Paula Hulburt

Guest judges, from left, Saulo Camillo Nunes, Jesse Mulligan, Fiona Fenwick and Summa MacDonald. Photo: Anthony Phelps.

Perfect pie pair

The pies have been tasted, the wines sipped, and a winner found.

After weeks of searching, the winner of the 2020 Ultimate Burleigh Pie Pairing has been announced.

Jamaican lamb pie and Spätlese Riesling 2017 took out the top spot, beating a record 47 entries from around the region.

Judge and challenge co-founder says the level of interest shows just how much the annual competitions means to people.

“We knew that The Burleigh is the go – to for most folks to satisfy their pie cravings, but this level of involvement has blown us away yet again.

“What started as a few friends getting together over a pie and deciding it was about time the perfect tipple was picked to pair alongside has grown to something really special.”

All $2350 raised through entry fees will be donated to the Marlborough Foodbank.

The winning entry will receive bragging rights, a boxed French brie and their name on the prestigious Burleigh Pairing Trophy.

The four judges – television personality Jesse Mulligan , Marlborough Media co-owner Summa MacDonald, along with Saulo Camillo Nunes, owner of Gramado’s Restaurant, and Fiona Fenwick, – carried out a blind taste test, with official adjudication to ensure fairness all round.

Summa, from Marlborough Media, who sponsored the event, says it was a tough job, but she was happy to help.

“So many delicious pies and wines didn’t make it easy for the judges, but we are a committed crew and somehow pushed through.

“I was genuinely very impressed with the high quality of the entries but not surprised as, living in Marlborough myself, I know that we consistently punch above our weight when it comes to food and wine.”

The winners:

Chicken, Leek & Mushroom – Misty Cove: Landmark Chardonnay 2019

Jerk Chicken – Churton: Natural State Field Blend 2020                        

Vegetarian – Brancott Estate: Fumé Blanc 2011

Mince and Cheddar – Lake Chalice: Lake Chalice Vineyard Selection Merlot 2015

Steak and Blue Cheese – Saint Clair: Saint Clair Rapaura Merlot 2019

Steak, Mushroom and Truffle – Rockferry: The Corners Nebbiolo 2016

Steak and Mushroom – Wither Hills: ‘The Honourable’ Pinot Noir 2016

Steak and Bacon – Novum: Pinot Noir 2019       

Pork Belly – Greywacke: Chardonnay 2013

Jamaican Lamb – Astrolabe: Astrolabe Spätlese Riesling 2017

Wildcard Beverage award:  Devon’s Lemon, Honey & Ginger cordial

The final category in the competition was the public entry, where a new Burleigh Pie flavour could be designed from local ingredients.

The winner was Myal King, 8, with a Tuscan Beef pie with rich parmesan pastry.

The CACTUS crew work hard delivering a programme that helps young people build on their skills. Photo: Anthony Phelps.

Sponsorship boost for youth

An initiative geared to helping build life skills and confidence in young people has been given a $90,000 boost.

Marlborough Lines will sponsor the CACTUS (Combined Adolescent Challenge Training Unit Support) programme in Blenheim and Picton.

Over the next three years, staff have pledged to fund $30,000 a year.

Marlborough Lines chief executive Tim Cosgrove says the programme is a good fit with the company’s ideals.

“It has a good spread across the region and is really youth-focused… the programme is already in place, it’s well-run and has clearly demonstrated results.

“It’s the sort of thing we’re proud to support and commit to.”

More than 650 young people have taken part in the eight-week course since 2008.

Three mornings a week, participants take part in intensive training between 6am and 7am, building up to the Longest Day, when all their skills are put together in a series of exercises.

Marlborough Youth Trust trustee and police officer Dean Buckley says the proof of CACTUS’ success is its longevity.

“If it wasn’t as successful, it wouldn’t be going still.”

He says the course helps youth in all aspects, improving their resilience and teamwork among other things.

“It’s quite powerful on the CV as well. Often young people don’t have much to put on their CV, but this is great.

“Employers see this young person has a bit of go, a bit of commitment.”

Youth mentor Reuben Molnar says CACTUS is an “awesome” programme.

“From day one, to the finish of the programme, huge improvements in self-confidence, fitness levels, and building a connection, building a tribe, and able to connect into other things we do, events and other activities.”

Marlborough Youth Trust chair Russell Smith says the course really has a long-lasting effect.

“This sponsorship will give certainty to a programme that we know has results. It means our staff time can be put into things we want to be doing like youth development rather than chasing their tails to find finance to make things work,” he says.

Year 1 girls’ winners, from left, Xadie Goodall, Caelyn Sterling and Sweetness Materoa-Mondou. Photo: Andy Facer.

Pupils’ pop of colour

Children at Redwoodtown School shone as they celebrated the start of the holidays in colourful style.

