Meat Market Chef, Tony Moss, grew up in New Zealand. We chatted with him about his move to Melbourne, and his plans for matching some of his favourite NZ drops with fantastic food for Meat Market’s New Zealand on the table dinner.
Where in New Zealand did you grow up?
I was born in Hawkes Bay in the North Island of New Zealand, a wine producing area, living on a rural property cropping potatoes, pumpkin and corn. We had a few orchards of apples, peaches and ran a few sheep – so there was never a lack of fresh produce. I moved to Waiheke Island (an island off Auckland) when I was 17, another wine producing area.
Where did you cook in New Zealand?
Te Whau & Stonyridge (world famous for La Rose Bordeaux Blend), Vineyards On Waiheke and Vidal Winery (owned by Villa Maria) Restaurant in Hawkes Bay. I also had a private catering company.
What brought you to Melbourne?
After a year in Shanghai I moved to be closer to family and have friends in Melbourne, it’s a great city for a Chef – it was a natural move.
What do you miss most about cooking in New Zealand?
I miss more the produce and the supplier relationships that you build up over the years. For example having a farmer who had purchased some new pastures for raising his herd on was very interested in seeing if we could taste the difference in the product he was growing, that personalised relationship I have yet to come across here quite yet. There are only a few hundred thousand people less in Melbourne than New Zealand in its entirety, so the personalised touch is missed.
How did the idea for New Zealand on the table come about? Can you tell us about the dinner?
Having not been in New Zealand for a few years, it is always nice to bring a bit of home to the table. When we started seeing some New Zealand wines I was familiar with coming through our suppliers and John from Trinity Hill being in Melbourne, it was a natural progression to bring some kiwi-themed food to the table. The dinner is more about showcasing some feature New Zealand flavours with stand out New Zealand wines.
What are you most looking forward to showcasing at the dinner?
All going to plan, some Hawkes Bay Wagyu Beef. I had the pleasure of cooking the first side of beef the company produced back in 2004. The owners were regulars at Vidal Winery and I offered a chance to use it. So can’t wait to see it here in Melbourne.
What are the major differences between New Zealand and Australian produce? What are your top five New Zealand produce items?
There are not too many differences, I think for me, it’s more the story and the people behind the produce in New Zealand that would set it apart. We have hero products just like any country – our lamb and dairy are always up there in quality.
Can you tell us about the wines you’ll be serving and the dinner? How did you go about matching the food and wine and which match are you most looking forward to showing off?
The food is playing off the tones and flavours in the wines, it was all about taking the flavour and combinations that work in both the food and wine together to ensure nothing is overpowered but carried to reach full flavour profiles. Looking forward to the slow cooked lamb, cooked for 12 hours, then crumbed in dukkah and shallow fried, crisp and tender with a light spice profile!
Here’s the menu:
New Zealand Wine Dinner
Cured New Zealand Salmon, Passionfruit, Mint
TE HANA METHODE
‘Fish & Chips’- Whitebait, Avocado, Carrot, Lime
TRINITY HILL SAUVINGNON BLANC
Smoked Eel, Apple, Walnut, Sweet Potato
MARTINBOROUGH VINEYARD CHARDONNAY
Slow Cooked Lamb, Dukkah, Peas, Sweetbreads
VIDAL PINOT NOIR
Wagyu Beef, Beetroot, Cocoa, Licorice
TRINITY HILL GIMBLET GRAVELS SYRAH
Kiwifruit Sorbet, Charcoal Meringue, Manuka Honey
New Zealand on the table wine dinner at Meat Market
Tickets are $100 per person.
Bookings essential on +61 3 9008 8953
Tuesday 17 June 2014 at 7pm for a 7:30pm start