Thursday, February 5, 2009

Contemporary Kai

At Waihao Marae, Waimate. Dec. 2008. Ajr
Kai is the Maori word for food; Ngai Tahu is the major South Island Maori tribe (iwi). Put the two together and you come up with Jason Dell, Ngai Tahu, former executive chef at Blanket Bay, (now residing in Singapore), who a month or so back whipped up a culinary treat for us at Waihao Marae, south-east of Waimate, three hours south of Christchurch. Using the traditional foods of the marae – eel (tuna), flounder (patiki), yellow-eyed mullet (aua) and sea-run trout – Jason prepared a lavish lunch for the marae kaumatua. We started with tomato soup with Waldorf salad and eel (top left and bottom right); then raised our forks for sea-run trout set on a polenta cake and lobster ravioli; finishing with fresh bread, baked flounder and baked mullet stuffed with pickled mussels, tomato and an assortment of herbs. Not a bad way to spend a sunny day in the south. All this for another of TE KARAKA’s kai features.

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