Caravan’s Laura Harper-Hinton’s NZ Food Memories
Creative director and co-founder of London’s Caravan restaurants, New Zealand-born Laura Harper-Hinton, has together with her husband Chris Ammermann and their friend and chef Miles Kirby, published their first cookbook, entitled Caravan: Dining All Day. Harper-Hinton reflects on her happy childhood, spent harvesting and catching food to be shared.
All of Harper-Hinton’s childhood food memories from New Zealand were what she describes as “land and sea related.”
She recalls “always spending long summers at our beach hut in the Marlborough Sounds. We’d go out fishing on the boat almost every day, either line fishing or with a little net and get cod and butterfish, and have that raw with wasabi and soy sauce, or grilled the next morning with lots of butter and white bread. I remember, too, my Dad’s mate hunting for wild pig in the mountain range above our beach house and coming back and landing a huge wild pig on our picnic bench.”
Bluff oyster season was “a big thing for us in New Zealand – it’s short but the oysters are absolutely delicious with a kind of unique, creamy flavour. I’ve never found an oyster in this part of the world that tastes like a Bluff, even though I absolutely love the oysters from the UK as well.”
Very influential, too, was time spent on her grandparents’ sheep farm, “a huge place on the Canterbury plains outside of Christchurch, where we’d be milking the lambs, getting involved in sheep shearing, shelling peas by the creek for our big Christmas feast (mum’s side of the family is very English so we’d dine like people do in UK for Christmas), picking roses from my grandmothers garden and setting the table perfectly with my Aunt Jenny. I remember everything had to be in the right place, with cutlery, butter, salt, pepper and florals.”
Caravan has restaurants in King’s Cross, Exmouth and Bankside.
Original article by Victoria Stewart, Evening Standard, June 7, 2017.