Sunday evening we went to a local restaurant called The Bicycle Thief for a five course Slow Food event.

The first course was canapes and cocktails followed by:

Bagna Cauda with witloof, cardoons, baby vegetables and organic rye bread
paired with Cracroft Chase Pinot Gris 2005.

Trio of shared pasta dishes: Gorgonzola Gnocchi, Buckwheat Pasta with Salmon Roe and Crème Fraiche, Butternut Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli.
with San Silvestre 2003 Barbera D’Alba.

Roast Porchetta with Cavolo Nero and Puy Lentils
with Pegasus Bay 2004 Pinot Noir

Masticha-infused Rice Pudding with Rhubarb compote
paired with Lombardo Sicilian Moscato NV

As it turns out the owner of the restaurant sat next to us for dinner, and we had long conversations about the restaurant business and of course – food. The event was held as a fundraiser to help Chef Nik Mavromatis (The Bicycle Thief) to attend the Terra Madre conference and the Salone del Gusto in Turin in October. The opportunity to participate in these events is in itself a great honor as only 1000 chefs from around the world are invited. The concepts learned there will hopefully help further the Slow Food movement here in New Zealand. The food was great and we look forward to getting involved with the Slow Foods Convivium here in Christchurch as we were in LA.

Gaby and I went to the dinner with our good friends J & D here in Christchurch who recently opened Ya-Ya House of Excellent Teas. Ya Ya Tea House is a direct importer of high quality teas from around the world. Last week we attended their first tea tasting event, with a sampling of all the major types of teas including black tea, oolong, green tea, white tea, and pu-erh – all outstanding teas. I never knew there was so much to learn about tea and tea making! My favorite tea at the moment is a Japanese Green Tea called Genmaicha, which looks much different from other teas in that it contains roasted rice grains (I call it the puffed rice tea). Genmaicha has a wonderful aroma and great flavor.

“Slow down, you move too fast/
You’ve got to make the moment last.”
-Simon & Garfunkel