An award-winning blend of fresh fruits and flavours is brimming at Kapiti's Lindale Cafe, now home to the world's best marmalade.

Graeme Cunningham, owner of Fine Foods, shifted his sights to Lindale Café's commercial kitchen last month, not long before winning gold at the World Marmalade Awards in England.

Of 3000 entries from 160 countries, Mr Cunningham's unique Lime, Chilli and Coconut marmalade won first place, selected by about 15 top industry judges.

The recipe, which also gained third place at last year's World Chutney Championships, received a perfect score for what judges called lovely texture and excellent flavours, with gentle warmth from the chilli.


"I'm thinking about new flavours all the time - I just about dream them," said Mr Cunningham, who learnt how to make marmalade by watching his mother in the kitchen as a child.

"I've actually started making a list already for next year."

Of five entries submitted by the Wellingtonian, each received a placement, including his favourite Seville Orange recipe, which picked up silver.

His Grapefruit with Peanuts and Grapefruit with Almonds recipes received bronze, while his Lemon with Manuka Honey marmalade took away a merit award.

"I only had seven days to get the jars over to England by courier and they sat in the warehouse for three days.

"I was going insane because they got there late, but luckily were accepted."

Having run his extensive line of marmalades, jams, pickles, relishes, chutneys and jellies for up to six years in New Zealand, which he sells at Wellington's Saturday Underground Market, Mr Cunningham has more than a hundred recipes up his sleeve.

With countless awards from various New Zealand A&P shows, his products were also previously sold in a chain supermarket in Australia, where he lived before returning to New Zealand six years ago.


"I hated my job in sales in Australia, which I think was burnout, and would go home at night and make marmalade to relax.

"I ended up with a big table full of product and realised I'd need to start going to the markets to get rid of it, which is when it all began.

"Today, when I cut up a bucket full of limes, I'll still love it - the nice citrusy smell and bright colours."

Mr Cunningham said it was pretty amazing the world's best was coming out of a small commercial kitchen in Kapiti.

"The world's attention is on the coffee shop at Lindale."