hundreds of seeds and plants. My own herbs and vegetables I fi nd reassuring; I know where they are from. These are organic plants which have been nurtured and have a wonderfully therapeutic quality.”

His tool of choice is the Swiss-made Bamix hand blender. “It’s essential for chefs to use safe and high quality equipment and its rust-free materials are odourless, tasteless and food-safe. The Bamix quality is internationally recognised. And for me it gives high, high speed which creates great quality foams and purees. So I use it a lot in my day to day operation – textured puree or the smoothest emulsion or foam is the goal. The high speed breaks down liquids and works large numbers of bubbles to create shock waves as they pop. Very impressive on the plate – light and frothy and a feast for the eye. And it’s also very easy to store.”

Stuffed Bostock Chicken with Olives | Vanilla infused creamy potato puree| Summer berries| St Georges garden baby vegetables | Thyme foam

Stuffed Chicken

  • 1 chicken
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 40 gm olives pitted
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt

Method:

Debone the chicken and prepare as for a roast, emptying all bones from insides. The nerves and the bones from the leg. Season the inside with salt and freshly ground pepper. Crush the garlic cloves slightly, but do not peel. Stuff the chicken with the herbs, finishing with the olives. Truss and refrigerate overnight.

Next day roast the chicken in the oven at 175* C for 45 minutes, basting frequently and collecting the drippings. When cooked, rest under the light or set aside for 8 minutes in a warm spot.

Vanilla Infused Potato Puree

  • 600 g washed Agria potatoes
  • Salt 125 g cold butter
  • 1 split vanilla bean
  • 75 ml warm cream
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 210*C. Prick potatoes all over with tooth pick or kebab stick and rub with salt. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for about one hour or until a skewer goes through to the centre easily. Meantime warm cream with vanilla beans and keep aside. Remove potatoes from oven, cut potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. Pass potato flesh through a drum sieve and place into a clean pan. Put pan over a medium heat and beat in butter, a few pieces at a time, until all the butter is fully incorporated. Add warm cream a little at a time, and beat smooth. Season with salt

Thyme Foam

  • 150 ml reduced chicken stock (homemade)
  • 100 ml milk
  • 30 ml cream
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 tsp lecithin

Method:

Place chicken stock and thyme together in a small saucepan and reduce by half. Add cream and milk, bring to the boil and check the seasoning. Remove the thyme foam from the heat and infuse for one hour. Strain the foam through a very fine chinois into pan and keep to one side.

Organic Vegetables

 

  • 200 gm assorted baby squash
  • 50 gm broad beans, peeled
  • 50 gm peas
  • Butter
  • Salt

Method:

Cook vegetables in separate pans of boiling salted water, refresh in iced water, drain and mix all together with butter, season with salt and pepper.

Garnish

  • 100 gm handpicked garden berries
  • 100 gm cherries
  • 100 ml chicken jus
  • Organic Edible flowers from garden
  • 1 tsp local olive oil

Finish and presentation:

Untruss the chicken, shine with some chicken dripping, season with pepper.  Cut and place on the hot serving plate with all the accompaniments as per the photo, garnish with edible flowers and berries. Serve immediately.

St Georges Restaurant: 452 St Georges Rd., Havelock North, 4130

Phone: (06) 877 5356

www.stgeorgesrestaurant.co.nz

Jeremy Rameka

When Pacifica won the Best Regional Restaurant award in the Cuisine Good Food Awards last year for the second year running as well as gaining two hats (the only restaurant in Hawke’s Bay to hold such recognition), it certainly ensured that the Bay was a food force to be reckoned with. It’s an accolade well deserved as it has garnered its fair share of awards over the years – Restaurant of the Year four times, Best Chef four times, plus Best Signature Dish and many more.

In appearances its looks bely the superb dishes which appear on chef Jeremy Rameka’s daily menus. An understated weathered blue beach bungalow overlooking the Napier coastline houses a simple open kitchen from which Jeremy consistently creates Michelin star food in the most relaxed atmosphere. Definitely Pacific style.

