Chefs pro­mote ‘farm to ta­ble’

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Celebrity cook Annabel Lang­bein and a United States chef am­bas­sador showed Cen­tral Otago food­ies how to bring the farm to the ta­ble at a cook­ing demon­stra­tion.

Lang­bein and chef William Dis­sen, who owns and runs Mar­ket Place restau­rant in Asheville, North Carolina, treated stu­dents and the pub­lic to a cook­ing demon­stra­tion at the Otago Polytech­nic’s Cen­tral Cam­pus in Cromwell on Thurs­day.

The pair vis­ited Cen­tral Otago and Queen­stown fol­low­ing their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Welling­ton on a Plate Fes­ti­val.

They got a tour of the polytech­nic’s op­er­a­tion prior to the demon­stra­tion where they gath­ered fresh herbs and veg­eta­bles to cook in front of a large crowd in the polytech­nic’s kitchen.

‘‘I haven’t been here be­fore. It is so ex­cit­ing and it is in­cred­i­ble to think that this is all hap­pen­ing just here and it is so sus­tain­able,’’ Lang­bein said.

‘‘You’ve got a com­post­ing plant, you’ve got chickens, all of this be­ing able to be grown in­side. From the point of view of the stu­dent, it is that real farm to ta­ble ex­pe­ri­ence that you can teach them.’’

Work­ing from farm to ta­ble also made you more re­source­ful, Lang­bein said.

‘‘This is your pal­ette, this is what you have got to work with.’’

Dis­sen said a lot of stu­dents might not have had ex­pe­ri­ences on the farm, so to get them con­nected to what is in sea­son and to be able to har­vest herbs and veg­eta­bles and take them into the kitchen and cook them was ‘‘what it is all about’’.

Dis­sen said there was a strong par­al­lel in the way his farm to ta­ble phi­los­o­phy and ap­proach to food aligned with New Zealand’s food culture

‘‘There is this idea of tak­ing very fresh food and what’s in sea­son and re­ally let­ting the in­gre­di­ents shine. That’s for me what fresh food is all about. We ma­nip­u­late as lit­tle as pos­si­ble so we can put di­rectly from the farm to ta­ble and taste that life of the food...so you are eat­ing greens that are al­most still alive.’’

The pair had been in­volved in a South­ern Soul Se­ries which fo­cused on in­gre­di­ents, ideas and food of the South-East of the United States and the par­al­lel be­tween that and the South Is­land, he said.

‘‘There is a sim­i­lar men­tal­ity grow­ing lo­cal, eat­ing lo­cal and eat­ing in sea­son and I think for­tu­itously that’s why Annabel and I were put to­gether.’’

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