2007 Culinary Quills Awards

Guild of Food WritersI had the pleasure of judging the Electronic Media Award (websites and TV shows) category in the 2007 Culinary Quills Awards several months ago. The award ceremony was held today at the Boatshed here on Wellington harbour, on a beautifully still clear day that Wellington does so well – at least that was the story we told the Aucklanders.

I can now announce the worthy winners.

Food Section Journalism Award: Kate Fraser, The Press

Electronic Media Award: Richard Till , A Kiwi Kitchen

Gastronomy Award: “Consuming Roses”, Mary Brown and Helen Leach

Visual Food Styling Award: “Delicious Liaison”, Fiona Smith with photography by Aaron McLean

Tui Flower Recipe Award: Fiona Smith, “Presents with a Past”

Education, Health and Nutrition Award: Fiona Carruthers, “Why we crave”, Healthy Food Guide

Book of the Year: “Taking Tea in the Medina”, Julie le Clerc

Emerging Writer of the Year: Lindsay Neill, “Comer Con Gusto”

Recipe Book of the Year: “Beach, Bach, Boat, Barbecue 2” by Penny Oliver, photography by Ian Batchelor.

Congratulations to all the finalists and the winners.

“I can manage $6 billion – truly!”

John McGrathRevealed today in the newspaper that John McGrath , mayoral hopeful, owes creditors tens of thousands of dollars for his new drinking venture, Buena Vista Social Club .

Now, it’s not unusual to rack up huge debts getting a business off the ground, so maybe this story is a bit of a beat up by the Prendergast-lovers at the Dominion Post.

And it’s probably easy to find people keen to slag off high profile wannabes.

But we should take into consideration that a man who was adjudged bankrupt and whose campaign cry is “Leadership” may not be the best person to be looking after $6 billion dollars worth of assets.

And is it just me, or do others find his billboards just a bit too flippant. It’s policy we want to hear about John – as tedious as that may be for you…

Cars and councillors

What is it with old cars.

I spotted Ray Ahipene-Mercer driving round in some old gas-hungry 1940′s roadstar covered in placards. I thought it was kind of cute in a gimmicky way.

Then, lo and behold, the very same day I see Bryan Pepperell driving what looked like a 1930′s baby Austin, again covered in placards.

What is it with these two? I have to say neither of them looked particularly happy – perhaps they both know how the polls are going.

I’ve looked for some popularity polls without success but then Wellington probably doesn’t need to be polled – in the face of no competition Kerry is likely to win again [sigh].

National to scrap cap

Here’s a good reason to not vote National next year.

National are going to scrap the cap on the fee you pay to your GP, so effectively your doctor will be able to charge you more.

National leader John Key said the competitive market would ensure doctors’ fees did not go through the roof.

Raising the fees you pay to see your doctor is part of National’s discussion document on health and is designed to “put people first”.

Goodness knows how that is going to happen. John Key reckons that if your doctor charges you too much you’ll go down the road to someone else.

  • In some small towns there is no-one else
  • We develop relationships with our doctors – we shouldn’t have to change based on cost
  • The only ones to win out of this are the doctors

People seeking health care shouldn’t have to compete for it based on market forces. Sure, we all want a more efficient health system, but letting the health professionals name their price is not the way to go about it. Without doubt it will mean that some folk in the community will decide not to seek help…and ultimately this will end up costing the nation more.

Bad policy John. This will bite you on the arse – but you (unlike many) will be able to afford to get it treated.

Wellington news…

Yesterday someone with a sense of humour put up a poster advertising a fake newspaper called New Standard.

The headline ran:

“Rickard says sorry – gives back $500,000″

Yeah, right!

All Grey

All Blacks vs ScotlandSpot the difference.

I woke this morning and threw on the TV to watch the last half of the All Blacks play Scotland. I had heard on Morning Report that they were wearing the alternative strip. Naturally I figured that’d be fair enough. Scotland wear dark blue and in the dim light of the northern hemisphere autumn it’d be difficult to tell the difference between dark blue and black.

Imagine my surprise then when watching the game I couldn’t tell who was who – it almost looked like Scotland was playing a tactical disguise – perhaps they thought that if the All Blacks got a try then the ref might confuse them with Scotland.

Have a look at the picture and tell me it isn’t so.

UPDATE: Read about the debacle

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