Located in Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds, the iconic Outward Bound organisation shows people their full potential through outdoor challenge and adventure. And at the end of an active day, chef Marcel Rood is there to fill all those hungry bellies.
"Each meal enjoyed in the Outward Bound dining hall is blessed with a karakia led by a different watch – a group of 14 students - each time," explains Rood. "The menu of each evening meal in the dining hall is introduced and explained by me or the sous chef. The students often tell us our menus and meal times are a highlight of their Outward Bound experience."
Recently, Marcel and the Outward Bound catering team released an Outward Bound Cook Book featuring 68 recipes of Outward Bound students' most-loved meals. It's available to purchase for $20 and all proceeds of the book go towards helping New Zealanders unlock their potential at Outward Bound. Here, Marcel gives us a sneak peek into his kitchen habits.
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My kitchen at home is... cosy and welcoming. I have my great-great-grandfather's copper cake moulds from our family bakery in The Netherlands hanging up, which I still use on special occasions.
The changes I'd make to turn it into my dream kitchen are... none - it's my perfect three-point kitchen. It's small and efficient and I love it.
Items you'd always find in my fridge are... wholegrain mustard, homemade aioli and fresh vegetables.
Some of my pantry staples are... yellow curry powder (historically, the Netherlands had a strong spice trade and I grew up very close to the spice warehouses) soy sauce, balsamic and a selection of nice oils.
My favourite ingredient to cook with is... It must be garlic - it enhances the flavour and can take something from boring to delicious.
The kind of dishes I most love to make are... Being raised above our family bakery, I still love making bread. When I'm running the Outward Bound kitchen, I love seeing the smiles on the students' faces when they see fresh loaves coming out of the oven.
My go-to meal in a hurry is... hutspot– this is a Dutch potato, carrot and onion dish. It goes with everything and is really yummy. Also being Dutch – these are three of the cheapest ingredients!
If friends stop by unexpectedly, I make... "clean out the fridge" soup, garnished with aioli and herbs from my garden. Everyone always thinks I have gone to a lot of trouble but it is a really great (and quick) way to use up ageing vegetables.
My drink of choice is... red wine, mostly pinot noir and organic if I'm lucky. The organic Darling wines from Marlborough are my absolute favourite.
Something unexpected I make from scratch is... I make most things from scratch, but my curry pastes are pretty popular.
I cook at home... most of the time, unless my partner, Helen, is making a Kiwi roast. I love cooking in my kitchen.
The kitchen gadget everyone should own is... a mortar and pestle. You can create awesome flavours if you take your time. Also my microblade – lemon zest is a good friend in the kitchen.
My food philosophy is... warm plates, dimmed lights, nice music, good company and no cell phones. When I'm at work in the Outward Bound kitchen I try to teach the students to appreciate their whanau and friends and spend time sitting around a table, talking about their day. And if your family cooks for you, thank them and show appreciation.
Buy the Outward Bound Cookbook here.