A fundraiser dinner held at Marlborough Boys' College on Friday night was called “Giving Back”, and to the credit of the students, their teachers and chef Lawrence Purser, they most certainly did that.
Not only was the event one of my highlights of the year (in part because it was a night out with Mrs Fortune and no children attached) it also showed me that we have some smart people in our community, and they are at Marlborough Boys' College.
Mrs Brown, who looks after the culinary department, ensured that the correct tools were provided. Jamie Perrott and Daniel Davidson, who recently returned from Auckland with bronze medals from the NZ Culinary Fare, and former Marlborough Boys' College student Lawrence Purser provided the skill base and a multitude of younger and older Marlborough boys provided entertainment, table service, washing up, theatre, musical arrangements and the table settings to ensure that the evening was a success. Their efforts will go toward helping more students in coming years get to Auckland as well as increasing the food technology room facilities.
Local food companies provided food and resources; Mike from Westmeats was again supporting our future culinary stars and was in attendance, and auction items from Seresin, Prenzel, Maggie Jane's and many others ensured that it was a financial and community success. So often basic cooking skills are not celebrated as things like rugby and rowing have more short-term entertainment appeal, but judging by the energy, efficiency, support, dedication and ability to just get in and do it, I am sure that the future cooking stars will be bringing home gold medals as we show the rest of New Zealand that not only is Marlborough Boys' College a great sporting and academic facility, but it also provides essential life skills and hands-on practical experiences.
Well done to the whole team involved. You have shown that you are truly community connected, and that is very smart.
Westmeats slow roasted pork belly
1.3kg piece pork belly, boned, rind left on and scored (Ask Mike your local butcher to do this.)
2 tsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp white peppercorns , crushed
Marlborough flaky or rock salt
3 large onions , sliced
2-3 Tbsp clear Marlborough honey
2 tsp ground cumin
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped, (optional)
Heat oven to 160 degrees C. Lay the pork, skin-side up, on a rack in a roasting tin. Trickle with a little oil, then lightly press on the crushed peppercorns and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt. Place in the oven, then cook for approx 2 hours and continue to baste with the juices.
Put the sliced onions in the roasting tin under the pork.
Mix the honey together with the cumin and chilli, brush it over the pork, then increase the oven to 200C.
Cook for a further 30-40 mins, basting occasionally, until the pork is caramelised with a rich, golden glaze.
Once cooked and tender (this can be easily tested by piercing the flesh with a knife), remove pork from the oven, then leave to rest for 20mins before serving with a pumpkin or potato mash.
- The Marlborough Express