Interesting links

Read More Vandana Shiva

Posted on Thu, 31/05/2018

Such a simple obvious statement about the world we live in, from a woman who  is amongst other things a physicist. Why can it seem so abundantly obvious, and yet be totally ignored by too many?   ...>>>

Read More Surcharges

Posted on Sat, 28/04/2018

We are percieved as being an expensive restaurant apparently. That comment floats back to me periodically.  A fact that occasionally bemuses me when we eat elsewhere and analysis what they charge and how they do it,...>>>

Read More The new version of Noma

Posted on Fri, 27/04/2018

Lord knows when we will get to Europe again - we're definitely twitchy and keen to go again, so it will happen, it's just the when that's a bit vague... This restaurant is definitely on the 'must go too'...>>>

Read More The cost of eating out

Posted on Mon, 19/03/2018

I am an accountant by trade. But I am now so long out of that industry that I never refer to myself as one, becos, well, it's been too long. I have however, always been responsible for the business side of Somerset, and...>>>

Read More Tipping again

Posted on Tue, 13/03/2018

Tipping isn't first and foremost in my brain, even though this is the second blog on the subject in recent times - in fact it's almost a non issue at Somerset, but this article happened to come up in my reading today...>>>

Read More Tipping

Posted on Sun, 25/02/2018

An interesting article from Danny Meyer, who is one  of New Yorks most prominant restaurant owners and whose book on good service in restaurants, ' Setting the Table' provided me much to think about when I read...>>>

Read More WIFI in cafes

Posted on Wed, 14/02/2018

I do get asked for the restaurant wifi on occasion. Admittedly not often - possibly half a dozen times a year. We usually freign ignorance because we only have wifi at the restaurant for the eftpos system, and don't have...>>>

Read More Online reviews

Posted on Sat, 09/12/2017

I can state categorically and honestly that I pay no attention to online reviews. I just don't go there because it would do my head in if I did. The motivation behind people feeling a need to sit down at a computor...>>>

Read More Dining at The Fat Duck

Posted on Sun, 03/12/2017

One of Aucklands top restaurateurs, Sid Sidharat ate at The Fat Duck recently and this is a link to his interpretation of the event.  Dining out - but not as we know it! ...>>>

Read More How to snag a reservation

Posted on Sat, 26/08/2017

Must start doing some work - a GST return that needs filing, ice to be made, and nougat that also needs to get made, so time to stop flitting around the online newspapers, cos all of the stuff about Trump is so damned depressing...>>>

Read More Big data

Posted on Sat, 26/08/2017

I fully accept that I am old fashioned in many of the ways that I look at our business. I try to listen and learn from changes that are constantly coming through, and use a computor and a smart phone regularly in our business...>>>

Read More Agreeing with Danny Meyer

Posted on Wed, 23/08/2017

I bought, read, and got alot out of  this man's book on what constitutes good restaurant service many, many years ago - 'Setting the table, the transformatiive power of hospitality in restaurants' - and have...>>>

Read More Digestive Health

Posted on Mon, 14/08/2017

Cookschools are a wonderful opportunity for us to talk about all sorts of things - we have a captive audience and we aim to make what we do interesting, and that process can lead to us  covering a fairly diverse range...>>>

Read More Restaurants in Paris

Posted on Sat, 29/07/2017

This article is 3 years old now and I came across it rather circuituiously and found it still surprisingly pertinent to today's restaurant world in Paris. We ate at Albion, one of the restaurants on the list last time...>>>

Read More Cuisine Magazines so called top 100 restaurants.

Posted on Wed, 05/07/2017

I shouldn't...I really shouldn't lurch into print after I've read something that irritates the proverbial out of me, but this article got both of us going,  and even though we've done a cookschool in...>>>

Read More Alton Browns assessment on NZ

Posted on Thu, 22/06/2017

I am just back from having spent weeks back to back in both Melbourne and Bali - both experiences I loved and found infinitely fascinating, (and will discuss in more detail when I get some sleep), but reading this article...>>>

Read More Closeness of tables in restaurants

Posted on Tue, 13/06/2017

We're just back from an intense week in Melbourne, where we ate out in restaurants a ridiculous number of times, as you do when you're on a research trip. Fascinating on a number of levels, and is a subject I'll...>>>

Read More The importance of doing the right thing

Posted on Wed, 24/05/2017

I confess to being obsessed with American politics. In a way that I never have before, but I currently spent far too much time in my day reading and listening to the commentary coming out of America, most of which seems beyond...>>>

Read More Watch and weep

Posted on Sat, 20/05/2017

Totally, totally, totally inspiring!!! ...>>>

Read More A restaurant review

Posted on Tue, 02/05/2017

This restaurant review is one reason I always get twitchy as a restaurant owner about the notion of someone reviewing what it is we do at Somerset for a wider audience. He has effectively damned the restaurant with faint...>>>

Read More The pope speaking at TED

Posted on Thu, 27/04/2017

I am an aetheist, as much as I need to have a label, which in general I do prefer to avoid, and I look askance at so much of what has happened down through history in the name of religion - Christian, Muslim and otherwise. This...>>>

Read More The Worlds so called top 50 restaurants

Posted on Sun, 09/04/2017

Funny. When I looked at the photo at the top of this article the first thing apparent to me was how male dominate the line up was, and then I went on to read the article and was pleased to see that I'm not the only one...>>>

Read More Superb speech

Posted on Fri, 10/03/2017

I'm about to head over to the restaurant for a cookschool - generally try and get there before any of the participants so that Rick and I can have a quick chat over our first coffee of the day- but also need to do the...>>>

Read More Restaurants in San Francisco

Posted on Mon, 08/08/2016

A somewhat sobering perspective on what is happening in the San Francisco restaurant scene, due to the influx of tech types who are pushing up the cost of living in the city... ...>>>

Read More Taking the proverbial

Posted on Sun, 07/08/2016

Thought this ad ( for Ikea furniture apparently! ) was very clever. It's intent on teasing those amongst us who feel the need to photograph food before we eat it. A growing trend in the restaurant that I've observed...>>>

Read More Moving on after owning a restaurant for 26 years

Posted on Wed, 27/07/2016

An  interesting article about a gentleman who owned a restaurant in New York for 26 years, and who is selling at the age of 60 and moving on to the next stage. His take on the evolution of the food style he choose...>>>

Read More What makes a great chef

Posted on Thu, 16/06/2016

I have just disappeared down a bit of a rabbit hole of internet reading, in part because I am procrastinating about heading out for a walk. What started as reading about the latest inanities out of Donald Trumps mouth progressed...>>>

Read More Top 50

Posted on Wed, 15/06/2016

For those who came to see the movie 'Noma' with us, news that this years list of the worlds top 50 restaurants ( did I manage to say that without any sarcasm? ) has been announced and Noma has dropt to 5th place. My...>>>

Read More Harold McGee on how we taste

Posted on Fri, 20/05/2016

Mr McGee is one of my guru's, someone who's books I turn too often when I have a query about something food related. He is a scientist, so comes at things from a different perspective to my norm, but has an unerring...>>>

Read More From a more innocent time!

Posted on Thu, 21/04/2016

Got reminded of this delightful trip down memory lane by a blog that I follow. Tony Bourdain, who I like very much, having dinner at The French Laundry quite some years ago, where chef/owner Thomas Keller who is one of our...>>>

Read More Everything is relative

Posted on Sun, 03/04/2016

Read this article this morning, thinking as I did so that it's timing was very apt, because things have changed in our world recently quite dramatically and I'd been feeling a bit sorry for myself because I'm...>>>

Read More Hipsterism

Posted on Fri, 01/04/2016

A pisstake of hipsterism - very clever!! ...>>>

Read More Compulsory viewing

Posted on Sat, 05/03/2016

A new joy in my life is being able to pick what I choose to watch when I'm on the spinner in the lounge. Unlike the rest of my family I have no enthusiasm for heading out to share the roads with cars and trucks, and am...>>>

Read More Self satisfaction

Posted on Thu, 28/01/2016

As mentioned previously, I gave myself a shock some years back, when the sensibility penetrated my awareness that Rick and I were no longer amongst the hip generation. Somewhere, somehow enough time had passed to mean that...>>>

Read More A chef's take on restaurant life

Posted on Wed, 27/01/2016

There is so much I liked in this article !! Typical of stuff published in Lucky Peach it pings with frequent cuss words, but their grip on the realities of working in a kitchen, and what should be important resonated...>>>

Read More Nordic Cuisine

Posted on Wed, 18/11/2015

Am back at my desk after a cookschool, with a full belly from the wonderful lunch and a nice warm glow that the vibe from chatting with a group of like minded individuals who are pleasantly positive about what they are experiencing,...>>>

Read More The Everglades

Posted on Sat, 03/10/2015

This is why I love TED so much! One of the best lectures I've watched in a long while.... beautiful photographs and understated eloquence.... ...>>>

Read More Closing of Noma

Posted on Wed, 23/09/2015

Noma, which is in Copenhagen, has been regularly rated as the top or one of the top restaurants in the world. We have never had the pleasure of eating there, but know people who have and are always curious on their take,...>>>

Read More A lovely essay

Posted on Mon, 21/09/2015

I read this essay by Nigel Slater with a smile, because there is nothing in it that I would want to disagree with. He evokes an attitude to cooking  that I admire very much, and is very much the style that we were talking...>>>

Read More Changes in long established restaurants

Posted on Thu, 23/07/2015

We've finally had an internet connection made at the restaurant. A step I've felt in absolutely no need to take, because the old handwritten docket and prefunctorary till system has worked perfectly for us over the...>>>

Read More Sucessful women

Posted on Thu, 16/04/2015

What a fascinating, extraordinary, wonderful woman!!! ...>>>

Read More Patricia Wells

Posted on Mon, 13/04/2015

This delightful article on Patricia Wells had me smiling in recognition with the points made, many times. Our first trip to Paris was tagged onto to the end of our first overseas cookschools in Tuscany Italy. We flew from...>>>

Read More Parody

Posted on Sun, 22/02/2015

A brilliantly funny parody on food - loved it!!!  ...>>>

Read More The end of a restaurant

Posted on Sat, 07/02/2015

I'm about to head out to the garden to pick some fresh vegetables for lunch. Both daughters are out on their bikes, Ricks picking up fresh fish and some other supplies, and in a couple of hours we'll all be sitting...>>>

Read More Tipping

Posted on Sat, 31/01/2015

Increasingly the commentary I'm reading from America is becoming critical of the status quo surrounding tipping. It is the norm there for waiting staff to be paid less than the minimum wage by their employers, and for...>>>

Read More A pet peeve

Posted on Sat, 29/11/2014

You can call me prickly, but this is just the sort of sanctimonious  little comment that gets my goat!  Yesterday I read a review of the judging process for the top food and wine match at the recently held Martinborough...>>>

Read More New food trends - Alain Ducasse

Posted on Thu, 11/09/2014

Alain Ducasse is one of the most celebrated chefs in the world. He has restaurants in a number of areas - predominantly in France, but his reputation for elegant, classical french cooking, at the very formal end of the market...>>>

