Patrice Dougan is the Herald's education reporter.

High praise for New Zealand from Madonna's entourage

Madonna kicks off the New Zealand and Australia leg of her Rebel Heart World Tour in Auckland's Vector Arena tonight. Photo / Getty
Madonna kicks off the New Zealand and Australia leg of her Rebel Heart World Tour in Auckland's Vector Arena tonight. Photo / Getty

Madonna's personal chef has once again raved about Auckland's culinary scene - Instagramming up a storm about the food he sampled last night in the city's Viaduct area.

HAVE YOU SEEN MADONNA? SEND US YOU PICS AND VIDEOS

Jaime Laurita has been tasting a range of classic Kiwi fare since touching down in the City of Sails earlier this week, and has been duly posting snaps of the food and drinks he's come across on his foodie adventure.

Last night he praised Bluff oysters after sampling the famous seafood at Auckland's Oyster & Chop.


"The Oysters at Oyster&Chop were without question some of the most incredible I've ever had. I need to go back before we leave #auckland. The Bluff Oysters are in season and insane!," he posted alongside a photo of some fresh oysters with a slice of lemon.

READ MORE: Madonna spotted in Motueka

He then posted a pic of some pan-fried snapper with lemon and herbs.

Oyster & Chop owner Julie Christie said Laurita had flown under the radar while eating in the restaurant last night, but was hoping to meet him if he returned - as he hinted he might.

"He didn't actually point out who he was. We have a lot of tourists because we have a shucking bar out the front ... so I presume that's what attracted him.

"He certainly didn't explain who he was or anything, but we've sold 600 dozen oysters in three days, so it's kind of hard to keep a track of who's eating them."

She added: "We're just really pleased that he liked it so much."

Bluff oysters had only arrived in Auckland on Wednesday, she said, and credited the size of the famous New Zealand delicacy to attracting Laurita's taste-buds.

"He chose Bluff, and he said he's coming back so we'll be looking forward to him [hopefully] coming back after the concert tonight."

Bluff oysters were "unique", she said

"If you've been to the States, oysters there are much smaller, and flatter, and much more like rock oysters. Whereas with Bluff, they're really big and fat and so I think to must people from overseas they're quite unique because of that," Ms Christie said.

"They're very, very different to anything you do get in America, which really is a massive - particularly in the east coast America - a huge oyster culture, but the oysters are so much smaller and more different to ours so I think the Bluffs probably would have been a big surprise to him and how good they were."

Madge herself had not accompanied the chef, Ms Christie said - "I certainly might have noticed that, but no she wasn't" - but she said she could "only hope after the concert tonight".

They were expecting large crowds of Madonna fans eating out ahead of her debut performance in Auckland tonight, Ms Christie said, but there was no hint - yet - the Queen of Pop would grace the restaurant herself.

He later shared a photo from inside the Vector Arena where the Queen of Pop will make her New Zealand debut as part of her worldwide Rebel Heart Tour tonight, revealing a beautiful and elaborate dessert of apple slices shaped to look like roses.

"These roses are made of apple slices #thesecaterers," he said.

Caterers to the stars The Last Supper Catering has confirmed it crafted the beautiful rose apples Laurita shared with the world.

It thanked the chef and interior designer for showcasing the creation.

"Thanks @jaimelaurita for this [photo emoji] of our Apple Crisp with Almond and Maple Topper," the company said on instgram.

These roses are made of apple slices. #thesecaterers

A photo posted by Jaime Laurita (@jaimelaurita) on


The Last Supper Catering owner Joanie Meredith, said the company tried hard to keep everyone backstage happy and well-fed.

"An army moves on its stomach and these guys are really important, whether it's what we're doing with Madonna or whoever is in town," she told the Herald.

"We love the fact that everyone is extremely happy, and a happy crew is a happy tour."

It was "another huge day" at the Vector, Ms Meredith said, and the company was busy making lunch and dinner for the large crew.

She didn't have time to divulge anything further, but said: "We're out to really impress again tonight. Here's hoping Jaime will love everything we've done again."

Laurita has raved about Auckland's food and cocktail scene this week, as well as the beautiful scenery he's taken in while here.

The food he sampled at The Parsley Pot Café in Snells Beach would "make you cry it's so good".

