Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Breadmaking at Herzog

This morning, Therese and Hans Herzog and their team of chefs hosted 60 people for a morning of bread and wine. It was sell-out with three full sessions of guests rotating through two different activities, before coming together for a wine and bread tasting.

Guests spent 30 minutes in the Herzog Restaurant learning about simple bread-making from the team of chefs, headed by Michelin star rated chef Christoph Kremser.
Guests were also taken on a behind-the-scenes look at Herzog's vineyard, winery, barrel room, restaurant and bistro. After Therese sprang a surprise pop-quiz on the group, people were especially pleased to relax and enjoy some of Herzog's special wine and the bread they'd seen prepared.

With thanks to Therese, Hans and all their team for their wonderful hospitality and a morning of learning and fun.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Good Game

Thanks to Alan and the team at Premium Game for their presentation to Slow Food members at the Marlborough Farmers' Market on Sunday. It was a very valuable insight into their business, philosophies and products.

The visit to Premium Game's processing facility on Tuesday backed up the talk with a first-hand look at the processing line in action. Working with licensed hunters, Premium Game processes wild game meats in export licensed facilities with oversight from MAF Veterinary Inspectors. Shot animals are delivered to Premium Game complete with comprehensive information on the location of the animal and with key organs still in place to enable the health status of the animal to be determined by the MAF vet. On the visit we saw wild goats, deer and pigs being processed - rabbits, hare, tahr and wallaby are also processed.

Carcasses are kept in refrigerated storage for ageing and then butchered into different cuts 'to order' - supplying local consumers at the Farmers' Market, but mainly to a large (and growing) list of restaurants up and down New Zealand. Premium Game also makes a range of small-goods including salamis, and will even make up sausages to a consumer's own recipe or dietary requirements (eg gluten free).

The only such facility in New Zealand, this is a local business providing some wonderful, fresh, wild game (with recipes to assist, if needed).

Premium Game: Ph 03 577 8200,,

Monday, 29 September 2008

Plentiful Planting Party

On a chilly, overcast Spring morning around 30 people joined together to create a new vegetable garden at Marlborough Vintners Hotel. What started as a pile of sleepers and bare lawn, is now a promising vegetable garden.

The morning began with an introduction and thank you to the people who donated time, expertise or skill to the project. Sean & Lisa from Seresin Estate for their expert knowledge of biodynamics and help with the planning of the garden and Seresin Estate for their loan of tractor and tools; Marcia Chang-Hong for her donation of plants and Allan Thomas (from REAP, rural education activities programme) for coming along on the day to be our on-site gardening guru!

We were privileged to have Karen & Boyd Turner from Wairau Worms and their many tiger worms on site as added attraction and the group found the interactive worm farm area of great educational benefit.

The group proceeded to plant the main vegetable garden, transplant herbs from the existing garden to new wine barrels and also plant seeds for raising in trays, ready for the next planting.

A wonderful lunch with spring lamb and salads followed with much laughter, interesting discussion and new friendships being formed, the perfect end to a plentiful planting day!

Thanks to the many hands who helped bring this project to life, the new seedlings are enjoying their new home and we welcome people to pop in and check in on their progress as they develop and grow!

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Getting the Good Oil

Almost 40 people attended a Slow Food tasting of Marlborough Olive Oils kindly hosted by Marlborough Vintners' Hotel at the weekend.

Unbeknown to the tasters, among the blind tasting of a dozen oils from local producers, there was an 'imported imposter' - a common supermarket brand - which almost everyone picked out as bad/faulty or, at best, their least favourite.

There was no clear favourite among the other oils, but what was clear was the range of flavours - green, pungent, peppery and spicy - evident in the fresh local oils compared with what we are accustomed to in bland, industrially-produced oils. It was also an eye-opener for many to experience the range of aromas and flavours expressed by the different varieties of olives.

As a high quality, seasonal and locally produced product, we hope more people learn to enjoy and support Marlborough's Olive Oil producers.

Oils tasted were kindly supplied by:

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Meet & Greet: Andries Maritz


I had this crazy idea - it was late and I couldn't sleep - to be involved in a "monthly producer profile" for the Marlborough Slow Food newsletter. So this is the start of hopefully a monthly something. (I've decided against the word profile "Meet and Greet” sounds nicer, feels better and I can spell it.)