Read More Food and Science

Posted on Wed, 10/09/2014

When we did our overseas cookschools, we very much ate as the locals did, and that meant each day started with pastries - croissants in France and brioche doughnuts in Italy. It was one of my jobs to head each morning to...>>>

Read More Children

Posted on Wed, 03/09/2014

I took a phone enquiry the other day from a lady who wanted to know if we were a 'children friendly' establishment. Initially at a loss as to what to say, I asked her exactly what she meant by ' child friendly',...>>>

Read More FYI

Posted on Thu, 21/08/2014

A series of photos showing a meal at Noma, the restaurant in Copenhagen, that has been called the 'best restaurant in the world' a number of times. Service there is a series of small courses - all extremely innovative...>>>

Read More Food Wastage

Posted on Fri, 25/07/2014

It is within my lifetime, that we have gone from accepting vegetables in all their rogue permutations, that nature can create, to expecting them to be completely perfect, both in shape and blemish free. The plastification...>>>

Read More Behaviour in restaurants

Posted on Fri, 25/07/2014

An interesting link, that we were discussing during dinner service last night, and Rhonda promised to send me through the link... Over the years we have observed a change in dining patterns and behaviour in the restaurant,...>>>

Read More The Food at The French Laundry

Posted on Wed, 16/07/2014

As those that get my newsletter know, eating at The French Laundry is something Rick and I hope to do at some stage in the future, although quite when that will be remains to be seen. Our daughter pre-empted us this year,...>>>

Read More Food for thought

Posted on Fri, 11/04/2014

American based, but I believe the rational very much applies in NZ too... ...>>>

Read More Amazing People

Posted on Fri, 11/04/2014

Please watch this until the end, and see if you don't cry at the sheer extraordinariness of this amazing woman, and the love and committement of her husband. I am simply in awe..... ...>>>

Read More Disturbing

Posted on Tue, 01/04/2014

I found this article in the New York Times to be a bit disturbing. Essentially, if I've read it correctly, it is saying that the decades of having it drilled into us by the health authorites that eating saturated...>>>

Read More How wolfs change rivers

Posted on Sun, 23/03/2014

The human race has a tendency to think it  can outsmart nature - but we occasionally need a reminder that we only really know enough to confirm how much we don't know... ...>>>

Read More Anthony Bourdain on modern chefs

Posted on Wed, 19/03/2014

 An interesting article. I have a lot of respect for this mans perspective on the restaurant scene world wide. He tends to cut thru the hyperbole, and the media created hype, to focus on what is real, and I usually like...>>>

Read More Cassoulet

Posted on Mon, 02/12/2013

Rick and I have just spent the past hour or so, 'discussing' the need to rejig our lunch menu, slightly, so as to have the breadth to appeal to the various larger than normal groups that we have coming to the restaurant between...>>>

Read More Wow!

Posted on Thu, 28/11/2013

http://www.ted.com/talks/marco_tempest_the_magic_of_truth_and_lies_on_ipods.html...>>>

Read More Auckland eating

Posted on Tue, 26/11/2013

We had a short, sharp trip up to Auckland yesterday - a quick whisk around some suppliers we wanted to see, and to pick up an order. Mentioned to Hannah we were coming through, and she saw fit to delay sitting down to start...>>>

Read More Darina Allen

Posted on Tue, 19/11/2013

We love this woman. Our respect for what she and her husband Tim have created and continue to develope to this day, is a source of  constant inspiration!!...>>>

Read More Sense of self

Posted on Thu, 31/10/2013

I do wonder sometimes where the digital reality that has sprung up around us, will ultimately take us as a species. It has enormous strengths, and equally potent scary aspects. Because human interaction of the face to face...>>>

Read More Privacy in the age of social media

Posted on Fri, 18/10/2013

I've had some computor issues over the last week, that have required intervention from the formidable Chris French, and not for the first time, I've watched morbidly fascinated, as he delves back through a multitude of layers...>>>

Read More Humour on a Friday afternoon

Posted on Fri, 18/10/2013

Had a nice social lunch service, and come back over to the house for my own lunch, feeling a titch depressed because the reservation book looks remarkably devoid of bookings for tonight. Which being a Friday it shouldn't ...>>>

Read More Doco on Humans of New York

Posted on Sun, 13/10/2013

One of the first things I do each morning is  check the Face book feed from Humans of New York. The way he captures humanity both in pictures and in words never fails to move me... This short vignette on ABC news shows...>>>

Read More Giving

Posted on Thu, 10/10/2013

It might be an ad, but I don't think thats the main point of this wonderful little vignette.......>>>

Read More The joys of dealing with the public

Posted on Tue, 08/10/2013

This list somewhat explains itself - but suffice to say, as someone who periodically shakes her head, at the vagaries of dealing with the public, it was perfect for a chuckle over my morning smoothie... I got told just last...>>>

Read More Dan Barber on Vegetable centric cooking

Posted on Wed, 02/10/2013

This is an interesting interview with one of Americas top chefs, Dan Barber, in which he talks about how his menu is becoming increasingly vegetable focused. We are aware of that trend, even if the menu at Somerset doesn't...>>>

Read More Culinary Displacement

Posted on Sat, 28/09/2013

I need to have a shower and head over to the restaurant for Saturday night service, but have just read this, and wanted to do a link to it, because it dovetailed nicely and coincidently with some thoughts I'd been having...>>>

Read More Regulars

Posted on Fri, 20/09/2013

As they say on Facebook, I Like this article very much - and understand the perspective he's coming from, both as a customer at some of the cafes where we are known on a personal level, but also as a restaurant owner. Trust...>>>

Read More Appropriate for today

Posted on Thu, 12/09/2013

 A fascinating look at the history of Windows on the World, the restaurant sitting atop the World Trade Center,  on that fateful day in September 2001......>>>

Read More Photography

Posted on Wed, 04/09/2013

This  sort of thing, is  a very big part of the reason why I love photography......>>>

Read More Up and close with Thomas Keller

Posted on Wed, 21/08/2013

There is much to admire about this man. We have long been fans, and tried not to be too envious of the fact that Courteney and Matt have been to both the bakery and bistro frequently during their two stays in Napa. A fascinating...>>>

Read More Weight Obsession

Posted on Sun, 18/08/2013

The cookschools we do,  tend to throw up all kind of comments as they run their course, and the conversation can head in a number of directions. We did a private class today, and they were medical people, so I was more...>>>

Read More Tipping

Posted on Mon, 12/08/2013

There are essentially two approaches to paying waiting staff in the hospitality industry - the American approach and the European one, and here in NZ we follow the European model. At various times, I have heard our industry...>>>

Read More Buying local

Posted on Sat, 10/08/2013

A thoughtful article on the concept of buying locally produced food, which expresses the sentiment, that tends to be overlooked in the hype that accompanies much of the comment on how we should be buying our produce, that...>>>

Read More Clouds

Posted on Mon, 29/07/2013

While waiting for Hannah to appear this morning, ( we spend alot of time in this family waiting for Hannah!), so we could say our goodbyes, before we headed over to the Mount, and they departed back to Auckland, I watched...>>>

Read More Handwriting

Posted on Sun, 21/07/2013

I've kept a diary for many years, since I was about 16, and while I don't write in it every day, I do tend to spend an hour or so, on a regular basis, clearing out some of the clutter that accumulates in my brain. I am not...>>>

Read More Artisinal coffee maker talks his philosophy

Posted on Sat, 29/06/2013

Been a nice sort of day - just back from walking round and up the Mount, which, on a glorious day like today is a special thing to do. Bumped into a friend near the top,  thru pure serendipity, just the person I'd been...>>>

Read More Swedish Bread

Posted on Fri, 28/06/2013

Isn't this just the most wonderful bread you've ever seen? It is not too different a technique to the one we use at Somerset for our bread - but we lack that glorious wood fired oven... I WANT one!!   This bakery...>>>

Read More Nikau

Posted on Sat, 15/06/2013

A  cool  interview with the owners of Nikau - a great Wellington cafe......>>>

Read More Yotam Ottolenghi on TV

Posted on Tue, 11/06/2013

Bridgette send me thru this link to Yotam Ottolenghi  as part of a TV series he filmed travelling through the Middle East. Totally inspiring. Why can't all the shows on Food TV be of this quality...?!...>>>

Read More Food Bloggers

Posted on Thu, 30/05/2013

Thought this article was fascinating, because it hit the zeitgast spot on.  Back in the day, ( umm... ironically only  about 10 years or so ago, but things have been changing at a breakneck speed),  restaurants...>>>

Read More Female equality in cycling

Posted on Sat, 18/05/2013

Womens sport does not get the recognition that male sport does. It doesn't get the same media exposure and it doesn't get the same financial returns. It should. Women are not men ( fairly obviously!) - but at the elite...>>>

Read More Honest Restaurant Owners

Posted on Tue, 14/05/2013

Dealing with the public is the best aspect of owning a restaurant, and also the worst. Fortunetly it happens to be the best, more than it gets to be the other end of the scale, so we have the luxery of being able to enjoy...>>>

Read More Humanity

Posted on Tue, 14/05/2013

 This I just have to share!! - have come home a little earlier tonight because having a quiet start to the week, and what tables that are left, are sitting on coffees,  and not requiring too much further attention,...>>>

Read More This is water

Posted on Mon, 13/05/2013

This short video is perfect for my here and now. I'm just about to head over to the supermarket and I will work to keep benign thoughts floating through my mind, as I go about what I need to get done, because its a glorious...>>>

Read More What can I say?

Posted on Sat, 11/05/2013

I think I was feeling a bit blue this morning - just a little, for no real reason - and a good walk has certainly removed the worst of that, and then I sat down when I got home and watched this video and decided I didn't...>>>

Read More 100 things about cooking dinner

Posted on Thu, 02/05/2013

A list that made me smile!  Because of the hours that we work, we're not that good about family dinner,  at least not 7 nights a week, and I feel slightly inadequate alongside a couple who have things sorted as...>>>

Read More Dinner at Alinea

Posted on Thu, 25/04/2013

Rhonda sent me thru this link to a video of a meal eaten at Alinea, one of the top restaurants in the world, and one I've referenced many times before in blogs. He is a pretty intense man Mr Archatz, but one we have a lot...>>>

Read More More from Mr Pollan

Posted on Tue, 23/04/2013

 More from Mr Pollan, but no apologies for that, becos this man makes such sense.! Always worth reading......>>>

Read More An Interview with Michael Pollan

Posted on Wed, 17/04/2013

Mr Pollan has pretty much become the go to person for commentary on much of what is happening in the food world over the last 10 years or so. He is about to release a new book, and as advance publicity for that he was interviewed...>>>

Read More Our new Race Relations Conciliator

Posted on Wed, 17/04/2013

Can I just go on the record as saying that I think this woman is going to be superb... and those that have been so quick to disparage, should take a little time to become fully informed as to all her background, rather than...>>>

Read More Simply perfect.

