Seven dishes you must try in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Seven dishes you must try in New Zealand's Hawke's Bay, according to The Farm at Cape Kidnappers' head chef, James Honore

SCALLOPS, BROAD BEAN TIPS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE, CHARDONNAY, AT THE FARM AT CAPE KIDNAPPERS

Sweet scallops with earthy Jerusalem artichokes, pan roasted, pureed, and fried until crisp. Young broad bean tips are wilted just enough to change their texture. Grown in our garden here at Cape Kidnappers, the garniture is harvested and prepared just a couple of hours before we serve to our guests. See www.capekidnappers.com

BEETROOT, BUFFALO CURD, RASPBERRIES, FLAX SEEDS AT BLACK BARN BISTRO

I really enjoy the contrast of the sweet, sour, earthy beetroot to the rich buffalo milk curd in this dish. This dish has a lovely blend of both cooked and raw preparations of the beetroot, sharp fresh bursts from the raspberry and salty crispness of the flax seed wafer. I recommend sitting outside under the canopy of grape vines. See www.blackbarnbistro.com

STEAMED MUSSEL & SCALLOP MOUSSE, SMOKED WAREHOU BROTH AT PACIFICA RESTAURANT

I love this dish. Its simplicity is deceiving – a single mussel filled with a velvety scallop mousse. The addition of sago and squid offers contrasting texture while the smoked warehou broth that is rich and deep with flavour keeps you going back for more. See www.pacificarestaurant.co.nz

MAHIA OCTOPUS, BLACK OLIVE, PRESERVED LEMON, GAZPACHO GEL, OCTOPUS CRACKER, MARROW CUSTARD AT BISTRONOMY

This dish is very interesting and very textural. Served chilled, the tender, locally-caught octopus is served alongside the salty lemon and olive, and the rich custard. I like the way the gazpacho gel interacts with these flavours, cleansing the palate enough to ready you for your next bite. See www.bistronomy.co.nz

D-DOUGHNUT AT MISTER D

These have a real following locally. A sourdough doughnut, rolled in cinnamon sugar, either plain or with a choice of filling in a syringe. Served still warm these crunchy yet yielding balls of fried goodness are a must try. See www.misterd.co.nz

CHOPPED TUKITUKI VENISON TARTARE, TARRAGON & FRIED ANCHOVY AT TERROIR AT CRAGGY RANGE

A dish that gives you a real sense of your surroundings. The venison is from along the same river the winery runs along and is served with tarragon from the garden on the property. The fried anchovy crumb adds a deceptive cooked undertone to this elegant expression of local produce. See www.craggyrange.com

SMOKED VENISON, VANILLA PARSNIP PUREE, PICKLED STONE FRUIT, PUFFED BARLEY, BLACK GARLIC AT ELEPHANT HILL

I like the relation of the smoked venison to the sweet parsnip puree, while the pickled stone fruit's acidity is fantastic as a contrast. The deep caramel and licorice flavour of the black garlic adds complexity, playing beautifully off the other components and making for an interesting dish to enjoy with wine. See www.elephanthill.co.nz

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is hosting a special food and wine weekend, June 22-24: "All in the Family". The three Robertson Lodges' head chefs: James Honore (The Farm at Cape Kidnappers), Barry Frith (The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs), and Jonathan Rogers (Matakauri Lodge) unite to create a six-course tasting menu matched with Dry River Wines. See robertsonlodges.com

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