Thursday, May 8, 2014


If you are in New Zealand and like to learn some new recipes, Ruth Pretty is the person you need to meet and her pretty home in Springfield in Kapiti Coast is where you should be headed!

I have been to Ruth Pretty's house where she conducts the most interesting and innovative cooking classes so I can swear on my ancestors' souls inside Forbidden City it is worth the trip! 

Recently I had the privilege of cooking a dinner for five very special guests, hosted by Prime Minister John Key at Premier House. Guests of honour were The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 

Planning for this auspicious occasion had begun in February leaving time to ripen cheese. Following on from dessert it had been decided that an outstanding selection of New Zealand artisan cheeses would be served. 

I am extremely proud of New Zealand cheeses and Steven Scheckter at On Trays, handpicked six of the best. They were in perfect condition and truly relished. The cheese trolley contained Whitestone Maxi Mt Domet, Over the Moon Galactic Gold, Cwymglyn, Crescent Dairy Farmhouse Sting, Karikaas Vintage Gouda and Kingsmeade Sunset Blue.

It was my job at the dinner to introduce and offer cheeses to assembled guests. When I walked into the room I could only think about my mother. She died six years ago aged 87 and I knew she would have been so proud of me. 

Betty was a staunch royalist and a wonderful dressmaker so growing up ‘best’ clothes were styled on English royal family fashion. Our woollen coats always had velvet pads on the elbows.

I wished I could have told her how beautiful and charming Princess Kate and Prince William are. I know she would have loved the menu and our kitchen could have whipped up an extra passionfruit pavlova for her to show to her friends. 

She would not have been surprised that I stuttered and stumbled over the name of Biddy’s cheese from Etekatuna and reverted to the Jersey cow’s name. Holly is so much easier to say than Cwymglyn even though I had been practicing.

On Mother’s Day I will be looking after many other mothers at our High Teas but at the end of day I will raise a glass to my own Mum Betty to thank her for everything she did for me.

You will see an exciting line up of classes in this newsletter and also the return of the much requested ‘Friday Night Fish and Chips’ at Springfield.

Thanks and regards,
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Camembert with Tomato Chilli Jam, Toasted Peanuts and Coriander
(serves 3-4)
Cheese Baker with Tomato Chilli Jam

Bread is the New Coffee
If exceptional crust, amazing flavour, irregular crumb and outstanding texture are what you want in a good loaf of bread, you need to be at this demonstration class with Dean Brettschneider. He’s not called the Global Baker for nothing. Join the global move to real bread.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Take Two Lively Ladies and Stir
If food and wine are made to be enjoyed together, then so are winemaker Helen Masters and food supremo Ruth Pretty. 

Expect stories, banter and laughter along with their sheer expertise as they match acclaimed Ata Rangi wines with a lunch of Ruth’s tasty shared plates. This is something truly special.

Photo courtesy of Peter Monk

Saturday 12 July 2014

A Date with Depot
Al Brown’s Depot Eatery in Auckland took off like a rocket from day one and has not stopped. It’s innovative, unpretentious, relaxed and just a bit quirky. Just like its Exec Chef Kyle Street, who will share some of Depot’s style, stories and hot favourites with you.
Photo courtesy of Alex McVinnie

Saturday 26 July and Sunday 27 July 2014

Friday Night Fish and Chips
Some things are classics for a good reason and Friday night fish & chips is one. Nothing says TGIF quite as well.
This is a really popular evening with Ruth and some guests are regulars. "The fish is as fresh as could be, the chips are crisp and soft in all the right places, and the fireside hospitality is generous,” they say. Get your friends together and find out for yourself.

Friday 6 June 2014

Mother's Day High Tea
Ruth’s stylish Garden Room awaits. Elegant food is being prepared. There are some places still available for the afternoon High Tea to celebrate Mother’s Day so maybe it’s time for you and some of the favourite mothers in your life to have a deliciously frivolous afternoon together?

Sunday 11 May 2014

A Pretty, Relaxed Garden Wedding
Carmelle and Christian wanted their late afternoon wedding to be a relaxed and special day with family and friends, celebrating with everyone they loved while also enjoying good food and wine. Ideally in a pretty country garden setting.
Their day – in Ruth Pretty’s Springfield garden beneath the claret ash trees and Chinese lanterns – was exactly how they dreamed it would be.

Red 26 cm Le Creuset Casserole
Invest in years of comforting slow-cooked culinary treats with the top name in cast-iron cookware. An excellent Mother's Day gift.
Tagine Medium
A classic piece of Moroccan cuisine for your kitchen: tagine means both the vessel itself and the slow-cooked contents.
Small Cheesecake Pan - 7.5cm
Small cheesecake pans, in a tray of 6, are a winner because individual servings are always appreciated.

Ruth Pretty Catering
PO Box 16041,
Te Horo 5544
41 School Road,
Te Horo, Kapiti Coast
Tel (06) 364-3161
Fax (06) 364-3262

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