Posted on Fri, 05/04/2013

Our customers are a diverse bunch ? something that I have always seen as a positive. We are not a tourist destination, although we do get a number of visiting overseas people when they are in the area, but that would certainly...>>>

Read More More on coffee...

Posted on Thu, 28/03/2013

I've been doing a little research about Wellington, because we are heading down for a brief overnight next week, and with the time being short, there is none to waste. Need to know where we're going before we get there... Couple...>>>

Read More Perfect!

Posted on Sat, 16/03/2013

Busy night in the restaurant - caught up with one of Ricks nephews who we haven't seen in a long while, and fortuitously Hannah was home too, because she's helping us out until we get a new staff member out front,  so...>>>

Read More Artisinal made coffee v's Nespresso

Posted on Mon, 11/03/2013

Sitting up late reading at my computor becos I'm avoiding bed, becos a cold from the last few days has settled into a nasty phlemy cough that becomes especially virulant when I'm in a horizontal position, so kind of just...>>>

Read More What is success?

Posted on Tue, 26/02/2013

Beautiful words ( I think!), from a female chef......>>>

Read More Addiction to Junk Food

Posted on Sun, 24/02/2013

A depressing, albeit unsurprising article thats worth reading, on how ( and why) the companies that manufacture snack food are keen to hook consumers in, and why that process has contributed significantly to the dramatic...>>>

Read More Love

Posted on Fri, 15/02/2013

The commercialisation that surrounds Valentines Day, and the attendant pressure that people get to feel over being seen to be doing something to affirm their love, is something that I have some major issues with, as people...>>>

Read More Unhappy Meals

Posted on Sun, 03/02/2013

During some circular internet reading yesterday, ( I start on a website I go too regularly and end up on an interesting article that has links to other articles on the same subject...), I ended up reading this truly outstanding...>>>

Read More Labelling

Posted on Fri, 11/01/2013

Read this article over my morning smoothie and had to smile, becos I'd been thinking thoughts exactly along the lines expressed by the writer. The first time a hand made type label, expressing completely random seeming sentiments,...>>>

Read More Excessive multi course menu backlash

Posted on Tue, 08/01/2013

It took us a number of years to  feel comfortable with how we defined our restaurant business. We didn't want to be a cafe, but nor did we want to be so formal that people only regarded  us as a once a year type...>>>

Read More Masters of the Universe

Posted on Sun, 06/01/2013

There is much I don't understand about how the money markets work. I've read many long, detailed articles on how and why the world of credit all turned to custard back in 2008, and always get lost somewhere in amongst the...>>>

Read More The need to have a giggle

Posted on Wed, 19/12/2012

 I'm feeling just a titch frazzled - catching up with stuff at my computor after unpacking boxes and boxes of wine at the  restaurant, and trying to find my way around things I missed yesterday, when we were away. I...>>>

Read More Why do we cook in a certain way?

Posted on Fri, 14/12/2012

I am currently in the midst of stoning 10kgs of cherries,which is not exactly what I needed to be doing this morning, but the cherries arrived from Marlborough yesterday, and they are very ripe so require attention immediately.   We...>>>

Read More Interview

Posted on Wed, 05/12/2012

 Just about to head over to the restaurant for a cookschool - have been over to the Mount already as part of my Wednesday morning ritual, although round this time, not up - and Sally and I have set the world to right,...>>>

Read More Queueing

Posted on Sun, 25/11/2012

I am not especially good at queuing - its just one of those things that I'd prefer not to do if I can possibly avoid it, because I'm an impatient tart at heart, and what happens in   this , rings only too true!...>>>

Read More Olive oil harvest

Posted on Sat, 17/11/2012

Olive oil gets discussed often in our cookschools, because it is Ricks oil of choice, and people ask what his preference is, and that often sends us on a tangent of discussion about various oils and attitudes. There is no...>>>

Read More Article slamming Anthony Bourdain

Posted on Tue, 30/10/2012

It's curious - as I get older, I get increasingly more fascinated by the diversity in opinions that people can have. I've been following the American election process with curiousity and am morbidly fascinated by the extreme...>>>

Read More What are schools for?

Posted on Sat, 27/10/2012

This lecture got better and better as it went along - he makes a number of points that had me laughing out loud in agreement. And interestingly it dovetails with an article in the Listener a couple of weeks ago, that talked...>>>

Read More Pig slaughter

Posted on Thu, 25/10/2012

In our current cookschool series, Rick breaks down a turkey carcass so that he has the legs to braise, the breast to sous vide,  the liver for the stuffing, and the carcass bones to make the stock which will be the base...>>>

Read More Smile!

Posted on Wed, 24/10/2012

Don't I wish that we could get this degree of responsiveness from our dogs......>>>

Read More Leadership

Posted on Tue, 23/10/2012

It?s funny ? something, and I?m not sure exactly what it was that triggered the thought, had me considering the fact, while I was taking the dogs down below for their morning run,  that I am not a crusader. I don?t...>>>

Read More Orchestral flashmob!

Posted on Tue, 16/10/2012

 Magic, absolute magic! Would I pause long enough in my busy day, if I happened upon one of these flash mobs unveiling itself, like this crowd? Dear god, I hope so!!...>>>

Read More Wasting food

Posted on Thu, 11/10/2012

 A thought provoking lecture on the subject of global food wastage, that felt timely for me, because its a topic I've just alluded too in the writing that I'm doing for the next cookschool cookbook. As a culture we...>>>

Read More A day at The French Cafe

Posted on Mon, 08/10/2012

Totally inspiring video of a day in the life of French Cafe, which reveals some of the extraordinary attention to detail, and the complexities of this  wonderful restaurant that is simply the most polished and sophisticated ...>>>

Read More Michelin Guide

Posted on Thu, 04/10/2012

I simply loved this article. As is very typical of much that Mr Gill writes, he has a happy knack of covering a reasonable amount of detail in a succinct manner and then packaging it always in the most wonderful English....>>>

Read More Organic food production

Posted on Sun, 30/09/2012

Hannah and Andrew are staying with us possibly through until the start of the new acedemic year. Nothing has actually been stated as the way its going to be, and I listen for my cues when I overhear Hannah talking to others...>>>

Read More A special goose

Posted on Sat, 22/09/2012

It has been a long day at my desk, and I am feeling  distinctly tetchy right at the moment. Not helped at all by the fact its a glorious afternoon weatherwise, and my husband has disappeared in the direction of Te Puke...>>>

Read More J.K Rowlings Harvard Commencement Speech

Posted on Sat, 15/09/2012

A perfect shot of inspiration on a dreary Saturday afternoon, sitting at my desk working my way thru a list of jobs that I need to get done... Hannah was the perfect age growing up to read the Harry Potter books, ( Courteney...>>>

Read More Props

Posted on Fri, 07/09/2012

When we bought my parents house next door to the restaurant a few years back, one of the first things we did was close in the carport, not so that we could park the car out of the weather, but more to house the extensive...>>>

Read More Childrens logic

Posted on Wed, 29/08/2012

One of the very special aspects of having my family home, is that my children take me to places that I wouldn't ordinarily get to go, if  I was  reliant on being self propelled. Sometimes that means they take me...>>>

Read More NoMad New York

Posted on Tue, 21/08/2012

Sometimes I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry when I see some of the behind the scenes, layout and capital investment in major venues. This video is a tongue in cheek depiction of the chef and restaurateur who run the food...>>>

Read More Cool huh!

Posted on Mon, 20/08/2012

It's wet, which is a pain, becos I wanted to do some weeding in the vege garden today, but the rain is acting as a serious disincentive. I think we will still head over to the Mount this afternoon, even if it does mean getting...>>>

Read More An example of a good modern TV Chef

Posted on Thu, 16/08/2012

The two of us have very little time for most of what is on the TV as supposedly representative of chefs and the restaurant world. It is usually so hyped and so false, that we seldom bother tuning in. Mario Battali is one...>>>

Read More Julia Childs birthday

Posted on Wed, 15/08/2012

This link is to some videos of the quite unique and very special Julia Childs. Rick can't watch her. She literally makes him cringe, but I think she's fabulous in how comfortable she is in her own skin, combined with the...>>>

Read More TED again!

Posted on Fri, 10/08/2012

I have come back over to the house in an especially mellow mood tonite. We've had a pretty full on day, with our first cookschool in the current series ( and the first class that Rick and I have done in about 3 months, so...>>>

Read More You are not special

Posted on Sun, 10/06/2012

I choose not to use this blog as a forum for whingeing about customers, becos apart from anything else, I happen to believe that negativity tends to begat negativity, so on the occasions that I need to clear crap out of my...>>>

Read More Healthy Food

Posted on Sun, 10/06/2012

I would never be so presumptuous as to tell others what to eat. Each to their own I say. I am however regularly surprised by some of the comments we get in the cookschools from people, on how they've changed the way they...>>>

Read More Perennial Plate Series

Posted on Fri, 08/06/2012

Because of our looming trip to Italy, Rick and I have been deliberately downsizing our day to day involvement with the restaurant, as a way of gently backing off. Soon we aren't going to be around for easy reference if the...>>>

Read More How to feel better

Posted on Sat, 02/06/2012

Its been a rather stressful week, what with one thing and another, and we've woken up to a beautiful day, and coffee and the newspapers at the outside table. Have come into my desk, and clearing the inbox I was reading a...>>>

Read More Expensive restaurant meals

Posted on Wed, 30/05/2012

My brain is fit to bursting with a whole heap of stuff that's going on. I'm not sleeping, becos I can't seem to find an off switch for my thought processes, and I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. I did however pause...>>>

Read More Cooking for VIPS

Posted on Tue, 22/05/2012

What constitutes a VIP probably varies depending  on someones world view, but there is no doubt that while we may believe that we cook all food to the same high standard regardless of who it is going out too, that...>>>

Read More Inspired riding

Posted on Tue, 22/05/2012

I think it is impossible to watch this and not be impressed......>>>

Read More Anthony Bourdain on chefs in America

Posted on Wed, 16/05/2012

I'm about to head over to the restaurant to help with lunch service. For some bizarre reason our bookings this week look heavier at lunchtime than they do at dinner time, which is a bit of a shame, becos I'd rather like to...>>>

Read More Ken Robinson on the paradigm of education

Posted on Mon, 14/05/2012

This man is my new hero......>>>

Read More An interview with Michael Anthony

Posted on Sun, 13/05/2012

This link is to an interview with Michael Anthony, the chef at the long established Gramercy Tavern in New York City, one of the number of restaurants co-owned by the very clever Danny Meyer. I found it a fascinating read,...>>>

Read More The Power of Vulnerability

Posted on Sun, 13/05/2012

Perfect for my here and now.. Brene Brown in a TED lecture on the importance of vulnerability.......>>>

Read More Caines Arcade

Posted on Fri, 04/05/2012

The internet is a wonderful tool, it really is, and this is a wonderful example of its power to reach out to people and rally them to a good cause. An extraordinarily upbeat little boy, who's continued optimism,even in the...>>>

Read More Musical Joy in the Congo

Posted on Fri, 27/04/2012

You know - I had the audacity to go to bed last nite feeling a little blue and sorry for myself. We'd had a quiet nite in the restaurant, and a chance conversation with a gentleman who's opinion I value, had left me somewhat...>>>

Read More International perspective on NZ restaurants

Posted on Thu, 26/04/2012

The writer of this article is a Kiwi, now based overseas, and this is his perspective of a recent trip back to NZ and the restaurants he ate in,  up and down the country. I think it captures nicely the confidence and...>>>

Read More Memorial for Christopher Hitchens

Posted on Thu, 26/04/2012

A link to a memorial service that Vanity Fair held for the remarkable writer Christopher Hitchens who was my hero on so many levels......>>>

Read More A lecture on creating the life we want to lead

Posted on Tue, 24/04/2012

I am in the middle of a torrid day at my desk. Tuesday is my bookwork day, and today feels especially involved, as I work my way to the bottom of the very long list of things I have to do. This lecture then, was a breath...>>>

Read More Extaordinary!

