Tag Archives: Food

DocEdge 17 | Bugs

Bugs, directed by Andreas Johnson, follows researcher Josh Evans, chef Ben Reade and chef Roberto Flore of the Nordic Food Lab for The Insect Project as they travel the globe discovering edible insects and the delicious ways to prepare them.

From termites in Kenya, to maggot-infested cheese (casu marzu) in Italy, to ant eggs (escamole) in Mexico and even wasps in Japan, Bugs takes you on a journey full of extraordinary delicacies.

The documentary treats its subject with sensitivity and respect. As the people from The Insect Project embark on their unusual culinary adventure, they don’t use eating insects as a mere stunt for the camera or an entertainment opportunity to laugh like tourists at the “weird” things that others eat. They make it plain that these insects are an integral part of an entire culture and way of life.

Bugs does a good job of showing the inner conflict of the people behind The Insect Project as they wrestle with wanting to bring more attention to insects as a food source while knowing that their work will also help corporations exploit a new protein source unsustainably. This is a key point of difference for Bugs to other documentaries or videos that I have watched about edible insects as a potential solution to world hunger – it fights to include sustainability as part of the discourse and calls into question methods of production or collection.

Josh Evans leaves you with a thought-provoking question at the end of the documentary – is it really that there is not enough food in the world or is the big issue equality of access to food instead?

Bugs is an interesting documentary that raises complex moral and cultural issues about the food we consume and the system that produces it.


The 12th DocEdge Festival takes place in Wellington 10-21 May and Auckland 24 May – 5 June – www.docedge.nz





DocEdge 16 | Monterey

Lisa Burd | Feature Film

Directed by Lisa Burd, Monterey follows Kiwis Paul and Mira as they open their dream café in Grey Lynn. The couple want to create a café different to the array of minimalist eateries populating Auckland, instead providing something cosy and familiar. The first step is finding a chef, and this comes in the form of Samoan Jacob, or J as they refer to him. J makes this doco, hands down. He is funny, charming and dedicated to his job, grateful to be given the opportunity to work as a head chef despite having no formal training whatsoever. As Paul and Mira both point out, J is what Monterey is all about – he is the heart and soul of the homely cafe.

Added to the mix is J’s brother, Tausaga, or Ti, fresh out of prison for armed robbery. Not long after his arrival, J’s cousin Aosoli joins the team. The three Samoan’s work smoothly together, always remaining calm and keeping the kitchen fun and lighthearted with the laid-back, cheeky humour common of the Pacific Island community. They are “the three core” of the business, as Paul calls them.

Monterey is best in its examination of these three men’s lives and relationship with each other. The doc becomes about much more than food – rather, it focusses on the people brought together by food. J, Ti and Soli are proud of their Samoan culture and heritage, and appreciate their positions at Monterey and the ability to provide for their families. J talks about the poor upbringing he had and how his children are able to enjoy simple things he did not, such as having shoes and lunch to take to school each day. The men are content and happy with their lives, striking a chord in the viewer as one thinks of the many dissatisfied New Zealanders who have come from far more privileged backgrounds.

The harmony in the Monterey kitchen is suddenly disrupted with the arrival of British chef Dan. Realising that money is tight, Paul decides to try something new and add a dinner menu to the cafe, making it slightly more up-market. Now with Dan as head chef, J, Ti and Soli are forced to reconsider their positions at Monterey. The new kitchen dynamic is interesting to watch – Dan is a nice guy, and a skilled chef who is essentially just doing his job – but we are attached to the Samoan family by this point and it is hard to see them grow disheartened.

The lowering in moral leads Paul and Mira to reconsider their decision and redefine the heart of the business. Is it about making money, is it about the vibe, is it about family? The documentary’s resolution is poignant and leaves one considering the role of cafes in New Zealand, the position of cafe staff and our country’s Samoan community. In all, a well-formed documentary that provides an interesting insight into New Zealand’s unique culture and makes for an enjoyable watch.


The 11th DocEdge Festival takes place in Wellington 4-15 May and Auckland 18-29 May – www.docedge.nz

heard | Chow Town at the Big Day Out

There’s nothing like mediocre, overpriced food to put a damper on any festival experience. Fear not, because the Big Day Out, New Zealand’s biggest music festival, has decided to ditch the sausages on sticks this year in favour of cuisine epic enough to match their rock star lineup. A bevy of New Zealand’s hottest chefs will be on hand in Chow Town to serve up some of their signature dishes in portable festival fashion.


