On the game trail

By Nici Wickes

Duck and chestnut dish on the menu at The Grove restaurant. Picture / Babiche Martens.
Duck and chestnut dish on the menu at The Grove restaurant. Picture / Babiche Martens.

What happens when you take one ingredient and one wine varietal and ask top chefs to run wild with it to create their most spectacular food and wine match? Yes, it's that time of year when Cloudy Bay partners with top restaurants for the annual International Cloudy Bay Pinot & Duck Tasting Trail, which challenges chefs to mix up their game this winter and create the ultimate pinot and duck pairing.

In all, 24 restaurants from around New Zealand are involved for this, the fourth year, and for the first time, top chefs from around the world including the United States, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia are taking part in this global culinary trail.

We caught a sneak preview of what The Grove's executive chef Ben Bayly is putting up for the challenge and, though we're sworn to secrecy, we guarantee the dish will excite every one of your senses - tiny ravioli of game bird are served with braised duck in a chestnut broth, and there's just a whisper of truffle ... perfectly paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay pinot, of course.

• The Cloudy Bay Pinot & Duck Tasting Trail begins on July 1 and runs until July 31. Bookings are essential for each individual restaurant. A full list of participating restaurants is available on facebook/cloudybay.


- VIVA

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