A dish with true meaning
Being brought up on a farm we enjoyed our home kill meats, vegetables straight out of the garden and the orchard with chestnut, pear, apple and black dorris plum trees. My dad was a Beekeeper and he had many hives and produced some outstanding Manuka honey. We also had raspberry bushes , lemon trees, quince and a gooseberry tree in our garden , but one of my favorites was when the wild blackberries came into season and getting on my bike with my mum and heading down the road to the bush and eating and picking the wild blackberries a memory that I will hold onto for life. I have a strong connection with land and people.
One of my favorite vegetables out of the garden was the potato, for as long as I can remember potatoes where a staple in our family household .
Included into nearly every many variation sometimes we had boiled new potatoes with mint and butter other times mashed potato, boiled potato, scallop potato. But one that I always loved was mums baked stuffed potatoes, cheese, spring onion, bacon and chives mixed with the inside of the potato and re-baked with of course more cheese. YUM!
The most common potato we grew well my parents, was the Ilam Hardy a multipurpose potato, an all-rounder good for anything that held its shape when cooked and had a good flavour.
I have moved away from the farm now and am living in the south island of New Zealand , my parents still live on the farm and have a well looked after amazing vegetable garden and are still growing Ilam Hardy potatoes.
I was given a brief for my first project of the year and it was write a 3 minute speech on our food philosophy and to create a potato dish which portrayed that philosophy. So here is my speech and the description of my potato dish
My Food Philosophy
From a very young age I was brought up around a welcoming atmosphere with comforting delicious food. That came from my Gran who lived on the Kapti Coast of New Zealand, she taught me the meaning of happiness, love and true relationships built through food bringing an atmosphere and sense of community.
No matter your background or situation she opened her door to you, when you walked through that door you had never felt so welcome and warm inside. She never made a bad meal and they were always presented on the table in front of you for everyone to sit down and enjoy. This created a center of conversation and connection. A strong sense of community and how you can build a strong relationship through food came from her and is a large part of me today.
Good food and good drink creates a powerful connection with people, place, family and friends making a community. Food enlightens all senses and elevates the mood of many. To me food is more than an energy, food is life and makes up a large part of a community.
People who collectively appreciate small things providing a unique well-rounded passionate warming experience, having a relationship that’s built on common ground and being able to give something and gain plenty in return. Food makes you feel like you’re not alone and bring you to a place where you want to talk and share with others
Creating a community through food.
I showed this through my final project last year food with soul and passion which created a welcoming atmosphere bringing strangers together and making them feel welcome and safe with my food. I have transferred that through to my cakes and baked goods sharing them with many, being a part of friend’s weddings and special events.
Even with the meals I cook at home I cook with my love of bringing people together and creating a conversation and community through food.
My place where I feel happy and not lost in life is with food, a place where I find comfort and where I find a connection and sense of community.
Potatoes where a staple in my household growing up we lived on a farm in the South Waikato and had a huge vegetable garden, an orchard full of fruit trees my dad was a beekeeper making the most amazing Maunka honey. This always gave me a strong connection to land and people. One of my favorite vegetables is the potato and a dish that was a favorite of mine was the stuffed baked potato oozing with cheese and delicious flavours this always made me happy. The stuffed potato has a place in many people’s hearts, so I have done a fun turn on your classic stuffed potato.
So I created the dish above a hassle back baked stuffed potato using the Ilam hardy potato my parents grow in the garden back home, layered with bacon and butter and baked in stock topped with rosemary caramelized onions, aged Egmont cheese with lashings of chive sour cream and bacon crumb, basted in chicken stock throughout the cooking process to develop a flavorful love packed potato. This dish is built of many layer like any good relationship. I put a lot of care and attention into this dish to create a love filled delicious potato that makes your feel warm and safe inside.
What you put into something is what you get out!