MasterChef NZ finalist cooks at Mediterranean Market
October 31 2013
MasterChef New Zealand finalist Sushil Ravikumar cooks up a storm at Queenstown’s Mediterranean Market
MasterChef New Zealand finalist Sushil Ravikumar will divulge some of his expert cooking tips at a demonstration to be held at Queenstown’s Mediterranean Market on Saturday November 16.
Held to coincide with the company’s 10th Birthday Celebration week, celebrity-chef Sushil, a ‘people’s favourite’ on the show, will entertain the intimate crowd with his unique cooking style focusing on his love of Indian cuisine.
Tickets for the evening demonstration are $60 per person and available from the Mediterranean Market.
The passionate, self-taught home cook and IT guy who admits he is "obsessed by food", defied the odds to make it into the top six of MasterChef NZ and became the viewers’ favourite in Season Four.
Mediterranean Market co-owner Angela Imlach said it was “a real privilege” to have Sushil at the birthday celebrations and share his extensive culinary knowledge with Queenstowners.
“It’ll be a great interactive evening of food and wine and we’re looking forward to Sushil ‘wowing’ us with his home-cook style of Indian cuisine,” said Mrs Imlach.
“The judges on the show said his curry was “the best they had ever tasted”, so we’re in for a wonderful treat I’m sure.”
Sushil will not only share his secrets to great Indian cooking but will also whip up a goat curry during the hands-on demonstration. Sushil will use free range goat meat in the dish from local Central Otago supplier, Shingle Creek Chevon.
The company’s Boer breed of goat provides “exceptionally lean, premium quality meat”, which is juicy and tender.
According to the company’s sales and marketing manager Ash Boeyen the free roaming goats eat rosehips, thyme and other wild herbs as well as broom and gorse.
“It's almost like we're naturally marinating our meat from the inside,” said Mr Boeyen.
Accompanied by an Indian-inspired starter and side dish, guests at the demonstration will enjoy a glass of wine while they soak-up some practical cooking tips and Sushil regales them with behind-the-scenes tales from the show.
Sushil will also make an in-store appearance at the Mediterranean Market on Friday November 15 from 3-4pm and will be happy to answer any questions, share recipes and offer advice to other home cooks.
“The in-store afternoon event is a great chance for local foodies to come in, grab a coffee and pick up some great tips from one of the country’s best home cooks,” said Mrs Imlach.
Sushil will make another one-off appearance during his Queenstown visit, taking place in a cook-off with one of the town’s favourite personalities at a rare and intimate dining experience.
Local restaurateur Shammi, owner of Mantra in Arrowtown, has challenged Sushil to an epic cook-off showdown on Sunday November 17 from 10am to 2:30pm.
This is a rare opportunity for 15 local food lovers to be invited into Shammi's Fernhill home where both chefs will share their passion for Indian cuisine, cooking and sharing their traditional family recipes - their way.
Both chefs will regale guests with tales from their recent food tours to India and behind-the-scene antics from MasterChef.
Tickets for the Shammi – Sushil event are available from Mantra in Arrowtown by calling 021 468 463.
Labeled the “most polite and respectful contestant” in MasterChef history, even judge Josh Emett appeared to shed a tear when Sushil was sent home.
Although Sushil didn't win the title, he was the only non-finalist offered a job on the show – at Chef Michel Louws' renowned Huka Lodge. Sushil ultimately decided not to relocate his young family.
Sushil is currently fine tuning his craft at MasterChef judge Simon Gault's Wellington restaurant Pravda on weekends and is working towards his dream of becoming a full-time chef.
The Mediterranean Market celebrates 10 years in business next month (November) and will mark the occasion with a 10-day long celebration of all things foodie.
Festivities get underway on November 11 when Market customers will be greeted by a ten-tier, one metre-high 10th Birthday cake, lovingly crafted by the Market’s long-term baker, Jenny Lamond.
The fabulous birthday cake will be ceremoniously cut by owners Angela and Nathan Imlach in-store at 10am on Monday November 11 along with the obligatory celebratory bubbles provided by local Central Otago winery Quartz Reef.
One of the cake’s tiers will then be cut every day for the 10 days of celebrations and all customers will enjoy a slice of birthday cake and a glass of bubbles as they arrive in store.
The ten-day celebration of all things foodie will provide locals with free tastings each day and suppliers from all over New Zealand will offer exclusive insights into their products, divulging secret recipes and educating customers about food.
Speaking on behalf of the Mediterranean Market owners and team, Angela Imlach said the 10th Birthday milestone enabled them to thank everyone who’d been a “part of the business” for the last ten years.
About Mediterranean Market
Queenstown Wholesale Market was purchased by the Imlach family in 1994 and started out with only a small team of seven staff located in a small premise at Industrial Place, off Gorge Road.
The market, which was originally manned by mainly family members, is owned by Nathan and Angela, Grant and Nadine and Grant and Nathan’s parents Ron and Pat Imlach.
Initially the market supplied fresh produce to just local hotels and restaurants, however word soon spread about the quality of produce and service and within two years (around 1996) they outgrew the building and moved to larger premises.
It wasn’t unusual in those early days for cars-especially around Christmas time-to be lined up all the way back down to Gorge Road, as savvy locals queued to buy premium produce and especially their Christmas berries.
The market’s wholesale customers grew and grew and the business expanded to supply businesses as far afield as Wanaka, Te Anau, Milford and Mt Cook as well as The Hermitage, cruise ships to Antarctica and the local ski fields.
By 2001 the customer list had expanded so much that the Imlach family, alongside locals Brendan and Sharon Wilson, opened the Wanaka Wholesale Market to meet demand.
In 2003 Queenstown Wholesale Market entered into a supply agreement with Christchurch-based Mediterranean Foods and Wellington-based Mediterranean Warehouse, re-branding the company to Mediterranean Wholesale Market.
The group imports products directly from overseas including Italy, Spain, Australia and South East Asia, enabling them to offer customers the finest quality overseas produce at competitive prices due to their extensive supplier network.
Soon after the re-brand, the family researched the idea of opening a retail store to meet the increased demand from the general public who would regularly turn up at the wholesale premise to buy their weekly supplies.
Following extensive research of local markets, producers and suppliers from around New Zealand, the Mediterranean Market as we know it day opened its doors at The Junction on Gorge Road in November 2003.
In 2004 the family expanded once more opening a retail and wholesale operation in Te Anau.
In 2005 the Imlach family sold the Wanaka and Te Anau retail and wholesale operations and the Queenstown wholesale business to multi-national company Bidvest. At its peak, the combined businesses employed over 70 people across the various operations.
Still owned and operated by Nathan and Angela Imlach, the Mediterranean Market remains a family business with many staff having worked with the Imlach family for 8+ years.
The family’s relationship with their suppliers is second-to-none and the company works with many of the same suppliers today as they did 19 years ago.
Ten years ago, the Imlach’s vision to provide a boutique food retail store and café in Queenstown was unprecedented and they continue to operate today, providing foodies from around New Zealand, and visitors from offshore, with superb quality produce and service.
Continually striving to offer the very best quality produce from New Zealand and overseas, Mediterranean Market is a Queenstown food institution.