On the Menu

At a University of Otago and Food Otago function last week, some university departments explained the services they were able to provide to local food producers and manufacturers.

They include the food science department and product research centre, human nutrition and the department of microbiology and immunology.

Dr Michelle McConnell, of the microbiology department, explained its expertise in new biologically active ingredients that could be included in neutraceutical or functional food, such as sterols in margarines, folate in cereal, or fish oil in bread to help prevent certain diseases or improve health.

I found it ironic that one of the comments afterwards was that the nutrition department recommended that all essential nutrients could be got from a good, well-balanced diet.

Wild game bird festival
The Fish and Game NZ Wild Game Bird Food Festival is on again this year from May 3 to 31.

Fifteen restaurants around the country are participating - hunters can bring in their bagged birds and the chefs will prepare them. A minimum of 24 hours' notice is needed.

Hunters will be able to celebrate their prowess with the following birds: Canada goose, grey duck, mallard duck, paradise shelduck, Californian quail, cock pheasant, black swan, chukar and pukeko.

It is illegal for restaurants to sell wild game birds, but they can charge for cooking them, and so each restaurant will take 15% (on average) off the price of each dish for the provision of the wild game bird meat.

At the festival's conclusion, each restaurant offers a dinner prize for two, with these drawn by Fish and Game NZ from the game bird licences bought in each region.

Participating restaurants in the South are: High Tide Restaurant, 29 Kitchener St, Dunedin, owner/ chef Mark Lane, marklane@es.co.nz, (03)477-9784

Le Monde Restaurant, 64 The Bay Hill, Timaru, owner/chef Lindsay Bennett, (03)688-8550, Bennetts4@xtra.co.nz

Louies Cafe and Tapas Bar, 142 Dee St, Invercargill, chef Terry Goldsmith, (03)214-2913, Terry-kiwi@xtra.co.nz

Focus on potatoes
You may not think the humble potato a likely photographic subject, but an international photography contest to highlight the global importance of the potato has been set up by the United Nations as part of its International Year of the Potato 2008.

The contest, called Focus on a Global Food, has separate categories for professional and amateur photographers to illustrate potato biodiversity, cultivation, processing, trade, marketing, consumption and utilisation.

Winning photographs will be chosen by a panel that includes some of the world's leading photography professionals.

Winners will be awarded cash prizes totalling nearly $14,000 as well as Nikon cameras.
For more information , visit www.vegetables.co.nz/potatoes and click on the link to the UN photography contest.

The following readers have won copies of Popular Potatoes, by Simon and Alison Holst:
C.G. Beattie, C. Philp, D. Gouverneur, K. Hurring and P. Taylor.

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