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?
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,...>>>
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'...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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!
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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....
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
Posted on Sun, 22/02/2015
A brilliantly funny parody on food - loved it!!!
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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',...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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,...>>>
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.....
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...>>>
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...
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...>>>
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...>>>
Posted on Thu, 28/11/2013
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...>>>
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!!...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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 ...>>>
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...>>>
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.......>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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......>>>
Posted on Wed, 04/09/2013
This sort of thing, is a very big part of the reason why I love photography......>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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!!
Posted on Sat, 15/06/2013
A cool interview with the owners of Nikau - a great Wellington cafe......>>>
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...?!...>>>
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...>>>
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.
Women are not men ( fairly obviously!) - but at the elite...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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......>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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.
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,...>>>
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!...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
Posted on Wed, 24/10/2012
Don't I wish that we could get this degree of responsiveness from our dogs......>>>
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...>>>
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!!...>>>
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...>>>
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 ...>>>
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....>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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!...>>>
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 -...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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......>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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....>>>
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.
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...
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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......>>>
Posted on Thu, 10/11/2011
A sobering visual of the number of McDonalds outlets covering America....
Fast food reigns!...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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?...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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....>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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.
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,...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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 .
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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....>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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 -...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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....>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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!...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...
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...>>>
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...>>>
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 -...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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....>>>
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......>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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....>>>
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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,...>>>
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 ...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
Posted on Wed, 16/12/2009
Totally unrelated to my world really - but an extraordinary video sent by Chris, thats just, well, amazing.......>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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. ...>>>
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...>>>
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.
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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,...>>>
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,...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
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...>>>
This website is best viewed in landscape mode.