Home' Hospitality Business : HB SPT 2017 Contents “Potentially something like turkey could feature for us this year, but
food has changed so much dur ing the last five years,” says Dar ren. “We
now have foraging, and more focus on seasonal local ingredients.”
He’ll definitely be going for Cloudy Bay Clams, as well as Canter
Valley Duck. “It’s a beautiful product.
traditional fare like cranber ry and orange.”
Chillingworth Road also has a cher ry stall
just down the road and a stash of preserved
cher r ies in liqueur from last summer and
Dar ren’s hoping to serve macerated cher r ies
over his duck this year. “These cher r ies are
absolutely stunning.” Fresh strawber r ies and
raspber r ies, also grown up the road, will
feature strongly. “The key is what’s seasonally
growing.You can’t beat ber r ies picked in
the sun and that war mth,” he says. “We did quite a bit of foraging last
Christmas, retrieving fruit that was going to waste from Christchurch’s
Red Zone, which we’ve preserved.”
Dar ren’s private vegetable grower in North Canterbury will be
busy supplying freshly-picked var ieties of summer beans and specialist
tomato var ieties grown to order.
Ora King Salmon is always a nice summery favour ite at Christmas.
Fresh from mentor ing a team of 20 young chefs in Rarotonga with the
likes of Mark Sycamore and Greg Piner, Dar ren will be using the recipe
he taught there. “It’s a confit, cooked in coconut and oil.”
Venison car paccio is also beautiful at Christmas time, served with
blackcur rant jelly and goat’s cheese and a little lavosh cracker.
Dar ren says most customers are definitely keen to try something new.
“People are really interested in food now.
They want to see different options. If you
want them to retur n, you’re going to have to
offer new things,” he says. “People are a lot
more adventurous, thanks to food education
and food TV.They’re generally more
enthusiastic and passionate about cooking.”
Chefs say there’s also more emphasis on
healthier eating now, so dessert options are
often much simpler and lighter than the
traditional stodge of a Christmas steamed
pud, lathered in brandy sauce.
Not if you’re well-known French chef Laurent Loudeac, of
Wellington’s Hippopotamus Restaurant in QT Museum Wellington.
He’s also keen to hang on to his restaurant’s identity this Christmas.
Laurent’s just itching at the apron strings to serve up some good hearty
winter y European-style Christmas fare that reminds him of home. “I’m
French so I want to replicate what we have at Christmas in France.
We do a ‘Christmas At Home’ menu and the whole idea is to recreate
a French Christmas,” he says. “It’s very hard to make a ham look good
on the plate, but I know it’s really big in New Zealand.” He also finds
turkey a very dry meat to cook to perfection.
In France, Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve (December
24) so Hippopotamus offers a special Christmas Eve celebration
dinner as well.
Christmas Day’s menu will start with the likes of oysters, prawns,
and smoked salmon, rockmelon and prosciutto, or duck liver parfait
a smooth duck mousse. “People enjoy shar ing now. There’s good
interaction, they don’t have to choose and can enjoy a nice selection
Laurent always serves fresh fish at Christmas – snapper or groper -
with creamed leek and beur re blanc, and last year he served beef fillet,
but this year he’s opting for venison. “Venison is a bit more Kiwi and
New Zealanders love it.” He pan fries a venison strip loin, which is
quickly roasted and served on red cabbage and chestnuts with a nice
jus. This will be teamed up with potato gratin or roast potatoes, salad
greens and fresh seasonal vegetables – probably beans.
Dessert French-style, nor mally comes in the for m of a traditional
Dreamtime chef dessert.
Merry Berry Sundae.
Spiced infused Lamb – keeping
traditional Kiwi fare on the menu.
24 | September 2017 | Hospitality BUSINESS
“The driving force is that people
want to get together and celebrate
and say ‘thank you’ to their team
and clients. It’s more about creating
an environment and atmosphere so
that people can celebrate,”
– Jo Pearson, Amano, Britomart Auckland
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