We live in an extraordinary part of the world.
We are less than thirty minutes from braided fishing rivers to both the north and the south. One of only three estuaries in our large region is about twenty minutes down the road. One of the most abundant and bountiful ocean spots in the country is a mere forty-five minute drive to the north.
We can be hunting the foothills of the Southern Alps within forty minutes of stepping outside the door.
We are literally surrounded by fields, farms, truffieres, wild roadside verges and vineyards all of which offer a huge variety of wild and cultivated food and wine.
We are ‘lucky people’ in one of the truest, most connected uses of that phrase. It’s not something we take for granted.
We live it in every day, my friends and I. We feel the pain of a twenty-month drought and the weariness of a late spring frost, but we also feel the joy of summer rains and the beauty of the subsequent soft, green environment. We grow grapes for a living, food for the satisfaction, and we forage for the thrill of the hunt.
And we’ve created the opportunity to share that experience with people through the Forage North Canterbury event. Eight teams with a chef assigned hunt the hills, fish the rivers, dive the ocean, forage the seashore, fields, farms, estuary and vineyards. The haul is bought back to Pegasus Bay restaurant by 2pm and the chefs then have only four hours to come up with a dish for sixty hungry collectors.
It’s an amazing thing to watch people as they find food. It seems to speak to a very ancient part of us, and for some people it creates an acute sense of meaningfulness.
(Thanks to Tongue in Groove for this article)