I believe summer is going to make an appearance this weekend, not before time, and we will all bask in the warmth of the sun and remember why we love living here!!
It was so cool to cruise down to the beautiful Catlins a while back and visit with Debs and Toby, vendors of Catlins Kitchen and True Brew. Debs cooked us a delicious lunch (she is the most amazing cook!) and we got to wonder around their piece of paradise.
Debs and Toby live in a remote part of the beautiful Catlins. They bring the flavour of the Catlins to the market with everything they produce.
The Catlins Kitchen is Deb’s baby. She makes everything from scratch using produce from her garden, foraged treats from the natural larder surrounding her and other Otago produce from the farmers market where possible.
Debs uses traditional techniques to create delicious, healthy, natural flavours in her modern take on chips and dips. Her ethos is about the sharing of food with family and friends on the deck, at the crib, at the market as customers walk around or even in front of the telly enjoying relaxing.
These guys want to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. That means they use no chemical sprays or treatments in the garden. Water comes from the sky and local sheep poo, sea weed tea and homemade rhubarb leaf pest repellent are all that they use to feed and maintain health in the garden.
Debs also extends this ethos to include the most sustainable, bio-degradable packaging that she can find. She is also super happy for people to bring their own clean vessels to fill.
Every week Debs makes, totally from scratch, all the delicious array of chips and dips you see. She makes a wide range of root vegetable chips and a selection of amazing dips, ranging from a pate that is to die for, to salsa in season and a taramasalata that makes the taste buds trill. She also does a very moreish range of crackers and pastry straws.
Catlins True Brew is Toby’s domain. This is the first true eco brewery in the country. It is completely sustainable and environmentally friendly. All Toby’s brews celebrate Mother Nature using the traditional brewing cycle with absolutely no commercial shortcuts or artificial additives. Filtered rainwater, recycled bread from local bakers, hops from Nelson and fruit from the garden or foraged in season are all that goes into this beer.
Toby has vast experience brewing and selling beer, both in the Coromandel and Oamaru but also from his home land in the UK.
His beers are all vegan as he doesn’t use finings made from fish bones or gelatine to clear the beer which is often standard practise to speed up the brewing process. He lets the beer do its thing adding a small amount of seaweed to the boil.
The beers are all unfiltered, unpasteurised and naturally conditioned and carbonated with no added artificial CO2 ensuring that the natural flavours shine through. Toby has reduced the amount of water needed to brew by about half using innovative and traditional methods.
He is very keen on installing solar technology so his eco beer can be made completely off the grid. Their flip-top bottles can be returned and refunded meaning they can recycle and reuse them.
Debs and Toby are living the dream in their idyllic Catlins, country cottage. They have an eco-retreat, available to rent, fashioned from a container secluded and separate, amongst the veggie gardens for those who would like to get away from it all. Guests can get a true taste of the Catlins, as they do two course dinners, using goodies from the garden and the finest local produce. Brewery tours are also available.
They both adore the market and the vibrant Dunedin scene. They are a one stop shop at the market for dips and chips and beer. Happy hour sorted!
See you Saturday Peeps!