Food Reviews

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Wine and chocolate

I love wine and I love chocolate. You’d think I’d be able to put two of my life’s great passions together to experience the ultimate gastronomic high – but I can’t. I’m a victim of conditioning. At a critical stage of my development someone has drilled into my subconscious that wine doesn’t go with chocolate. I am suffering from a condition called psychological predetermination. I don’t believe chocolate and wine will go well together so they don’t. End of story. It’s the same affliction stopping my wife from eating oysters and my daughter from touching tomatoes. The brain has somehow erected a barrier that prevents us from checking whether we’ve got over our dislike of oysters, tomatoes or a wine/chocolate combo. We simply don’t go there.

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Why my salmon celebration dish is special

Macro-cooks can prepare a vast range of dishes well. Micro-cooks can prepare a small number of dishes really well. I’m a micro-cook. I cook to impress. I experiment a lot to get the best results. Smoked salmon is my signature dish. I’ve fine-tuned it over

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Tips for November

What will you be drinking in November?
November is the start of my barbecue season. I barbecue with a tongs in one hand and a glass of full-flavoured red in the other. At the moment I’ve got a fetish for Hawke’s Bay Syrah from the 2004 vintage.

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Organic food

Organic food is grown ‘naturally’ with nil or minimal use of harmful chemicals. Organic food is not the same as ‘spray-free’ or ‘residue-free’. Organic production is based on positive management systems which reduce or eliminate the need for most agricultural chemicals. One of the main differences between conventional and organic food production is the requirement for organic certification. Organic certifiers represent the consumer with a guarantee that the food is grown to an acceptable organic production standard.