So onwards and outwards, but still playing safe, I'm starting with olive-grower/sculptor Andries Maritz, who lives down the road from me at Rarangi, close to the sea at Cloudy Bay, near Blenheim.

I wanted to find out a little bit about him, what he grows and makes, what he hunts down and buys and, of course, a few pictures to help add to his story.

The first thing I noticed when I met Andries, while we were playing golf, was the way he walks with a strange sort of gait, which he later explains was because he had polio when he was six.

The next striking thing about Andries is that he looks you in the eye when he's talking, which I like.

Andries invited me into his house for a cup of tea and we started to talk about this month’s “Meet and Greet “and what Andries is producing from his land at Rarangi.

Andries lives on 2 hectares of the infamous Rarangi “pea gravel” and has an olive grove of 777 olive trees (nine different varieties mainly for oil, but also for table olives). He started with the bare land in August 2001 when he arrived from South-Africa. Three months later the trees were planted and he moved into his newly built house in the grove.

He mainly produces olive oil, which is cold pressed in Blenheim for E.V.O.O. (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). A taste of his olive oil brings a list of adjectives to mind: green/grass-fresh, fruity, peppery, bitter, nutty… nothing like the "extra virgin" bulk supermarket varieties, which to me simply tastes “oily” , The "test method" we used to try out the oils, is simple, ,just pour a small amount of olive oil onto a teaspoon and taste one after the other. "The difference is clear to your taste buds" says Andries .

Andries also mixes some of his olive oil with NZ butter to a soft consistency and adds herbs & spices for a wicked olive/butter mix on toast, bread or steak. If you’re keen, mix olive oil with grapefruit juice, orange juice or lemon juice to add something special and different to marinades, spreads and for salads.

After the olive harvest in June and July, he also preserves in brine smaller quantities of a few (about a 100 kg) of mainly black table olives using his Barnea and Manzanilla varieties. These are hand picked and selected, and processed according to an old traditional recipe. The ingredients are simple: fresh clean water, combined with good quality sea salt and vinegar. It takes a year before the olives have reached the quality Andries is looking for. “They taste simply divine,” he says, and the final result comes through trial and error and a simple method that requires patience, effort and time.

We sit around the table with samples of his products and already after the olive oil taste test I’m converted. However he insists on comparing his pickled olives with bulk commercial types. I try one and then the other but the difference is hard to explain It seems that Andries’ olives taste of olive and salt and are more "natural", while the commercial olives, taste of olive, maybe a little too soft, brine and a bit of acidity
The discussion leads to grapes, which tends to be a Marlborough thing, and we discuss what has he done in his “own back yard”? He has planted grapes in between two rows of the olive trees, for fresh grape juice and for making wine.” If the wine is not good enough” says Andries I make it into good quality vinegar, which is used for controlling the pH of the water when processing the table olives.

We progress from the kitchen table to the workshop, and I am shown how olive oil soap is made from the older olive oil. The result is a Castile-type soap which is lovely and slippery to the touch when wet and smells earthy. Andries says it seems to be good for people with sensitive skins.

We return to the kitchen after the tour around the grove, back to another warm cup of tea at the table and talk about the need to search and obtain a taste from ones past and that food, highlights those times spent usually with friends and family, simply bringing back memories.

This discussion of “past foods” brings out Andries’ South-African “Kook & Geniet”, the equivalent of the Edmonds Cookbook and Andries points out a “Boerewors”- sausage recipe, which one particular butcher in Blenheim is now making much to his liking.

With his permission, I have a look at what’s inside his food cupboard and apart from the usual standard items, I find golden syrup from his native country sourced from a local supermarket, half baked baguettes from Blenheim and, to my surprise, dried meat “biltong” that he makes using an old proven recipe and a simple dehydrator. I taste the “biltong”, which is strong, natural, meaty and salty and very pleasant to eat.

I’m not a writer, so that’s about it for now. If you’d like to take part in “Meet and Greet” please send a brief outline of what you’re doing to me by email.

And Andries can be contacted by email at

Regards and good eating.


