Top Indian chef visits island
A famous Indian chef known as the "Gourmet Guru" has enjoyed a taste of what Waiheke has to offer.
MasterChef India host and judge Kunal Kapur is the executive sous chef at the award winning hotel Leela Kempinski in Gurgaon near Delhi. He checked out Kennedy Point Vineyard and Rangihoua Estate with his wife Ekta and representatives from Tourism Auckland last Thursday.
The couple's trip to the island was part of a week long tour of New Zealand and comes as Kunal takes up the Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship for 2012.
The fellowship is a tribute to the special contribution made by Sir Ed to New Zealand's relationships with India and Nepal. Every year the New Zealand government selects an up and coming leader from their respective field in India or Nepal to visit New Zealand. This year's fellowship will focus on promoting New Zealand's food and beverage and tourism sectors to the rapidly growing Indian consumer market.
The restaurant Kunal manages has won the best Indian restaurant award for the last three years. He has won further fame as host and judge on the popular MasterChef India television show which has seen him be given the moniker "Gourmet Guru."
At Rangihoua Estate, Kunal and his wife learned about the process of olive oil production from co-owner Anne Stanimiroff.
He says he was interested to discover many so-called olive oils may not be as pure as they claim or even made from olives.
"The big revelation was hearing that pure olive oil can heat to 210 degrees before it starts smoking. The eye opener for me is the oil I am using could be adulterated."