Posted on Fri, 20/04/2012

As Rick has just said over my shoulder watching this...wow, and that pretty much sums it up I feel. Why do they beach like that ...? But its reassurring to know that as a species, we can occasionally do the right thing,...>>>

Read More Changes in the world of food writing

Posted on Thu, 19/04/2012

Our world is changing, and the rate of that change is increasingly significantly. Old ways of doing things and communicating, previous business models, are all being upended and made obselete by the interconnectedness that...>>>

Read More Nurture your creativity

Posted on Sun, 15/04/2012

I especially liked this blog today, in no small part becos of the photo of apple blossom. We're heading into autumn, and blossom like this is a distant memory. But also I particularly liked the words - nurture your ideas...>>>

Read More Italian Auction

Posted on Thu, 29/03/2012

It is a glorious autumnal day. I've been out  early and done my exercise, and it was quite beautiful out there. Home to catch up on some more mundane chores at the computor and to get myself organised  for the couple...>>>

Read More Candy shop in Paris

Posted on Thu, 29/03/2012

And before I go and mop the floors, I'm just clearing my Inbox as you do, and chanced on this video of David Lebovitz in a charming candy shop in Paris. The French take their chocolate and sweets  so much more seriously...>>>

Read More A kitchen internship

Posted on Fri, 23/03/2012

I worry sometimes about the expectations of the generation that are coming thru training at the moment. And maybe in doing so, all I'm really doing is showing my age, but sometimes it feels like they have totally unrealistic...>>>

Read More Piano Stairs

Posted on Thu, 22/03/2012

Doug sent me this too, and I love it! Love the looks on peoples face, the energy with which they attack the stairs...fabulous!...>>>

Read More Grant Achatz- misunderstood

Posted on Fri, 16/03/2012

An interesting visual of the style of food presented at Alinea, a Chicago restaurant that I've alluded to in the past many times. This is not the sort of food that I can imagine us ever desiring to present at Somerset -...>>>

Read More Food and taste

Posted on Fri, 16/03/2012

I am in that down time, between cookschool and evening service, and I was supposed to be heading out for some exercise, but I've decided to forego that today, and instead have had a wee bit of a siesta, and just caught up...>>>

Read More Documentary on Sushi chef

Posted on Mon, 12/03/2012

Years ago - I'm going back to the late '80's - we started serving sushi and sushimi at the restaurant becos there was a local floriculture business that was owned by Japanese interests, and which meant that we got to see...>>>

Read More Sistine Chapel

Posted on Sat, 10/03/2012

Chris and I have been tooing and froing via email over the last day or two, regarding a computor query I had, and his various attempts at talking me thru what to do have effectively stalled. However now that we know what...>>>

Read More Star system axed

Posted on Sat, 10/03/2012

It is a subject matter that I harp on about  regularly, I'm aware, but I found this interesting, becos it sort of plays to the theories that I've had about restaurant rating systems for along time, and I especially liked...>>>

Read More Men!

Posted on Fri, 09/03/2012

About to head out the door for some exercise - have a meeting at the restaurant at 6pm for a function we have coming up that I need to be over there for, so just a quick link to something Jim sent me thru. When the college...>>>

Read More Very cool!

Posted on Thu, 08/03/2012

This made me smile, and thought I should share......>>>

Read More Article on TED

Posted on Fri, 02/03/2012

I have a natural and deeply ingrained aversion to talkfests. We stay away from industry conferences, becos I've never been comfortable with the notion of all the false, superficial connections that are made in rooms jammed...>>>

Read More Chefs discussing being in business

Posted on Tue, 28/02/2012

A lengthy, but I guess you don't have to watch it all in one fell shot as I've just done, video taken over the weekend at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Florida, where 5 chef/owners are quizzed about what its like...>>>

Read More Writing a cookbook

Posted on Fri, 24/02/2012

We had a cookschool today, and I am about to head out for some exercise to clear my head before service tonite, but first thought I'd link to this article on Yotam Ottenlenghi, becos I've been referring to his cookbooks in...>>>

Read More Stairway to Heaven - not!

Posted on Thu, 23/02/2012

No amount of money would be sufficient to encourage me to do what these guys do for a job. I know human beings are diverse, but bloody hell! - who could possibly want to do this for a job......>>>

Read More Food photography

Posted on Tue, 21/02/2012

I am about to take myself off to bed, with Alain de Botton's 'The Art of Travel' tucked under my arm. Feeling somewhat dispirited - a mood that comes around periodically, and which I find best to deal with by retreating from...>>>

Read More An inspiring story

Posted on Sat, 11/02/2012

I've had to have a week off exercise becos I twisted my ankle at the start of the set up for the big wedding we did last week, and by the time I finally got to bed, 14 hrs later,  it wasn't looking pretty. So after...>>>

Read More Fat

Posted on Fri, 10/02/2012

This link is to an article in which Michael Ruhlman lets of a bit of steam about the universal fear of eating fat. I've  nodded my head in agreement with him the whole way through it, becos he succinctly captures the...>>>

Read More Staffing

Posted on Thu, 09/02/2012

Being a business owner creates its own special stresses and strains, some of which, occasionally, can feel quite overwhelming.As the owner you are where the buck stops for all the good stuff, and also the bad. And while I...>>>

Read More The need for quiet

Posted on Thu, 09/02/2012

I worry sometimes about the constant interconnectedness of my childrens generation. I don't do Facebook or Twitter, either on a personal level or a business one, becos I get all the people connection that I need thru my job....>>>

Read More Peter Reinhart on bread

Posted on Thu, 26/01/2012

We get alot of compliments on our bread at the restaurant - bread we make ourselves, using a starter. It was quite an uphill process to learn the ins and outs of making bread, even one as relatively straightforward as ours. We...>>>

Read More Malcolm Gladwell on TED

Posted on Wed, 25/01/2012

Be warned! I've rediscovered TED, a bountiful source of knowledgable people talking about their passions, so the videos I get excited about and want to link too,  like this one, will probably be ongoing... We're quiet...>>>

Read More Laws governing restaurant food in France

Posted on Wed, 18/01/2012

I have read books on the subject of the dropping of gastronomic standards in France. A subject of much chestbeating in a country that has for centuries considered itself superior to all others. But MacDonalds has got more...>>>

Read More Article on the Economy

Posted on Sun, 15/01/2012

I  confess to a bit of a magazine fetish, and I have found that reading online will never take over from that initial frission of pleasure which I get when I sit down to savour a pile of clean, crisp new magazines. And...>>>

Read More A gorgeous laugh!

Posted on Fri, 13/01/2012

I figured that the sheer, uninhibited gorgeousness of this baby's laugh just had to be shared... Such joy! - such happiness! In a world where there is too much horribleness, sometimes its rather nice to be reminded that...>>>

Read More The Critics Perch

Posted on Sun, 08/01/2012

Am just about to head out the door to pick up Rick and Matt from the airport. Benson caught a pheasant down below this morning to my distress, and is currently in his run demolishing the remains. I really do believe that...>>>

Read More The Year Ahead

Posted on Fri, 06/01/2012

I am home alone at the moment , Rick has gone down to Christchurch to support Courteney for when she races tomorrow in the road race at Elite Nationals, and maybe its becos I'm pottering around on my own, being somewhat selfindulgent...>>>

Read More Happy New Year

Posted on Tue, 03/01/2012

This link to New Year wishes was sent to me, somewhat predictably by a Scotsman!  We didn't have the words to Auld Lang Syne handy on New Years Eve itself, as we stood on a deck and watched the midnite fireworks over...>>>

Read More How to feel totally selfindulgent.

Posted on Mon, 05/12/2011

There are days, especially this time of year, when everything in our working life gets conspicuously busier, and I have a tendency to occasionally feel a little sorry for myself, becos of all the balancing of various things...>>>

Read More Cooking tips

Posted on Wed, 23/11/2011

Just in from a walk - unfortunetely the wind is back and I got blown around a bit out there, which is fine when its at your back, but a bit more of a challenge when its front on... Catching up on some internet reading before...>>>

Read More Article on coffee.

Posted on Mon, 21/11/2011

As people arrive for cookschools we always offer them a coffee, and Rick and I stand behind the espresso machine for the first 10 mins or so making coffees. The vast majority of people have one - variations on the white...>>>

Read More Photographs

Posted on Sun, 20/11/2011

Chris sent me this link to some quite stunning photos, which are inspiring in a week that I'm struggling with my photography homework. Wish they'd also post the shutterspeeds and aperature settings they used......>>>

Read More McDonalds

Posted on Thu, 10/11/2011

A sobering visual of the number of McDonalds outlets covering America.... Fast food reigns!...>>>

Read More Jose Andres

Posted on Sun, 06/11/2011

The more I read about this man, the more impressed I am. I've watched a couple of videos of him giving lectures at Harvard on food and science, and I've watched him at David Changs Momofuku restaurant at about 2am in the...>>>

Read More Top Chef is bad for young chefs

Posted on Thu, 03/11/2011

I do realise that it is a bit of a constant  theme running thru many of my blogs to have a whinge at the perception generated by a lot of the shows on TV, that cooking professionally is a glamourous, high profile job,...>>>

Read More Paul Gilding

Posted on Mon, 31/10/2011

Last week we got invited to a breakfast at the wonderful Pasifika tent that is part of the Arts Festival to listen to Paul Gilding speak. He gave a witty, perfectly pitched speech to a group of local business people, that...>>>

Read More Paula Dean deepfries a cheesecake

Posted on Wed, 19/10/2011

I haven't been very well over the past few days, and one of the strongest indicators that I am now officially on the mend, is that my appetite has started to  return. Anne not wanting to eat is usually a contradiction...>>>

Read More Top chefs philosophies

Posted on Wed, 12/10/2011

We've done a cookschool today, and unusually there were a number of first time attendees in this class, and that always seems to generate a slightly different pace, and we have to remember to mention things that we tend,...>>>