Outside this restaurant are signs that say “Food of the People”. Indeed, Baduzzi’s New York-Italian inspired food is steeped in culinary tradition. The name means “meatball” in Sicilian. If you’re looking for food that is comforting and hearty but still maintains a sophisticated taste pallet, Chow Town has you covered.

Who: executive chef Ben Bayly


  • Wagyu meatball Grinder w salsa verde & onion gravy
  • Muffuletta of Spit roasted pig w olive salad & granny’s pickles
  • Strawberry and crème fraiche sundae with Pimms jelly and almond crumble


The strong, spicy flavours of Southern American cooking have been enjoying a great vogue lately. Conjuring up magical Creole and Cajun flavours, Orleans will transport you back to the bluesy Deep South. If you love a hearty gumbo that warms your soul, this is the place to be at Chow Town.

Who: executive chef Sam Campbell


  • Sweet corn esquites in a cup with chipotle butter, blackened onion and lime crema, coriander, magic powder, queso seco and candied sesame
  • Young coconut “Prawn Coctél” with spiced Amarillo salsa asada, avocado, chicharron, pickled heirloom carrot
  • Charred Pork “Pibil” taco in achiote with pineapple pico de gallo, citrus cured red onion, green mint, jalapeno and salted peanut salsa

The Blue Breeze Inn

No greasy takeaways here. Authentic Chinese food with a modern touch can be found in the oriental surrounding of The Blue Breeze Inn. This restaurant features an open kitchen bar where you can watch the Chinese-trained chefs dexterously fold, stuff and pinch to create dumpling packages lighter than clouds or expertly handle flaming woks. Easy to carry, filling and delicious, char siu bao (or bbq pork buns) are this writer’s personal favourite festival/market food.

Who: executive chef Che Barrington


  • Chairman Bao – Red braised Berkshire pork belly, red vinegar picked cucumber, coriander, hoisin sauce
  • Crispy Chicken – Free range crispy fried chicken, Sriracha chilli sauce, crushed peanuts,Taiwanese red sugar, black garlic oil
  • Wagyu bao – Pulled Wagyu beef rump, sweet pickled nashi pear, black bean chilli sauce

Federal Delicatessen

If you’d prefer something closer to festival food but with a bit more panache, look no further than Federal Delicatessen, whose head chef takes his inspiration from classic Americana and gutsy street food.

Who: head chef Kyle Street


  • Street Dog – NYC-style hot dog w/ cart relish
  • Chicken Hoagie – Chicken salad roll w/ chicken skin cracklin’, iceberg, gravy
  • Montreal Poutine – Fries, cheese curds & gravy
  • NY Cheesecake – Baked cheesecake with fresh strawberries


Aucklanders have been raving about Mexico since it opened. The restaurant has become the hottest lunch destination in town. With a dash of lime and the scent of fresh coriander, this Mexican street food inspired menu comes alive with flavor and colour.

Who: executive chef Javier Carmona


  • Sweet corn esquites in a cup with chipotle butter, blackened onion and lime crema, coriander, magic powder, queso seco and candied sesame
  • Young coconut “Prawn Coctél” with spiced Amarillo salsa asada, avocado, chicharron, pickled heirloom carrot
  • Charred Pork “Pibil” taco in achiote with pineapple pico de gallo, citrus cured red onion, green mint, jalapeno and salted peanut salsa


Healthy with clean, pure flavours, contemporary Japanese food is definitely an oddity at a music festival. However, a much welcomed one to be served up with style by MASU. Just because you enjoy rock music does not mean you cannot appreciate elegant flavours when you taste them.

Who: executive chef Nic Watt


  • Steamed Edamame with sea salt
  • Salmon tataki, karashi miso, lime soy
  • Master stock baby back pork ribs, cashew nut and sancho salt
  • Chicken wings, glazed with ginger and mirin

been | The Food Show 2013, Auckland

The Lucky Taco NZ - soft shell fish taco

August sees the return of The Food Show to Auckland and a second year of reviewing for yours truly. See my review from last year.

If you’re looking for something to do this cold winter weekend, I’d highly recommend heading along to the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane. And if you’re prone to some shopping as I am, I’d highly recommend a small suitcase or grocery trundler; hindsight is twenty-twenty.

Heading along just after midday, my friend Michael and I walked into a buzzing venue, full of aromas, bargains and conversation; a promising start.

the food show 2013 - arrival - busy   the food show 2013 - michael - clint

We spent a good 5 hours at the venue, giving each stand and every aisle a good going over, I’ll hopefully give you a hearty breakdown summary of the new, the improved, the surprises, the deals and the flavours that took our fancy.

