David Schofield is the 2011 New Zealand Chef of the Year this year and it was a pleasure to see him whip up some quick and delicious dishes on Sunday morning at the Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market. This was the very last of a national series of cooking demonstrations at farmers’ markets organised by Kylie and Blair from Out Standing In Their Fields. Farmers’ markets celebrate seasonal, local food and buying at your local producers is a great way to show your support.
The stars were hot smoked salmon, flounder, oysters, and free range bacon. David had a wealth of knowledge and it was clear how passionate he was about his food by the trivia he shared with the crowd. He encouraged questions and interaction from the audience.
Having plenty to talk about, David disclosed right from the start, “I waffle”. His veering was hardly offcourse, never pointless or uninteresting and I enjoyed his tidbits of foodie folklore.
Toothsome trivia from David:
- The demand for perfect produce encourages imports. If we happily buy odd shaped and sized produce in season, then famers’ markets would thrive.
- Black pepper isn’t a seasoning, it’s a spice. It changes the flavour of the dish rather than enhancing it.
- Use butter. Never trust a skinny chef. (I think David would appreciate my design)
- Farmed salmon are fed carrot pellets in the last week or so before harvest to acheive a desirable colour.
- Kiwi bacon might refer to pork that is grown in other countries, then packaged in New Zealand. If you want New Zealand grown bacon, you need to look for it.
- Lots of salt and no vinegar for poached eggs.
David eased us into the session with an easy brunch dish of bacon and poached egg, followed quickly by lemon cake and strawberries with a sweetener of jam.
Hot smoked salmon with a fennel and mesclun salad is a great brunch or lunch dish. I freakin’ love salmon and this was no exception.
The salmon led us nicely to the next seafood dishes.
Oysters are available at the market in shells or shucked and into $15 tubes. It hasn’t been too long since my last oyster feast so I passed on buying oysters this time. David showed us how to open oysters (and also how not to) and quickly cooked some handmade lemon pappardelle (wide ribbons of pasta) with spinach and the fresh shucked oysters.
Fresh pasta takes 5-7 minutes, dried pasta takes 10-15 minutes. I don’t buy fresh pasta very often, but it’s good to know the cooking time variation. I prefer to cook my dried pasta bang on 10 minutes as I really dislike overcooked pasta.
It was interesting that David uses broad beans (or fava) with his flounder dish. I grew broad beans last year, but the amount of work for what I consider a small yield put me off growing them again. I paired my beans with prawns, but never flounder. These beans were great friends with flounder.
After the official demonstration, we gathered behind the Out Standing mobile kitchen and David showed us how to easily remove the bone from the cooked flounder.
Inspired by all the yummy produce, I collected a bounty for lunch and dinner. I picked up a few treats:
- Hakanoa Handmade ginger syrup
- Blackwoods Bakeries focaccia
- Salmon Man hot smoked garlic and herb salmon
- Fresh Garden beetroot and strawberries
- Farmhouse Freedom Farms pork sausages
More information about the Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market including a directory of stallholders can be found on their website www.glfm.co.nz.
Salmon is my favourite fish and for dinner we had some hot smoked salmon on a quick beetroot salad. This sweet and sour salad has great fresh flavours to go with the rich fish. It looks pretty too.
Hot Smoked Salmon on Beetroot Slaw
A starter for 4
100-200g garlic and herb hot smoked salmon
2 fresh beetroot
A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
A handful of spring onion, chopped
1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1-2 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice
- Grate the carrot and add to a salad bowl. Add the herbs.
- Just before serving, grate the beetroot and mix the beetroot and dressing. Taste and only add extra acid (vinegar or lemon juice) if required.
- Plate up the salad and gently break apart salmon and arrange pieces on top.