Read More One of New Yorks top Pizzerias

Posted on Tue, 11/10/2011

Take a little time out in your day and watch this beautiful video. Its a 15 minute ode to something that we, in the Western world are loosing - the belief that making something from scratch every day, simply, singularly and...>>>

Read More How to live before you die

Posted on Mon, 03/10/2011

It's funny the places you end up on the internet, when you can't sleep and get up in the early hours of the morning to do some work... Believe it or not I got to this video of Steven Jobs giving a Commencement speech via...>>>

Read More International Food Blogs

Posted on Sun, 02/10/2011

My husband is sitting in the lounge strumming his guitar to some fairly cruisy music, and I've just been catching up on some internet reading and got linked to this series of international food blogs that Saveur Magazine...>>>

Read More A restaurant farm

Posted on Wed, 21/09/2011

I'm the person who stated in the previous blog that I couldn't get myself organised enough to ensure an ongoing supply of microgreens in a small tray on the deck, so my chances of starting from scratch and creating a produce...>>>

Read More A critics view

Posted on Wed, 14/09/2011

Some of the most wellknown chefs in the world recently got together to discuss important matters, and as a result of the meeting released a statement as to how they hoped chefs of the future would treat their vocation. In...>>>

Read More A dog at Ground Zero

Posted on Mon, 12/09/2011

I have just finished reading 'In Defense of Dogs' by John Bradshaw, a fascinating study on canine behaviour that detours from alot of previously accepted theory. I was curious to read theories that differed from the wolf...>>>

Read More A well written column

Posted on Sat, 10/09/2011

Far be it from me to diss the opposition. It is something I just don't do- ( well not beyond the occasional grumble in conversation with good friends, or splutter in my personal diaries). But this restaurant hasn't opened...>>>

Read More Restaurant food images from Paris

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2011

A link to a very cool series of mainly restaurant food images from Paris......>>>

Read More Anne Lamott

Posted on Sun, 04/09/2011

I have a copy of Anne Lamotts book ' Bird by Bird' currently heading in my direction together with a number of other ordered books. ( I figure that a bit like shoes, you can never have too many books...) This book I'm hoping...>>>

Read More Soothing sounds

Posted on Fri, 02/09/2011

I have just spent a frustrating hour or so trying to set up something that should, in theory be quite simple, but I was overly optimistic, and it has become a whole heap more complicated. Which is frustrating, and I've had...>>>

Read More So you want to marry a chef?

Posted on Tue, 30/08/2011

 A lovely article I thought, on what it is like being married to a professional chef. Some of it I nodded my head in agreement with, and some of it is not my experience, but there is no doubt they are a different breed,...>>>

Read More Food Hygiene

Posted on Thu, 25/08/2011

 Our focus as a food business is to provide food that tastes good to customers in a pleasant environment with service that aims to make them feel at home. We want them to enjoy the experience enough, that they are going...>>>

Read More Amazing Grace

Posted on Mon, 22/08/2011

Why is it, that human beings, who are capable of so much sordid horribleness, can also produce something this exquisite? How do we cover that wide a spectrum?...>>>

Read More From the sublime...

Posted on Tue, 16/08/2011

I'm not going to go over to the restaurant tonite, becos the polar blast that has blanketed the country is meaning that we're having an exceedingly quiet nite, so will stay at my desk sorting some stuff here. The Bay of...>>>

Read More Jacques Pepin

Posted on Fri, 05/08/2011

My respect for this man is boundless. He is to me a real chef, and a great one.  We bought his 2 original classical books, La Methode and La Technique years ago, and they are timeless  in the good sense that they...>>>

Read More Sharemarket plunge

Posted on Fri, 05/08/2011

The last few years have been a challenging time to be in business, and I know becos of the wide range of business people that I get to talk too in a week, that our experiences are not unique. We have been thru a number of...>>>

Read More Clever food video

Posted on Tue, 02/08/2011

Via the Chocolate and Zuchini monthly newsletter I got to see this food video that I thought was especially clever - no people straining selfconsiously in front of the camera and detracting from the subject matter. Rather...>>>

Read More Young Chefs

Posted on Sun, 31/07/2011

I'm just about to head over to the supermarket to get the Sunday papers becos I'm home alone, with Courteney and Rick out on a big bike ride. The sun is shining and I have the prospect of a lovely, long uneventful day stretching...>>>

Read More El bulli is closing

Posted on Sat, 30/07/2011

The conflcting emotions that I feel about this very famous restaurant are well caught in this piece by a Guardian writer. I've alluded to el bulli many times in blogs becos it fascinates me on a whole host of levels. A restaurant...>>>

Read More Something to make you smile ( hopefully!)

Posted on Fri, 29/07/2011

Have just got back over to my desk after a cookschool and sorting thru the various emails included a couple from Chris, and this one I just had to share becos it made me smile.. And now I will head out for a walk to recover...>>>

Read More Final meal at el bulli

Posted on Wed, 27/07/2011

El bulli is closing, and Anthony Bourdain filmed there during the last month. Watch these 2 video clips to get some of the culture of the extraordinary restaurant, but especially the second one which shows Anthony, Jose Andres...>>>

Read More Vision

Posted on Wed, 27/07/2011

Chris, who is the source of so much information for me, some of it wanted, and some of it, umm... unsolicited shall we say! - sent me thru this link which I thought was curious. I am currently in ongoing denial about the...>>>

Read More John Clarke on the EU debt situation

Posted on Wed, 27/07/2011

I really need to go and get on the spinner! The fact I'm still sitting at the computor cleaning out my inbox means that I am procrastinating, and I'm going to have to stop shortly and get on the bike. But before I do I just...>>>

Read More Nikau Cafe

Posted on Tue, 26/07/2011

I had got on the spinner to do a quick 45 mins before we headed out to friends for dinner on Sunday nite. The cookschool we'd done during the day had gone later into the afternoon as people sat around the table chatting....>>>

Read More Bent Spoon - artisinal icecream makers

Posted on Wed, 20/07/2011

Such passion and enthusiasm, and amazing hard work. Its impossible not to be warmed by their keeness to bring something special and unique into peoples lives.  I've just checked their website and they've been going for...>>>

Read More Michelin Guide

Posted on Tue, 19/07/2011

Doug has just sent me thru this photo of the final scoreboard for Wine Options - tallies that were much poured over last nite as the evening progressed. All in the spirit of lighthearted competition mind you! We ended up...>>>

Read More Del Posto

Posted on Fri, 01/07/2011

It is impossible  to watch a video like this and not be totally impressed and inspired. Del Posto is in New York, it is one of the restaurants owned by Mario Battali, and is, I believe, intended as a very formal expression...>>>

Read More Restaurant blogger sent to prison

Posted on Sat, 25/06/2011

I'm no fan of restaurant reviewers, and especially not of the type of anonymous bile that gets deposited onto the internet by bloggers who feel a need to spread their particular brand of misery around. But even I feel that...>>>

Read More The Creative Process

Posted on Tue, 14/06/2011

I have to go over to the restaurant early tonite, becos Rhonda's been in Auckland at a wine tasting and won't be back until close to 7pm, so I need to be back up for Roz in the initial stages, rather than mooching over later...>>>

Read More Railway Lines

Posted on Thu, 02/06/2011

The local media has stirred itself up into a frenzy over someone been filmed planking on a railway line. Watching this green market beside a railway line, kind of puts things into perspective just a titch, and makes you...>>>

Read More Decrimalising Salt

Posted on Wed, 01/06/2011

During my teenage years, my mother decided, based on what she would have read, that salt and sugar were the root causes of most health issues and they were effectively banned from our household. No salt was added to any...>>>

Read More An interview with AA Gill

Posted on Tue, 31/05/2011

I was linked to this interview via another website I was on, the exceedingly caustic Gastropoda, that I read with equal relish. Sometimes I struggle to pick up on some of her references becos she uses a form of code, but...>>>

Read More Caramalisation

Posted on Tue, 31/05/2011

This link is to a blog by Dorie Greenspan, who writes on baking. I have a couple of her books and use them regularly, so her take on matters is something I respect. I did have to smile reading this blog becos the subject...>>>

Read More Anthony Bourdain on Restaurant Critics

Posted on Wed, 25/05/2011

As I've mentioned once or twice before, I really rate this man - I enjoy his honesty and lack of pretension, and I thought this interview contained a number of interesting nuggets, not least being his take on restaurant critics. We...>>>

Read More Wise words

Posted on Thu, 19/05/2011

This blog is written by a very passionate chef in the States, who writes intensely on her views of appropriate behaviour in a commercial kitchen. Her views expressed are a complete and diametric contrast to the tosh shown...>>>

Read More Snobbery

Posted on Wed, 18/05/2011

I loathe snobbery with a passion, and we get to see occasional flashes of it as we go about our job, and I'm never impressed. Snobbery is something I associate with people who think everything is about perception, and is...>>>

Read More Kitchen Behaviour

Posted on Tue, 17/05/2011

This link is to 2 short video clips of a TV series in the States that Anthony Bourdain has apparently been one of the writers for. I read a reasonable amount about the behaviour in some of the large, named restaurants and...>>>

Read More Parisian Confectionary Shop

Posted on Tue, 10/05/2011

Tuesday is my book work day, when I make myself sit at the desk and plow thru all the stuff that has to be dealt with like wages and taxes and bills. Never much fun, but absolutely essential to the smooth running of the business. The...>>>

Read More Organic Vegetable Farming

Posted on Thu, 05/05/2011

It's curious. We have enough land here to grow alot more for the restaurant than we currently do. Something I've been very conscious of, ever since that first burst of enthusiasm when we moved into the house next door back...>>>

Read More Hints on blogging

Posted on Thu, 28/04/2011

I am about to head into town to buy myself some trousers for winter - need something that I can wear in the restaurant that isn't denim. Was checking my emails before I departed and got caught reading this really interesting...>>>

Read More Tartine Bread

Posted on Mon, 25/04/2011

Its wet - heavy rain that looks like its going to hang around all day. We slept in late,  becos its too miserable to head over to the Mount, the dogs are pacing outside, waiting for me to appear to take them down below...>>>

Read More Grass fed beef

Posted on Sat, 23/04/2011

It became rather trendy a few years back to start using beef that had been grain fed. Beef that came with a hefty price tag, but which was fashionable and much hyped in the food magazines. We tried it, were underwhelmed,...>>>

Read More Anthony Bourdain at el bulli

Posted on Wed, 20/04/2011

I rate Anthony Bourdain. Something I've said many times. I admire his fearless approach to calling things the way he sees them, and not, in any shape or form pandering to the elitism that can surround our industry. He is...>>>

Read More 50 Top Restaurants in the World

Posted on Tue, 19/04/2011

My antipathy to these sorts of lists is well known. I mutter on a regular occasion about various awards and competitions, becos to my admittedly jaundiced eyes, they so regularly lack credibility. But inevitably, unfortuntely,...>>>

