Some time back I was invited to a launch event for Peter Gordon's latest book, Fusion: A Culinary Journey.
It was hosted at GBK, the burger chain for which Peter has been a consulting chef since it opened it's first branch in 2001. After enjoying some GBK canapes and drinks, we were invited into the kitchen to watch Peter cook a couple of dishes from the book, which we were each given a copy of on leaving.
Peter cooked two dishes, both of which I enjoyed, especially the egg salad. I've still not tried to make anything from the book yet, though I've flicked through it and am particularly enjoying reading the autobiographical passages about Peter's life and travels and how he developed his unique fusion cooking style.
Just a few weeks later I was invited to a winemakers evening hosted at Peter's famous The Providores restaurant.
Showcasing wines by Vin Alto paired with dishes designed by Peter Gordon and Providores head chef, Cristian Hossack, the evening was a relaxed, drawn-out affair lasting nearly 5 hours!
I had a great time, not only with my lovely fellow-blogger table companions but also because of our utterly adorable waiter (when he smiled, my heart fair skipped a beat) and the lovely bar manager, Melanie Ellis.
Not much into regular red and white wines, I explained my sweet tooth and cheekily asked if I could skip straight to the 2004 Vin Santo, made in the Italian style. This is what I drank all night, for four and a half hours, which may explain the sore head I had well into the next afternoon!
Vin Alto, near Auckland in New Zealand, is owned and run by Enzo Bettio and his family and produces several wines in the Italian tradition. Bettio's family are of Italian origin but lived for many generations in Switzerland, operating a gourmet food and drinks business. Bettio's first business in New Zealand, one he ran for over 20 years, was along similar lines – importing gourmet deli goods from Europe. Only on selling the busines in 2002 did Bettio and his wife Margaret purchase the farm though they started making wine several years earlier. As well as wine, the Vin Alto farm also farms deer (supplying fresh meat and cured products to a number of local restaurants and has a restaurant and wine tasting room.
Having listened to Bettio talk so passionately and entertainingly about his wines and farm, I think it would be a great place to visit!
The food was, as I expected, pretty good too. Introduced by Cristian Hossack, the menu was as follows:
I can't comment on the wine pairings as I stuck to the gorgeous vin santo throughout! Oh, and the delicious Vin Alto Limoncello which was absolutely superb!