Jeremy Rameka

It wasn’t always so. Originally there were multiple chefs with an a la carte menu just to add to the mix. All that changed about three years ago when he decided to whittle right down, creating a degustation menu (a choice of either predominantly seafood or mixed) based on seasonally-available ingredients and how his emotions were running that day. And at a set price. Success swiftly followed.

His choice for a never-do-without ingredient is typical of his down to earth style. Butter. The unsalted variety so he can add his own flavours. “It’s the foundation of most dishes because it adds richness and body.” 

His choice for a never-do-without ingredient is typical of his down to earth style. Butter. The unsalted variety so he can add his own fl avours. “It’s the foundation of most dishes because it adds richness and body.” Of course!

His favourite utensil? His trusty knife to prep the day’s dishes. It’s a Victorinox which he’s had for twenty-fi ve years – “since day one” – which he maintains daily, sharpening it with a stone.

He laughingly adds, “That’s why I give heaps of apprentices a lot of shtick because the knives are older than them.” The other brand in his knife box is Global and though he has been gifted knives over time, his fi rst knife was and is his service knife, which he bought as a junior chef and has kept with him ever since.

PATE

  • 400gms chicken livers
  • 300gms unsalted butter
  • Half a brown onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp salt.

Method:

In a pot melt down the onions with the butter and add chicken livers. Once the livers are cooked (slightly pink) blend in a blender and add more salt if needed. He said it was simple – it is also superb!

Pacifica: 209 Marine Pde, Napier, 4110

Phone: (06) 833 6335

www.pacificarestaurant.co.nz

 

 

Kent Baddeley 

Kent Baddeley

“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” is a saying which certainly sums up this veteran chef and owner of the multi-award winning TenTwentyFour. Kent himself has become very used to heat over the years – it’s his indispensible ingredient in the kitchen and he uses it at an extraordinarily high temperature. “Usually up to 350 C. It’s invaluable for my own style – an extravagant temperature I admit, but that makes the diff erence. And I use both gas and electricity.”

Obviously you can’t cook without heat, but as any connoisseur will tell you, it is how you use it that sorts out the dross from the gold. He says his preference is for an electric oven. “I prefer the speed – the fast cooking process ensures freshness. Also with multiple dishes, the constant opening and shutting of the door can aff ect the result. We all have the same ingredients to hand, it’s what you do with them that is the point.”

As one of the Bay’s most awarded chefs and with some 61 restaurants tucked into his much notched chef’s belt, his secret to success is “being in the restaurant 52 weeks a year and 18 hours a day for the past 45 years.” No one could deny that TenTwentyFour is synonymous with beautiful food in both taste and presentation.

His love aff air with the world of cookery is an obvious passion. Kent relies on instinct, touch and his eyes to achieve the superbly seductive food that is a constant source of delight to customers who come from far and wide to experience his cuisine. “70 % of our bookings are from outside the Bay. We have an international reputation which is why people fl y from all over the world to eat with us.”

One of his most prized accolades is being featured in the International Congress of Chefs in Milan, for which the judging team fl ew into the Bay fi ve times to assess the standard. Harnessing the goodness of local seafood, meat and fresh seasonal produce is his marque, but his ability to create dishes that are repeatedly rated as outstanding is what draws the cognoscenti. The Shun knife is his go-to utensil. “I have the entire collection – it leaves other knives way behind. And if you are using a knife twelve hours a day you want one that is going to deliver. The steel ensures very fine work. The rounded blade allows for a rocking-style cutting and with its superb balance and weight you are sure of what you are going to get. Forget German and French, this steel is hard so it keeps its sharp edge for a long time.”

Kent himself has become very used to heat over the years – it’s his indispensible ingredient in the kitchen and he uses it at an extraordinarily high temperature. 

Prue Barton

As one half of the legendary team which ran the renowned Vinnie’s in Auckland for so many years (Prue’s partner is David Griffi ths), as well as the reputable Wildfi re in Sydney, it is little wonder that when Prue and David made Hawke’s Bay their home, it was only a matter of time before their latest venture, Mister D, would gain national applause for its fabulous food. Food which is unpretentious, bistro style and lipsmackingly moreish. Their doughnuts are famous the length and breadth of the country.

