Not to mention the wines and beers to accompany it all.
|Outdoors at Blackbarn Bistro.|
|Elephant Hill beef filet.|
You'll soon find the dessert recipe at Food Afar - Recipes from a Travel Writer.
|Lamb at Blackbarn.|
|Dessert at Blackbarn.|
|Spiced venison shortloin at Terroir.|
Terroir at Craggy Range put together a memorable progressive dinner with starters on the patio, dinner - Fennel crusted scallop; Beetroot cured Hawkes Bay kingfish with cuttlefish, chilli, mint and wild rice; Spiced Firstlight venison shortloin, Terroir garden Jerusalem artichokes, mushrooms and cassis prunes - in the cellar, followed by Lemon thyme semi-freddo, gingerbread and rhubarb confit before the restaurant's centerpiece fireplace.
Note: To see what Terroir's chef does with the catch of the day, go to Food Afar - Recipes from a Travel Writer.
At a party in Napier, I was introduced to some of the local products and their creators.
• Chef Noel Crawford's award-winning Aromatics Mushrooms and sauces.
|Origin Earth cheese.|
• Wayne Startup's The Village Press olive oils and balsamic, which I had to bring home!
• Orcona Chillis and Pepper sauces.
• Firstlight's amazing meats - the venison's to die for.
• Lime Rock and Sileni Estates wines.
|Picnickers at Hastings Farmers Market|
|Heirloom apples anyone?|
|Farmgate winemaker David Gough|
|Eeny, meeny, miney, mo...|
Tip: The Farmers Market is on nice flat ground. You'll walk but it's easy.
|View from The Farm|
I was fortunate enough to spend the night at this epitome of rustic luxury with one of the best golf courses in the world. Didn't play golf but did revel in the wonderful food produced the chefs.
Breakfast was no less impressive.
Tip: Depending on your accommodations here, you could encounter multiple steps and changes in elevation. Golf carts are available to take you door to door; just ask.
|Milk and Honey's sweet breakfast treat.|
My first night I spent at the five star Crown Hotel in the oceanfront village of Ahuriri. Milk and Honey, the adjacent cafe, produced the most delicious pancakes topped with grilled bananas and blackberries.
Tip: You can use elevators in the Crown to avoid the steepish hill down and up to Milk and Honey.
The Kitchen Table, attached to the Photographers' Gallery in Napier's Art Deco district, serves up inventive fare with a sense of humor and a warm welcome.
|The Kitchen Table|
|Orange French Toast|
I succumbed to the Orange French Toast with orange marmalade syrup. A friend who decided to dine light ordered a side of granola. Hah.
Food of the Chiefs
For an entirely different experience take a Waimarama Maori tour that includes a Food of the Chiefs' array of native dishes, their significance and how they evolved.
|Ready for a tasting.|
You'll go to Hakikino, a once heavily defended fort, learn about the customs, the legends, the life and the food, which you'll try at tour's end.
Tip: You've got a hike up and a hike down, plus steps if you want to see the eel fishery closeup, but you can ask for a ride up and down the hill if you need it.
Wherever you go in Hawkes Bay, you needn't be hungry or thirsty for long.