First tastes of Spring

That taste of the first asparagus of the season – is that Spring? Or is it lamb? And that delicious contradiction of enjoying the bouncing of baby sheep in the fields around us and equally enjoying the taste of them served up with fresh mint.
Your first spring mouthful can set the standard for the tastes of the season to come. Get inspired and shout your tastebuds a treat with our Spring Feast @ Smiths on Friday 23 September. Book your place at info@operakitchen.co.nz.
Asparagus, Lamb, Whitebait, New Vintage Wines, Picnic Puddings, Shared Multicourse Dinner. $55pp

Dessert Bar best bar none

Fads are like butterflies. We net the nice ones, keep them in our collection, and so fads become classics. Others we admire but leave to float off. One that we have added to our offering is the dessert bar. It’s particularly perfect for weddings – although other celebrations benefit from this way of delivering deliciousness to guests –  and here’s seven golden reasons why:

  1. Nostalgia

Celebrations are about throwing out the everyday, being a bit silly and fun, dessert bars can help you re-acquaint yourself with your inner child. Our dessert bars are bespoke so we can bring back your halcyon days in a sweet and tasty way.

  1. Personality

A particular passion for hundreds and thousands? A penchant for peanut butter or nutella? Crazy over caramel? We can incorporate your favourite flavours into a dessert bar that suits your tastes and your style.

  1. Theming

Tying dessert into your event theme is a clever way to bring clarity to your vision. Colour choices or flourishes that reflect your special day mean there’s an overarching, integrated style that represents you.  Plus when everything is tied together the impact is unbeatable.

  1. Gifts and favours

Gifting a slice of your special day is a great way to thank your guests. With dessert bars there’s all sorts of ways to let people enjoy the spread and take a little something away for later. Whether it’s boxed favours or individual treats, dessert bars can serve up the perfect way to say “Thanks for being part of this special day”.

  1. Mix and mingle

Bite-sized morsels from a range of flavours can give your guests the opportunity to circulate through your party. With so many friends to reconnect with a selection of desserts that allows people to pop in a mouthful then chat is perfect.

  1. Portions and dietary requirements

Supporting guests to eat the way they want is an important part of playing host. There’s a range of reasons why people choose to eat, or not eat, certain things and we can work with you to make sure everyone is catered for. Another choice people make is to limit their portion size, or indulge on a special day. Whether you’re playing it safe or letting it all hang out, with a dessert bar we’ve got you covered.

  1. Diverse tastes

There’s no better way to cater for a wide range of guests and their diverse desires than with a dessert bar. You can have a number of different flavours, all available in one place. Chocoholic or fruit freak, nutty over berries or an affogato aficionado, we’ve got your yumminess needs sorted.

It’s about the chocolate

With Easter on its way it’s important to understand why we get these few days off: to be contemplative, in the loving arms of our family and friends, to consider what’s important, sacred even…

You understand this is about chocolate, right?

Chocolate has a long history as an item of great value, to be cherished and honoured. For devotees, Easter is a time of great celebration and reverence.

But mainstream purveyors of the hallowed hollow egg have desecrated the sacred bean. Followers must look further to feed their desires.

We understand so we’re doing our bit to bring quality product to the common people.

At The Picnic we honour chocolate and all it can evolve into. Like Pukeko eggs. Beautiful bon bons filled with surprises. Teddy bears. Teddy bears holding eggs. And choco pops with fried eggs on top!

Worship at the altar of yum with The Picnic this Easter. Life is too short to eat bad chocolate.

Quality Chocolate

Chris Mirams is our pastry chef at The Picnic and he’s in charge of all our chocolate work. He always says that quality work comes from quality ingredients. When it comes to chocolate that means using Valrhona.

Valrhona has a long and interesting history and it’s an outfit that’s set a benchmark for not just quality of product but for how we think about chocolate. Valrhona was the first chocolate maker to label their product with its percentage (of cocoa solids) and its origin. That origin has become all important and specifically in ensuring chocolate comes from a single origin rather than a rag-bag assortment of where ever was cheapest. Single origin chocolate links the product back to the growers and the plantations, meaning authenticity of product, trace-ability and accountability are all paramount.

The chocolate industry suffers in the way many luxury, high end industries do from exploitation and corruption. Valrhona was the first company to extricate itself from that and begin talking about their product in terms similar to wine and coffee, where it comes from, its credentials, the year it was grown, it’s ‘vintage’.

The iconic black bags of couverture, pellets and pearls are labelled with exotic names like Xocopili 72% and Araquani 72%, Guanaja 70%, Caraibe 66% and Tanariva 33%. They come from plantations in places like Ecuador and Madagascar. There’s a great respect for the people who grow the beans and the places that rely on the chocolate industry as an important part of their economic sustainability.