Prue Barton

Probably the fact they make everything themselves speaks volumes about its excellence. Good enough to earn the restaurant its fi rst hat in the Cuisine Good Food Awards in 2016. A baker starts at 6am to make all the breads and brioches. Pasta features frequently and they make their own ravioli. “Although I’ve done mostly classical French in the past, I really like the Italian approach – somewhere you can get a good bowl of pasta that’s simple but good,” Prue explains.

And their loyalty to the region is obvious in their choice of Village Press oils; locally grown greens and herbs, plus seasonal fruits; Te Mata fi gs; Hohepa cheese and yoghurt; Origin Earth produce and Telegraph Hill olives. The lot. Shelves in the restaurant reveal a devotion to bottling and preserving.

But when asked about her most favoured go-to ingredient and utensil, Prue sprang a surprise. She was keen to have something “a little more cheff y” and opted for a great new discovery – the Boska Cheese Curler (from Sabato) coupled with Tete de Moine cheese (also available from Sabato).

“The Boska will steal the show in any salad, carpaccio, risotto or separate cheese course. It’s also great for preparing fancy curls of chocolate (for anyone who has tried to produce those, take note!!) And a particular piece de resistance at Mister D is the presentation of “a whole Tete de Moine at the table which we then curl and serve with quince paste, wholemeal crackers and ciabatta.” To prepare the curls, Prue suggests placing the whole cheese on the marble base and turning the handle of the Boska cheese curler “to create the gorgeous frilly curls of cheese.”

Probably the fact they make everything themselves speaks volumes about its excellence. Good enough to earn the restaurant its first hat in the Cuisine Good Food Awards in 2016.

 

Tete de Moine is a semi-hard dark yellow cheese made of unpasteurised cow’s milk and “the curls release the best of its fl avour. It was invented by monks in Switzerland more than eight centuries ago and has a reputation for being a delicate cheese for connoisseurs. The curls also work as a sophisticated snack with crispy bread, walnuts, grapes and your favourite summer wine.”

Prue Barton’s Rare Roasted Beef Salad with Aioli and Tete de Moine (for 4 )

• 400g beef fillet, rare roasted

Method: Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper and sear the whole piece of beef fillet in a hot pan evenly on all sides for a few minutes. Place in tin foil to rest the meat until cool. Refrigerate overnight to set the meat for easy slicing.

Garnish: • Tete de Moine (semi-hard cheese from Swiss Jura, available from Sabato in Auckland) • Punnet cherry tomatoes, sliced in half • Baby capers , 1 tablespoon • Tarragon • Baby roquette • Curls of Tete de Moine • Drizzle of aioli

Aioli • 3 egg yolks • 50 ml white wine vinegar • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard • 1 peeled clove of garlic • Sea salt • 750 ml grapeseed oil • Extra virgin olive oil

Method: In a kitchen whizz blend the egg yolks, vinegar, mustard and garlic. Now slowly drizzle in the oil. If the mixture thickens too much add a little boiling water. Add a pinch or two of sea salt to taste. Once you have the correct seasoning add a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a little more boiling water to achieve a thick pouring consistency.

Preparation of Tete de Moine: Using the special Boska cheese curler place the whole cheese on the marble base and turn the handle to create the gorgeous frilly curls of cheese. Use this to complete the garnish for the beef salad.

Assembly: Slice the beef as thinly as possible and spread over 4 plates. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, tarragon, baby roquette, aioli and the “piece de resistance” the curls of Tete de Moine.

 

Mister D: 47 Tennyson St, Napier.

Phone:  (06) 835 5022

www.misterd.co.nz

James Beck

When Bistronomy gained its fi rst hat at the Cuisine Food Awards, it was no surprise to the foodies in the Bay. Chef James Beck’s reputation has been long in the making, known for his surprising and inventive dishes which have germinated over about a decade of cooking at two Michelin-starred restaurants in Belgium and baking at the InterContinental in Amsterdam. Then setting up Taste Cornucopia in Hastings, the springboard for what has become one of the most talked-about eateries in the Bay – Bistronomy – gaining fans for its beautiful Art Deco charm as well as its original gastronomy.

