Marlborough wine is world-renown, it’s quiet twin but with no less panache is the abundant local produce that pairs so perfectly with the region’s award-winning wine.
From seafood, fruit, nuts and vegetables to cheese, honey and meats of all sorts, local food produced at the top of the South Island really does have a distinctive flavour all of its own – just like wine.
While much of the local produce is cultivated or captured by skilled locals, some of the tastiest finds are found the age-old way, through traditional foraging.
The Marlborough Lodge team are great fans of wild food gathering, and using what’s in season and not too far from home. And quite often that means they don't have to leave the 16 acre estate to find it with plentiful fruit, herbs, nuts, flowers and vegetables from the garden and eggs from the estate hens on site.
Photo: Graeme Murray
Recently renown Chinese wine and food blogger, Shu Qiao, visited the gardens with the Marlborough Lodge kitchen team.
Here with Tourism New Zealand to launch the Heart of the Long White Cloud tourism campaign to show New Zealand off to potential Chinese visitors, Shu Qiao headed to the Lodge kitchen to put their foraged finds to culinary use.
While the team explained their holistic philosophy of using every possible component of each product for variations on flavour; whether using key parts of the whole plant from fruit to leaf to root, to nose to tail butchery - with primary and secondary meat cuts each having a purpose in his kitchen and adding a unique flavour to dishes.
Photo: Graeme Murray
Shu Qiao then enjoyed pre-dinner drinks and canapes, followed by a lodge-style gourmet dinner, featuring fresh local cuisine along with the foraged treasures, paired perfectly with Marlborough wine.
Not only do guests staying at the Lodge enjoy dinner each night but also a full gourmet breakfast each morning. The restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner Wednesday-Sunday, with a seasonal, fresh a la carte menu on offer.
No matter what the meal, lodge or restaurant guests all will enjoy the fresh, local, seasonal cuisine – which sums up Marlborough in every mouthful.
Shu Qiao at the Lodge on video
For more see the Tourism New Zealand video of Shu Qiao's visit to Marlborough featuring well-known New Zealand chef Al Brown from 2:07. WATCH VIDEO...