|Taking NZ to the world|
What is it in your opinion that will define New Zealand in the eyes of the world in the next 10-20 years? Will it be rugby, ‘boring politics’, fine food and wine, or mass export of livestock?Executive chef Ben Batterbury of The Rees Hotel's True South Dining Room in Queenstown recently travelled 9300 miles to cook at The Beard House in New York.
Among chefs in America, being invited to cook at The Beard House is considered more than an accomplishment. But as a New Zealander, chef Batterbury didn't realise this until he arrived in New York City.
Batterbury’s gig at America’s holy grail of chefdom showcased an exquisitely executed parade of New Zealand products to an A-list of influential local foodwriters. He wowed them with cured salmon, tortellini stuffed with smoked salmon, crème fraîche, pickled ginger, avocado mousse, and rhubarb pickled in heilala vanilla. Greenshell mussels were served with roast garlic butter, parsley and horseradish, followed by NZ lamb accompanied with smoked aubergine purée and boulangère potatoes (potatoes layered with caramelised onions and cooked in butter).
The whole meal was paired with fine New Zealand wines like Neudorf’s Moutere Riesling 2009 and a Vinoptima Noble Late Harvest Gewürztraminer 2004 and the cheese course included Kapiti Kikorangi and a Tuteremoana aged Cheddar served with a garnish of finely sliced New Zealand apples.
And, as a result, NZ King Salmon, NZ lamb and some of our produce and wines received resoundingly positive feedback from these distinguished food writers in various US media.
This is the type of publicity for New Zealand that money just can’t buy.
Our produce and seafood really is second to none in the world – and I say this wholeheartedly as someone who has not only dined in many fine establishments all over the globe, but also shopped and cooked in Europe, North Africa and USA (and also in Asia – but don’t get me started on that . . .).
Let’s be proud of the cornucopia of top quality flavours that we produce in this wonderful country. Why would we even consider going down the track of mass produced, factory farmed, hormone injected culinary atrocities.
If we could just focus on what we do best, then our superb seafood, wines, cheeses and fruit will not only be world famous . . . but will also be what defines us in the future – a 100% Pure New Zealand premium brand.