So when he stated that his favourite ingredient at this time of the year was elder fl ower, which is harvested locally, it pretty well went with the terrain.

Elder flowers aren’t necessarily what would spring to mind when probing the mysteries of delectable cuisine. But amongst the cognoscenti of the chef’s upper echelon they are rated as a brilliant addition to anything – from being combined with summer fruits in cocktails to white fish and poached chicken. There are dozens of elder flower cordials, waters and even a liqueur or two to prove it. James makes his own syrup, but the flowers also freshly picked can enhance the taste of a pikelet or fritter and the flavour they add to a salad dressing is sheer ambrosia.

Elder flowers aren’t necessarily what would spring to mind when probing the mysteries of delectable cuisine. But amongst the cognoscenti of the chef’s upper echelon they are rated as a brilliant addition to anything – from being combined with summer fruits in cocktails to white fi sh and poached chicken.

His constant companion in the kitchen is his prized Thermo Mix, recognised as the fastest and most powerful blender in the world. “I have been using them for about 15 years both when I was in Europe and also here. They are guaranteed to enable me to make the super smooth purees here at Bistronomy.” For which the restaurant is famous.

James Beck

Elderflower Sashimi, Sour Cherry and Rhubarb Salsa, Coconut Granita.  Serves 6

This is a great summer dish that really takes advantage of some beautiful Hawkes Bay products; namely elderflower and Lesley Hall’s sour cherries. Both have quite a short season but you can substitute Ardmore’s fantastic elderflower cordial and frozen sour cherries are often available at speciality food stores. Elderflowers are best harvested early in the morning before the sun has hit.

  • 360g   finely sliced fresh white fish (kingfish, trevally or kahawai are perfect

Elderflower Marinade

  • 100g   washed and picked elderflower blossoms
  • half     thinly sliced lemon
  • 500g   water
  • 50g     sugar
  • 100     extra virgin avocado oil

Method:

Layer a clean container with some of the blossom, followed by some of the lemon and continue layering until there is none left. Bring the water and sugar to the boil and pour over the blossoms and lemon layers. Place a cartouche followed by a light weight (such as a plate) on top of the infusion to keep the blossoms under the liquid. Allow to cool than rest for 24 hours before straining.

Reserve 50g of the resulting infusion and place in a small spray bottle for plating.

Bring the rest of the infusion to the simmer and reduce by approximately ¾ to a viscous syrup.

Allow the syrup to cool and then emulsify with the avocado oil. Reserve.

Rhubarb Gel

  • 100g   red rhubarb
  • 300g   water
  • 35g     sugar
  • .7g      gellan gum

Method:

Bring the sugar and water to a simmer. Peel the rhubarb and place the peel into the water to flavour and colour the water. Remove the peel after 5 minutes, place the rhubarb into the water and simmer until tender. Strain the rhubarb and reserve. Reduce the cooking liquid to 50g. place the rhubarb and 25g of the reduced cooking liquid (reserve the other 25g for the salsa) into a blender and blend until smooth.  Weigh out 100g of the puree into a pot and add the gellan gum. Whish in the gum and allow 5 minutes for it to hydrate before bringing the mixture to the boil and boiling for 1 minute. Tip the hot mixture into a container and allow to cool to a firm gel. Blend the gel in a blender until smooth and glossy, reserve in a squeeze bottle to serve.

Sour Cherry and Rhubarb salsa

  • 60g     peeled rhubarb sliced in small batons
  • 40g     pitted and sliced sour cherries
  • 40g     pitted and sliced sweet cherries
  • 20g     thinly sliced pickled red onion
  • 5g       finely chopped red chilli (or more to taste)
  • 5g       finely sliced coriander
  • 25g     reduced rhubarb cooking liquid
  • 25g     extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Combine all ingredients

Coconut Granita

(this recipe makes more than required but can be stored in the freezer for further use)

  • 200g   fennel cooked till soft in salted water
  • 400g   coconut milk
  • 50g     Pernod with the alcohol cooked off
  • 20g     sugar
  • 5g       lemon zest
  • 1.5      leaves of gelatine.

