The story behind each and every ingredient used by the Harvest Restaurant team at The Marlborough Lodge is critical to them so that they can confidently combine these to create dishes that showcase the fantastic local produce.
With a philosophy of simple, fresh, local and seasonal, our team uses what is fresh in our gardens along with creating great relationships with our suppliers, so they can confidently tell you where and how the products in our dishes were grown.
Those relationships now also work in the reverse where our suppliers understand what we are creating and are calling the team when they believe they have that one off item that would be perfect for us or simply letting us know when the first of the season is on its way. This means our menu is ever-changing; although there will always be some Harvest classic favourites on the menu.
As you would imagine our producers are critical to us to allow us to create our menus and, in recognition of their efforts and our ongoing relationship with them, we thought it timely to provide you with a little background on some of these fantastic producers. This is the second in the series, following our earlier Meet the Locals blog.
Beneath Kaikoura’s majestic snow-capped mountain range and next to the wild Pacific Ocean, a herd of goats and a flock of Jersey cows are the beginnings of some of New Zealand’s most celebrated artisan cheeses.
Daniel and Sarah Jenkins of Kaikoura Cheese have overcome incredible odds to create their award-winning range of handcrafted cheeses which attracted the attention of respected cheese connoisseurs less than two years after their first flock of just three goats was used to turn out their first cheese attempt.
A business born from a desire to leave earthquake-ravaged Christchurch would itself become a story of survival and pure community spirit when Kaikoura itself was hit, and isolated, by a massive earthquake in 2016. Yet, through sheer ingenuity and persistence, the Jenkins’ have continued to create their sought-after cheeses; With demand high for this limited product, the Marlborough Lodge is proud to be on Kaikoura Cheese’s list of customers in order to serve this finest of cheese to our guests and tell its inspiring story.
Photo: Kaikoura Cheese
Here in Marlborough we are lucky enough to have the only commercial producer of pine nuts in the southern hemisphere: Pinoli.
So it stands to reason that this niche local product, which is in high demand overseas and in the culinary world in general, features on our menu at The Marlborough Lodge.
Established nearly 20 years ago in the Wairau Valley near Blenheim by Andy and Barbara Wiltshire, the first of Pinoli’s Mediterranean stone pine nuts took 12 years to emerge on the local market. Pinoli now has six plantations, totalling 40,000 mature pines, scattered across Marlborough and one further south.
From the purest New Zealand back country comes some of the most incredible wild venison, pork and thar you’ll ever taste - and The Marlborough Lodge chefs have access to some of the best.
Premium Game has a team of registered hunters who roam Marlborough’s most isolated and untouched high country to supply certified wild meat which, due to stringent regulations, has all locations strictly plotted and recorded. All meat is processed in Premium Game’s Blenheim factory.
These wild animals have spent their lives eating native herbs and grasses and, being in top physical condition, result in lean meat with unique gamey flavours that is loved by chefs and foodies the world over.
Photo: Premium Game
Based on beautiful Hammerichs Road in the heart of wine country and mere minutes away from The Marlborough Lodge is Thymebank, owned by the Roberts family.
Here, they grow hydroponic lettuces, herbs and other greens such as watercress that are sent to restaurants and retail outlets around the top of the South Island and the bottom of the North Island - although the largest share remains right here in Marlborough.
Yellow Brick Road
Sourcing our food from sustainable suppliers without compromising on freshness, quality and flavour is very important to us at Harvest restaurant, and one of the best examples of this is Yellow Brick Road which supplies us with fresh fish.
This company, with its roots in Nelson and run by renowned Wellington chef and restaurateur Martin Bosley, was established in 2006 to reward those who fish and farm responsibly by distributing the resulting sustainably-produced product to New Zealand’s leading restaurants.
Even better, all fish sourced through Yellow Brick Road that is caught in Marlborough’s own Cloudy Bay has been certified by European agency Friend of the Sea - the only such certification in the country.
Photo: Yellow Brick Road
Keep an eye out for the next installment of our local produce supplier blog…