Australian Functional Ingredients – by Vic Cherikoff

Australia Day in New Zealand

I had the honor of presenting at the Australia Day celebrations in Auckland on Australia Day (26th January). Those in attendance included the Australian Consul General, Michael Crawford, Australian business leaders now resident in New Zealand, Master of Ceremony, Steve Price, ex-Prime Minister of NZ, Jenny Shipley and a host of passionate Aussies.

The catering was executed by Creative Functions led by Executive Chef Michael Coombes who did a fantastic job in record time, developed the menu and then worked with me to incorporate my Australian ingredients. It ended up like this:

Qld prawn skewers with lemon myrtle sprinkle and a cucumber nahm jim

Scallops with mango, pineapple and riberry salsa

Wildfire spiced lamb cutlets with lime and garlic yoghurt

Croquettes of mushroom risotto and parmesan

Vegetarian nori rolls with a lemon aspen sweet chilli sauce

For me, the lamb cutlets were the stand out, the riberry confit in the salsa on the scallops made this offering a close second and the prawns made third place. Again, that is in my opinion.

The whole team at Creative Functions and Tourism Australia worked really hard and delivered a superb event topped off with fireworks set off from the nearest pier down there at Viaduct Harbour.

And the good news is that there is a follow up function in April with Australia Week celebrations as part of G’day NZ festivities. Check out the Australia Week website for the latest details and put the dates in your diary now.

Vic Cherikoff