It’s quite hard to go anywhere in the food world at the moment without stumbling across Al Brown. Chef, TV personality, the face of SkyCity favourite restaurant Depot and Federal Deli, author and now supporter of Garden to Table, Al is as Kiwi a chef as it’s possible to get.
I personally am a huge fan of www.gardentotable.org.nz/, a programme designed to teach children in schools across the country how to grow and cook their own fresh produce. The programme was founded by one of New Zealand’s most unsung food heroes Catherine Bell (who also has the creation of food magazine Dish on her CV). Not only is she a friend of mine, but she is passionate about teaching all kids to learn how to eat well – and that’s a project I can totally get behind.
I caught up with Al Brown recently to get his take on why he’s involved with Garden to Table, and he’s shared a recipe for a Fruit Crumble Topping that goes particularly well with a Rhubarb & Gingerbread yoghurt Al has created in partnership with The Collective.
Why are you so passionate about Garden to Table?
It’s an absolute no brainer that our children should know where their food comes from. There are just too many mass produced, processed foods available. Garden to Table is not just about understanding where food comes from, it’s about connecting kids to planting, harvesting, preparing, cooking and eating food. It’s a full circle.
What do you think is the best meal to get kids cooking?
They’ll eat anything that they are involved in harvesting or preparing. If they dig a carrot, they’ll eat a carrot.
What’s the most underrated fruit or vegetable we could be growing at home and cooking with?
What five things should people grow at home? / What should people do to get started with growing at home?
Baby steps. Don’t try to do too much at once. Start off with herbs. `they add something to cooking that elevates it immediately. Then cherry tomatoes. Zucchini is easy to grow. So are potatoes. Start small, grow your confidence and then go from there.
Sweet or savoury?
Al Brown’s Crumble Topping
Perfect on top of any fruit crumble base this winter!
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped Macadamia nuts
- 130g melted butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Combine the dry ingredients and add the melted butter till all the dry ingredients are moistened. If stirring through yoghurt, place onto a baking tray and bake at 150 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes until crumble is lightly toasted and golden brown. If using on top of fruit, crumble over fruit mix and bake for 20 minutes.
Al Brown recently partnered with The Collective to create a new gourmet probiotic yoghurt, with proceeds going to his chosen charity of Garden to Table. Al’s Rhubarb and Gingerbread yoghurt is now available from leading supermarkets, RRP $5.79.