REMINDER: Olive Oil tasting, including oil from Andries - Sunday 31 August, 3pm, Marlborough Vintners' Hotel, 190 Rapaura Rd. RSVP by email to

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Cheese and Wine Clos to Home

Clos Henri, one of the wineries in Marlborough with ties to France, hosted a special event this weekend, showing Marlborough's expression of two things dear to France's heart - cheese and wine.

While the North Island was being battered by a 'weather bomb', about 30 people were enjoying the cosy atmosphere inside Clos Henri's cellar door - a deconsecrated church from Ward, south of Blenheim.

Lisa Harper from Sherrington Grange presented some of her cheeses and gave a presentation on cheesemaking. Marlburians will recognise Lisa and her cheeses from the Marlborough Farmers' Market. Others may have seen her featured in the May 2008 issue of Cuisine Magaine. While Slow-Foodies were enjoying Lisa's cheese in Marlborough, Australians were reading about Lisa, and other features of Marlborough's food and wine scene in the weekend's Australian newspaper.

One of the wines Sherrington Grange is known for is their 'Mahau Gold'. This is a washed rind cheese, from a tradition that began in the Middle Ages, when cheeses were dipped in wine or spirits, encouraging them to develop colour and flavour. Applying this locally, to make Mahau Gold, the cheese is regularly bathed in Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, resulting in a deep yellow-brown colour and distinctive, aromatic taste. Try it with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir and the weather outside really doesn't matter.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Aotearoa Seafoods

Thanks to Aotearoa Seafoods for hosting a group of 20 Slow Foodies this evening at their mussel processing facility in Riverlands, Blenheim.

After an introduction to Aotearoa Seafoods, its products and markets, we were able to get behind the scenes to see the processing of some of its Greenshell Mussels; this evening being prepared as Tomato and Chilli Marinated Mussels.

A tasting of mussels followed, matched with some KONO wine and a talk by Kiley Nepia of the Omaka Marae about Matariki. Kiley is pictured here (left) with Mike Aviss, both kitted out and ready to head into the mussel reception and processing areas.

Some things to think about:
  • while some of the indigenous flavourings used in the KONO flavoured half-shell products haven't been well received in the USA (the NZ Greenshell Mussel industry's main market), as parts of a true New Zealand food culture it would be great to see more use being made of things like Kawakawa and Horopito. Good on Aotearoa Seafoods for giving it a go.
  • something tells me there's something to the concept that male and female mussels possibly taste different (visually you can tell the female mussels by their orange shell colouration), as well as a possible terroir effect (or the ocean equivalent) - mussels from different regions tasting different. Anyone else keen for some blind tastings?

Tuesday, 27 May 2008


For information about Slow Food Membership, please see the International Slow Food website.

Or email our Committee Member responsible for Membership (Sally Woolhouse)

Once you join the international organisation (a portion of your membership fee comes back to support local Slow Food Marlborough Convivium) you can select to be a part of the Slow Food Marlborough Convivium - or another Convivium more appropriate for your location and interests if you prefer.

At this time, you do not need to be a member of the international organisation to participate in Slow Food Marlborough events, though we recommend it and encourage it. As well as supporting the international movement and receiving quality publications from them, financial membership will give you preferential access to Slow Food Marlborough activities (many sell out) and/or free or discounted particiaption (non-members will pay a higher price to participate).

After less than 18 months in existence (at September 2009) Slow Food Marlborough is the third largest Convivium in New Zealand. As we continue to grow, we may need to limit participation in our activities to members of the international organisation, though we will endeavour to remain as inclusive as possible.

About Us

Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.To do that, Slow Food brings together pleasure and responsibility, and makes them inseparable.Today, we have over 100,000 members in 132 countries.

Upcoming Slow Food Events


WHEN:              WEDNESDAY 1 December @ 5-30pm to 7-30pm

                                                    Corner Old Renwick Road and Rene Street
Members  $5-00 per person
Non Members $15 per Person
RSVP Monday 29 November to
Come along and enjoy  a cool bubbly with fresh tasty strawberries and cream
View the large strawberry growing glasshouses and learn about how Ian and Mary have developed their iconic fresh strawberries. Hear their story, view a video, play patanque and chat with fellow Slow Food enthusiasts  
Sample a strawberry directly from the vine
Try a chocolate coated strawberry
Relax for a couple of hours before Xmas hits 

Thanks again to Herzog for putting on one of Slow Food Marlborough's most popular events - a true highlight of our annual calendar of activities.

