Cafe chat: Cakes and coffee app
Lone Star in Manchester St is being rebuilt after earthquake damage in 2010 forced its demolition. After a long wait, construction is almost complete. The new 750 square metre building pays homage to its art deco predecessor, but is being built to 100 per cent of the new building standard. Hopefully, the restaurant will be open in time for its 25th anniversary in September, but an official date is yet to be announced. Watch this space.
JUDGING PANEL REVEALED
The Nestle Toque d'Or is considered New Zealand's top cooking and restaurant service competition and if students in professional culinary courses intend to study the form of this year's judges, they have a time- consuming task. The lengthy list includes some of New Zealand's most experienced chefs as well as names that are more backroom than front of house - the people who can see a culinary problem in a dark room: owner chefs, executive chefs, hospitality lecturers, operations managers, food and beverage managers, and kitchen managers. Food luminaries from the southern region include Richard Hingston, John Snowball, Mark Sycamore and Darren Wright. Toque d"Or 2013 will be held on August 19 in Auckland.
This year's Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from Villa Maria is a lasting reminder of one of the hottest summers the South Island has had in recent years with the long hot days creating perfectly balanced sugar levels and depth of flavour. Villa Maria founder Sir George Fistonich said the season was similar to that in 1998 which is regarded as one of the country's best vintages. The sauvignon blanc is the first wine to be bottled this year with the new label not only celebrating the winery's 50th year but also to remind purchasers of its beautiful country of origin .
Parents despairing of entertaining bored school children on holiday could spend some time down at the Gap Filler Pallet Pavilion on the corner of Durham and Kilmore streets. The She Chocolate's bus is parked up by the pavilion every day, serving hot chocolate either on board the double-decker, or to take away for those wanting to explore as they sip. Open from 11am-3pm weekdays, 10am-4pm weekends.
A KidsFest special offer is: buy an adult hot chocolate and get a child-size drink free. See chocolatebus.co.nz
WANTED: BIG SPENDERS
The Arts Centre is looking for a restaurant/bar entrepreneur willing to front up with at least $1 million to develop a new drinking and dining venue. About 400 sqm has been set aside in the precinct for a high-end venue which matches the "quality aesthetic" prized by the centre's custodians. The venue would be part of one of the world's largest heritage redevelopment projects as millions of dollars have been spent on the quake-damaged site.
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY
Revival Bar in Victoria St is hosting a salsa dancing event tomorrow night from 8pm-10pm. The bar is being taken over by local salsa school Salsa Latina, which is opening the floor to anyone - novice, two left feeters or expert. Pop your dancing shoes on and head down for a quick spin and a cocktail. Everyone welcome.
MADE TO ORDER
Roots Restaurant in Lyttelton is now offering customers the chance to order treats to take home, such as its house-made cheese puffs, organic corn tortillas, icecreams and sorbets. Hungry followers can place their order at the restaurant or by phone (328 7658), and organise a time to pick up. Everything is made fresh to order.
Quick Cups coffee app was launched last week allowing users to tap into surrounding cafes and place their order remotely. 48 on Fitz was the first to get under way, with more cafes to follow in coming weeks. See quickcups.co.nz.
TV STAR TURNED PATISSIERE
A Christchurch 2012 Masterchef contestant is turning his hand to specialty bread and pastries behind the scenes at Good Honest Products. Chris Turner made it to the top 11 in the reality cooking show, and then raised $30,000 for fees to study at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Wellington. He graduated from the Diplome de Patisserie in June, in the top three of his class, and is now baking for Good Honest Products on Annex Rd - everything from macarons to speciality breads. The company was founded almost a year ago by Steve Illenberger, who was the original founder of Breads of Europe and Divine Cakes and Desserts. Turner hopes to one day set up his own patisserie.
Anna Worthington, of Cakes by Anna, now has a Sunday cake stall in New Regent St, outside Shop Eight. The Christchurch Farmers Market regular is known for her sinfully delicious cakes and liberal application of icing. The Sunday stall will see the usual range of treats on offer alongside a cup of a coffee (11am onwards). If Saturday is more your scene, Cakes by Anna has a farmers market special - four slices for $15 to get you through the chilly weekends.