Valrhona was established in 1922 in France by pastry chef Alberic Guironnet. It’s been through a number of owners since then, taking its most recent name from a blend of Valley and Rhone where it originated. It’s a company with a strong tradition and with quality as its driving value. At The Picnic we choose to use it because of that quality. It means we can make the very best chocolate work. But also we support and respect the way the chocolate we make can be traced back to the people who grew the bean. When you taste our chocolate work you are validating a long history of quality craftsmanship, but also paying homage to the all the people and all their various skills that have worked so hard to make that mouthful possible.

Sugar Day

Maybe your day is Wednesday or maybe you save it for the weekend, but more and more people are circumventing sugar and keeping this simple pleasure to just one day a week. Then on that day, you treat yourself to the best and only the best. No rushed moro bar in the car for this sugar-free devotee.

Make The Picnic your place to unleash the sweet beast: You know you’re in for a treat when you see our display cabinets shining with Gold Cakes. We call them Gold Cakes because each little lovely sits on its own gold disc. Flavour combinations change weekly but which ever you choose you know your one sweet treat this week is worth it, and the flavour-memory will last through to next time.

You might save yourself for a few delicious chocolates, each with its own party of flavours happening inside. You might eat a donut. Or a cruffin – these are a specialty and they change everyday.

Sharing the experience is another lovely way to celebrate deliciousness. Call it a date and meet up with a mate. A quick sandwich at your desk can be balanced beautifully with a long black and a verrine. And because verrines are served in a jar make your sugar day last by eating half for lunchtime dessert and half for 3pm energy slump.

We change our flavours to suit our mood and what’s good from our suppliers. Check Instagram for flavour updates or just come in on your sugar-day and we’ll see you right.

At The Picnic we celebrate sugar by treating it well and using it cleverly. We sweeten in tandem with spice and sharpness, bitterness, citrus and sour. Sugar shouldn’t shout. It doesn’t need to. It plays a similar role to salt – and sometimes the two work together – in supporting other flavour profiles to be the best they can be.

Art Deco picnic in style

Art Deco Weekend is on this weekend in Napier. It’s our annual excuse to dress up and eat with the nice china.  And we all know nothing goes nicer with Art Deco than a picnic hamper full of goodies.  The Great Gatsby Picnic is a highlight of the Weekend so do it in style!  It’s Sunday 21 Feb from 1-5! This year, add a contemporary twist to your annual Art Deco outing with a box of yummies from The Picnic.  It’s up to you what to include but here’s what sounds good to us (for two): 2 tomato and mozzarella galettes, 2 ham and cheese croissants, 2 verrines, 2 small salad boxes, some chocolates and a bag of bite-sized cookies, all packed inside a pretty picnic box ready to go!  Come in to The Picnic or call us on 06 651 0194.

Happy Valentine’s

Love is in the air thanks to Valentine’s Day this coming weekend. It can be a bit of a saccharine event ol’Valentines when it’s done with a box of Roses or a rose wrapped in cellophane.

When you love someone, or even just like someone a whole lot, it’s nice to use VDay as an excuse to introduce them to something new, or share something you enjoy with them, or treat them to an experience that’s not ‘everyday’.

We’re giving you two ways to make this happen. At The Picnic we’re creating some very special chocolate work. Flavour combinations are adventurous and each piece is hand created so that ticks the Something New box.

At Smiths we’re hosting a Valentines dinner on Saturday 13th Feb. This is a 6-course meal with three dessert courses. That’s Something Special done and dusted.

And if this Valentines sees you popping the question, keep us in mind for your Big Day. We love weddings! We can provide the cake, the favours and the dessert bar to top off your celebrations.

Love is sweet, enjoy it with us.

The Picnic is being unpacked

It’s a quiet but persistent hum in here. Bees is too easy a metaphor but we’re certainly that busy. It’s a studious harmonised busy-ness. We move around each other like it’s choreographed. It’s almost silent except for murmured questions, quiet confirmations. Everything has its place and there’s a place for everything.

This is our latest gift to you: The Picnic. Opening tomorrow. We’ll be ready.

We’ve brought a few of our absolute favourites here, but there are new things too. Things you haven’t tried before.

Come in if you need a special something, but also if you want to treat yourself. Tiny treats, generous portions, everything in between.

We’re next door to Vetro in Ahuriri. Our address is 17A Mahia Street. The coffee machine is ready to pour your ‘one for the road’ and all our delicious morsels are calling out “Take me with you”!

Look out for the praying golden gnome, and you’ll know you’re in the right place.

 

Footer background
Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
info@operakitchen.co.nz
+64 6-870 6020

Drop us a line

Thank you very much for your message. We will be in touch. Ooops! Something is missing. Please validate your fields.
Clear
© 2016 eatdrinksharehb. All rights reserved.