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Monday, October 15, 2012

10/16 - Purely New Zealand

The beautiful pristine islands of New Zealand have become known for their stunning scenery, pristine mountain lakes and bubbling thermal ponds, their wealth of extreme sports, warm and generous hospitality and food with a clean green image.  We've all tasted their signature, lively Sauvignon Blancs, enjoyed their sweet grass-fed lamb, relished the fresh clean taste of their kiwis, and crunched their crisp winter apples. 

In this episode of Slow Living Radio, we'll bring you a taste of New Zealand you may not have heard about.  We'll learn about the silky Saikou Mt. Cook Salmon from the clear glacier waters of Mt. Cook, and learn from a New Zealand chef's perspective about growing up in the country.  We'll also learn of new wines we may not have had the pleasure of tasting and the diversity of the regions.  But most of all, we'll get a sneak glimpse into this country that will surely tempt us to put it on our list of where to go next, or at the very least to go out and hunt down a new taste of New Zealand! 

Clint Davies

Fish Story's Chef Clint Davies grew up in Tauranga, New Zealand, where his love of the abundant seafood of the region attracted him to a culinary career, beginning with working under famed Australian Chef Luke Mangan at White Restaurant. Davies was inspired by Mangan to explore other cuisines and after White, he spent the next few years working in restaurants in Scotland, Switzerland and Paris. “Traveling, eating and working my way through Europe was definitely an eye opener and taught me a great deal of new skills I could never have learned elsewhere,” said Davies. “I think it’s important for a chef’s success to travel and, if not work, at least taste the authentic cuisines of other countries.”
San Francisco was the next stop for Davies, where he first worked at the Campton Place Hotel under Chef Daniel Humm in the height of Humm’s San Francisco career. Davies then joined the Lark Creek Restaurant Group in 2005 as a sous chef at One Market Restaurant, enticed by the draw of working with Chef Mark Dommen. He spent three years in the position and was a contributing member of the culinary team when One Market was honored with a Michelin Star. In 2008, Davies was presented the opportunity to work once more with Chef Mangan, this time in Tokyo, Japan at Salt Restaurant. Davies was at Salt Restaurant for one year, where he learned the complex art of using Japanese ingredients and techniques.
Upon returning to the Bay Area in 2009, Davies was asked to join the Lark Creek Restaurant Group again as the sous chef at The Tavern at Lark Creek in Larkspur. Within a few months, Davies was promoted to co-chef, along with Aaron Wright. They worked together to create a seasonally-driven, value-oriented menu focusing on farm-fresh ingredients. Prior to joining Fish Story, Davies returned to One Market as sous chef. In each of his positions, Davies has honed his skills at restaurants where fresh seafood plays a starring role on the menu – knowledge he applies to the cuisine at Fish Story every day by honing in on light, well-balanced and creative dishes. 
In his spare time, Davies enjoys cooking for the charitable underground dining club Graffeats Guerrilla Dining, which supports local, sustainable producers and includes live artistic performances. 

Patrick Pelley
Director, North American Sales
Pat and his wife, Archana
Born and raised in a small farming community in Eastern Iowa, Patrick joined the Navy right after high school and served in a mobile heavy construction team (SEABEES) serving overseas in the South Pacific, Asia, and Puerto Rico. In 1988 he joined US Special Operation Forces of the Navy where he spent the rest of his military career serving in nearly every continent around the globe.
In the early 1990's, Patrick was also the owner and creator of Artisan Smoked Foods Craftsman at Gourmet Crossroads Smoke house in La Jolla California.  Here, he learned the finer points of curing and smoking fine foods.
Throughout Patrick’s adult life he has always maintained a passion for traveling the world and seeking meaningful experiences, whilst still preparing & smoking fine foods.
It was during these travels in the late 1980’s that Patrick made his first trip to New Zealand and Australia to visit friends and experience a frontier lifestyle and people that can only exist in these remote lands.
Since that first trip, he has been visiting every year. On a recent New Zealand trip, Patrick was offered an opportunity to be a ground floor investor in a very special sustainable salmon farm in the Southern Alps of New Zealand called Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon. He immediately knew this was his “calling” after visiting the pristine, well managed farm and tasting the unique character of the Saikou Salmon. Currently Patrick is a shareholder and Director of North American Sales and resides in Pt. Loma California with his wife Archana and son Kiran.

Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon live in the swift, cold currents of a snow-fed alpine canal, in the South Island of New Zealand. Constant swimming against the water flow means they develop firm flesh with high levels of Omega 3 and less inter-muscular fat than ocean-reared salmon. It is said that Mount Cook Alpine Salmon are amongst the healthiest salmon in the world.
Due to constant vigorous swimming, the flesh of Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon is firm, flexible and moist. The delicate taste makes it highly sought after by five star hotels and restaurants, particularly for sushi and sashimi. It is prized by top chefs for its consistent high quality and wonderful rich flavour.
The Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon farm is a unique eco-sustainable operation located in the glacial fed Tekapo hydro canal, in the MacKenzie Basin in the South Island of New Zealand. The canal discharges through a power generating station into Lake Pukaki and is used for the generation of New Zealand’s hydroelectric power. Alpine King salmon have been produced here in net-pens since 1992.

The fish are maintained at low rearing densities and other than monthly sample weigh-ups, are rarely handled. The farm does not pollute or damage the environment in any way and meets or exceeds all government regulations by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), Department of Conservation (DOC) and Environment Canterbury.

David Strada
US Marketing Manager

New Zealand is a land like no other. The New Zealand wine is an experience like no other. Their special combination of soil, climate, and water, their innovative pioneering spirit, and commitment to quality all come together to deliver pure, intense, and diverse experiences. In every glass of New Zealand wine is a world of pure discovery. Here's a glimpse into the regions.

New Zealand extends 1,000 miles from sub-tropical Northland (36˚ South) to the world's most southerly grape growing region Central Otago (47˚ South). Vineyards benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate (nine of the ten grape growing regions are coastal) with long and bright sunshine hours and nights cooled by sea breezes.

Koro Hill in the South Island

Its wine is distinctive for its purity, vibrancy, and intensity. The long ripening period, a result of cool temperatures, allows flavor development while retaining fresh acidity, a balance for which New Zealand wines are renowned.

David Strada has served as the US Marketing Manager for New Zealand Winegrowers since 1999. All 700 wineries and grape growers are members of NZW. Wineries that export to the US are represented by NZW across the country through marketing and promotional efforts, media and public relations assistance, and educational programs to teach Americans about New Zealand and its wine regions and wines.

Featured wines:

Haire Mai!
(Maori for Welcome)
The famed Kiwi!

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