The school’s annual colour run was blessed with blue skies and sunshine as students showed off their sporting skills.

Principal Aaron Vercoe says the event was a great success, made even more special as spectators were allowed on school grounds again.

“It was a great day and our students, whanau and staff always look forward to it.

“Even more exciting this year with so many events being cancelled due to Covid.”

Aaron and Isaac Piper from Cloudy Bay Clams are helping raise money for charity with a giant paella. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

All in good taste for charity

Charity begins at home for local businesses keen to help cook up a storm for charity.

Cloudy Bay Clams will be creating a massive paella to sell at Bayley’s Friday Night Feast.

All proceeds from food sold from their stall on the night will be donated to Kids Can and the Life Education Trust.

When owners and operators Isaac and Kerry Piper put word out about what they were doing, a bevy of businesses quickly jumped on board to help.

The response has been humbling, Isaac says.

“This is about good people coming together as a collective under the Cloudy Bay Clams umbrella and giving back to the local community.

“There’s a lot going on in the world right now and we want to focus on the community, do something good.”

The giant paella will use about 40kg of clams and be created by Christchurch restaurant owner and chef Javier Garcia, who is donating his time and skills for free.

Owner of the Curator’s House, he has also lent the huge dish on which the traditional Spanish dish will be cooked.

Cloudy Bay Wines are kindly sponsoring Jack’s Raw Bar, says business development manager Aaron Piper who will be at the event to help shuck clams.

Bayley’s Friday Night gets underway this Friday in Blenheim town centre from 3.30pm until 8.30pm.

The popular family-friendly event will feature a range of local businesses and chefs as well as live music.

“Anybody Cloudy Bay Clans reached to and asked if they wanted to be involved said ‘Totally. What can we do to help?’”

“The response has been humbling,” Aaron says.

“What’s really exciting is that everyone wants to be involved.

‘It’s a great community here and the support has been amazing.

Cloudy Bay Clams and Jack’s Raw Bar will be set up in the forum on the night.

One hundred percent of all money made on the night will go to charity.

Businesses who have contributed with time, expertise and ingredients are:

  • Curators House
  • Boom Town Beer
  • Origin South
  • Boom Town Chef
  • Karaka Cuisine
  • Marlborough Tour Company
  • Imagine Signs
  • Saffron Marlborough
  • Mills Bay Mussels
  • Chateau Marlborough
  • Imagine Signs
  • Cloudy Bay Wines
  • Ora King Salmon
Angus and Ratapu Moore with their children. Photo: Supplied.

Shearing gang’s support for grieving dad

When the son of one of their own was killed in a recent road accident, a local shearing gang was left heartbroken.

Angus and Te Moore have been in the shearing industry for 16 years and have run a contracting business based in Seddon for the last five.

Their 12-person shearing gang is like a family, so when one of its members lost a son in a road accident it hit them all hard, says Te.

To show their support, the gang and farmer rallied round and donated all the proceeds from a day’s shearing to their colleague.

Now he’s repaid that kind gesture by shouting them all tickets to the Farmstrong Comedy Night Show at Awatere, Seddon.

Nationwide rural wellbeing programme Farmstrong is putting on two comedy shows for Marlborough’s farming community.

It has been a trying time for the team and getting the tickets was a great surprise.

Having something to look forward to helps, says Te.

“We’re really looking forward to going out for a night together and just having a laugh and a few beers. We didn’t even know he’d bought us tickets, so it was a nice surprise.”

The Seddon farming community has been through a lot in recent times with earthquakes, drought and Covid-lockdown, so the shows are well-timed, she says

“This is a great chance to come together and celebrate our resilience as a community.”

The shows feature an all-star line-up of comedians Nick Rado, Melanie Bracewell, Tevita Manukia and Tarun Mohanbhai.

Farmstrong project lead Gerard Vaughan says the ups and downs of farming can take a toll on people and the organisation is there to help,

“We help farmers cope with the ups and downs of farming by sharing things they can do to look after themselves and their teams.

“Encouraging farmers to get off the farm, have a laugh and socialise at events like this is one of the best ways we can do that.

“Our message to farmers is grab your mates and neighbours and treat them to a cracking night of comedy for a great cause.”

Te says that having worked in the farming industry for so long, she knows how important it is to be open about pressures that come with the job.

Their team are right behind Farmstrong.

“It’s definitely raised awareness amongst the farmers and shearers we work with about the importance of looking after yourself.

“We’ve noticed people are a lot more open to discussing the pressures they’re facing or listening to others who might be under the pump.”

“The friendships and connections you build are a big part of dealing with those challenges.”

“That’s why Farmstrong putting on these shows is a great idea. It strengthens those relationships.”


Show details

9 October, Woodbourne, Woodbourne Tavern, doors open 6.00 pm, show starts 7.00 pm

10 October Seddon, Awatere Memorial Hall, doors open 6.00 pm, show starts 7.00 pm.

Tickets are available online at Type Farmstrong in the search to find the event. Tickets are $20.