The new

There’s a good mix of new products from established brands and new-to-show stalls. The two that caught my eye were new-to-market product from Pure Delish (stand E35) – kaffir lime and pistachio bites which are gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free, and Mexican food suppliers Tío Pablo (stand N8) who stock not only their own brand of ingredients but also La Morena brand from Mexico.

Pure Delish - Stand E35   Tio Pablo - Stand N8

The improved

My favourite peanut butter Pic’s (stand B12) have recently release a ‘no added salt’ range depicted by a red lid and black star, or in the 1KG jar with red lid, taste just as great as the original! And as I mentioned in an instagram pic on Thursday, if you bring in a half-eaten jar of ordinary peanut butter they’ll swap ya with one of their 200g jars. Secondly is the recently rebranded Altezano Brothers aka Altezano Coffee (stand D23), they make great coffees and their beans sourced from South American come in regular, organic or decaf.

Pic's peanut butter   Altezano Brothers coffee

The surprises

Michael and I stumbled across Wise Cicada (Stand D22) and their rather nondescript display of young drinking coconuts that were for sale. At $5 a pop I couldn’t resist; it was worth it; nothing beats fresh coconut juice; and Michael went back two more times. Earlier in our perusing I came across Moondarra (stand C33), a cream cheese brand from Australia, had a peculiar melon & mango (and coconut) infused cream cheese which was simply delectable. They also have garlic and herb, cracked pepper, sweet chilli, and cranberry & macadamia nut.

Wise Cicada's young drinking coconuts - Stand D22   Moondarra Cheeses - Stand C33

Oh and worth a mention is student business project OHUNZ (stand H34) from Otahuhu College, South Auckland – who sourced, developed and marketed their own brand of honey. They’re part of the AUCKLAND on the menu initiative of ATEED.

The deals

I’m definitely a sucker for deals and there were plenty available. ENZA under their Freshfields (stand E15) brand were there with some yummy fruit pulp squeeze containers, apple sauce in a sachet and their delectable Apple Syrup! 3 things for $15. Farrah (stand A5) were touting their delicious non-flake/break wraps 3 packets for $10 plus a great little cookbook, of which I’ve already made a version of the pizza recipe found inside.

Freshfields - Stand E15   Farrah Wraps - Stand A5

The flavours

Two products that I will peg my reputation to are the smoke garlic infused salt from The Original Smoke & Spice Co (stand P5) and Jamaican Jerk Seasoning imported by West Indies Spice Traders (stand G4). Some seriously great seasonings for meats or otherwise, you will be back for these each year! I am!

Original - smoke - spice - salt   

These are only the things we’ve discovered and love, there’s plenty more I haven’t talked about, lots of food sampling, wines, kitchenware, cooking utensils, demostrations, the Masterclass series etc.

The helpful

Head along to the The Food Show website for more info and when you make it to the show hopefully you’ll find your own favourites to keep coming back for.

Adults $28
Under 12s $15
Under 5s FREE

Saturday 3 August 10am – 6pm
Sunday 4 August 10am – 5pm

Follow The Food Show on instagram

Follow The Food Show on twitter

heard | The New Zealand Beer Festival

The New Zealand Beer Festival is back for another year at The Cloud, Queens Wharf in Auckland on Saturday 23rd March.  From noon to night, you can revel in a stunning beer garden experience with both indoor and outdoor space.

With a great range of food to compliment the beer tasting to an entertainment line-up with songs you know most of the words to, The New Zealand Beer Festival promises a fun-filled exprience with something for everyone.  With over 150 beers from more than 30 breweries, you truly can expect something for everyone!


Saturday 23 March

The Cloud, Queens Wharf, Auckland
12:30 pm – 9:00 pm


The Music:

3.30 pm Sola Rosa

5.00 pm Dane Rumble

6.00 pm Peter Urlich

The Tickets:

Earlybird $29
General Admission $39
Door Sales $49

The Dress-code:

Dress up and win!  Get your crew together and pick a dress-up theme.  If it’s selected as one of the top 3, your ENTIRE DAY could be on the house!

The Website:

seen | Gorge – Auckland Fringe Festival

Crazy, magical and wildly entertaining, Frankovich and Mason’s GORGE is a real feast for the eyes as well as the belly’s, a must see at this years Auckland FRINGE Festival – this show is not to be missed!

