Eat Up New Zealand

NZ House & Garden - - SPONSORED CONTENT -

Take a tra­di­tional Kiwi dish, sea­son it with a splash of Al Brown-dash and you get a re­vi­talised Kiwi clas­sic. Seafoods, meats, veg­eta­bles, cakes, pud­dings and pickles have been en­hanced with a mix of imag­i­na­tion, herbs, spices and ex­otic in­gre­di­ents our moth­ers had never heard of. Some dishes, Brown ac­knowl­edges, need no en­hance­ment, hence we have white­bait frit­ters with le­mon wedges and sponge drops, as well as tem­pura cau­li­flower with smoked ka­hawai cream, lamb shank em­panadas with spiced yo­ghurt and creamy pas­sion­fruit lam­ing­tons. Eat Up is an in­spired ram­ble through the cui­sine of coastal and ru­ral New Zealand. No more apol­o­gis­ing for our farm­house roast lamb fol­lowed by pavlova and sum­mer berries; Brown en­cour­ages us to cel­e­brate our culi­nary her­itage and won­der­ful in­gre­di­ents. His re­flec­tions on turn­ing up the flavour dial, the state of our oceans and meet­ing Tui Flower are in­ter­spersed with archival pho­tos of coast and coun­try and, of course, de­li­ciously pho­tographed recipes. Vir­ginia Pawsey blogs at com­mon­gar­dener.word­ shade (ex­plana­tory ex­am­ples wouldn’t have gone amiss) and an in­dex link­ing each pal­ette to De­sign­ers Guild paints, pa­pers and fab­rics. Fans of her work won’t be dis­ap­pointed but I ad­mit to a touch of déjà vu. Of course Guild must play to her strengths, which are con­sid­er­able, but page after page of tiny vari­a­tions in greens, blues, pinks and yel­lows, com­bined with flo­rals/botan­i­cals and aer­ated by ex­panses of “mod­ernising” white, left this re­viewer yearn­ing for the earthy bal­last of or­anges, browns, tans and ochres. Jan Chilwell is an Auck­land writer

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