This year enjoy a cooking demonstration by Herzog's wonderful chefs as they prepare lunch with fresh seasonal ingredients,  a vineyard and winery tour and finish with a long lunch - enjoying what you've seen prepared earlier, with a glass of Herzog's fine wine.

13 November from 10.30, with lunch from 12 noon to 2.00 pm - more details attached.

Numbers are strictly limited to 40 people, and until 5 November, we will only be taking bookings from members. 

Cost is $25 for members and $40.

RSVP please to Samantha Young at Herzog - or ph 572 8770.

From Thistle to Table - Globe Artichoke Cooking Demonstration 

5 pm until 7 pm
Monday, 18 th October ( rain date: Wed 20th)
Marlborough Slow Food is proud to announce our monthly October Food Activity and invite all to join us in celebrating the humble yet very tasty Globe Artichoke. Available in season for about three months of the year this Cooking demo and  tasting will certainly inspire you to use the Globe Artichoke more !

Tim Newsham and Kerry Raeburn will host this feast of Artichokes at 72 Ferry Road, Spring Creek  (last driveway on the right before the Ferry Bridge).  Learn how to prepare and unlock the Globe Artichokes secrets the easy way.    Artichokes are  highly regarded in Italy, France, North Afica and California and yet are more likely to be  put in  floral displays than eaten  in NZ.  Local Chefs Piero Rocco and Chris Fortune will educate and tempt you to use the Globe Artichoke in ways that will make you come back for seconds and thirds.

Slow food members are free and $10 for all other participants.  RSVP by 13 th October to 

BEC Luxury Lodge - Italian Wine Tasting

81 Cob Cottage Rd

6-8pm, Wednesday 11 August

Italy is the birthplace of the international Slow Food Movement. For
Slow Food Marlborough's August event, Sarah and Dave Anderson from BEC
Luxury Lodge will host Simon Kelly from Lubrication Wines for an
evening of Italian food and wine delights.  Simon will take guests
through a formal but fun tasting of 6 special Italian wines - 1 white
and 5 reds. After the tasting, mingle and enjoy Italian-styled nibbles
in the wonderful setting overlooking Blenheim and Cloudy Bay.

Limited to 24 guests - Slow Food financial members will receive
priority for bookings.

$15 for members, $25 for non-members - to cover wine costs.

Some bottles retail for up to $80, so this is a great opportunity to
taste some special wines (available at favourable prices on the night)
and great value too.

Please RSVP to Sarah Anderson:

Sunday 25 July, from 10.30 am to 2.00 pm

Clos Henri Vineyard, 639 State Highway 63, West Coast Rd, RD1 Blenheim

$5 Slow Food International Members, $15 otherwise - to cover the selection of special meats from The Village Butcher, Blenheim.
BYO salads, bread, refreshments, glasses, crockery and cutlery.

Marlborough Vintners Hotel 
Join us to recognise and celebrate

Marlborough’s local food producers and Matariki.

Friday 18 June 2010, from 5.30pm
Barrel Hall, Marlborough Vintners’ Hotel
190 Rapaura Rd
$50 per person

BYO wine, cash bar also available
Three course, set menu
featuring local Marlborough produce.

Marlborough Farmers’ Market Awards presentation.
TICKETS LIMITED - get yours now by contacting:

Sue Gibbs - 
 Sally Woolhouse- 

What is Matariki?
Matariki is the Maori name for the group of stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster or The Seven Sisters;  and what is referred to as the traditional Maori New
When is the Maori New Year?
The Maori new year is marked by the rise of Matariki and the sighting of the next new moon. The pre-dawn rise of Matariki can be seen in the last few days of May every year and the new year is marked at the sighting of the next new moon which occurs during June. This next occurs on 5 June 2008.
What does Matariki mean?
Matariki has two meanings, both referring to a tiny constellation of stars; Mata Riki (Tiny Eyes) and Mata Ariki (Eyes of God).
Why is Matariki important?
Traditionally, depending on the visibility of Matariki, the coming season's crop was thought to be determined. The brighter the stars indicated the warmer the season would be and thus a more productive crop. It was also seen as an important time for family to gather and reflect on the past and the future.

