At a very young age, Saint Clair Vineyard Kitchen Chef Katy Garbett knew the career path that she wanted to take.
Growing up with parents who shared their love of food and cooking with their children, Katy and her siblings were encouraged from early on to help out in the kitchen and once old enough, create dishes of their own using produce sourced from around Marlborough.
“I loved the way food brought people together and the happiness that it brings. I mean who doesn’t love food?!” she says.
With a career that was kicked started at the Clubs of Marlborough, Katy finished her apprenticeship at Speights Ale House before moving on to the Saint Clair Vineyard Kitchen.
Now in her second year at the Saint Clair Vineyard Kitchen she is getting the opportunity to shine a light on her love for Marlborough and passion for cooking by entering a dish into the Feast Marlborough Rare Fare competition.
The competition is designed to challenge local restaurants and cafes to create a dish which they felt represented the region. Each dish will be assessed by a local judge and if successful will then be judged by a panel of culinary experts from Cuisine Magazine, with the winner announced in the July edition of the magazine.
Tasked with the challenge of capturing the essence of Marlborough in a dish, Katy took inspiration from her childhood spent out in the Marlborough Sounds on their family boat, Argee Bargee.
“It was a bright yellow old army barge that my Dad ‘did up’. I realised then that I wanted to base my dish around these memories and the fresh seafood we would (and still do) catch and enjoy with friends and family.”
Katy’s entry dish incorporates three different types of beautiful Marlborough shellfish including Marlborough Mussels and Cloudy Bay Clams. The crowning glory of the dish is in the form of Okiwi Bay Oysters battered in Saint Clair’s Dawn Méthode Traditionnelle.
“Marlburians love to celebrate with bubbles… any chance we get, that’s when I came up with the idea to make a ‘champagne batter’ using our incredible Saint Clair Dawn Méthode Traditionnelle” Katy says.
Accompanied by a pea purée, fennel and fondant potatoes and topped off with vibrant yellow saffron aioli, the aesthetic of Argee Bargee and memories of the Marlborough Sounds have been well and truly captured in Katy’s first ever competition entry.
The dish is perfectly matched with Saint Clair Pioneer Block 28 Camp Block Pinot Blanc 2018 – a newly released, new varietal for Saint Clair which pairs well with the dish due to its fresh flavours and crisp, versatile palate.
With a wealth of fresh, local and high quality produce on our back door step, Katy believes it’s important to be making the most of these ingredients as they are readily available.
“We are so lucky here in Marlborough to have The Marlborough Sounds, local wine, freshly grown produce … all right at our fingertips.”
Katy’s delicious creation, “Down the Marlborough Sounds with ‘Argee Bargee’”, is available now from the Saint Clair Vineyard Kitchen until Sunday the 19th May, 2019.