Taking Kiwi kai to the high seas

TASTE OF NZ: Chefs Anne Thorp and Mary McIldowie on dry land after sharing New Zealand cuisine with the Maasdam cruise ship passengers through cooking demonstrations and a special degustation menu designed to showcase fresh New Zealand produce. Picture by Liam Clayton

When the Maasdam cruised into Eastland Port yesterday it had on board Maori queen of cuisine, and former Gisborne woman, Anne Thorp.

Mrs Thorp has been on the Dutch cruise liner’s New Zealand leg to create a five course degustation menu called Taste of NZ for the ship’s passengers, so they can taste the flavours of the South Pacific while cruising it.

“My food is simple, fresh, healthy, unadulterated, flavoursome New Zealand tucker,” said Mrs Thorp.

As well as preparing the degustation menu, Mrs Thorp also provided hands-on demonstrations in the ship’s galley and another in the theatre for the cruisers.

“I organise simple recipes and hors d’oeuvres for their wine and food tastings.

“All my duties are completed in the first six days, leaving six days to relax and enjoy the cruise.”

Mrs Thorp took one of her best friends Mary McIldowie from Gisborne as her sous chef and guest.

“It’s a double banger for me because I get to see my other bestie Robyn Barker. Mary, Robbie and I have hung out together for the past 40 years, with a lot of time spent on Wainui Beach. I lived in Gisborne in my teenage years.”

The women both disembarked in Gisborne to be met by Robyn and said they had thoroughly enjoyed the cruise experience.

“We forged some friendships with the crew and passengers and the food was very well received,” said Mrs Thorp.

One passenger said she had been to the cooking demonstrations on board and loved tasting the fresh New Zealand produce.

The degustation menu included Akaroa salmon, eye fillet of beef, Clevedon buffalo mozzarella, Whittaker’s chocolate and Hikurangi blue cheese.

Mrs McIldowie said the passengers were a mix of nationalities including New Zealanders, Australians, Canadians, Americans and Europeans.

The ship went as far south as Akaroa Harbour and stopped at Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Napier and Gisborne.

Mrs Thorp specialises in giving guests a “genuine New Zealand and cultural experience” through her cooking series Kai with Anne Thorp, and the show before that, Kai Ora, both filmed at her Auckland properties.

When the Maasdam cruised into Eastland Port yesterday it had on board Maori queen of cuisine, and former Gisborne woman, Anne Thorp.

Mrs Thorp has been on the Dutch cruise liner’s New Zealand leg to create a five course degustation menu called Taste of NZ for the ship’s passengers, so they can taste the flavours of the South Pacific while cruising it.

“My food is simple, fresh, healthy, unadulterated, flavoursome New Zealand tucker,” said Mrs Thorp.

As well as preparing the degustation menu, Mrs Thorp also provided hands-on demonstrations in the ship’s galley and another in the theatre for the cruisers.

“I organise simple recipes and hors d’oeuvres for their wine and food tastings.

“All my duties are completed in the first six days, leaving six days to relax and enjoy the cruise.”

Mrs Thorp took one of her best friends Mary McIldowie from Gisborne as her sous chef and guest.

“It’s a double banger for me because I get to see my other bestie Robyn Barker. Mary, Robbie and I have hung out together for the past 40 years, with a lot of time spent on Wainui Beach. I lived in Gisborne in my teenage years.”

The women both disembarked in Gisborne to be met by Robyn and said they had thoroughly enjoyed the cruise experience.

“We forged some friendships with the crew and passengers and the food was very well received,” said Mrs Thorp.

One passenger said she had been to the cooking demonstrations on board and loved tasting the fresh New Zealand produce.

The degustation menu included Akaroa salmon, eye fillet of beef, Clevedon buffalo mozzarella, Whittaker’s chocolate and Hikurangi blue cheese.

Mrs McIldowie said the passengers were a mix of nationalities including New Zealanders, Australians, Canadians, Americans and Europeans.

The ship went as far south as Akaroa Harbour and stopped at Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Napier and Gisborne.

Mrs Thorp specialises in giving guests a “genuine New Zealand and cultural experience” through her cooking series Kai with Anne Thorp, and the show before that, Kai Ora, both filmed at her Auckland properties.

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