The annual Monteith's Wild Food Challenge is now in full swing with about 120 restaurants around the country (10 in Dunedin and 13 in Central) going wild and wacky with their food.
Building on the image of the Black Caps cricket team and pristine landscapes featured in Bollywood movies, many New Zealand companies are investing in the burgeoning Indian market. Charmian Smith investigates.
Several New Zealand wine producers are taking advantage of growing Indian affluence and aspirations.
Tomato soup, once New Zealand's favourite has been displaced by fancier flavours, but there's not much to beat a good, old-fashioned tomato soup - or is there? Charmian Smith compares bought and homemade versions.
The Grape Escapade was a surreal experience - on one side a floodlit colonial Portuguese town hall, on the other, light spilling through the glass walls of a modern multiplex entertainment centre; at one end a stage featuring Indofusion music and Bollywood-style dancing, and in the courtyard between, tables and chairs and wine and food stalls with eager customers keen to learn about wine and enjoy themselves.
There are murky goings-on in Dunedin, according to Vanda Symon's latest work of fiction. Charmian Smith catches up with the author.
Central Otago winemakers are turning their attentions to whites as well as reds. Charmian Smith has a sneak preview of the new wines.
Some of the more interesting New Zealand pinot gris is made in a savoury, full-bodied style perhaps influenced by the wines of Alsace, in France.
New Zealand chardonnay is generally crisp and lively, compared with many Australian versions which often verge on the soft and flabby. This bright acidity comes from our cool, crisp climate and tends to be more marked the further south you go. Crisp wines tend to go well with food.
Viognier makes rich, mouth-filling wines that can provide a welcome alternative to chardonnay, especially as many have a hint of nuttiness from barrel fermentation and lees ageing as chardonnay often does.
Years ago, the words "Ladies a plate" on an invitation was a signal for women to get baking. Charmian Smith talks to Alexa Johnston, author of a new book on the delights of recipes of a past age.
New Zealander Pippa Cuthbert and Canadian Lindsay Cameron have written several cookbooks together since they worked together in London for seven years.
New Zealand is awash with pinot noir these days but, unfortunately, most of it is expensive.
Amid the big stalls of major food distributors, deep-frying snacks, and the displays of commercial vacuum cleaners and mattresses at the annual Katrina Gordon Hospitality Trade Show in Dunedin last week were some local gems.
Some of the world's wine authorities will be speaking at the 2009 Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration on January 30 and 31.