Read More Gingerbeer

Posted on Wed, 13/04/2011

One of the things I put alot of time and effort into doing at Somerset is supporting NZ producers. An approach made much easier over the last few years as more and more people have gone into business making interesting stuff. I...>>>

Read More A dissertation on desserts

Posted on Mon, 11/04/2011

This link is to a fascinating dissertation on desserts, which provokes a number of questions - why do we finish our meals with a sweet course?, and discusses in depth the work happening in Spain to push the boundaries of...>>>

Read More Paris 1906

Posted on Fri, 08/04/2011

I wrote a blog sometime ago, about Grant Achatz's new restaurant that was about to open, Next, in Chicago, something that has subsequently happened. I watched this video with interest, becos it gives insight to the food...>>>

Read More Tabasco Sauce

Posted on Tue, 05/04/2011

  This is the sort of thing that I find absolutely fascinating.... How often over the years have I reached for a bottle of Tabasco sauce and used it purely becos a recipe has called for its inclusion. I know it adds...>>>

Read More Courteney in America

Posted on Wed, 23/03/2011

I have just had one of the most frustratingly irritating couple of hours that I have spent in a long, long while, as I attempted to navigate on line the process of verifying the security for our eftpos transactions. A complicated,...>>>

Read More Coffee

Posted on Sun, 20/03/2011

A short, but kind of interesting, becos of the time line it draws, precis of coffee drinking... I read a book some years back - The Devils Cup by Stewart Lee Allen, that was an absolutely fascinating history of coffee drinking...>>>

Read More AA Gill on L'ami Louis

Posted on Sun, 20/03/2011

I personally find so many written restaurant reviews to be underdone, capacrious twaddle, with the writer revealing more of what they don't know, then delivering any true insights into a particular restaurant . Becos anyone...>>>

Read More Patrick Rogers Chocolate.

Posted on Fri, 18/03/2011

I think this is entrancing - a video that I got onto via David Lebovitzs blog, about an artisinal chocolate maker in Paris, that shows a level of craft and committment, that to my mind, transforms what is essentially a job...>>>

Read More Splitting the bill

Posted on Fri, 11/03/2011

 A tongue in cheek, but nonetheless rather witty, account of how to treat the bill when dining out with friends in a restaurant. Becos its American there is discussion about tax and tips added to the bill, but the basic...>>>

Read More The Irish Financial Situation

Posted on Tue, 08/03/2011

Don't ask!! I have escoteric taste in my reading, and earlier today caught this article in Vanity Fair  which mesmerised me, becos it explained so much that had perplexed us when we were in Cork, Ireland a few years...>>>

Read More Bernie Madoff

Posted on Sun, 06/03/2011

Have just driven back over the Kaimais in the rain after catering a wedding in Hamilton. Lyn and I followed Rick and Courteney in the truck, Jelte and Ali were in their car, and Hannah and Andrew stayed with his Mum in Hamilton....>>>

Read More A Christchurch Rock for sale

Posted on Thu, 03/03/2011

I feel more than a little inadequate in the face of the devastation that has been caused in Christchurch, and it was with almost relief that I responded to a phonecall from a friend who's organising a large fundraising concert...>>>

Read More What happens next

Posted on Sun, 20/02/2011

This link is to a video of a restaurant that has opened in the States and which is going to change its menu and format every month for a total of 9 months, at which point its lease ceases and it closes.   I have to...>>>

Read More Grant Achatz's new restaurant.

Posted on Thu, 17/02/2011

Grant Achatz who is the co-owner and chef of Alinea in Chicago is about to open a new restaurant called Next, and this article details what the restaurant is going to achieve. Alinea has become one of the most famous restaurants...>>>

Read More Food Talk

Posted on Tue, 08/02/2011

Rick and I have just had a couple of very pleasureable days down in Ohope, celebrating 25years of (usually!)  happily married life. We borrowed a friends beautiful house right on the waterfront, and got to completely...>>>

Read More Hand pressed coffee

Posted on Tue, 08/02/2011

A rather fascinating video on the making of espresso - the machine  he uses is enough to make me drool in envy. So many things factor into the quality and variance of espresso coffees, and its amazing how often in reputable...>>>

Read More Soy Bean Factory

Posted on Tue, 08/02/2011

We're quiet in the restaurant tonite, so having gone over for an initial sorte, I've left everything in the very capable hands of Rhonda and Roz and retreated back to my desk to catch up on some reading. My Favourites list...>>>

Read More Awareness

Posted on Sun, 06/02/2011

A link to a video Michael Ruhlman has done on the need for awareness in chefs. Go beyond the video and read  the comments becos I think some have actually extended his thoughts better. A team who are aware of each other...>>>

Read More Photos of Tartine Bakery

Posted on Wed, 02/02/2011

Am about to head over to the restaurant for our first cookschool of the year - which also means the first in this series, and that means that Rick is already over there, making sure that everything in his list  is prepped...>>>

Read More The Need to Keep on, keeping on...

Posted on Tue, 25/01/2011

 This blog by a chef in the States, is an interesting take on the immediacy of restaurant cooking. I can't agree with all her conclusions - some things are simply more important than keeping customers who are ready to...>>>

Read More Anothony Bourdain on Celebrity Chefs

Posted on Thu, 30/12/2010

I've just rewatched my earlier posting on the horrors of the artificial Sandra Lee and the truly abysmal cake that she constructs ( to call it cooking, would be to totally misrepresent that word!), and decided that no, I...>>>

Read More Sandra Lee and Angel food cake

Posted on Wed, 29/12/2010

Dear God! Watch this video, from one of the highest rating presenters on the Food Network in the US, and tell me that it doesn't make a complete and utter farce of the meaning of the word 'cooking'. Its beyond hideous -...>>>

Read More Foodgasms on The Food Network

Posted on Sat, 18/12/2010

This short video is precisely why I can't take the Food Channel seriously. Food and its enjoyment is a huge part of my life - it preoccupies a significant number of hours in my day, but  that said, I still recoil from...>>>

Read More Tacos and surfing in New York

Posted on Wed, 15/12/2010

Sometimes I wonder if our generation got it wrong. All that pressure that came to bear from our parents generation to get an education so as get ahead. Education, mortgage, committement, work - the need to acquire the big...>>>

Read More Christmas Food Court Flash Mob

Posted on Wed, 08/12/2010

This video  that Doug has just sent me thru, brought tears to my eyes, and I'm not religious at all! But something about the randomness of these people suddenly and unexpectedly bursting into such a beautiful song, in...>>>

Read More Jose Andres on Gelation

Posted on Tue, 07/12/2010

Have just spent the last hour doing a bank reconciliation under the Xero system, which allows me to do all the coding, and then spit out a monthly Profit and Loss and the statement for GST by the very simple click of the...>>>

Read More Staff

Posted on Thu, 02/12/2010

The below has been copied from a blog I read periodically, written by an American pastry chef, who has worked in various places, and who writes interestingly about her experiences. She cares passionately about her food and...>>>

Read More School food in France.

Posted on Sun, 28/11/2010

I can't watch Jamie Oliver on TV any more. Someone who needs cameras in their lives as much as he does, becomes a bit suspect in my eyes, in terms of what his genuine motivation for some of the crusades he embarks on really...>>>

Read More What is the best oil for everyday frying?

Posted on Sat, 27/11/2010

The title of this blog is the title of the article that I wanted to link too, becos I thought it contained some really interesting information, about a subject that often crops up in discussions at cookschools. We are strong...>>>

Read More A Chef cooks at Home

Posted on Thu, 25/11/2010

This article is a sweetly meditative piece on what a professional chef in New York, cooks at home when he gets home from work. We differ quite dramatically, in that I can't think of anything worse than sitting down to a...>>>

Read More National Geographic photos

Posted on Wed, 24/11/2010

About to take the dogs down below, but just flicking thru my emails as they prowl impatiently outside waiting for me to appear, and have worked my way down the beautiful series of photos in this link that Chris sent me. I...>>>

Read More Avec Eric

Posted on Wed, 17/11/2010

Sorry guys! These mornings I'm waking up earlier and sitting at the computor to do my breathing exercises, which means I'm getting time to read more on the internet before my day begins, and some of this stuff is just too...>>>

Read More Gordon Ramsays Empire Turmoil

Posted on Tue, 16/11/2010

I really wanted to believe in Gordon Ramsay, and I have defended him for years against those who find his profanity so offputting. His ability as a chef was more important to me, and I've always thought that was indisputable....>>>

Read More Feminism

Posted on Mon, 15/11/2010

Rick has just poured me a glass of bubbly and we are settling in for a quiet nite at home. A somewhat pleasureable prospect after a pretty full on week, and the awareness that we have another one similar, looming. Before...>>>

Read More Cupcakes

Posted on Thu, 11/11/2010

You have got to love the passion of these 2 in this video - well at least I think you do! Curious to watch them make the cupcakes becos prior to sitting down at the computor to do my breathing exercises, I was watching Australian...>>>

Read More The Narcissism of some Chefs

Posted on Fri, 29/10/2010

I'm up early this morning to get some work done at my desk, before heading over to the restaurant for a cookschool, and got sidetracked on some of the daily internet reading that I do, by this well written article that very...>>>

Read More Ipods used as menus

Posted on Fri, 22/10/2010

Had read about this trend in Wine Spectator - restaurants in the States starting to use the ipod as a device to give customers more information about their wine lists especially, then would normally fit on a printed menu. And...>>>

Read More Celiac Disease

Posted on Thu, 21/10/2010

In the restaurant you get used to people with various food issues - the range of foodstuffs that some people can't/won't eat can be lenghty, and one of the reasons for our menu being reasonably long, is that we've quietly...>>>

Read More Video of the morning prep at Ble Sucre Patissiere

Posted on Mon, 04/10/2010

Have got up early this morning, becos a long list of things to do today, before we drive up to Auckland to pick up Courteney from the airport, and with the brain abuzz, it seemed to make more sense to get out of bed and get...>>>

Read More Why take food seriously?

Posted on Thu, 30/09/2010

Am just about to have a shower and head over to the restaurant - we're in for a reasonably busy nite, and given I've had a mooching kind of day, it will be rather pleasant to have to move my toush. Spent a fair part of the...>>>

Read More Balleymaloe Cookschool

Posted on Sun, 26/09/2010

We have a private luncheon on at the restaurant currently, and I've just left a long table of 41 people happily chatting and eating the slow roasted shoulder of lamb to come back over to my desk for 10 mins. By the time I...>>>

Read More So you want to be a chef?