 Opening night of Virginia Frankovich and Phoebe Mason’s GORGE was a one-stop shop full of treats, madness and food galore. “Welcome to Pick and Mixes Carnival of Treats” the talented duo announced, as they invited us into their World of make believe; where little girls eat gallons of cakes and flies tell tales of triumph over who ate the most cheese ball.

Some of the delicious treats at the GORGE 'Sweet Stall'

As you entered the venue you become lost in the magic and delight of the GORGE, the play itself was a feast for the eyes, with giant lollipops, candy canes, cakes and plenty of cream buns to go around. At the door, you were given a token, which you could exchange for a delicious treat at the ‘sweet stall’ as you eagerly waited for the show to start.

GORGE centres around little Mollie’s sixth birthday party at the ‘Carnival of Treats’, where wonderland becomes reality and flies talk, where little girls like Medina learn the truth about food and a darkening reality slowly begins to brew beneath the surface.

As Frankovich states “Consumption and excess are the essential themes of the play, asking us to think about the way we feel about ourselves and how we treat our bodies.

The idea for GORGE has always been at the back of Frankovich’s mind. “As a child I always loved Willy Wonka and Roald Dahl…I have always been interested in food excess [and] I thought it would be nice to do a play that was different from the average romance comedy….[GORGE] can relate to people as we consume food in our everyday lives and I thought it would be an interesting idea to investigate through theatre

This play is wickedly funny and wildly entertaining, these girls bring to life the characters within GORGE through emotion, physicality and great comedic timing. All whilst delving into the character’s psyche to get an in depth look at what it is to consume food, whilst making us think about the un-necessary excess we gorge on a daily basis.

Virginia Frankovich and Phoebe Mason after the show

Frankovich and Mason prove that more really is more when it comes to food and theatre. GORGE is a great interactive and audience friendly play with an explosive finale that will make you shiver. As Frankovich states “it’s exciting, nostalgic and it will make you laugh [plus]there will be plenty of sweets to eat!” A wonderful two women show on food, excess, greed and consumption and a must see at Auckland’s Fringe Festival – this show not to be missed!


Get your GORGE tickets at http://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2013/mar/gorge

Check out the GORGE website and facebook page:




Words: Nathalie Owen

Images: Nathalie Owen

GORGE Poster: Chris Stratton and Oliver Rosser

been | Delectable tastes of Auckland

I recently headed along to Victoria Park for Taste of Auckland. In it’s second year, now as Taste of Auckland, it has become a main fixture on Auckland’s culinary calendar. Last year Rick Stein’s Malaysia Kitchen was quite impressive and so I was looking forward to seeing what the local chefs were creating this year.

With Taste cash cards full of crowns my friend Michael and I headed off on a flyby lap. While the place was still relatively quiet I wanted to have a quick look at what everyone had on offer and get an idea on where I was likely going to be spending my crowns.

Feeling rather parched now on this sunny Friday afternoon we kept an eye out for something to assist in whetting our appetite. We soon spotted the people from SHOTT and their slushy machines making some rather nice cocktails out of their flavoured syrups. Michael and I both chose the Cranberry and Lime (see picture above).

Lots of beers, liquor and wine labels, one of my favourites Wither Hills had a great little set-up with bean bags and couches for you to park up and savour their goods.

Wither Hills Wines

Our next stop was Kapiti Ice Cream to sample their very peculiar concoction consisting of a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream with a drizzle of lemon infused olive oil and some cracked sea salt. I’m still not sure whether I liked it or not but it was worth a try.

Vanilla bean with lemon infused olive oil and cracked sea salt

Highlight of the night had be at Mexico. Top marks for presentation, turn around time, bang-for-your-buck, taste, textures and ingredients.

We ordered the braised beef filled tortilla with a sprinkle of chrysanthemum petals I believe, Mexico’s famous fried chicken with jalepeno mayonnaise and the prawn salad which came decorated with crystallized lime rinds, coriander shoots and taco chips on a cos lettuce leaf.

Tasters from Mexico

Our last stop of the night was to check out Kermadec Fine’s Sambirano Chocolate Cremoso filled Nayarit milk chocolate balloon, cocoa powder and green pepper brick pastry, balsamic dressed poached strawberries and polenta crumbs, garnished with coriander shoots. It was most certainly as weird and wonderful as it sounds.

chocolate balloon with chocolate mousse fillingcracked chocolate balloon with chocolate mousse filling

If you missed out this year, Taste of Auckland should definitely be on your list of things to do next year. Till then, good eating!