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While our students spend most of their time honing their skills in the kitchen, it is invaluable as a chef to understand and appreciate where our ingredients come from. Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand is a short drive away from the Wairarapa, the heart of the Wellington region’s agricultural industry. Our Intermediate Patisserie and Cuisine students experienced a packed day touring and tasting some of the best local produce New Zealand has to offer.
The day commenced with a visit to Stonestead Farm. Cuisine students had the opportunity to see how a local farm is run and see first-hand how livestock are reared, giving them some insights to where the meat that they cook with comes from. Preserving the quality of both the meat and the environment is top of farmers minds with almost half the farmland being native bush, saved and preserved for future generations.
Schoc chocolate, a boutique chocolate company, was the next stop. Patisserie students experienced tasting and learned about Schoc’s commitment to sustainability and authentic flavours. There were 60 different variations of chocolate used, all infused with whole and real flavours. It is inspiring to see how one ingredient can be so dynamic and highlights the importance of creativity.
Students then made their way to the family operated Greytown Honey Ltd, to learn how honey is produced. Unfortunately, due to the weather students were unable to don the beekeeper’s suit and open the hives. However, the team at Greytown Honey had plenty more to show and were so enthusiastic to educate. They have beehives placed throughout the Wairarapa in untouched bush where their bees not only produce world-class honey, but also act as a vital part of the ecosystem.
For lunch students enjoyed Moy Hall Wine’s vineyard and lunch experience. The owner personally provided insights to the growth and production of wine with pairings along with their meal. Followed by a picturesque walk through the vineyard located in Martinborough, yearly host of one of new Zealand’s largest wine festivals.
The last stop of the day was Olivo Olive Grove, Martinborough’s largest Olive Oil Producer. It was a delight to learn how premium olive oil is produced and to see the ingenuity used to create their many infusions.
From livestock to olives and everything in-between, our students had non-stop day and returned to Wellington with their heads and bellies filled. We look forward to seeing how this hands-on experience will help shape and inspire the next generation of chefs.
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