THE BEST THING...

Our con­trib­u­tors pick their favourite food in­no­va­tions since sliced bread

Cuisine - - CONTENTS -

WHEN PLAN­NING this is­sue, we had in­no­va­tion on our mind. So we asked our con­trib­u­tors and other food-focused folk, “What do you reckon has been the best food in­no­va­tion since sliced bread?” Here are some of their an­swers.

Lo­col, a revo­lu­tion­ary Amer­i­can fast food restau­rant that aims to com­pete with the likes of McDon­ald’s and Burger King. The brain­child of chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Pat­ter­son, it’s all about bring­ing healthy, af­ford­able food op­tions to low-in­come com­mu­ni­ties, and also pro­vides culi­nary train­ing and ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties. As Choi says on his web­site: “We be­lieve that whole­some­ness, de­li­cious­ness and af­ford­abil­ity don’t have to be mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive con­cepts in fast food. We be­lieve that fast food restau­rants can truly em­power the com­mu­ni­ties they cur­rently un­der­serve. We be­lieve that the gi­ant cor­po­ra­tions that feed most of Amer­ica have de­graded our com­mu­ni­ties by max­imis­ing prof­its over decades. We be­lieve that chefs should feed Amer­ica, and not suits.” / we­lo­col.com Aaron McLean, pho­tog­ra­pher The ever-grow­ing num­ber of qual­ity New Zealand cof­fee roast­ers and the in­creas­ing avail­abil­ity of a great range of beans. Plus my dinky Ja­panese Hario Mini Mill that al­lows me to grind to or­der, and pro­vides an arm work-out to boot. Who needs cap­sules? Alice Neville, se­nior editor

In the late 90s, Alice Wa­ters of Chez Panisse in San Fran­cisco started The Ed­i­ble School­yard project, and it had a ma­jor in­flu­ence on both Stephanie Alexan­der set­ting up her Kitchen Gar­den Foun­da­tion (the pro­gramme is cur­rently in more than 800 schools in Aus­tralia); and Cather­ine Bell in New Zealand set­ting up the Gar­den to Ta­ble Trust (cur­rently in 38 schools). These women pas­sion­ately be­lieve that ed­u­cat­ing our young in how to grow and cook food is vi­tal for grow­ing healthy com­mu­ni­ties. Ginny Grant, se­nior food writer

I take my hat off to so­cial en­ter­prises like Kai­bosh, Eat My Lunch and Com­mon Unity (see page 142 for more on these), which in­te­grate great food with so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, sus­tain­abil­ity and good old­fash­ioned com­mon sense. Also – I Love Pies pies! Lucy Corry, writer

Food la­belling. Be­ing able to make an in­formed choice is our right. We have made im­prove­ments in this area, but I so look for­ward to the day when our la­bels will give us not only nu­tri­tional in­for­ma­tion, but also in­for­ma­tion about the true ori­gins of our food. Kelli Brett, Cui­sine editor

Free-range has be­come very im­por­tant in our house. We buy free-range eggs, chicken, pork and ba­con. If we can’t find free-range, we don’t buy it. It has been won­der­ful to see the free-range egg sec­tion get big­ger and big­ger over the years, shelf by shelf tak­ing over the bat­tery egg sec­tion. It’s like a tide of civil­i­sa­tion slowly coming in. It was a big ex­tra cost, but it had to be paid to show our chil­dren what we be­lieve in. It’s about re­spect­ing our food and the an­i­mals we eat. The bonus is the chicken and the pork tastes bet­ter. Ewan Sar­gent, writer

The evo­lu­tion of sal­ads from the 1970s to now – so much more choice than let­tuce and coleslaw! Kathie Bart­ley, wine and food mar­keter

The idea that has changed the way I think about food has been the “I Quit Sugar” move­ment. Don’t get me wrong, I have a sweet tooth, but since learning about how much un­nec­es­sary sugar is in­cluded in our di­ets, I take a closer look at the nu­tri­tional in­for­ma­tion on the side of pack­ets and try to stick to un­der 5g per 100g. There’s def­i­nitely time for cake and choco­late, but I’ve cut out a lot of the un­nec­es­sary sugar, like fizzy drinks, and feel so much bet­ter for it! Sarah Meikle, Welling­ton on a Plate fes­ti­val director

The cur­rent wave of eth­nic food ap­pre­ci­a­tion brought on by new im­mi­grants to NZ. Plus the slow food move­ment, and a re­turn to the ap­pre­ci­a­tion of tra­di­tional skills such as pre­serv­ing and jam mak­ing. Like most things in life, there are very few new in­no­va­tions, but rather new-found ap­pre­ci­a­tion (or a new au­di­ence) and cur­rent takes on time-hon­oured skills: back to the fu­ture. Jane Boyle, wine judge

The pro­lif­er­a­tion of great Asian food in Auckland. Fiona Las­celles, art director

Unsliced bread – and finally good but­ter, made in New Zealand, to put on it! Fiona Smith, se­nior food writer

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