3 teams, 3 days, 3 dishes,
Peter Marchant and Chris Hagen from the luxury Spicers' Retreats in Queensland and representing Brisbane, team up with Bistro Gentil Chef – Mario Rodriguez.
Sommelier – Peter Marchant
The list of awards, restaurants, events and accolades that Peter has under his belt are too many to mention. His knowledge about food and wine is limitless! But probably the best thing about Peter is his charismatic personality and professional approach.
Chef – Chris Hagen
Chris takes his inspiration from around the world, having started cooking early and travelling extensively, he now resides in Brisbane as Head Chef at The Long Apron. Classically trained, he has a talent for careful dishes and balanced presentation.
Chef – Mario Rodrigues
Mario is a snappy dresser and runs a snappy restaurant - Bistro Gentil. French cuisine is his forte, using typical and much-loved flavour combinations that utilise both local ingredients and produce from his kitchen garden.
Venison was selected for the menu by Team Brisbane because of its unique, delicate flavours. Beautiful deer farms are now found throughout Wanaka, thanks to some pioneering locals who started to export this delicious meat in the 1960's. With Wanaka now recognised worldwide for best practice deer farming, Duncan Venison farms allow deer to roam in large natural environments, which results in a meat of exceptional taste, tenderness and nutritional value. Produced sustainably without the use of hormones or steroids, Duncan Venison is a low carbon footprint meat, as well as being low in fat, calories and cholesterol.
Honey is renowned in this region, thanks to the native New Zealand Manuka plant that grows here. Honey is proven to have unique health benefits, and the Manuka variety even more so. Team Brisbane visited Alpine Honey a 3rd generation family run business, one of the first families to settle in the Hawea Region. With expert local knowledge they place hives based on the bush varietals and purity of location. This means each hive produces different flavours and types of honey. The team chose a Manuka honey that is intense, aromatic and distinctive.
Legend has it that Chinese gold miners, as far back as the 1860’s, brought the roses to New Zealand in the knowledge that they would need a source of Vitamin C to help them survive the harsh Otago winters. Wild rose hip fruit are particularly rich in vitamin C (even more then oranges!). Thanks to the birds it now grows prolifically in Wanaka, flowering in the warmer months the hips are ready for picking after the first frosts of autumn. Rose hip oil is a very popular product for skincare but the fruit is wildly under utilised as an edible product. Some chefs in Wanaka now pick the rose hips and meticulously extract the flesh for use in their menus, such as Mario from the Bistro.
Family owned and run Maude Winery was selected by Team Brisbane. The family estate vineyard Mt Maude was planted in 1994, and is one of the oldest in the Wanaka region. After a successful stint in Australia, talented wine making husband and wife duo Sarah-Kate (SK) and Dan Dineen moved back to SK's home town of Wanaka to produce hand crafted wines, that are fast gaining notoriety for their elegance, as well as racking up a stack of prestigious awards.
Mario's figs, leaf infused curd, Manuka honey and hazelnut butter. Matched with Mt. Maude Chardonnay 2018.
West Wanaka Duncan venison, roasted quince, kale from the Bistro Gentil garden. Matched with Mt Maude EMW Pinot Noir 2017
Yoghurt Parfait, with rosehip granita. Matched with un-fermented Maude Pinot Rose 2019