Key Points:

The new Quad Bar is an intimate bar for a quiet drink day or night, tucked into the lobby of the recently opened Quadrant Hotel, in Waterloo Quadrant. Tom Skyring, who also designed Dine and Pasha, has used leather furnishing and handmade, silk-embroidered wallpapers to give the Quad Bar a cosy, eclectic feel. A small open-air courtyard is attached, as is a private room, with a blushing zettel - a light fitting released in Milan in 2005 that features images of naked Japanese porcelain dolls. The bar is open seven days a week until late and its head barman is the experienced James Comyn, formerly of the Gin Room and Wine Loft. A tapas menu and some distinctive cocktails feature.

Hall of famer

Christchurch chef Michael Lee Richards has been inducted into the Restaurant Hall of Fame. The honour, voted by members of the Restaurant Association, recognises a long career for the flamboyant founder of Michael's restaurant, who, long before it became fashionable, championed regional cuisine - think Akaroa salmon and walnuts, bush honey and local cheese and herbs. He also loves teaching and food writing, charity work and is a founder of the Savour New Zealand food event. The 50-year-old says: "It's a little odd to receive a lifetime achievement award when I see such a lot more to do." He urges teaching cooking skills to children, saying he learned many of his life skills around the family table. " ... teaching children to grow food, to cook food and to know how good it is for them, for the body and the soul."

Bluer than blue

Whitestone has added another blue cheese to its range. The Highland Blue is a sharper, stronger-tasting style than Whitestone's award-winning creamy Windsor Blue, and will appeal to lovers of traditional blue-vein cheeses. It is lower in fat and an organic version is also available. Serve with cabernet sauvignon or port, or try in a salad with baby greens, chopped walnuts and pears and a light dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and grainy mustard. The Oamaru cheesemaker has also introduced a havarti to its range, which is available from supermarkets and specialty stores nationwide. This rich pressed cheese made from cow's milk is ideal with fruit or crackers to end a meal. Suggested wine matches are riesling or pinot gris.

Brand battle

A boutique Marlborough winery has been forced to change its name after a legal wrangle with US wine-producing giant, Baron Herzog. Herzog Winery, which has made wine under its family name with roots dating back to 1482, has had to rebrand to comply with Baron Herzog's global registration of the Herzog name. It takes effect immediately in Europe and the United States, where the New Zealand wine will be renamed Hans. The battle to keep using the Herzog name in New Zealand and Australia continues.

Happy hams

Freedom Farms is offering SPCA-certified free-range hams in time for Christmas. Many of the hams sold here are imported and consumers can't guarantee the conditions the pigs have been kept in - often in tiny concrete cages and possibly pumped with growth hormones. Freedom Farms sources its hams from free-range pigs, cures them with woodsmoke and doesn't pump them with water. Stockists from early December include selected supermarkets and food specialists nationwide. Email for advice on the one nearest you.

NZ guaranteed

Hellers' new premium bacon range is guaranteeing all its pre-packed produce is sourced entirely from New Zealand pork.

The decision was driven by research that showed a customer preference for homegrown. The bacon market is growing at nearly 5 per cent a year. The product is used in traditional fry-ups, and increasingly in pasta dishes and salads. Hellers began as a Christchurch butchery, but has grown rapidly. Its smallgoods factories there and in Auckland employ about 350 people. Heller Sensational Middle Rashers and other premium bacon range items will be in supermarkets this month. Rindless and manuka-smoked, they feature easi-peel packaging and come in 200g, 400g and 600g packs from $5-$13.95.