What a lead-up we had to getting TGW to the Food Show 2015! There were weeks of planning around what we wanted our stand to look like to best represent Matakana as a premium food destination. We got some of our fantastic local food producers on board, and we showcased their delectable comestibles to 36,000 people.
Matakana Smokehouse salmon, Carew Kitchen almond milk, Heron's Flight verjuice and grape juice, Salumeria Fontana sausages, Matakana Nut Butters and Matakana Olive Oil strutted their stuff throughout the show. It became very clear to us that people are really interested in local, fresh, sustainable food that's created with passion.
The Matakana Farmers Market stand brought the true flavour of the markets to the Food Show. A cornucopia of fresh fruit, vegetables and micro greens really highlighted this region as the go-to place for lush produce.
We had some pretty exciting visitors too – Ray McVinnie of Masterchef, Tony Price who was a Masterchef runner up, Sachie Nomura of Sachies Kitchen, Alan Brown of the Complete Kiwi Pizza Book. Not one to miss an opportunity for a selfie, Kathryn grabbed as many of her chef heroes as she could, scoring closeups with Simon Gault, Sid Sahrawat and Brett McGregor!
All our producer partners were popular but the scrums around the smoked salmon on Sunday were rather extraordinary. Lee Sutherland of Matakana Smokehouse has such an incredible product.
The point of difference for his smoked salmon is the nigella seeds he uses. Nigella is an ancient seed which dates back to Medieval times and beyond - they were found in Tutankhamen's tomb!
Nigella seeds have been enjoying a rock-star moment recently, hailed as being able to cure anything from cancer to a broken leg. However, it's the oniony, peppery flavour Lee is after, and it's proving to be the people's choice, even more so than the more traditional brown sugar or coconut sugar cures he uses.
Lee also makes an exceptional gravadlax, which is layered with basil, coriander, dill, coconut sugar, limes and sea salt, vaccuum packed and refrigerated for two weeks. Score this tangy gorgeousness slathered on kumara buns, with cream cheese and capers at the Matakana Farmers Markets on Saturdays - direct from the man himself.
Last but not least are his smoked mushrooms. Need we say more? Get down to Matakana Farmers Market on Saturdays to buy all of these Smokehouse products from Lee - also available at Scarecrow Cafe in the city, Naturally Organic in Albany, or IE Produce in Takapuna.
Lee is a perfect example of what passion can do in creating amazing artisan products. This salmon really does spoil you for any other version. Call him on 0800 100 614 for further information. And see you at the Markets!