Tag Archive: On Location


In the Kitchen With Mike

Born and raised in Wellington, Mike Eastwood is the proud resident of the capital of New Zealand.
Mike is also the generous and creative mind behind Tuesday Night Dinner, a potluck dinner with a weekly theme. Hosted for more than a decade by Mike himself, the dinner now moves from place to place around Wellington.
Entrepreneur by day and passionate cook the rest of the time, Mike agreed to be portrayed doing one of his favourite past time.

And I’m particularly happy to open this series of Face & Place with Mike.

So please follow me in his kitchen for the making of a delicious three course meal for 7 lucky guests.

* Smoked Eel Caesar salad * Fettuccine with Mushrooms & Cream Sauce * Poached Rhubarb and Strawberries with Vanilla Ice Cream *

Partly assisted by Grace, Mike shared and patiently explained to his lovely and young sous-chef about ingredients and tastes throughout the cooking process. Always casual, his approach involves all the senses.

Meanwhile guests were chatting, having a drink and appetizer with the freshly made chicken liver mousse on slice of bread…

Chopping red onions and flambeing chicken livers for the making of mousse

Cooking with the heart. Tasting and testing

© Viviane Perenyi Dry Oregano and Egg ShellStill life

The props

Polishing mushroom and coating salad leaves with mayonnaise

 Mike’s speciality: fresh pasta

Cheers !

La suite en français…

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Under the Chestnut Tree

Sinemage Chestnuts On The Ground

I was elated.
We were finally on the way to the chestnut orchard.

Since last year and our first experience with picking fruits and vegetables I was dreaming to go and collect fresh chestnuts.
At that time it was too late when I started to investigate where we could do so, but this year there was no way we should miss it.
It was not as easy though. Most orchards open to public are based in Auckland and Waikato regions, a pretty long drive -eight hours- from Wellington. So it took a while to find an orchardist nearby.

When we got the phone call at the beginning of last week to confirm that chestnuts were falling, I directly checked the weather forecast for the week-end…

Sinemage Chestnut Cupule
Sinemage Chestnut cupule open and mushroom
Sinemage Basket of Chestnuts and chestnuts on tree

So on a beautiful Sunday, we took the road, direction north. Graeme, kindly accepted to open the door of his orchard located one hour from Wellington.

And what a pleasant place !
The trees lined up were forming an arch, nicely filtering the light and providing shade. The ground was already strewn with countless chestnuts. And a gentle breeze was refreshing us on this warm sunny day.

It felt so charming, I would imagine having a picnic there.

We spend a couple of hours collecting with gloved hands chestnuts, chatting with Graeme about the different varieties and ultimately having a peek at the workshop where the crop is processed.

Sinemage Chestnuts & Scale
Sinemage Chestnuts
Sinemage Chestnut Trees

We came back home happy. A basket full of fruits.

And now the schedule is boil, roast, crumb 4Kg of chestnuts…

La suite en français…

From the Farm

Sinemage Blueberry

Let’s go back to last week-end.
While some were egg hunting, Paprika and I went for blueberry picking.

Not having the chance to own an [edible] garden, I really enjoy the pick your own experience: A way to be in contact with nature and to know the source of what feed us.

The Blueberry Farm is located in the Akatarawa valley, 45 minutes drive from Wellington, in a very quiet surrounding, along a river.
And this organic farm seems to be a popular place with families.

Sinemage blueberry farm pukeko

Going there at this time of the year was like a pleasant sensory experience.

Smell the fresh air.
Walk on a thick and damp grass.
Hear children, bucket in hand, happily babbling while picking fruits.
Peck like birds and taste the sweet -and sometimes slightly acid- berry.
Look at the light on shrubs that already turned into a nice shade of red and collect lovely blue pearls delicately dangling from branches.

Sinemage Blueberry picking

At the end, our bucket weighed more than 700g.

Posted along the driveway leading to the farm, little signs suggest many different ways to eat or prepare blueberries. We have already tried some of them, but the oven being still faulty, I won’t make the tart I wanted to…

Anyway, I’m coming back soon with something blue…

Sinemage Blueberry branch

To learn more about the team behind the Blueberry farm, please read the article from Life and Leisure magazine.

La suite en français…