Barbecued Crayfish with Lime Aioli

Serves 4 people

If you have just dived for the crayfish yourself, the best way to eat this is straight from the barbecue on the back of the boat, with a glass of New Zealand’s wonderful Pinot Gris. If you are not a diver, the barbecue at home will do just fine. Read more →

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Free Range Farms, Katikati

Free Range Farm is a family run business situated in the shadow of the Kaimai ranges in Katikati, Bay of Plenty. Originally breeding a large herd of Pedigree Tamworth pigs in rural Staffordshire in the UK, they are now producing in New Zealand.

Because they follow traditional farming methods and are passionate about how they care for their pigs, customers can be confident in the provenance of their produce. Read more →

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Recently I had the opportunity to teach our local rugby team how to cook. Seeing these young athletes from the Bay of Plenty Steamers get enthused about the simple art of cooking was a great pleasure.

Some had never cooked before, some were already well on the way to being foodies. This recipe proved to be great fun and so adaptable to their lifestyles. Read more →

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After the amount of rain we’ve had over the past wee while I’m starting to feel like we’re living underwater, so what better time to think about cooking fish.

This salmon dish is very definitely celebration food and perfect for that mid winter party that is so necessary to drag us out of our winter hibernation.

Cooking a fish whole is a wonderful way of cooking, as it tends to stay moist and looks great in the middle of the table. It does, however, come with some tricky bits, namely how do you get the whole fish off the tray and onto the display plate without having it fall apart? To move the salmon you basically need to support it through out its length, this can be done with as many fish slices and hands as you can find, or create a lifting cradle with strips of doubled over foil spaced every few centimetres. This is done before the cooking and can be easily slipped out once the salmon is on the plate.

Happy Cooking.

Vodka Roast Salmon with Dijon Mustard Sauce

This dish looks elaborate yet isn’t fiddly at all!  Roasting a whole salmon keeps the texture succulent and all those wonderful flavours locked in.  Buy the freshest fish you can find.

Serves 12

3kg whole salmon, gutted, scaled and head removed

1 lemon, halved and sliced

6 tbsp vodka

2 tbsp olive oil

Fresh dill sprigs for garnishing

For the sauce:

300ml crème fraiche

3 tbsp Dijon mustard

½ tbsp fresh lemon juice

4 tbsp fresh dill, chopped


Preheat oven to 200°C or put barbeque on HIGH and close lid.  Place salmon in a large roasting tin and score the top at 4cm intervals.  Place a slice of lemon in each slit and push the remaining slices underneath.  Drizzle with vodka and olive oil and season well, then roast for 45 minutes or until lightly charred and cooked through.  Meanwhile, mix together sauce ingredients and season to taste.  Place salmon on platter, garnish with dill and serve with mustard sauce.

For me a good Sauvignon Blanc is spot on with this, and cuts through the natural oiliness so well. Try The Ned for a spankingly good value wine.

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I’ve spent the last few nights as a private chef to two delightful Australian couples from Adelaide, I’d loved to have been able to show you all shots of the food but as they were eating in the kitchen I thought taking photos of the food might have seemed a bit odd. Added to that I was on my own without my 11 year old photographer, Fraser. That said there was a little bit of leftovers for us tonight.

Anne and I have been married for almost 17 years now and it still gives me huge pleasure to see her face light up at the diner table after she’s had a hard day at work. It’s probably not fashionable these days, but who cares, I adore my wife. She works so hard, at work and also studying for an MBA, that our family meal becomes so important to connect with each other and the kids.

Pork Scotch with Spiced Red Cabbage, Pureed Carrots and Herbed Cous Cous

Eating good food is such an important part of our lives, even if they are left overs from a job. I find that meals at home always end up as experiments, either with the food or in this case with the presentation. After all there is no finer way to express your love than to prepare a meal for those that you care about that helps to melt away the troubles of the day.

Now all is quiet, Anne is working on her next assignment and the kids are in bed, leaving me by the fire with the dog writing this. It’s a contented silence around the house after we’ve talked and laughed together around the table. Happy Days!

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Why is that sports’ desperate need for money is being serviced by the very corporations that damage us the most? I know its just a fact of modern life but for me it just highlights how damaged and skewed our society is.

We try to teach our kids how to make appropriate choices and then when they excel at their sport they receive a MacDonald’s voucher. Some would say that we should be grateful for the financial support that this sort of sponsorship brings, to me its just a cynical marketing exercise.