Please RSVP for catering purposes:

JULY EVENT - Bastille Day
 14 th  July
Mid September Garden Tour 

Mid October  - Globe Artichokes

2010 Events


Seresin Estate is hosting a special event for Slow Food Marlborough, Saturday 10 April at their Home Vineyard.   

Suitable for the whole family - have a go at milking Seresin's house cow, make butter and cream to enjoy with freshly baked scones and organic preserves.   Get up close and personal with a bee-hive in the Seresin Estate orchard - learn how Seresin manages it's hives and enjoy some recently-harvested honey to enjoy with scones too.

Saturday 10 April
8.45 am, for 9am start
Seresin Estate Home Vineyard
Enter at 85 Bedford Rd, Renwick, go up the drive, turn left at the top (away from the winery and cellar door) and carry on to the vineyard buildings.
Concludes with morning tea at 10 - 10.30 am.
Please RSVP for catering purposes:

2009 Events

Thursday 10 December, 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm
Marlborough Vintners' Hotel
Rapaura Rd

The very first Terra Madre Day is being held on 10 December - celebrating Slow Food International's 20th anniversary and to recognise the importance of supporting local food producers.

To recognise the day, as part of events happening all over the world, Slow Food Marlborough is holding a “Marlborough Mad Hatter's Tea Party”.  Bring some locally produced food and drink, and enjoy it in the relaxed setting on the patio and under the cherry trees at Marlborough Vintners Hotel.

There will be a treasure hunt and local berries and cherries supplied for children - and maybe even some locally produced chocolates - so bring along your children, or someone else's !

This is a Sun-Smart event, supported by the Marlborough Cancer Society and Cancer Society representatives will be judging - with a Slow Food prize for the ‘Maddest hat’. 

It's also a chance to 'take a breather' and slow down before the Christmas rush, and in keeping with the season, we'll be collecting food donations and gold-coin donations for charity.

Thursday 10 December, 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm
Marlborough Vintners' Hotel
Rapaura Rd

BYO Food and Refreshments
Marlborough food, drinks, and ingredients please.

As much as we're pleased to see Herzog open again for the season, we're also looking forward to another wonderful Slow Food event at Herzog next month.

Join Hans and Therese, their 2009 Head Chef, Boris Meyer and his team in the kitchen, for a morning dedicated to fish. Learn the art of filleting a whole fish, and go through 3 recipes showing different, delicious ways to use the finished product. Guests will receive recipes, enjoy time with the chefs and enjoy a special behind-the-scenes tour of Herzog's kitchen, restaurant, vineyard, winery, barrel room, cellar door and bistro. 
What better way to finish than by enjoying some of Herzog's stunning wines - courtesy of Hans and Therese Herzog.
Numbers are limited, and last year's event at Herzog was a 'sell-out', so be quick to RSVP. Places will be confirmed on a first-paid-first-in basis. 
Free for Slow Food Members
$20 for non-members (payment is required before the event) - with all funds going to support Slow Food Marlborough.

Saturday 14 November
Herzog Winery & Restaurant, 81 Jeffries Road, Blenheim
9.00 - 10.30 am with Herzog wines afterwards. Make a lunch reservation if you want to linger.
With thanks to Hans and Therese for their support of Slow Food Marlborough and their sponsorship of this event.
To RSVP and arrange payment contact:  Sue Gibbs:, Ph 03 520 8270.
(Slow Food Members, no need to RSVP to Sue if you've already RSVP'd)

OCT 3rd Compost Preparation and BYO buffet/picnic

Commencing at 3 pm
Neville and Sharon White invite the Marlborough Slow Food group to a overview of there small heritage fruit and vegetables property to which they are applying organic and bio dynamic principles. They very much believe in local, fresh, quality, tasty, produce and sell at the Marlborough Farmers' market
One Group will participate in compost production, the other would look at the plants and the bio dynamic applications that they are applying . Each session would go for 1-00 to 1-30 hours and then the visitors would swap over.
Towards 5-30pm we would adjourn for a wine and buffet BYO Tea. If the weather is good the idea would be to enjoy the social activity in amongst the eucalypt trees and seated on hay bales to the tunes of the many birds we are lucky enough to enjoy.
Please bring a plate to be share - BYO
For more information and to book your place please contact  

