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Horopito rubbed lamb with quinoa raisin carrot salad

Horopito rubbed lamb with quinoa raisin carrot salad


2 tsp Salt 
1/2 cup Raisins
2.5 cups Water 
1.5 cups Quinoa 
1/2 cup Chickpeas, drained and rinsed  
1 cup Carrot, grated 
1 Red onion, small, finely sliced
2 Tbsp Parsely, finely chopped
1/4 cup Silvered almonds
1 Spring onion, finely chopped
1 Freshly ground black pepper, to season
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Lemon, zested and juiced

1 Olive oil, to rub
2 Lamb fillets
1 Salt & freshly ground pepper, to season
2 Tbsp Horopito seasoning



  1. To make the salad, put the raisins into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 15 minutes before draining.
  2. Put the quinoa into sieve and wash until the water runs clear. Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil, then add 2 tsp of salt. Pour in the quinoa and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the quinoa, stir and leave while cooking the lamb. This salad is good for up to three days.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200C. Heat a frying pan. Rub the lamb with olive oil and season well. Sprinkle over the horopito and massage in. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan and sear on all sides until golden brown. Finish cooking in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove, cover with tinfoil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the salad.
  • Claire Be
Sustainable Foraging for NZ Native Herbs

Sustainable Foraging for NZ Native Herbs

CHARLES ROYAL is a true forager. This term is rather loosely bandied around the food world at the moment. Its meaning is to hunt and gather from the wild. Before crop cultivation and the farming of animals, foraging was essential for man’s survival. It takes knowledge and skill to know what to gather and use and to do so in a way that allows nature to replenish her larder. Charles has a store house of this information.

After 10 years in the Army Catering Division and more years with Air New Zealand’s flight kitchens, Charles followed his heart to work on the land of his ancestors and spend as much time as possible in his beloved native bush. He sought knowledge from the elders in his area. They shared their stories of food gathering, cooking, preserving and trading from times before European contact.

This led him to develop a range of native seasonings, Kinaki wild herbs, and also incorporate indigenous plants into his cooking. Charles does not deliver “bush tucker”. His food is presented in a sophisticated way that brings together contemporary style with ancient ingredients and techniques. He has begun another Rotorua-based enterprise. Collaborating with other local tour-operators, Charles leads food-based experiences that include sailing to one of Lake Rotoiti’s islands, foraging in the bush, cooking demonstrations, soaking in secret hot pools and of course tasting some uniquely New Zealand food.

The groups are kept small and with warmth and charm Charles reveals what is normally unnoticed on a bush walk, what may be eaten and how to sustainably harvest. One feels in the presence of a forest guardian.

We followed Charles on a mini gathering expedition. He pointed out kawakawa, explaining how to pick the small leaves with holes for food use. This plant has multiple properties and is also widely used in Maori medicine. It has a sharp peppery taste with a tongue numbing effect similar to Sichuan pepper. The larger leaves are used for drying and grinding into a seasoning.

At this time of the year there is abundant wood ear fungus on offer. Leaving the smallest to keep growing, we gathered some to cook. These fungi were exported in vast quantities to China in the late 19th century. Piripiri vine has a growing tip with a natural snap point (like asparagus) and tastes like a cross between a pea and a bean. Refreshingly crisp to eat raw, it can also be steamed. The vine was used to weave cray pots in earlier days. Pikopiko looks a bit like bracken in form. There are many varieties of this fern and it can be used as a vegetable, dried and re-hydrated or as decoration. My very cool little local bar uses the fronds as a swizzle stick in cocktails. A blend of pikopiko, horopito and cayenne pepper form a piripiri seasoning produced under the Kinaki label.

Once back to the side of the lake Charles fired up the barbecue and made us some food. He brought along some hummus and pesto made with his products, a loaf of his soda bread spiralled with pikopiko, and a drink of lemon splash with a leaf of kawakawa added for extra zing. We watched as his professional chef side emerged. Organised and efficient, some main course tastings and desserts were created and savoured beside the shining lake water edged by dark dense hills. Only in Rotorua, Aotearoa

Credits: Grant Allen for the article and © Jason Burgess for the photos. 

  • Claire Be
SKYCITY Variety of Chefs

SKYCITY Variety of Chefs

Rachael Speedy from NZ Premium Foods attended the SKYCITY Variety of Chefs event that raised over $75,000 for the Variety Club helping kiwi kids in need.  Read the full article here




  • Claire Be
The Fabulous Baker Boy

The Fabulous Baker Boy

Check out this article below about foodies NZ Native Herbs in the restaurant and cafe magazine...

Baker Sam Heaven has collaborated with NZ Premium Foods to bring a distinctly New Zealand flavour to his winning dishes, fusing fresh New Zealand indigenous herbs with classic recipes. Items such as his Horopito croissants and petitgrain sous vide salmon loin with grilled Pikopiko reflect a strong family heritage and innovative style.

Heaven is representative of a new generation of chefs – collaborative as well as innovative. Evidence of this approach is in his teaming up with Rachael Speedy, managing director of NZ Premium Foods.  Seedy believes that the rediscovery of indigenous ingredients is helping define exactly what New Zealand cuisine is.

“NZ Premium Foods are supporting a growing trend from foraging to fine dining,” she said. “These new flavours are being added to fish, cheese and even ice-cream”. Of the movement towards using New Zealand indigenous herbs Heaven said, “it’s like getting a new toy to play with but without the worry of foraging and unknown nasties.”

Presently, Heaven is focussed on preparing for the year ahead, developing a training schedule with his World Skills chef coach and psychologically preparing for the Russian competition with a mental skills coach to help optimise his performance.




  • Claire Be
Consultancy Project Success

Consultancy Project Success

NZ Premium Foods collaborates with the University of Auckland Business School allowing students studying for the Masters Programme to undertake significant consultancy projects.

Lu Liang was a recent student who provided us with a very comprehensive report  answering the question "Is there a food service opportunity in Shanghai for the NZ Premium Foods product range?"

Lu's report was of an extremely high standard and gave us valuable information. We are very proud of her as she received an A for the consultancy project and a distinction award (GPA 7 and above).  Lu is now the proud owner of a Masters in International Business.





  • Claire Be
Bakery of the Year

Bakery of the Year

NZ Premium Foods would like to congratulate Heaven's Bakery in Napier for  winning Bakery of the Year!  NZ Premium Foods is collaborating with Sam Heaven who is 3rd generation of the Heaven family.
  • Claire Be