Well, this weekend was not entirely the way we planned it earlier in the week - but I'm not sorry.
Rick Stein, the seafood chef, has been doing a live show in Auckland and Wellington. Hubby and I are huge fans of his show: I love seafood, and hubby loves cooking, and we both love the places he goes and the simple, flavourful food he cooks. We wanted to go to the show but it was too expensive for us, so we were waiting somewhat impatiently for his next programme - until Friday morning, that is. There was a competition on Classic Hits on Friday morning, with the prize being tickets to the show - and I won. I won us tickets to see Rick Stein's Seafood Odyssey Live, in Wellington, this afternoon.
And it was wonderful. He was hilariously funny, he cooked some fantastic food (not that we got to taste it - we were up in the Dress Circle with a great view, but none of the food found its way to where we were...), and he told some really interesting stories of his trips and places he's been. They also showed some very funny out-takes from his shows, including his dog Chalky going completely nuts over a fluffy microphone cover (growling and jumping and trying to kill it!), Rick trying and failing spectacularly to deliver a line in Marrakesh, Rick discovering that a kitchen mandolin cuts garlic really well - and fingers too.... and funniest of all, seeing Rick completely bamboozled in the live show by kitchen equipment. He had huge problems getting a kitchen blender to work - until he figured out it wasn't plugged in! - the automatic pepper grinder refused to work at all (and then disintegrated on him later!), and he couldn't figure out how to turn the gas cooker back on when the other chef (Peter Sellers, a friend of his who is now living and cooking in Kapiti) turned it off to slow him down in the speed cookery challenge...! Completely hilarious.
However, he was very impressed by our seafood and our wine, and has promised that he's going to film an Australia/New Zealand series. Yay - our fabulous seafood is going to get huge audience from that.
Getting home was slightly more problematic - there was a big slip on State Highway 2 and both northbound lanes were closed, so we had to go via Porirua - it took us over 3 hours because the rugby game finished about the same time and the traffic wasn't moving more than 10km/hr all the way..... we slipped out of the line for a short time for fish and chips on the beach at Plimmerton (mmmm, bluenose....), but it was a long long time home. But I couldn't care less. It was a wonderful, wonderful day.