Roger Randall on his clinker with grandson Toby Randall. Photo: Supplied.

Vintage boats mark new season

A small flotilla of classic boats took to the water to mark the start of a new season.

Members of the Picton Clinker & Classic Boat Club celebrated the start of warmer weather, taking their lovingly restored vessels up the Pelorus River from Havelock.

Known as the Ice Breaker, the annual trip marks the start of a series of monthly trips out and about in the Marlborough Sounds.

Club commodore Roger Randall, who joined the club three years ago, says the boats are named after the way they are built.

“It’s a method where the hull planks are overlapped.”

Based in Picton and meeting on the first Monday each month, the club has members from all walks of life, but the majority are retired.

But younger people enjoy it too, Roger says.

“It’s messing about on old boats. From the moment my grandson Toby first came out he was hooked – he thinks of it as his boat.”

Clinker, which can date back decades, can be borrowed from the club or new members can hitch a lift with others to give it a go.

The club ensures safe and interesting adventures on their runs.

“We’ve got members from all across the community and it really is good fun,” Roger says.

To find out more about the club, contact Roger on: 572 7172.

Rhys Hall from Indevin. Photo: Supplied.

Grape expectations

Rhys Hall from Indevin will be pitting his wits against five other finalists next month competing for the coveted NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year title.

The talented finalist I hoping to take out the top spot at the milestone event, which will also mark the competition’s 15th anniversary.

Since 2006 the initiative has helped support passionate, young viticulturists grow, reach their goals and move into leadership roles within the wine industry.

Leadership & Communities Manager at NZ Winegrowers Nicky Grandorge is welcoming a chance for the industry to celebrate after a tumultuous few months.

This year’s National Final is being held in conjunction with the celebration so the fifteenth winner -The Corteva NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year 2020 – will be announced at the dinner.

“In this challenging year, it is fantastic that we have made it through our six regional finals and are able to hold the National Final.

“This, along with reaching the fifteen-year milestone, is certainly something to celebrate and a wonderful opportunity to bring our passionate, big thinking winners together, many of whom are now senior leaders in our industry.” Nicky says.

The celebrations take place on 8 October in Martinborough.

Police are appealing for sightings of missing 31-year-old Melissa Ewings from Clarence.

Police appeal for sightings of missing woman

Police are appealing for sightings of missing 31-year-old Melissa Ewings from Clarence.

Melissa told a friend she was going for a walk to the Clarence River on Sunday afternoon.

She was reported missing when she didn’t turn up for work yesterday.

Melissa’s friends and family have serious concerns for her welfare and police urge anyone who may have seen her in the Clarence area on Sunday to contact 105, quoting file number 200922/5064.

Chateau Marlborough manager Lynley, McKinnon, Marlborough Hospice nurse manager Sarah Hammond and Quench restaurant chef Maree Connolly. Photo: Supplied.

Food heroes help hospice

Helping hospice staff prepare for lockdown has seen a Marlborough restaurant recognised for their efforts.

For several years, kind-hearted staff at Chateau Marlborough have donated meals to Marlborough Hospice.

And when lockdown level 4 loomed, they pulled out all the stops to make sure there were plenty of meals ready for patients.

The move saw the team nominated for a NZ Food Heroes award – and now they are through to the finals.

Chef Maree Connolly from the hotel’s Quench Restaurant helps create the evening meals for patients to enjoy.

Hospice fundraiser and events coordinator Sandy Inwood says staff were delighted to be able to nominate them for the award.

“They have done this now for several years and just prior to lockdown they made sure there were enough meals to cover the entire lockdown period.

“The team at Hospice are very, very grateful for their support and generous donation.”

The campaign, launched with the support of Massey University, was launched by the New Zealand Food Awards earlier this year.

It aims to showcase behind-the-scenes efforts of local food producers, charities and individuals to ensure communities had access to quality food as part of the pandemic response.

Massey University’s national events and sponsorship manager, Kelly Douglas, says the range of food heroes is heart-warming.

“It reveals the astonishing scope and scale of innovation and community spirit unleashed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she says.

The winner will be announced at a celebration dinner in Auckland on 8 October.

The Witherlea School choir took to the stage. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Sing stars

Marking the end of term with a learning showcase, Witherlea School pupils welcomed parents and caregivers back on school grounds.

Pupils across all year groups kept teachers, parents and caregivers entertained with a variety of performances on Friday afternoon.

Ranging from Tukana (senior) Kapa Hapa to jump jam groups and Teina (junior) Kapa Haka, the day was a way to mark student’s learning and progress.

It is the first time in Alert Level 1 that the school community has been able to celebrate together.

Principal Andrea Harnett praised staff, students and caregivers for their support during an “up and down year with Covid.”