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They Came, They Saw, They Savoured New Zealand


9 May 2005

For Immediate Release

THEY CAME, THEY SAW, THEY SAVOURED NEW ZEALAND

Third Savour New Zealand Masterclasses turn up push for "real" food.

Chefs, hospitality leaders and domestic foodies have celebrated the best of New Zealand food and wine with one simple message dominating the Christchurch masterclasses over the weekend (6-8 May 2005).

The war on excessively processed food was a common theme in the classes of international and local presenters.

Celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain declared it is now the affluent spending up large on peasant food to get the simplest, tastiest quality ingredients while the poor are only able to afford highly processed nutritionally deficient takeaways.

His sentiments were echoed by best selling American author Patricia Wells who has lived and taught in France for 25 years and wants Anglo Saxon nations to re-think using only produce in-season instead of for example, poor quality tomatoes or melons in winter. She says we can all learn a lot from the traditional French and other European cuisines that create the best food from what is available to produce very cost-efficient delicious meals.

Australian chef Stephanie Alexander encapsulated all these messages in her address on "The Kitchen Garden," a state-funded programme in Victoria teaching children to grow and cook vegetables at school.

Organisers say the presenter's views were well received by the more than 500 delegates who enjoyed eight classes across the weekend from a choice of 32 different sessions. Feature lunches, the official opening Regal Salmon Cocktail party attended by the Prime Minister and the American Express Platinum Gala Dinner featuring Mark Hadlow, Margaret Mahy and Sam Hunt were highlights.

"We achieved what we set out to do," said co-organiser Michael Lee-Richards.

"Savour New Zealand is not just about enjoying the world's greatest chefs cook for you but about sampling the best produce New Zealand has to offer including our world beating wines. The feedback has been 100% positive."

However some of the international presenters were left puzzled by a number of New Zealand's food restrictions. In particular, the absence of cheese made from unpasteurised milk and the presentation of the iconic Bluff Oyster. While generations of New Zealanders are used to buying the delicacy in pottles sent from Southland, the international contingent could not believe we are only able to buy "dead" oysters not freshly shucked molluscs sitting on their half-shell.

ENDS

Prepared on behalf of Savour New Zealand by Cathy Campbell Communications

For more information on the presenters that attended Savour New Zealand, visit www.savournewzealand.com .

About Savour New Zealand

A weekend celebration (6-8 May) of the finest food and wine from a New Zealand perspective accented by the international excellence of renowned master chefs and restaurateurs sharing their ideas and inspiration in an intimate classroom of passionate food lovers.


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