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    Sunday, September 11, 2016

    New Zealand School of Food and Wine - A W & F Celebration

    This weekend The NZ  School of Food and Wine, in Auckland,  which is run by Celia Hay,
    held an event in their premises, in Customs Street. My friend Lana enrolled us
    This Tapas and Spanish Wine Experience appealed to us
    So Off we trotted
    Girls On Tour
    These events are an experience for the Students, to cater for a large crowd.
    We were part of a group of volunteers, who were on hand to help prepare the Mis en Place
    for the 6 course dinner that evening.
    So hair up, Aprons on... we were ready
    It was  6 course dinner.
    In charge were visiting  Spanish Chef David Puig Zaragoza and the
    Head Chef at the School Chef Stefan Lötscher pictured below
    We were ushered into the Demonstration Kitchen where the students, were divided into groups   
    for each course
    Here is Chef David sorting out the groups
    We, the Volunteers, attached ourselves to a group, then knives out, we chopped and peeled
    They were prepping for the 6 course dinner, plus delicious little Iberico Ham Croquettes
    to have with drinks 
    Lana was involved in this course. After this mixture had cooled it was rolled into little balls
    Just the Classic Breading. Flour, Egg and Breadcrumbs
    Deep fried and served with drinks
    Here is the Menu
     Meanwhile, I joined the Group, who were in charge of the Salmon Ceviche with Salmon roe, Crispy Quinoa dressed with a Citrus Sesame Sauce Course
    Our two students, both at Stage Three
    Canada here on cucumber dicing
    and Craigen, who was in charge of painstakingly cutting Nori into strips
    I got the "chop up the Chilies" job
    100 gms of "beautifully chopped" chilies
    When Lana was finished with the appetiser, she joined and was on Cubing the Salmon
    We became very friendly with Paul and Tina Ivory, seen below
    Paul completed a 16 week course at the School, a couple of years ago. He was responsible for making the dressing, He brought his wife Tina for the School experience
    Tina was on the Churros, she snipped, while the Student piped.
    These were served in the Traditional way, with Warm Chocolate Sauce. Yum
     Meanwhile Moi on dish washing duty. Looking very professional methinks
    Around the kitchen everyone was very busy
    Some beautiful dough being kneaded for the fresh ciabatta bread,
    I just loved the look of the dough it was so full of bubbles. Of course they had a sour dough starter, which obviously helps the rise
    This accompanied The Slow Cooked Duck Egg With Chorizo and Potato Foam
    Divine. Plates scraped clean
     Chef David in action frying Croutons
    These Crouton became crunchy Breadcrumbs, topping the Slow Cooked Duck Egg
    There was a Gazpacho Course, the secret ingredient Cherry Puree
    Might have to do that this summer
    The Gazpacho was served with a Oyster au Naturel topped with tiny chopped vegetables
    It was divine.
     Some lucky people got to "French" the Lamb Racks. Long painstaking job
    Then they went onto the grill and were served
    Medium Rare Lamb, with Romesco Sauce, a Classic Spanish Sauce
    and Braised Baby Leeks
    Taste anyone?
    Of course you cant have a Spanish Meal without Paella
    Actually it presented more like a Risotto, seasoned with finely chopped Octopus and Squid
    Then, dressed with beautiful slices of Octopus, cooked in red Roasted Garlic Allioli

    So once we had finished the Prep, we, The Volunteers, were whisked away for a tasting of Spanish Wines. Supplied by Sophie Cotter, from St Vincent's Cave
    Love her Business Card

    This was a fabulous Presentation By Sophie with her sidekick, whose name unfortunately, I didn't record
    He had set a little map in front of us all.
    Each wine came from a different region and sitting on top of each region, sat a small vial, reflecting the main character of the wine
    For instance Peach, Lime, Rosemary, Date, Cocoa, Dark Berries and for the Dessert Wine Golden Raisins
    So Sophie set the mood.
    We closed our eyes and she described the region, pictures flashed into my mind, of tropical beautiful Spanish villages,, Vineyards, Towns...she then suggested we remove the cork and inhale the aroma, then tasted the wine
    We then were ushered into the restaurant where we had a cocktail and the Croquettes
    Then we sat down for the delicious dinner
    I would to thank Celia and all of her staff, for a wonderful experience 
    Plus a big shout out to Maximal Concepts. Their DNA Director, Shiz Scott came down for the weekend event bringing Chef David Puig Zaragoza, who wrote and supervised the wonderful menu
    An Excellent Occasion

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