contemporary new zealand dining

Introducing The Lanky Chef (TLC)

Thinking about the beginnings of the lanky chef (TLC) I would say it has to go back to the mid 1960's; sitting cross-legged on the grass by the veggie patch of my parents 1/4 acre section husking corn cobs destined for the freezer and ultimately winter lunches after saturday sports. Then sucking the flesh from the golden queen peach stones my mother discarded as she prepared them for bottling, destined for breakfast fruit and peach crumbles.

These times taught me the joys of capturing the ripeness of the season to later enjoy and create dishes evoking the seasons past. 

As time has gone on and my culinary skills and tastes have developed, I find myself eagerly awaiting the next seasonal fruit or vegetable to create my own preserve, many from the traditional old kitchen and others with my own creative whim.

The winter of 2012 was a most productive one and most days would see me chopping, steeping, poaching, measuring, reducing and generally stood in the kitchen over the large preserving pan ready to choose the moment to put into jars the newest seasonal concoction. My pose in the kitchen lead to Debbie conceptualising the lanky chef logo and name for our product range.

 mise en place

We have chosen to call our range mise en place which means 'basic preparation' and is an everyday task in a professional chef's kitchen. the lanky chef's mise en place are preparations to be used in further cooking both simple & complex.

Most  of our products we incorporate on our seasonal menu at TopSail using them as a component of the dish, an ingredient in the sauce or an accompaniment on the side. All of our mise en place we categorise to assist in understanding their uses and we have given some suggestions. Ultimately, however, they are all yummy and we recommend you taste and let them become your mise en place for your own culinary inspirations.

the lanky chef  fruit and vegetables are sourced almost exclusively from the Whangarei region, local markets, small growers and our own orchard. We use no preserving or setting agents. Instead we use fruit at the peak of its natural ripeness providing the best tastes and highest pectin to achieve intensity of flavour through gentle reduction.

Remember to cruise the lanky chef pantry next time you are at TopSail or swing by Wednesday to Saturday from 3pm


Ian Garner is the lanky chef!