Urban Forage & Lunch
Our Urban Forage Mahinga Kai with Riki Bennett started at Auckland Domain with a walk through the lower tracks to discover a range of edible and not so edible plants, trees and berries.
Riki explains the different plants and trees including the Nīkāu, our indigenous palm, which he then cuts the young flesh of the base for us to sample.
We then returned to NZ School of Food and Wine for a detailed presentation on the native plants and trees and Māori tanga.
Riki plays a traditional Māori wooden nose flute and the room is full of evocative notes of the forest. On our balcony, smoking and steaming away was the kai cooker, packed full of our Pigeon Bay lamb, Pork belly & Māori potatoes, cabbage and kumara - watched over by Chef Eugene.
We started with canapes of smoked mussels, radish. Above is the steaming basket of cabbage and kumara with the Māori potatoes hidden beneath.
Our forage salad of New Zealand quinoa, local grapefruit segments, watercress, walnuts and Māori spinach - Tetragonia tetragonoides - micro beets with a vinaigrette of Waiheke olive oil, from Man O'War vineyard, mustard and grapefruit juice.
The pork belly with dried apple rings was served alongside our lamb was served a Kahikatea berry jelly.
Hangi Maori potatoes, Butternut with Maori spinach emulsion and the Kahikatea berry jelly prepared with berries foraged in April, frozen and then set in a delicate sauvignon blanc jelly.
Steamed Golden syrup pudding with Kumara puree and Mandarin.
We will host a Spring Forage with Riki on Saturday 16 November. Click here to register.
The Forage Luncheon was paired with Kumeu River's Pinot Gris from Kumeu River and Cable Bay Syrah from Waiheke Island.