Posted on Thu, 23/09/2010

It has been an interesting couple of weeks- I think I've been in a state of almost suspended animation, going thru the motions, but not really being fully engaged either emotionally or mentally. Everything however is on...>>>

Read More Locavore Food

Posted on Fri, 10/09/2010

I think I am a contrarian. I don't mean to be, but there is something buried deep in my pysche, that tends to react in a negative fashion, when the media get hold of a concept, and I start reading various people who feel...>>>

Read More Restaurant Reviewers

Posted on Fri, 10/09/2010

Yes, yes and yes!! I have a huge problem with so many of the restaurant reviews that I read in the media becos so much of the comment portrays a complete lack of real knowledge about the subject matter. And it seems perverse...>>>

Read More King of Pastry Documentary

Posted on Wed, 01/09/2010

This movie I have got to see... I understand perfectly, the innate need to be good at what you do, but I don't quite get the sense of obsessiveness that drives people to need to be the very, very best at what they do. To...>>>

Read More Lessmeatism

Posted on Sat, 14/08/2010

The current cookschool series that we are finishing in a couple of weeks, was pitched as a modern take on vegetarian food. And the response from people has been interesting. Some people who would normally come to a series...>>>

Read More Locavore Wine

Posted on Thu, 12/08/2010

We definitely see it as a positive thing that over the last few years, the restaurant trade in general has started to embrace the idea of buying local, and using seasonal ingredients. Rather than shipping strawberries half...>>>

Read More Guy Savoy Restaurant

Posted on Sat, 07/08/2010

Forget all the crap and hysteronics you get to see on reality TV about restaurants, and revel in the precision and beauty of this movie about a day in the life of a 3 starred restaurant in Paris, Guy Savoy. The hospitality...>>>

Read More Parisian Cafes

Posted on Sat, 07/08/2010

Was pondering an article I'd read in the paper this morning, about the cons of joining Facebook, and how superficial that kind of electronic connection can be. I have no desire to join Facebook, and can't see that status...>>>

Read More Making music

Posted on Sun, 25/07/2010

Something to smile at on my way to make my early morning coffee....love the bemused smiles on peoples faces!...>>>

Read More Compulsory reading for chefs wanting to work in France

Posted on Fri, 23/07/2010

David Lebovitz is an American pastry chef, ex of the great Chez Panisse, who now resides in Paris and has written a number of cookbooks, with a definite focus on icecream. He also writes a regular blog which I get and enjoy...>>>

Read More John Thorne

Posted on Tue, 13/07/2010

We are not so busy tonite, and I have come back over to the house, having done the initial meet and greet. For reasons I don't fully understand I decided to wear shoes with heels tonite, not my usual flat ones, and while...>>>

Read More Opening wine with a shoe!

Posted on Sun, 11/07/2010

I'm sort of watching the Magic in their final, but they're currently 10 goals down, and I can't quite bear to sit in front of the TV, so have retreated to my computor with one ear cocked to the commentary... We did a private...>>>

Read More John Clarke and the oil crisis

Posted on Thu, 08/07/2010

This link has absolutely nothing to do with the restaurant world, but have just come over to the house after working a busy lunch, and clearing emails, and encountered this email that I'd been sent. The laughing that I did...>>>

Read More More on BYO

Posted on Wed, 30/06/2010

Find it interesting in this article, that a club has to be set up to deal with the notion of BYO at high end restaurants in London, but maybe thats how to avoid getting people to misuse the priviledge.Hmmm... Interesting...>>>

Read More BYO picking up in the UK.

Posted on Mon, 21/06/2010

I've written at length on BYO previously, and am completely comfortable with our position on the subject. We have a good wine list, we provide nice glassware, that we attempt to match to the grape type being drunk, and we...>>>

Read More Anthony Bourdains new book

Posted on Fri, 18/06/2010

I rate this guy. Read 'Kitchen Confidential' years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed the no frills approach to describing restaurant cooking. Have watched him on and off on the Food Channel, but we don't watch much of that channel...>>>

Read More Making Katmer

Posted on Tue, 15/06/2010

Watching people who are good at what they do gives me a sense of pleasure, even when I am aware in the process, that their skill makes what they are doing look deceptively easy. This pastry ends up being amazingly thin -...>>>

Read More Pigs Head

Posted on Wed, 09/06/2010

Every month or so, we get a whole pig carcass from Free Range Farms. Buying the whole pig, has made us relook at a number of things, becos ordinarily in the restaurant, when we have a meat dish on, we buy in only the required...>>>

Read More Croissant and Danish Pastry Making

Posted on Thu, 20/05/2010

Was following a series of comments of comment around the web, prompted by a blog from Michael Rulman discussing the behaviour of a journalist who, while dining in a restaurant with an open kitchen, took umbrage at the way...>>>

Read More Oolong Tea

Posted on Tue, 11/05/2010

We have a customer who's first job was as a tea taster in Ceylon. Not your average kind of occupation, and I'd known Colin for a number of years, in his more conventional role as a corporate accountant before he told me about...>>>

Read More Flour

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2010

I'm not far from heading over to the restaurant - we are very quiet tonite which never exactly thrills me, but it will allow Rick and I to sit down and do some work on menus for a couple of functions that we have coming up,...>>>

Read More Kitchen Aid Mixers

Posted on Mon, 03/05/2010

As a college student I used to bake for a few of Mums friends, as a way of earning some income. When I think about it now, I don't recall ever reimbursing my parents for the ingredients that I would have used - but that would...>>>

Read More Popcorn

Posted on Thu, 29/04/2010

Just been flicking thru my emails, and read this article on popcorn which I thought interesting. Hadn't realised that popping corn was as old as it was - and always find the history behind various foodstuffs to be fascinating....>>>

Read More A unique interview

Posted on Tue, 27/04/2010

Don't I wish I could be as quick on my feet as this woman was, when asked an inane question by an interviewer. I always think of the sharp retort hours later......>>>

Read More Darina Allen in New York

Posted on Sat, 17/04/2010

Darina Allen is one of our gurus. We met her at Somerset when she called in unannounced one Christmas Eve, when Anne was feeling decidedly over people and tired and grumpy, and nearly, so very nearly told her to go away becos...>>>

Read More Restaurant prices in Paris

Posted on Fri, 16/04/2010

We are getting a reasonable amount of comment regarding the article that was in the business section of the Bay of Plenty times earlier this week, which featured us, along with Mount Bistro and Two Small Fish as being representative...>>>

Read More Poilane Bakery

Posted on Wed, 31/03/2010

At the end of our Italian trip back in 2004, we flew from Venice to Paris, to spend 5 days, becos I was worried that we might never get back to Europe, and I didn't want to die not having been to Paris of all cities. We...>>>

Read More Why young chefs shouldn't be in a hurry

Posted on Mon, 29/03/2010

A colourful blog on why the chefs world is a draining, exhausting metier, quite contrary to the rose tinted version of immediate success and stardom some some young people think they are going to leap frog into....>>>

Read More Customers from hell

Posted on Mon, 29/03/2010

We deal with the public in what we do - and sometimes they are the source of our greatest pleasure and satisfaction, and sometimes they make you walk away with a sense of complete incredulousness at either their bizarre rudeness,...>>>

Read More Why are there no great female Chefs?

Posted on Sun, 28/03/2010

Have a big pan of calasperra rice perculating away on the stove - don't think I'd quite call what I'm making paella, becos there's a conspicuous lack of traditional ingredients in it, but its a rice based dish, cooked in...>>>

Read More To all the fellow dog lovers out there..

Posted on Thu, 18/03/2010

A rather gorgeous short video of dogs in motion - which regretfully turns out to be an artfully filmed ad in the end. You get that!...>>>

Read More But wait, theres more..

Posted on Thu, 18/03/2010

My friend Chris, who is a huge part of our life here at Somerset thinks these sortsof challenges are fantastic. I think they are distinctly odd - and can't even begin to imagine the amount of time that is spent setting them...>>>

Read More Christopher Hitchens

Posted on Tue, 16/03/2010

Vanity Fair is a magazine that I devour cover to cover when it arrives, and one of the main reasons I love the magazine so much, is the quality of the writing. And  of the columnists, Christopher Hitchens rates as one...>>>

Read More An extreme opinion on salt

Posted on Thu, 11/03/2010

I suspect I'm probably not alone in finding this quite extraordinary, and in hoping that this degree of political interference in what people eat could only happen in America... A congressman in New York wants to introduce...>>>

Read More What makes a perfect hot cross bun.

Posted on Sun, 28/02/2010

Dan Lepold is a baker that we rate very highly, and have a couple of his books. I also happen to have a great love for good hot cross buns, and rue the fact that Dean is no longer at La Boulangerie, becos his hot cross buns...>>>

Read More So you want to be a chef?

Posted on Sun, 28/02/2010

This link is to a blog I check in on periodically. The author cooks in both the US and England, and she makes some interesting points sometimes. I have mentioned previously, my frustrations with some of the attitudes of...>>>

Read More What makes a good restaurant

Posted on Thu, 25/02/2010

I've been hovering around the computor - flicking backwards and forwards from the restaurant for the last couple of hours waiting for the results of Day 2 of the Womens Tour of NZ to be posted. We'd spoken to Courteney earlier,...>>>

Read More I cook, therefore...

Posted on Sat, 20/02/2010

 This is a link to the latest Michael Ruhlman blog, in which he ponders on why he gets so much satisfaction from the act of cooking, and his resoning, and some of the following responses from people underscore for me,...>>>

Read More The Strange Things You learn Sometimes

Posted on Sat, 30/01/2010

I never knew that each snowflake has a unique and quite beautiful formation. Not living with snow, and seldom having ever handled it, its just not something I needed to think about. But this link shows some how truly exquisite ...>>>

Read More State of the Union Address

Posted on Thu, 28/01/2010

I am no computer buff, but I do enjoy the daily updates I get on American politics from the Daily Beast, and this afternoon becos I had nothing else to do, I'd gone to flick thru the updates, and by fortuitous timing caught...>>>

Read More Salt

Posted on Tue, 26/01/2010

This link is to a Michael Ruhlman blog on the subject of salt - one of those vexatious issues that get brought up a lot in cookschools, becos Rick uses salt in his cooking, since he believes firmly that it improves, enhances...>>>

Read More Motor Neuron disease

Posted on Wed, 06/01/2010

A customer of ours, who we knew well - he and his family came to France with us a few years back - died last year from motor neuron disease. A disease that came on very suddenly about 18 months ago, and which processed inexorably...>>>

Read More Vegetable gardens and restaurants

Posted on Sat, 02/01/2010

This link is to a TV programme in the States featuring Eric Ripert from Le Bernardin. In this particular episode he explores a garden affiliated with a restaurant in California, and I found it inspiring listening to 2 chefs...>>>

Read More Making macarons

Posted on Wed, 16/12/2009

David Lebovitz is a food blogger and cookbook author that I refer to alot. He lives in Paris most of the year, and talks about his passion for pastry and dessert cooking in an approachable manner that I really enjoy. I've...>>>

Read More An owl

Posted on Wed, 16/12/2009

Totally unrelated to my world really - but an extraordinary video sent by Chris, thats just, well, amazing.......>>>

Read More Molecular cooking - Herve This

Posted on Sun, 13/12/2009

I am not a chef. I'm an enthusiastic home cook, and I have always considered my role in the cookschools to be one of interpretation. Rick is a restaurant chef with a much higher practical skill level to me, and also most...>>>

