Today I attended a special long lunch that was put on by Nourish Magazine and Dough Bros here in Hamilton. The lunch was in celebration of favourite local suppliers and the impressive bounty of food produced here in the Waikato. With a guest number seating between 70-80, we were treated to a leisurely four-course lunch alongside some of the growers and artisan makers that are putting the Waikato on the map as a food destination. The lunch stretched over nearly 4 hours and was a great opportunity to sample local produce and chat with like-minded foodies.
On arrival there were nibbles and cocktails. I was curious to try one of the persimmon shrub cocktails first, as persimmons remind me of my childhood (Persimmon and Lavender shrub w/ lemon, Sweetree Honey syrup, soda with Dancing Sands vodka). My next choice was the Dry Sailor since I love Mojitos and anything with mint and lime (Bootleggers Dry Ginger Ale, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, lime and mint). For the nibbles we started with fresh Volare sourdough breads and Bellefield cultured butter which was amazing and I could have easily eaten on its own. There was also a dipping olive oil made by Whangape Grove, and a sweet and spicy dukkah by Peplers to accompany. We were then treated to a delicious first course platter of deli meats and Volare crostini, which were all incredibly moreish (Soggy Bottom smoked leg ham, Magills smoked pork and garlic sausage and finocchia salami, Peplers beetroot relish and a whiskey mustard). This was also accompanied with a colourful salad made of pickled baby vegetables from Southern Fresh.
For the second course we had a beautiful salad tossed with Magill’s ham hock, mixed leaves and chioggia beetroot from Southern Fresh topped with wholegrain mustard vinaigrette and edible flowers. When it was time for the third course to come out, it was quite the banquet. Starting with a Magill’s beef short rib carbonnade on a celeriac purée, we also had several sides including Sweetree Honeyand franjelico glazed baby vegetables, Cilantro chèvre, sage grilled Southern Fresh baby leeks and a fennel remoulade. The beef was mouthwatering!
To finish up we had our fourth course and a cheeseboard which were both a great end to the Locavore Long Lunch. Pudding was a tiramisu bathed in Manuka Brothers wood-fire roasted coffee and enriched with mascarpone made locally by Cilantro. The cheeseboard was also a hit and consisted of more Volare bread, Over The Moon soft cheese, Cilantro’s Billy the Kid goat’s cheddar, jelly made from local quinces, Sweetree honeycomb and fresh pear.
A big thumbs up for those who put on today’s long lunch and highly recommend another lunch event just like this. You’ll keep me coming back for more!