A special dinner held at Oamaru’s historic Pen-y-bryn Lodge last night (November 13) showcasing the Italian cuisine of iconic New Zealand chef Jo Seagar has been judged “a huge success”.
The legendary chef said she was “delighted” with the enthusiastic response she had from Pen-y-bryn diners to her Italian-inspired cuisine, while co-hosts and passionate foodies James Glucksman and James Boussy could not have been happier with the sell-out event.
"We were so happy to welcome Jo Seagar and her many fans from Oamaru, Christchurch and elsewhere to Pen-y-bryn for a relaxed evening of great food and wine,” said Mr Glucksman.
"Jo's book ‘Italia’ was a real pleasure to work with. During the weeks before the dinner I tried out a large number of recipes for the night’s menu, and couldn’t find one that wasn’t delicious. The only problem was deciding which of the many great recipes to choose!"
Ms Seagar said it was “a delight” to be able to share some of her tips and tricks on how to produce traditional Italian dishes with the two Jameses, their visitors and Oamaru guests.
“I absolutely adore Italian food, the fresh flavours and just how easy it can be to throw together a beautiful feast for family and friends,” she said.
“The food served came together superbly thanks to the divine fresh local produce used on the night, and the stunning wine matches.”
Ms Seagar said she was also thrilled to have raised $150 through ticket sales for her charity of choice, Otago and South Canterbury Hospices. Jo Seagar has been the proud Patron of Hospice New Zealand since 1999, a voluntary role which takes her to many events throughout the country each year.
As well as the success of the dinner, it also proved a winner for award winning Central Otago winemaker Olssens which notched up good wine sales to guests, the Oamaru Paperplus store which sold out of copies of the ‘Italia’ cookbook, and the lucky overnight guests who enjoyed breakfast with Jo the following morning.
Mr Glucksman said he and James Boussy looked forward to organising many such events in the future.
"Pen-y-bryn is such a great venue for hosting an event like this,” he said.
“In addition to enjoying Jo Seagar's wonderful dishes, guests also had a chance to spend time in this magnificent house and wander our beautiful gardens."
The ‘Italia’ Menu:-
Frico —Parmesan crisps with fennel and cumin seeds
Crostini with blue cheese and black olive tapenade
Fried crumbed olives
Olssens 2010 Annieburn Riesling
Country-style white bean soup
Olssens 2009 Chardonnay
Pork fillets with grapes, white wine and rosemary
Oven-roasted asparagus with fried capers
Oamaru Jersey Benne potatoes squashed with fresh bay leaves and lemon
Olssens 2009 Slapjack Creek Pinot Noir
Olssens 2011 Pinot Gris
Apple and Lemon Torta
Olssens 2010 Desert Gold dessert Riesling
More about Pen-y-bryn Lodge and the Jameses
Pen-y-bryn Lodge is a small luxury hotel offering exclusive Lodge-style accommodation in five elegant and superbly appointed guestrooms with modern en-suite facilities in a hillside location overlooking historic Oamaru with views of sea and mountains.
Pen-y-bryn Lodge was built in 1889 for Oamaru businessman John Bulleid, who gave the building a Welsh name meaning “On Top of the Hill”. Reputedly the largest single-level wooden structure in Australasia, the house retains many of its original furnishings and fittings, giving it a very elegant, yet comfortable, feeling. Converted into a lodge in the mid-1990s, and bearing five Qualmark stars, Pen-y-bryn offers guests a rare combination of authentic Kiwi heritage and modern convenience.
Hosts James Glucksman and James Boussy (aka ‘the Jameses’), purchased Pen-y-bryn in 2010. Born in the United States, they lived and travelled all over the world before deciding to make their home in Oamaru.
Before Pen-y-bryn, James Glucksman had a career in international management consulting and healthcare for more than 20 years, living and working in more than forty countries all over the world. Fluent in Russian and Chinese, and with a very good knowledge of French, Spanish and German (as well as some limited Japanese and Hungarian), James' first love was always fine food and wine. He is a member of the Slow Food movement (the international organisation that promotes local and sustainable foods) and is an Officier Maître Hôtelier (I have since been elevated to Chancelier of the NZ chapter of the Chaîne) in the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the Paris-based gourmet society, in the Bailliage of Christchurch.
James Boussy was a dentist who practiced in the US state of Virginia for 15 years before moving his practice to Beijing. James is also a highly skilled baker, gardener and home renovator, and has made a name for himself among his friends for the exquisite gingerbread houses that he creates as the centrepiece of their annual Christmas party.
Jo Seagar’s new book "Italia", Simple Cook School Recipes from Italy is being launched from October 2011.
‘Italia’ is inspired by Jo’s cook school in beautiful Umbria. It shows cooks how to make classic Italian recipes the easy way. In true "easy peasy" manner, authentic doesn't have to mean difficult. Its classic gnocchi, risotto, making pasta and pizza bases, and many other traditional Italian cooking through simple step-by-step instructions.
The book takes readers through an Italian feast -- antipasto, small first courses, salads and vegetables, gnocchi, risotto and polenta, pasta; breads and pizza; meat, chicken, game and fish, desserts (eg Mama's tiramisu); baking, and drinks (eg Papa's limoncello).