Finally back at the Otago Farmers Market on Saturday just gone.  It was a clear, fresh start to the day and i was excited to be back.  The mobile kitchen was delivered at 6.00am, it has a new oven, fridge, stove tops and hot water and best of all the front of the kitchen has been lowered so you guys can now actually see what i am cooking. 

LIMOUSIN HEALTHY BEEF - Hormone free, low fat, low cholesterol and only 14 km from farm to plate!

One of the most frequently asked questions being a chef is how to cook a great steak! It has to start from the beginning - the meat! It needs to have had a good life, (a bit like us, stress free), hormone free and a good environment from start to finish.

HOW TO COOK A GREAT STEAK - When selecting your meat, have a look at the colour, you don’t want bright red, it needs to be aged. Fine marbling is an indicator of flavour, and lean meat should be tender. The cut depends on what you are wanting it for - thick / thin - lean/ fatty…

Varieties - Fillet
- Rib-eye (scotch fillet)
- Sirloin
- Rump/porterhouse
- T-bone

Have steaks out of fridge for at least ½ an hour before cooking. Season well with cracked black pepper and only season with salt just before you cook it as it will draw out the moisture from the meat. A little drizzle of oil and do the same to the other side.

Heat up a good heavy-base fry pan or griddle pan until almost smoking. You need it super hot as you want the meat to sear instantly.

Once your pan is HOT carefully add the steak. If you are cooking for the family try not to over crowd the pan. If necessary use two pans! Try not to prod and prick the steak, leave it so is sears and caramelises - depending on how well you like your steak. You only need to cook an average steak for 3-4 minutes on both sides. The next vital step is to let the meat rest, simply remove the meat from the pan and transfer on to a warm plate and cover with foil. Quickly return the pan back to the heat and add a glug of red wine, beef stock or even water, swirl around pan so all the delicious little caramelised pieces of flavour are removed from the bottom and get incorporated into you sauce. Once the liquid has bubbled and reduced remove from heat and add a couple of knobs of cold butter, swirl round to emulsify into your sauce, you may need salt and pepper. Simply drizzle your sauce over the steak and enjoy every mouthful….!

SAVOY CABBAGE - thanks to fantastic growers like Nigel from Brydone Organic Growers near Oamaru, we get to devour such unbelievably fresh and tasty seasonal produce.   He is at the farmers market pretty much every Saturday with his outstanding produce.  Nigel is also very approachable and knowledge when it comes to gardening and what is coming into season, i also think he knows a thing or two about cars....
Cabbages are true value for money, they can be used in salads, soups, pickled, rolled with stuffing and of course as an accompaniment to your meal.
Savoy cabbages have a ruffled green exterior and taste a little sweeter, they can be used as you would a typical white cabbage.


Serves 4

1 firm Savoy cabbage, very finely shredded
6 anchovy fillets in oil
4 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 thick slices of day old bread, rubbed with garlic clove, cut or torn into cubes
20g butter
Black pepper to taste

Fry the bread cubes in the hot butter with a dash of oil until crisp, drain.
Grind the anchovies to a paste with the olive oil and vinegar.
Mix the cabbage with the anchovy sauce, season with pepper and serve with the croutons.


Serves 4

1 whole savoy cabbage, sliced finely, wash and drain
1 tsp caraway seeds
25g butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Add the butter and caraway seeds to a pot or fry pan large enough to hold the cabbage. Heat gently to cook the caraway seeds for about 20 seconds, add the cabbage, season lightly with salt and pepper and give it a brief stir. Put a lid on the pot and cook for until the cabbage softens (6-10 minutes). If it is looking to dry add a couple of spoons of water. Check the seasoning, serve. Great with a steak and mash!

Wilowbrook Orchard located on the banks of clutha river in Roxburgh east supplies our market with exceptional fruit week in week out.  This week we used Johns Cox's Apple which is an old school variety, slightly tart in taste, firm texture and delicious when cooked.


This is a classic French dessert, it can be prepared in advance and cooked off whilst eating your main meal. It is also delicious with pears or peaches.

Serves 6

6 tart apples                                      
2 Tbsp lemon juice
200g sugar
30g unsalted butter, cubed
250g puff pastry

Peel and core the apples and cut into quarters. Place in a large bowl and toss in the lemon juice and 100g sugar.

Place remaining sugar and 2 tablespoons water in an oven-proof frying pan or 25cm tarte Tatin pan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes until the sugar caramelises and is a light-golden brown. Add the apple, cut-side up and dot with the butter. Keeping the heat very low, cook for a further 5-6 minutes to partially cook the apple. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Roll out pastry and cut into a circle slightly larger than the pan. Place the pastry over the apple, tucking any excess underneath. Place the pan on a baking tray to catch any juices that may bubble over and bake in the oven for 35 minutes until the pastry is cooked and golden. Remove from oven and allow to rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the tart upside down onto a large plate. Serve with cream or ice-cream.