Dinner at Moeraki
Moeraki is a hidden gem of a fishing village on the Otago Coast. Well known for its rounded boulders on the beach, the village is a bit further south and is built round the bay, a small harbour home to a few fishing boats.
Behind the village are hills with a sprinkling of houses in amongst the bush. A dilapidated jetty pushes into the bay and a strip of sand leads off towards the main beach with the boulders a short walk away. It’s a beautiful place, quieter now the main tourist season has ended, a feeling of stepping back in time to a slower pace of life.
We had been to dinner the night before at Fleur’s Place, a restaurant situated on the edge of the harbour with a view across the bay to the west, as well as viewing the Pacific Ocean sweeping north up the coast. Though renowned as a fish restaurant, Fleur’s has carried Provenance lamb shanks for some time now – more on that later.
Fleur Sullivan has created something wonderful with her restaurant and is a global legend because of it. So it was a pleasure to return for another visit.
Michael Coughlin, Chef Ambassador for Provenance Meat, cooked up a storm for a group of us at a private venue this evening. He cooked in honour of Samin Nosrat, author of Salt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking cookbook which is a # 1 bestseller on the 2017 New York Times book list. Samin was in New Zealand for the Readers and Writers Festival in Wellington and then made her way to Dunedin, and then Queenstown where she spent time with a number of foodies. Taking time out with Fleur and Michael came at the end of her stay.
Michael catered for eight of us, presenting Provenance lamb rump with juniper, fennel seed and pink peppercorn rub, parsnip and celeriac puree with nutmeg, caramelised shallots, slow cooked lamb shoulder croquettes and baby kale garnish with a caper and mint jus. See Michael’s blog for this stunning meal.
Fleur provided a beautiful salad and a 2012 Waitaki Valley pinot noir. What a combination!
Samin is an Iranian American who fell into cooking by accident. She is a very warm woman with a huge personality, really enjoying her first time in New Zealand and making the most of meeting lots of people and tasting many locally produced products. Her spontaneous and enthusiastic responses to everything is infectious and she has a real gift of making people feel welcome and relaxed.
Samin has taught many people to cook from chefs to school children and her book highlights mastering the use of just four elements. Salt, to enhance flavour; Fat, for flavour and texture; Acid, for balance; and Heat, to cook and create a delicious taste. The book is an excellent read with lots of beautiful illustrations and Samin’s mantra of “stir, taste, adjust”!
All enjoyed listening to Samin, Michael and Fleur chatting together about cooking, favourite recipes, chefs and, of course, Provenance lamb. Light sea breezes off the bay, great food and good conversation combined for a perfect evening.