When you look at the London olympics they have done a great job creating a food legacy that means that all the food is sustainable, local and as organic as possible. sounds good doesn’t it. Now to the big but, the hardest part of setting the food standards for this flagship sporting event was negotiating Macdonalds into agreement, and now since they are spending so much to be a title sponsor, no other supplier is allowed to mention their involvement.

Food is all about trust, and the sooner we all make friends with our food suppliers and stop believing marketing spin the better all of our health will be.

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As a chef I’ve always been my body is a funfair, instead of a temple, kind of person. You know, experience everything and when the time comes go out with a bang. Now this served me well right up until I broke into the forties and started to teach professional rugby players how to cook. Let me tell you nothing makes you feel short, fat and old like walking into a room full of atheletes.

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Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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As a chef I’ve always been my body is a funfair, instead of a temple, kind of person. You know, experience everything and when the time comes go out with a bang. Now this served me well right up until I broke into the forties and started to teach professional rugby players how to cook. Let me tell you nothing makes you feel short, fat and old like walking into a room full of atheletes.

So like many men with a mid life crisis, I’m trying to get fit again and recreate the vision that my memory assures me  I once was. Thats the nice thing about breaking forty, you can now lie to yourself.

So just to make this more public I’m working with a wonderful pair of fit young things on their online gym. Sounds good doesn’t it? don’t be fooled, I’m doing the cooking but am determined to try to use heavier pans.

Nicola and Ben from

Nowonto a recipe that workes so well as the animal fat is cut the dish is so full of flavour.

Fish “En Papillote”

Serves 4

4 fish fillets, e.g. snapper, blue nose, swordfish            4 gourmet potatoes, sliced

1 onion                                                                                    Handful coriander, chopped roughly

1 leek                                                                                                Lime juice & zest

4 cloves garlic                                                                        2 cups white wine

4 Kaffir lime Leaves                                                                        1 cup Grove avocado oil

1 stalk lemongrass, sliced finely                                                Pinch of saffron and seasoning


Put fish with onions, leeks, garlic, potatoes, kiwi and flavourings in four parcels of tin foil.  Place on a hot barbeque or on a hot baking sheet and bake with the lid down or at 230˚C in the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes.  Flatter fish, e.g. snapper, will take only about 6 to 8 minutes.

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A few years ago we bought a couple of Highland Steers for our little paddock, partly so that we could have access to really good meat but mostly because they were really cute.

See I told you they were cute!!

The trick was to not get too personal and always remember why they were there.

We decided to call them Lunch and diner, in honour of their contribution to the family. Tonights dish is the very last bit that we’ve been saving and I just wish that I could let you all taste a bit.

Tournedos with Polenta Croûtes & Salsa Verde

Serves 2

2 x 140g Angus Pure™ tournedos (trimmed beef fillet cut from the centre)

110gg instant polenta

60g Parmesan cheese

60g unsalted butter

75ml beef stock

2½ tbsp dry sherry or Madeira

Salt and pepper

Avocado oil for frying and greasing

Salsa Verde:

1 garlic cloves                                                            ½ tbsp Dijon mustard

Bunch of flat leaf parsley                                    ½ tbsp wine vinegar

Bunch of basil or mint leaves                        75ml extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp capers


Allow steaks to come to room temperature.  Meanwhile, make the polenta, stir in the grated parmesan cheese and half the butter and season liberally.  Pour out 1cm thick onto an oiled baking tray.  Refrigerate until set firm and then, using a pastry cutter slightly larger than the tournedos, cut 4 rounds from the sheet of polenta.

To make the salsa verde, finely chop the garlic and then put into a food processor with all the other ingredients except the olive oil.  Process until evenly chopped and then add the oil, continuing to process until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Preheat oven to 220°C.  Melt half the remaining butter in a frying pan with 1 tablespoon oil.  Lightly season polenta rounds and fry for 1 minute each side and transfer to a lightly oiled baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, carefully turn over using a spatula and bake for a further 5 minutes until crisp.

Heat a clean frying pan dry until very hot.  Flatten tournedos slightly with heel of hand and season.  Cook over a high heat for 3 minutes on each side for rare and 4 minutes for medium.  Transfer to a warm plate, cover and keep warm.  Pour beef stock and sherry or Madeira into pan to deglaze, quickly reducing liquid to a syrupy consistency.  Add remaining butter, a small piece at a time, swirling pan until incorporated to finish the texture of the sauce and give a beautiful gloss.

To serve, put a crisp polenta croûte on each warmed plate and top with tournedos.  Stir into the sauce any juices that have exuded from tournedos while resting and then spoon this over each steak before spooning the salsa verde on top.

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