We're very excited here at The Gourmet Within. Our inaugural blog post! It's been a long time in the planning. We're aiming to bring you all sorts of things you need to know (and possibly a few you don't) about the foodie scene in and around the Matakana area and further afield as well. And of course, we'll keep you informed about what's happening at The Gourmet Within.
We've spread our yummy net from Puhoi to Pakiri - there are loads of artisan food producers here, whose wares we are looking forward to sampling and keeping you informed about. We'll also keep track of gourmet events including, of course, our own regular and delicious food experiences. Cookery classes for any style and palate, corporate team-building fun (make it as competitive as you like!) – and soon, private fine dining as well.
Our chef, Mark Griffiths, has a wealth of experience in the industry. He's been cooking all his life – from cruise ships in his (slightly misspent) youth, to owning his own restaurant, to spending the past 16 years teaching the advanced cookery courses at Auckland University of Technology, Mark's done it all.
He lives just up the road from TGW in Matakana, with his partner Carmel, who runs the show behind the scenes. They also run a gorgeous bed and breakfast surrounded by vineyards in Matakana (a foodie haven north of Auckland). They've raised their two sons here, who also lend a hand at TGW from time to time.
As a couple Mark and Carmel are steeped in the food industry and involved at ground level in every local event. Community is hugely important to them and they are passionate about helping both high-end local producers and kitchen-table entrepreneurs get their products to market.
Kathryn Jansen has a background in food technology and is a committed health-nut. Her paleo wraps are to die for! She helps out in the kitchen with Mark and designs and runs TGW's corporate side, where her trademark wry sense of humour and general naughtiness come in handy.
Finally there's Kathy Hunter, online gofer. A Matakana local, she has a writing background, loves chooks and her vege garden and is prone to dithering over whether to cook Nigel or Nigella on any given evening.