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Wa­ter­ing the Hob­bits

The Neu­dorf Tom’s Block Pinot Noir 2010 will be served tonight in Welling­ton at the launch and din­ner for The Hob­bit pre­miere. The wine­mak­ers of the tip­ple, which is avail­able in Christchurch at EuroVin­tage, Vino Fino and Liquor­land (Ric­car­ton, Beck­en­ham, Tower St, Shirley), hope to please the stars, big and small. ‘‘We can as­sure you that no hairy feet were in­volved in the pigeage (tram­pling of the grapes) of this wine,’’ Neu­dorf’s Judy Finn says, ‘‘but we are pretty chuffed to think Cate Blanchett, Martin Free­man and Hugo Weaver will be poured a wine from our Up­per Moutere win­ery.’’ neu­dorf.co.nz

Eat drink learn

Chef Dar­ren Wright (ex Har­bour 71 and the Ban­ga­lore Polo club), Leanne Wright, and Gra­ham and Lynda Bel­laney opened new hos­pi­tal­ity ven­ture Chillingworth Road last week. The busi­ness, with its theme of ‘‘eat drink learn’, pro­vides an in­ter­ac­tive ca­sual din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Nes­tled in the Cran­ford St com­plex, which also houses the new Costa’s and sec­ond Burg­ers and Beers out­let, Chillingworth Road features a swish bar area, bistro lunch area, demon­stra­tion kitchen and culi­nary shop, and a su­per-swish din­ing room. The fo­cus of the bar, lunch and din­ner menus is ‘‘fresh lo­cal pro­duce’’. The demon­stra­tion sec­tion, with its stream­lined benches and cook­ing equip­ment, will host twice-daily ses­sions, with bak­ing the fea­ture in morn­ings and meat and fish prepa­ra­tion in the af­ter­noons. Each area flows into the next, so hav­ing a cof­fee while watch­ing a choco­late spe­cial­ist at work, or a beer as the ex­perts demon­strate bon­ing meat cuts, is sure to be more fun than watch­ing a cook­ing show on tele­vi­sion.

Why Chillingworth Road when the ad­dress is Cran­ford St? When they were scout­ing for a site, the Wrights dis­cov­ered their pre­ferred lo­ca­tion was once in Chillingworth Rd, but the ad­dress dis­ap­peared when Cran­ford St was ex­tended.

Along­side Wright in the kitchen are Gareth Evans, Guy Stan­away and pas­try chef Jae Min Aw.

Chillingworth Road, 478 Cran­ford St. Open 7.30am un­til late for break­fast, lunch, din­ner, drinks and demon­stra­tions. Phone 03 352 7784.

In­dian 2

Open­ing soon in the Cran­ford St com­plex and com­plet­ing the row of good food out­lets is out­let No 2 for Ar­jee Bha­jee. The fa­mous In­dian will still re­tain its Ric­car­ton Rd busi­ness.

Even posher

Posh Por­ridge, the sta­ple break­fast stall, has be­come Posh Pan­cakes for sum­mer at the Ric­car­ton House Farm­ers’ Mar­ket. The menu can’t be beaten for those with a Satur­day­morn­ing sweet tooth: pan­cakes are lath­ered in the likes of rhubarb and rasp­berry crush, topped with dried fruit, such as Nigella’s marsala prunes, or swirls of berry or choco­late sauces and roasted nuts. Although the pan­cake top­pings change weekly, the bircher break­fast bowl, full of Can­ter­bury oats, toasted seeds and honey, re­mains through­out the sea­son. From 9am on Satur­days at Ric­car­ton House, 16 Kahu Rd.

Garden City 2.0

This com­mu­nity pro­duce col­lec­tive is bring­ing new life to

Sorted: the city, as lo­cal grow­ers dis­trib­ute their goods via the ini­tia­tive’s Vege Box De­liv­ery. Its $30 fam­ily box con­tains roughly enough fresh veg­eta­bles for fourper­son fam­ily for a week, while the $15 box is ideal for sin­gles or older cus­tomers. Pay by 5pm on Wed­nes­day and be­fore noon on Satur­day you’ll have a de­li­cious se­lec­tion of pota­toes, car­rots, spinach, let­tuce, ap­ples, pears, mixed herbs and other sea­sonal veg­eta­bles and fruit.

Pint and a pie

Last week the Up­per South Is­land Re­gional Fi­nal of the Guin­ness Pint Master com­pe­ti­tion was held at The Craic in Christchurch, and a hus­band and wife team from Sea­mus’s Ir­ish Bar in Pic­ton won the top prize. Liz and Alis­tair Hawthorne took the Ir­ish dry stout to the kitchen, im­press­ing judges with their hot pot pie, which was pre­sented with a Guin­ness re­duc­tion rel­ish, served in a shot glass, topped with sour cream to re­sem­ble the beer.

‘‘I adore cook­ing,’’ says Liz, who has served her ver­sion of Guin­ness pie at Sea­mus’s since 2003. The Hawthornes go to Auck­land for the grand fi­nal on De­cem­ber 4. Run­ner-up in the Christchurch event was a straw­berry and cream Guin­ness cock­tail with home­made Guin­ness truf­fles, cre­ated by the team from Paddy Barry’s in Blen­heim. The Ir­ish­man bar in Christchurch also cre­ated Gui­ness cock­tails – Af­ter Din­ner Guin­ness Mint and the Guin­ness Rocky Road – for the con­test.

Photo: EMMAALLEN FAIRFAX/NZ.

Hot shot: Good craic was sure to fol­low Liz and Alis­tair Hawthorne’s Guin­ness win – hot-pot pie and Guin­ness rel­ish

Drink it in: There’s more than good food at Chillingworth Road in Cran­ford St.

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