Mid Winter Feast

A number of our members gathered in Auckland this week for a deliciously memorable mid-winter feast, as Michelle Jones reports. 

Venturing out on a Monday night in winter might usually take some arm-twisting, but with the enticement of Mikey Newland’s take on a traditional roast dinner, we had a fantastic turnout at our Mid-Winter Feast at Ampersand.  Deliberately timed to coincide with Fine Foods NZ, it was the perfect opportunity for members from as far away as Canterbury to join the mid-year festivities.  

Kicking off the night with a glass of prosecco on the heated covered terrace, there was ample time to mix and mingle before being seated for dinner. Served as shared plates, we indulged in a trio of first courses. The duck and Parma ham terrine and the mouth-watering raviolo of scampi and chicken with leek and prosecco were absolutely delightful, but judging by the animated conversation at our table, the smoke roasted beetroot with macadamia curd and elderberry vinegar was definitely a crowd favourite. The main event, organic scotch of roast beef was served with red wine jus, fresh horseradish crème, Yorkshire puddings and accompanied by the most spectacular roast vegetables.  Dinner concluded with warm rhubarb and apple crumble topped with vanilla bean ice cream.

Our guest speaker Cecilia Robinson, co-founder of My Food Bag, candidly talked about My Food Bag’s journey from start-up to the third largest food retailer in the country. Currently in New Zealand, online accounts for less than 10 percent of food purchases; with significant opportunity for growth and new ideas on the horizon, it will be interesting to watch their next move. What delighted the audience even more was Cecilia sharing My Food Bag’s tongue-in-cheek response to an international food conglomerate’s aggressive stance over the use of an everyday word “hello” in their marketing, proving that as a business you can simultaneously take a stance and still retain a sense of humour.

Thank you to Mikey, Amanda and their team at Ampersand Eatery for an absolutely superb night. And a special mention to Felicity O’Driscoll for pulling this event together. Everyone very much enjoyed the perfectly matched wines and the convivial company too.

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