Monday, November 24, 2008


Welcome to the Slow Food Waitakere Lunch
 with Kumeu River Wines 
White Restaurant, Hilton Hotel , Auckland

Menu created by
White Executive Chef Cristiano De Martin

For starter: Spirit Bay scallops seared with crispy pancetta, apples puree and snow peas, cabernet sauvignon vinegar glaze.

Accompanied by 2007 Village Chardonnay.

The Vegetarian option was a fantastic mature local goat cheese with baby beetroots, walnuts and baby cos salad leaves.

To follow cured and seared Waikato duck breast resting on crispy filo pastry, pistachio, grape and berry salad with cabernet sauvignon verjus dressing.

Accompanied by 2006 Hunting Hill Chardonnay.

Vegetarian for me, eggplant cannelloni...yum!

Grapefruit sorbet for all and then...

Wakanui blue beef fillet, sauteed beet leaves and sherry vinegar glaze, bone marrow, braised green lentils in beef stock reduction.

Accompanied by 2006 Estate Pinot Noir.

The Vegetarian option to match the Pinot Noir (and it did it beautifully!) was a mushroom risotto flavoured with truffle.

The fish alternative was hapuka.

Unfortunately I didn't take photos of the Petits Fours at the end, but they were delicious!

Thank you to all the partecipants, to wine maker Michael Brajkovich of Kumeu River, and to chef Cristiano De Martin and all the staff at White.

For more photos of this event please visit the

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Terra Madre 2008

Aotearoa delegate Jonette Chapman sent some photos of Terra Madre 2008, Turin.

Rodrique and Claire

Have a look at the Slow Food Waitakere Blog

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Strawberry time, strawberry cupcakes

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Strawberry Cupcakes

To make the pink cupcakes I collected 75 ml of juice from strawberries marinated with sugar and lemon.


100 g butter

200 g sugar

75 ml strawberry juice

3 eggs

250 g self rising flour

Cream the butter with the sugar, add the strawberry juice, then the eggs, one at the time, and the flour. Bake at 180°C for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kiwiana Cookies

Look at these cookies!! They were made by Becky Colletti from Consumed by Cake in the UK.
"The Kiwiana cookies were a bespoke order, made for Kathryn of 4GoodnessCake in NZ to send to her family in London to remind them of home," says Becky, "She chose the images and I turned them into hand cut, hand painted, iced cookies. This order was really fun and I enjoyed doing them. Please email me at with any enquiries."
Thank you Becky for the photos, and fun!


I rarely measure doses for bread now. I just put a little yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar, wait for 5 minutes and then add flour and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I feel like making soft bread, or ciabatta, so I add very little flour. Other times I feel like thick country bread, and add more flour. I am never fussed, mostly I just follow my instinct with bread now, maybe because I have done it so many times, and in so many different ways.
Pane is always good!

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini©

Monday, November 10, 2008


Image courtesy of
Fairfax Books, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Age

Karin Bishop is a Sydney Journalist, author and mother of three. She has also written The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald’s Baby’s Journey and edited The Sydney Morning Herald’s Great Family Outings.

This book is a collection of recipes for the perfect day out, including 4 of my recipes (Kabocha Salad, Frittata with Peppers, Treasure Chest Salad and Crostata di Frutta). I am also trilled by the fact the the cover photo is of my picnic basket, and food. The photo was taken by Sean Shadbolt, in his garden in Titirangi.

Picnics is available from all Australian good bookstores
RRP $29.95
or direct from The Age or the Herald.
To order direct from the Herald call 1300 656 059 or visit
To order direct from the The Age call 1300 656 052 or visit

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New gardening and recipe book from Dennis Greville and Jill Brewis

The Grower’s Cookbook is
published in November by
Penguin Group (NZ) with an
RRP of $45.00.

The cost of fresh produce has risen by 12% in the last 4 years. New Zealand garden centres are reporting an increase in the sale of seeds and plants to grow vegetables. It has suddenly become very trendy to have your own vegetable garden.
The Grower’s Cookbook shows you how, with minimum effort, you can have delicious fresh produce at your fingertips all year round. What to grow, how to plant from seeds, how to maintain your plants and when to harvest. It then provides a range of ideas for preparing,cooking, and preserving what you have grown. Included are modern recipes and traditional favourites, as well as tips for how to deal with an abundance of food.
Authors Jill Brewis and Dennis Greville combine their gardening and culinary
talents to provide you with a wealth of information and inspiration.

“Whatever the size of your garden, the
simple pleasure of growing, cooking
and eating your home grown food is
well worth the effort. And once you’ve
tried it, there’ll be no going back.”
- Dennis Greville and Jill Brewis

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Turmeric Cake

Photo by Alessandra Zecchini©

It tastes like an old fashion cake and, strangely,
it came out with a lovely orange hue on the top half.
This is a egg-free cake.

100 g butter
100 ml rice bran oil
300 g sugar
1 tsp turmeric
300 g corn meal, fine
200 ml milk
100 g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp sultana
2 star anise

Melt the butter, add the rice bran oil and the sugar and mix with a wooden spoon. Add the turmeric and mix. Slowly add the corn meal, mix well. Slowly add the milk and mix well. Add the plain flour and baking soda and mix well. Fold in the pine nuts and sultana.
Line with baking paper a 23 cm (9 inch) round baking tin, or an equivalent size square tin. Pour the mixture into the tin, place the 2 star anise on the top and bake at 180ºC (350ºF) for 40 minutes. Check by inserting a tooth pick in the centre of the cake. Serve warm, with cream, or cold, cut into small pieces.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


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