Method:
Puree all of the ingredients except the gelatine. Soften the gelatine. Gently heat the coconut mixture to incorporate the gelatine. Place in a small container and freeze.

To Serve

  • 6t of mascarpone

 Method:

15 minutes prior to serving cover the fish with the marinade (or alternatively compress in a vacuum-pack machine just before serving.) Remove the fish from the marinade and lightly season with salt.

Place a swoop of mascarpone on each serving dish; squeeze 3 splodges of rhubarb gel on alternate sides of the mascarpone; place the salsa in two piles on the mascarpone; arrange the fish along the line of the mascarpone. Use a fork to grate a pile of coconut granita on top of the fish. Spray the entire dish with the reserved elderflower infusion and serve.

Bistronomy: 40 Hastings St, Napier, 4110

Phone (06) 834 4309

www.bistronomy.co.nz 

Alex Tylee

Best known in the Bay as the co-owner of the renowned Pipi, the local iconic eatery with particularly good casual fare and an atmosphere to match. Alex is also a wife and mother who knows much about family, fun, nurturing and sensational seasonal food. Which probably says a lot about why this eclectically decorated restaurant with its country style furniture, pretty pink colour scheme and very laid back atmosphere has gained such notoriety in and beyond the Bay.

Alex Tylee

Alex’s love of cooking came from providing meals for workers on the Hawke’s Bay farm where she lived and helping her mother fi ll the cake tins. And she continues to produce enticing satisfying food in an environment which is warm and welcoming. Little wonder her books Pipi The Cookbook and Pipi At Home have become so popular, for they literally ooze a home loving atmosphere to which pretty well any hostess aspires when entertaining.

So little surprise then when asked what her favourite ingredient might be. She responded instantly with, “It is impossible for me to say without hesitation that I have one ingredient that I prefer absolutely above all others. Certainly I have ingredients that I try and sneak into most things I cook. But this is usually for their health giving properties. For instance turmeric, ginger, quinoa and kale.

“However I do have a succession of favourite ingredients that change with the seasons. For instance, last week was wee baby broad beans and artichokes. And then there will be apricots. And so it goes on around the year until it gets back to the beginning again.” It seems unnecessary to add that she does use local ingredients and these are organic whenever possible.

At the time we talked Christmas was fast approaching, “so we are about to lunge into a berry eating frenzy which means I will say for now – it may of course change tomorrow or even tonight – that berries are my favourite ingredient. Strawberries, cherries, raspberries and so on. And what better way to eat them than standing next to the vine, preferably on a balmy evening when the fruit is still warm from the sun and simply putting them straight into your mouth?”

Having acknowledged that berries are pretty well “up there” for her ingredient of choice at this moment, she suggests that the next best thing to eating them straight from the vine is to make Chia jam. 

As for her favourite kitchen utensil? “I am more interested in the beauty rather than the practicality. Vintage pots, bowls, colanders. All beautifully crafted and made to last generations. These are my favourite things. When you use them you get a lovely sense of all the people who have done so in the past and even the slight inkling of where you might fi t into all that.”

Having acknowledged that berries are pretty well “up there” for her ingredient of choice at this moment, she suggests that the next best thing to eating them straight from the vine is to make Chia jam. “It gives the same satisfaction as making a traditional jam but without the days of labouring over boiling pots and mountains of sugar.” Needless to say she would use the vintage colander to wash the strawberries and a vintage copper pot for cooking the jam! She also says she would rather stick to what she knows will work, so long as it is healthy and tasty. “It doesn’t matter if it won’t win a prize in a tricky cooking competition!”

Strawberry Chai Jam

“Now this is just a guide once you have made it once you can play around with different fruit and amounts of sweetener and chai seeds.”

  • 4 cups strawberries
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons chai seeds

 Method:

Take the tops off the strawberries and cut them  in half then wash them and put into a heavy based pot.

