Friday, July 2, 2010

Taste Marlborough 2010

Once again Marlborough has outdone itself when hosting events and celebrations.
It was my pleasure to be involved with the Havelock Mussel Festival in the cooking demonstration tent.
The festival has proved again what a small town full of passionate people can do when working together – a great festival, a great celebration, and a great effort by all those involved behind the scenes to make it work so well.
The Women of Influence Conference that I attended as a speaker was truly inspiring for all, and well done to the organisers for bringing such a large group of ladies to our region and then showing them what is really great about networking and sharing the same goals and passions.
The Sun Valley Roadsters recently hosted the Street Rod Nationals, and from a small local membership base gathered in more than 400 entrants to show off some great cars. What a superb event. Thanks to my volunteers on stage, who helped by not burning down the Marlborough Club's building.
The Forrest GrapeRide was once again hugely successful, and myself and son were support crew to Mrs Fortune and her relay team. What a fantastic post-race presentation. The skill and determination of not only Marlborough riders but the thousands from all around New Zealand was infectious. Well done to the organisers and participants for another great iconic event.
Destination Marlborough hosted numerous international film crews and media over the past month, and it was a pleasure to be able to promote and highlight what is so special about where we live.
So what has all of this got to do with a cooking column?
To me, it is simple. What we produce in our backyard is world-class in terms of events and celebrations, not just for the locals but for all visitors to the region. The key to cooking is the same – surround yourself with good people and ingredients and you will truly shine, whether it be at the dinner table with the family or at a gathering of thousands. Well done, Marlborough – you really are the star of the celebration.
1 GrapeRide around the Marlborough Sounds
1 hot rod gathering
300 women of influence
Sunshine and a little bit of shade
Tonnes of mussels and a couple of shuckers
Local food producers and consumers
A pinch of Destination Marlborough, who love Marlborough
A dash of good faith and humour
Mix ingredients, add a dash of a proactive Marlborough council, gently fold in sunshine, add a splash of Marlborough Sounds water and a little Lake Grassmere salt. Bake in a large oven for 150 years and serve to as many people as possible. Serve with Forrest wines or any other world-class wines from the region.