He also praised New Zealand as "seriously magical" and "beautiful".

"I will never forget #auckland #newzealand If you truly want an incredible unique vacation you should consider this city. It's honestly unforgettably bright green landscapes are enough to paint your mind with memories."

ARE YOU GETTING READY FOR TONIGHT'S CONCERT? SEND US AN EMAIL

Oyster & Chop owner Julie Christie said Laurita had flown under the radar while eating in the restaurant last night, but was hoping to meet him if he returned - as he hinted he might.

"He didn't actually point out who he was. We have a lot of tourists because we have a shucking bar out the front ... so I presume that's what attracted him.

"He certainly didn't explain who he was or anything, but we've sold 600 dozen oysters in three days, so it's kind of hard to keep a track of who's eating them."

She added: "We're just really pleased that he liked it so much."

Bluff oysters had only arrived in Auckland on Wednesday, she said, and credited the size of the famous New Zealand delicacy to attracting Laurita's taste-buds.

"He chose Bluff, and he said he's coming back so we'll be looking forward to him [hopefully] coming back after the concert tonight."

Bluff oysters were "unique", she said.

"If you've been to the States, oysters there are much smaller, and flatter, and much more like rock oysters. Whereas with Bluff, they're really big and fat and so I think to must people from overseas they're quite unique because of that," Ms Christie said.

"They're very, very different to anything you do get in America, which really is a massive - particularly in the east coast America - a huge oyster culture, but the oysters are so much smaller and more different to ours so I think the Bluffs probably would have been a big surprise to him and how good they were."

Madge herself had not accompanied the chef, Ms Christie said - "I certainly might have noticed that, but no she wasn't" - but she said she could "only hope after the concert tonight".

They were expecting large crowds of Madonna fans eating out ahead of her debut performance in Auckland tonight, Ms Christie said, but there was no hint - yet - the Queen of Pop would grace the restaurant herself.

Meanwhile the rest of Madonna's crew have also been gracing social media with their adventures in and around Auckland and the North Island.

DJ Mary Mac shared a video of herself relaxing on a beach on Waiheke Island yesterday.

??

A video posted by DJ MARY MAC ????? GENERAL (@djmarymac5stargeneral) on


In a white singlet, she showed off the sunny, blue skies and white sand - with an "Auckland, New Zealand" flag badge pasted on to the corner of the video.

Dancer Maria Wada has posted photos of some of the crew black water rafting at Waitomo Caves and touring the Hobbit set at Hobbiton, outside Matamata.

"#BlackWaterRafting the experience was magical #adventure #glowingcave" she said.

Hobbiton was so beautiful #nofilterneeded, she said, tagging a few of her fellow other dancers calling themselves #rebelhobbits

Dancer and choreographer Lil Buck also posted pics of the crew black water rafting, but also revealed a sneak preview from the stage at Vector Arena.

The video shows Lil Buck dancing on stage, in what might lead some to speculate is a taster of what fans can look forward to seeing tonight.

Dancers and models Aya Sato and Bambi have also been taking in Hobbiton, posting photos of themselves posing on set.

"#hobbiton Very cute and beautiful place," Sato said.

#hobbiton Very cute and beautiful place ???????????? #ayabambi #Aukland ????????????

A photo posted by ?y? S?†o ??mbi (@ayasato1006) on


Other members of Madonna's 170-strong backstage crew, including dancers and make-up artists, detailed their tourist adventures, including wine tasting on Waiheke Island, dressing up in costume at Hobbiton, and horse-riding on Pakiri Beach north of Auckland.

The Queen of Pop herself has managed to keep a low-profile with just one confirmed sighting since her arrival in the country.

Yesterday Celcius Coffee in Motueka posted excitedly on Facebook about her Madgesty stopping at the café with her security detail and ordering a soy flat white.

Her bodyguards ordered for her, and the café owner Stephanie Fry said all the staff were too starstruck to approach the Material Girl.

Madonna kicks off the New Zealand and Australia leg of her Rebel Heart World Tour in Auckland's Vector Arena tonight, followed by a second show tomorrow.

She will then fly to Australia, where she's due to perform in Melbourne on March 12.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 26 Sep 2016 13:47:31 Processing Time: 780ms