Put them over a low heat and let them simmer for about 10/ 15 minutes or until they have released their water and have cooked down.  Then mash them with a potato masher to the consistency you want.

Next stir in the honey or maple syrup, then add the chai seeds and mix these through as well.

Let the jam cool in the pot, it will thicken as it cools.

When it is cool you can pour it into sterilized jar, store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Pipi Cafe: 16 Joll Rd, Havelock North, 4130

Phone: 06-877 8993

www.pipicafe.co.nz

Robert Oliver

Robert Oliver

Though not a Bay resident, Rob spends a lot of his time scouring the best of the best kitchens in the vicinity during his frequent visits to family who are from these parts. So he classes himself as an “honorary Bay body”. A Kiwi of multiple culinary accomplishments, he’s developed restaurants in numerous parts of the world as well as food programmes for the homeless and the dependent.

It’s no surprise that his favourite ingredient of the moment is Koko Samoa. A delectable block of real Samoan cocoa developed by Women in Business who form the biggest organic farming organisation in Western Samoa.

His own books based on Pacifi c cuisine have earned him the accolades – in fact what many regard as the Pulitzer of cookbooks, namely the World’s Best Cookbook Award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris in 2010 for Me’a Kai – The Food and Flavours of the Pacifi c. It was followed by winning the World’s Best TV Chef’s Cookbook at the same Gourmand awards in 2014 for Me’ai Samoa. His frequent appearances on food shows – My Kitchen Rules, Real Pasifi k – bring instant recognition. He is also chef ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu and a keynote speaker on global nutrition. So it stands to reason that he is a dab hand when it comes to producing mouth-wateringly good fare himself.

Given his fascination with Pacifi c cuisine and the desire to encourage islanders not to lose their indigenous recipes – rather update them to please a contemporary palate – it’s no surprise that his favourite ingredient of the moment is Koko Samoa. A delectable block of real Samoan cocoa developed by Women in Business who form the biggest organic farming organisation in Western Samoa.

It is according to his fi nely-tuned taste buds “the best cocoa around”. Selecting the best is an art. “Pick it up and sniff it fi rst – it should be slightly smokey but not burnt, with a rich peppery coff ee-like aroma. It contains pepper, chocolate and coff ee, and if it smells burnt, it is burnt; don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise. It’s a real artisan food.”

It also makes a great drink. Grate half a cup into four cups of hot water, some star anise and vanilla, a cup of condensed milk, a cup of coconut milk, simmer and strain. Fabulous hot or iced. “Be prepared for a ‘rush’ – its full of caff eine,” he says wryly (we won’t mention the calories!)

Rob is constantly on a plane – to the Pacifi c, Asia, America, Europe and of course throughout New Zealand. With him he carries his special Plane Zester which he relies on to create the bright eff ervescent fl avours which are his trademark. “It’s specially good for Koko Samoa which with a normal grater can be a bit gritty. Because it is very fi ne it is great for lemons, limes and oranges for getting the most of the outer zest. Do not grate the white pith, which is bitter,” he insists.

NB:Koko Samoa will be available on general distribution later this year and is currently sold at Blue Rose Cafe in Sandringham, Auckland

KOKO SAMOA PORK CHOPS

  • 1/2 cup Samoan honey or any dark liquid honey
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup grated koko Samoa
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 medium sized pork chops about 2cm thick

 

Method:

In a small pot melt the honey with the vinegar, koko Samoa, ginger and star anise. Simmer for 4 minutes then remove from heat and allow to sit while you prepare the pork, allowing the flavours to develop. Strain and keep warm.

Heat a pan or grill and cook the pork chops 4 minutes each side or until done.

If grilling brush with the koko Samoa glaze on both sides while the pork is cooking, plate and then brush one more time with the glaze. If pan cooking, cook 4 minutes each side and for the last few minutes, add some glaze to the pan, turning the pork chops to coat well.

Serve with grilled vegetables or mashed breadfruit.

www.robertoliveronline.com

 

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Michal McKay09 February 2017

BB33

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