Address is 17 Gibsons Road off Kaituna Tuamarina Track.
Pass through Renwick on State Highway 6 heading toward Nelson
Cross the Wairau River just past Rapaura Road
The State Highway sweeps left after crossing the river with the Kaituna Tuamarina Track coming off to the right.
Travel down Kaituna / Tuamarina Road for 3.8 kms
Gibsons Road is on the left. We are approx 100 meters from this corner on the left. 

Dear Slow Food lovers,

After a fantastic Oysters event and with spring knocking on our doors, we have now thought about getting back in the gardens. Spring sounds like barbecues, simple fresh food that doesn’t necessarily require a lot of cooking. So what is better than few herbs to lift the profile of your fresh products? We invite you to join us at Thymebank next Thursday where Martin will take us through the plantation aspects and tips. Being a chef himself he will give us few hints on cooking with herbs as well.

Bring some bread or crackers and dips - using your favourite herbs - and if you feel like sharing your special recipes, we’ll all be up for it!

Where: Thymebank - 31 Hammerichs road, RD2 Blenheim

When: Thursday the 3rd of September at 4.30pm

Getting Savvy with Oysters!
The July Slow Food Event

When -Thursday 30th July 2009
Venue – Raupo CafĂ© (down by Riverside in town)
Time - 6pm
Cost - $10.00 members: $15.00 non members (pay on evening)

Farmed Bluff Oysters in the Marlborough Sounds!!! These are one of the next big gourmet things to come out of Marlborough, and have been a 20 year project for Bruce Hearn, a long time mussel farmer from the region. Not yet released onto the market, and in very limited numbers, you can get a chance to taste these delights, freshly shucked, and perfectly matched with a glass of Marlborough ‘Savvy’. Those lucky enough to have tried them describe them as having all the flavour of the wild oyster but with a denser, meatier texture. Bruce and his wife Jill will be there to tell the story and to also demonstrate the art of oyster opening. It has been planned to make this an interactive demo so those of you interested can have a go. Helen and Marcel will also have the bar open for any additional drinks purchases.

Numbers for this popular event are limited, with first preference given to paid up members and thereafter on a first in basis. Please RSVP by 28th July 2009

This month we have a "Grovetown Roadtrip" - details as follows:

Tuesday 30th June
4.30pm - Meet at Uncle Joe's Nuts, 39 Rowley Cresent, Grovetown
5.30pm - Annies fruit leathers State Highway 1, Grovetown RD3 Blenheim
6.30pm - Grovetown Country Tavern for nibbles and drinks

$5 Slow Food Marlborough Members, $10 non-members
Please RSVP for catering purposes - pay on the day.

4.30pm-Uncle Joe's nut farm is in full swing, processing more than 30 tonnes of mainly walnuts and hazelnuts a season and dealing with about 150 suppliers around Marlborough. Their walnut oil won two gold awards in 2007 and 2008 at the Royal New Zealand Show, and their walnut spread recently picked up one of the top ten 2009 Cuisine Artisan Awards out of 90 entries. About 150 local people supply the Horwells with nuts. Hazelnuts are more rare, with only about three growers. Despite this, there is still not enough supply to meet the nut demand the couple's nut business generates, and the demand from buyers.

5.30pm -"Annies" family has been growing quality produce for over 100 years. The family purchased their property in 1898 and developed a business as an agricultural contractor and over the years the farm evolved from sheep and grain to vegetables, fruit and grape production with a small fruit and vegetable shop on the property. The Annies business was born in 1986 after Graeme Giles bought his wife Ann a small dehydrator and she began to experiment with converting apples into dried fruit leathers. What the family did not require in the shop, Ann started selling and soon demand outstripped the capacity of the dehydrator.

6.30 pm Grovetown Country Tavern for drinks and nibbles.

We look forward to seeing you then !


Bookmark and Share