Two Great Pop Ups

Kathy Paterson heads to pop-up dinners in Christchurch and Auckland united by a truly excellent cheese. The pop-up dinner scene has been in full swing and food writers have been making the most of it.

Lauraine Jacobs, Ginny Grant, Nalini Baruch, Lizzie de Lambert, Tina Duncan, Meredith Dyer and I joined the South Island Cook Up in Christchurch, part of a collaboration series organised by Guilio Sturla and Liane Leesment of Roots Restaurant in Lyttleton.

Along with nine participating innovative South Island chefs, this dream team cooking with an “abundance of the south”, cooked truly sensational food – some of the best I have eaten in a long time. We have printed you the full menu as I could not pick one dish over another.

Bacon, mushroom, tomato, black pudding and egg
Oatcake, goats fromage blanc, wild thyme honey and thyme
Chicken liver cigar, bread and butter ash
Corned lamb heart, mustard and rye
Titi, onion, rewana, wild spinach
Paua, menegi, pleurotus mushrooms, pomegranate, apple, coconut, squid
Crayfish, avocado, chilli, black garlic, squid ink
Asparagus, egg, barley, leaves, flowers
Gurnard, asparagus, seaweed, pilchard
Lamb (milk fed and grass fed), garden
Wild passionfruit, Blueskin honey, chocolate, meringue, bee pollen, kawakawa, lemon balm, yarrow

The invitation along with more information is on our website under Industry News. Also check out conversationz.co.nz for more information on “let’s talk food”.

Two days later, Simon Farrell-Green of Eat Here Now arranged a dinner in Auckland with chef Alex Davies (incidentally, his only request was a hob and two large pots) and wines by Black Estate in Waipara.

Food writers Delaney Mes, Amy Stewart and I were lucky enough to get tickets before they sold out. Held in the architecturally stunning Michael Lett Gallery on Karangahape Road, Auckland, we sat down to eat at long tables covered in natural paper which had been simply adorned with oak tree leaves. The food and wines were sublime and I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw the goats cheese fromage on the menu was the delicious cheese we had eaten two days previously. (Look out for Kaikoura goats cheese on your travels – we managed to buy some at Canterbury Cheesemongers before leaving Christchurch.)

Whey crackers, red zone citrus, milk curds, flowers picked this morning, with Black Estate Riesling 2014
Oyster, green strawberry, with Black Estate Netherwood Rose 2015
Waipara barley, potato, parsley, kale with Black Estate Chardonnay 2014
Mushroom stock, smoked eel, watercress with Black Estate Home Pinot Noir 2013
Raw venison, egg yolk, spring greens, foraged autumn boletes with Black Estate Damsteep Pinot Noir 2013
Devonshire honey cake with Kaikoura goats cheese

Photo credit David Straight of Eat Here Now