Read More Life after Julie/Julia for Julie Powell

Posted on Thu, 10/12/2009

Contrary to the impression I may be giving I am not obsessed with the Julie/Julia movie ( although it has been a useful reference point, when people got twitchy about the use of 'butter' in the last cookschool series. We...>>>

Read More Julia Childs on David Letterman in 1987

Posted on Sat, 05/12/2009

This is an amazing video clip that shows Julia Childs addlibing on the David Letterman show when the element she has to cook a hamburger on  doesn't work. As he says towards the end of the clip, she is 'very inventive...>>>

Read More Casualisation of restaurants

Posted on Fri, 04/12/2009

This article blames the  trend towards the dumbing down of restaurants in America to blogs written  about how people don't want all that goes with fine dining anymore. But I suspect is has a whole heap more to...>>>

Read More Acquiring customers details

Posted on Sat, 28/11/2009

If swear words offend you, I wouldn't go on this link - becos swear words proliferate! But it's kind of an interesting window into a world quite different to the one I choose to inhabit. Recently I bought a pair of jeans...>>>

Read More The Purpose of Life

Posted on Tue, 06/10/2009

 Alot of  my more right wing leaning friends scoff when I mention something I may have read in the Listener. But this link to an extraordinary article, proves to me ( not that I especially needed the proof), that...>>>

Read More The Bay of Plenty on a Plate

Posted on Sun, 04/10/2009

I made a point of sitting down to watch this episode of 'New Zealand on a Plate' before I went over to the restaurant last nite, becos not only do we know the chef presenter, Peter Blakeway, but we also knew the local food...>>>

Read More Simon Gault on Molecular Gastronomy

Posted on Thu, 24/09/2009

An interesting article written by Simon Gault on the subject of molecular gastronomy. He is probably New Zealands most experienced exponent of this approach to cooking, and I thought what he had to say, stripped away some...>>>

Read More Masterchef

Posted on Tue, 22/09/2009

I have just been approached by the producer of the Masterchef series which is soon to start filming in NZ to put the word out there to any amateur chefs who might be interested in being part of the process to contact them. Apparently...>>>

Read More Cooperage

Posted on Sun, 20/09/2009

Have just been over to the restaurant to help Rhonda and Grace cope with the initial onslaught of customers. Its Sunday nite and normally not a nite I front at the restaurant, but tonite, perversely, we are busier than we...>>>

Read More Current state of American dining

Posted on Fri, 18/09/2009

It has been a funny kind of week, and I haven't been much inclined to do very much of anything really, possibly becos I'm preoccupied with 'other' stuff. Announced to all and sundry last nite that we were going to sell up...>>>

Read More To make you smile

Posted on Wed, 19/08/2009

Some things you just have to share...http://www.flixxy.com/water-slide-jump.htm...>>>

Read More Michael Pollans article in the NY Times on Julia Childs

Posted on Sun, 16/08/2009

As always, reading Michael Ruhlmans blog, leads me to other interesting places on the internet. This article by Michael Pollan, starts off as a dissertation on the importance of Julia Childs, and why the new movie about her...>>>

Read More Alinea and a different way of plating food

Posted on Sun, 16/08/2009

I'm currently catching up on some internet reading - its gray and miserable outside, and I'm not feeling very disposed to do anything really - so flitting around various posts is working for me right now. Thought this little...>>>

Read More Dogma

Posted on Sat, 01/08/2009

Michael Ruhlmans blog is one I refer to regularly, feeling that he has his finger on the pulse in terms of food and industry trends in America. He's a journalist, not a chef or restaurant owner, but one who decided that before...>>>

Read More Paris

Posted on Tue, 28/07/2009

I'm sitting at my desk, contemplating a typical Tuesday, which revolves around all the start of week stuff - bookwork, throwing out opened wine at the restaurant, responding to the answerphone, and a myriad other small tasks...>>>

Read More Julia/Julie

Posted on Wed, 15/07/2009

 I am a huge Meryl Streep fan, and have read a number of books on Julia Childs - so the idea of watching a movie of Meryl Streep playing Julia Childs, is equivalent to my idea of heaven. Hopefully not too far away from...>>>

Read More Food Inc

Posted on Tue, 07/07/2009

There is a huge amount of comment about this movie in the blogshere - I'm not sure that I'll go to see it, becos graphic images of animals suffering takes me too far out of my comfort zone. But for all that I think the issues...>>>

Read More Craft - working with your hands

Posted on Thu, 28/05/2009

Bethlehem Cornerstone are having a party to celebrate their first year in business tonite, and the marquee's up and the band's playing, and I don't think I'll be getting to sleep anytime soon, becos this house is far from...>>>

Read More Macarons in Paris

Posted on Wed, 27/05/2009

As I've mentioned once or twice before, perfecting macarons has been a mission for our kitchen for the last year. The professional chefs in the restaurant have taken my first very humble efforts to a whole new league, and...>>>

Read More Food a family eats in a week.

Posted on Sat, 16/05/2009

The food a family eats in a week. This link is to a series of photos of families from all over the world showing the amount of food they eat in a week, and the cost of it in US$. Extraordinary the range of the amount that...>>>

Read More More on El Bulli

Posted on Fri, 03/04/2009

Previously I've written about the connundrum that El Bulli represents to Rick  and I in terms of the style of food that it serves - this whole concept of molecular gastronomy is one that we don't pretend to have got...>>>

Read More An Interview with Alice Waters

Posted on Tue, 31/03/2009

 This is a link to a CBS interview with Alice Waters who is considered  by many to be one  of the gurus of the food movement in America which, over the last couple of decades  has seen a gradual change...>>>

Read More What would we have done?

Posted on Fri, 13/03/2009

This link is to a recording of Fair Go, and shows a debate over culpability in a situation where inexperienced diners in a middle of the road restaurant, thought they had ordered a couple of glasses of cheap red wine, but...>>>

Read More Top 50 Food Blog Writers

Posted on Fri, 20/02/2009

When a query arises about a recipe  these days, more often than not Rick and I tend to head to the internet rather than to our extensive book and magazine library. There is a massive worldwide community out there of...>>>

Read More Pesto and Pasta made properly

Posted on Thu, 19/02/2009

Via Michael Ruhlmans blog I got to watch this video of a passionate Italian chef making pesto creamier than I've ever seen it, and with some fascinating asides about the importance of soaking the basil, and putting wine in...>>>

Read More An amazing man

Posted on Sat, 14/02/2009

Home alone today - Courteneys racing over in Te Awamutu in a 2 day tour, and Hannahs up in the Coromandel doing a 24 hour bush trek, as part of her training for the 4 person adventure racing team she's just got into, and...>>>

Read More More on Molecular Gastronomy

Posted on Tue, 10/02/2009

As I've written previously, molecular gastronomy is not something that Rick or I have embraced as yet. We haven't had the opportunity  so far, to eat at one of the restaurants that are considered world leaders in this...>>>

Read More Molecular Gastronomy

Posted on Mon, 22/12/2008

We did a dinner recently with John Hancock from Trinity Hill - an old friend. John wanted to showcase some of the European grapes that they are growing in New Zealand, Arneis and Viognier and Tempranillo, so we took our cue...>>>

Read More Food blog writers

Posted on Fri, 19/12/2008

Increasingly these days, when I am looking for a recipe or need to research a food question, I find myself heading to the computor rather than to our extensive library of books and magazines. I can get lost for hours following...>>>

Read More American Election

Posted on Wed, 05/11/2008

This article says it all as far as I concerned. I watched Obama's acceptance speech tonite and wept. He's the right man, in the right place at the right time. ...>>>

Read More Video of 2 interesting speakers

Posted on Thu, 30/10/2008

This link is to 2 speeches given by 2 passionate speakers on the subject of food and sourcing our food  in todays world. I'm not sure if I am being hopelessly romantic in my hope that  NZers care enough about the...>>>

Read More 'In the weeds' - a professional kitchen expression explained

Posted on Thu, 09/10/2008

A chef in America, Shuna, writes an occasional blog that I read, which reveals a hugely passionate committment to the craft of cooking in a restaurant kitchen. I am not a professional chef- my skills lie in other...>>>

Read More Articles on what makes a good restaurant and on wine prices in restaurants

Posted on Mon, 15/09/2008

I am sitting at the dining room table working thru Courteneys various documentation for University next year with her. This particular daughter makes hard work of this sort of process, and likes to have someone around to...>>>

Read More What we made for lunch

Posted on Tue, 02/09/2008

Got connected to this series of photos via one of the foodblogs that I read regularly, and thought it was worth sharing becos the originality and effort that goes into these peoples lunches makes an amazing record. As I...>>>

Read More Michael Pollan and a sensible approach to eating

Posted on Fri, 22/08/2008

We have been doing cookschools since 1997, and over that decade we have witnessed interesting changes in nuance with how people respond too, and talk about food. When we started out, there was appreciable reluctance from...>>>

Read More Stories like this gladden my heart

Posted on Sat, 19/07/2008

Stories like this one, below, gladden my heart enormously and make me feel positive about the future. Human endeavour seems to need to move to extremes - the pendulum swings out a long way in one direction,...>>>

Read More Thomas Keller Interview

Posted on Fri, 23/05/2008

Have just watched this interview with Thomas Kellar, one of the worlds most recognised and celebrated chefs. We have his cookbooks, The French Laundry, and Bouchon, and read about him in the food media all the time. This...>>>

Read More Gordon Ramsay Interview

Posted on Mon, 12/05/2008

The following is a link to an interview between Gordon Ramsay and Michael Parkinson, which was done earlier this year I think. I like it becos it underscores for me what it is I admire about the guy - and I'll be able to...>>>

Read More Fois Gras

Posted on Fri, 18/04/2008

Friday nite is well underway at the restaurant... Rhonda has everything under control, so I've beaten a retreat to catch up with some stuff at my desk. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day at the moment,...>>>

Read More US govermental conspiracy!

Posted on Tue, 04/03/2008

I'm currently reading a book 'How to Pick a Peach - the search for flavour from farm to table", which somewhat eloquently explains what has happened to the supply chain from grower to consumer over the last 50 years or so,...>>>

Read More Food Network

Posted on Thu, 10/01/2008

I find much of what is on the Food Network to be truly dismal - very few of the presenters have the kind of credibility that makes me want to kick back and relax and watch them. Most times I find myself cringing and reaching...>>>

Read More Umami

Posted on Tue, 27/11/2007

A good customer has just sent me this interesting link to a Radio NZ broadcast about umami - the timing of which was most fortuitous, becos we'd been discussing it in the kitchen the other day, when Matt mentioned that he...>>>

Read More Hopefully not an idea thats going to catch on!

Posted on Mon, 10/09/2007

I have a very computor literate friend, who is indispensible in my life, for sorting out all those little glitches that are inevitable for people like me, in dealing with computors. I don't especially like machines, as much...>>>

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