The first Yelp Elite Event of 2015 kicked off at Cépage on O’Connell Street with Maison Vauron and La Fromagerie. We’d heard about Cépage, opened by Logan and Will of Black Hoof, but hadn’t been. I always seem to forget about these small hidden streets in the heart of the city. So wine and cheese make the perfect pair, change that to French wine and cheese served by knowledgeable French men – winning. Our favourite was the Epoisses Berthaut and the Chateau Marcadis Lalande De Pomerol 12 red (pronouncing anything accurately the entire night was a lost cause). We’re ready to go buy some of the wine and cheese to indulge at home and can’t wait to go dine at Cépage and Black Hoof soon, yes – Elite Events have this knock-on effect on you. This year’s Elite Event line up sounds superb, we can’t wait to try out more new products and hear from businesses we haven’t come across yet. Find out how you can be an Elite here – see you at the next one.
Over the weekend we photographed Yelp Auckland’s biggest event to date, with almost 130 people. Along with Brancott Estate wine, MOA beer and Antipodes water, The Pie Piper mum-and-daughter duo, Black Hoof, Clevedon Oysters and Puhoi Valley were also there for the fun. A mini Fujifilm instax printer was up for grabs for the best photo of the night and everyone got a White’s & Co. voucher.
We were so very excited, not just because it was ice cream, but because it was Kohu Road ice cream. The tub that sold at $20 a litre, that seemed to sparkle in the fridge. I always believed it was a dangerous purchase not only because of its high price point (I would be eating a gold coin with each spoonful), but also the risk that it would be just plain ordinary or even worse, inedible.
The night began with Greg, the maker of Kohu Road telling us about his ice cream journey. Starting from the frozen yoghurt he made and gave out at his kid’s ice cream party to creating tubs and tubs at The Tannery and sending it across New Zealand and Australia. He talked about how many ice creams, and food for that matter, often had preservatives and additives in them and quite often we would forget or be misled by failing to read the ingredients list, or not being able to understand the list. Kohu Road ice cream on the other hand uses fresh ingredients, has real chocolate in their chocolate ice cream, and is handmade. It is the real deal.
We also got the chance to witness the roasting of coffee led by Jacob of Mt Atkinson Coffee. We got to smell the beans at their different stages of roasting. It began with a grassy, hay aroma that reminded us of popcorn.
We left the event starving having gone straight from work, but more knowledgeable than before. I will be looking out for any E codes, preservatives and additives in my ice cream at my next trawl through the freezer aisle, and
possibly most likely pick up some delicious Kohu Road tubs while I’m there (Green Tea and Salted Caramel please!). If you don’t want to take the plunge with the $20/litre, go for the small sample tubs first which sell for $4.50 each. Find out where you can buy it here.
44B Portage Road, New Lynn, Auckland
We’ve photographed a number of other Yelp Elite Events since these: Sake Night, Dairy Dream, and Foxes Island. Over time the events have evolved above and beyond just food and products. They’ve become more interactive and we’ve left even more knowledgable than before.
There was an organic coffee cupping session at Kokako Organics –
And lastly the most recent make-your-own coffee at Three Beans and beer tasting at Brothers Brewery with snacks from Scratch Bakers –
Check out how you can become an Elite here to attend all these awesome events, and of course feature in our photos – surely you all want that.
It’s been a long time since we last checked in (sorry!), but we have been busy on the food front so more posts to come! We recently attended and photographed Yelp’s latest Elite Event at The Kapiti Store on Shortland Street. As many other Yelpers would agree, this was for sure the best event yet (Alex you have outdone yourself).
- (Chardonnay) Aorangi Traditional Brie: 6-8 weeks age. With a subtle mushroom flavour, this was delicious.
- (Pinot Gris) Ramara Washed Rind: 6-8 weeks age. Definitely our favourite of the night. Super creamy and incredibly smooth and soft. It was great smeared on top of the bread.
- (Syrah) Smoked Havarti: 6-8 weeks age.
- (Merlot) Tuteremoana Cheddar: 3-4 years.
- (Cabernet Sauvignon) Kikorangi Triple Cream Blue: 4-6 months. We’re not quite blue cheese fanatics but this was enjoyable. It’s very rich and a shocker to the taste buds on the first go. As Rachel mentioned, the best before label for cheese is often dependent on personal tastes. She gave us a sample of one that was one month past expiration. It was on another level, so much stronger and bolder. Let’s just say I’m not in a hurry to leave my cheese out past it’s best before.
For dessert there was of course ice cream. The four flavours were blueberry muffin, chocolate hazelnut crunch, lemongrass and ginger, and nectarine and muscavado. We loved the blueberry and the chocolate. We also tried a little dairy float with some Stoneleigh Sparkling Sauvignon.
More event photos here.
Every Yelp event we walk away with at least one new product in mind to buy later on for ourselves, like the Ramara cheese this time, the Sparkling Mio from our Sake night (click here), and the Riesling from Foxes Island (click here). Word is these events are only going to get better, I would say hurry and become a Yelp Elite member now so you don’t miss out! (Find out how here.)
Also on the side, although it’s a little late notice. Tomorrow (3rd Dec) will be the last Yelp event for the year and everybody is invited! It will be held at Jetset Bohemian with food backing a great cause: donating shoes to the Philippines. With every donation you also get some sweet discounts. The same event is happening across Australia and Singapore. More details here. Come along, bring some shoes, and don’t forget to say hi!
The Kapiti Store
19 Shortland Street, Auckland Central.
We were invited to Yelp’s third Auckland Elite Event, and this time as photographers! Since Kely was busy at university, with camera and friend in tow I took one for the team.
Guests were greeted with a glass of Foxes Island Riesling on arrival – an award-winning wine and my favourite of the night. I’d first tried Riesling when dining at Sails, and I’ve been reminiscent ever since. This was beautiful. Its sweet and fruity flavour was just right for novice drinkers like myself. The hint of white peach and jasmine creates a very fresh finish. I would’ve had a few more sips if I weren’t busy snapping away…
To complement the wine there was a selection of cheese from Whangaripo Buffalo Cheese and bread baked by Bread and Butter Bakery. The cheese supplied was St Malo, Marin Blue and St Augustine (Brie White). I enjoyed St Malo the most. The creaminess was unmatchable.
In John (owner of Foxes Island) and his partner, Kelly’s short introduction, he touched upon his inspiration as a winemaker and the process to making one of New Zealand’s best wine. We were then offered Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir (the ‘holy grail’). The Pinot Noir had more of a potent earthy aroma. The wine was denser and had a punch of spice to it.
Having seen the bottle circle around some of Auckland’s best eateries, I was delighted to finally have a drink of the pure New Zealand water, Antipodes. Rated the purest water on Earth, Morven talked about how Antipodes sourced water from a deep aquifer of more than 327m deep underground (roughly the same height as the Sky Tower!). The water has been there for more than 300 years so was the purest around. Antipodes has low mineral levels so will not corrupt out palates, wine’s best companion.
It was definitely a wonderful opportunity. I was able to reconnect with some of the Yelpers I met last time at the Sake Tasting at Ponsonby and other new Yelpers. Thanks to Alex for inviting us again.
For more photos click here .
Foxes Island City Door Cellar.
15C Williamson Avenue, Ponsonby, Auckland.