Rise has moved!
December 21, 2007, 12:29 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Check out our new site over at: www.riseblog.com. I will begin uploading new posts in the new year. Merry Xmas all! James 


Required reading before starting a hospitality business!
September 24, 2007, 2:38 pm
Filed under: Opinion

Man this industry can be fickle. I was out for dinner the other night and decided on “the hot new place” in town (there’s always at least 2 or 3 at any one time). I’d heard fantastic things and thought it’d be a bit of fun (I don’t tend to get out much in “normal” hours) to have a meal somewhere special, just for a change.

This particular place (which shall remain nameless for the sake of it’s owners reputation) has been having what some might call the “golden luck” in the run-up to it’s launch just a few weeks ago. A full feature article on it’s chef/owner in the local rags, a quick t.v snippet the other night and… as it has had the good grace of opening its doors during auckland fashion week: a nice long string of local and international celebrats (spelling intentional) to grace its fine floors upon open night. All pretty special attention for a small, tucked away, 30-seater downtown. So imagine my suprise to the response I got when ringing for a reservation just a few weeks after launch night:

Nah, not too busy tonight… just pop in any time before 10pm

Pardon? Not too busy? Even back on the home-front we had a good set of bookings tonight! And this… of all the places in the world to be “not too busy” on a Saturday night, this was the last! This required some thorough investigating!
Continue reading

A quick note…
September 17, 2007, 2:06 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Just a quick note to say, no, i’m not dead! i’ve just been a wee bit busy over the last week but I promise, i’ve got something good coming along.

It’s a bit of a secret at the moment but, keep an eye on this space, rise is about to start branching out a wee bit more…

Oh, there’s also a few more post/rants/recipes and lists in the works. Expect a deluge any day now! Many thanks to all those who have dropped by and a special thanks to three lovely people who have added me to their own blogrolls! I’m honoured and flattered.

My love to all


p.s- not helping is the fact that my “old” (only 5 years) macbook pro DIED on me this-morning! I’ve picked up a cutesy new mac book (bloody small screens, so i’m back on the go but, no photoshop!

Basics: Aioli
September 11, 2007, 3:19 pm
Filed under: Basics, Recipes


I don’t know about where you are, but in Auckland (New Zealand) we seem to be just coming off the end of a three year love affair with the garlic mayonnaise, otherwise known as aioli. We’ve been spreading it, dipping it, drizzling it and practically drinking the stuff! It’s been pretty much the only option with frites anywhere you go and even some of the more (how can i put this nicely) “scum-bucket” type of establishments have begun putting this tasty little treat on the menu.

Now, everyone’s got their own way of treating this one, but the recipe below is mine (by various appropriations, credit to all who have added small bits and pieces along the way) I’ve kept it close to my chest now for quite some time now but, seeing as things now seem to be changing in direction within our local industry, I feel I can now safely let this little gem out into the wild.

Continue reading

All hail! Part I : The Pig
September 10, 2007, 2:19 pm
Filed under: Opinion

WELCOME: to part one of Rise’s new series “all hail!” I’ve never really come across a good explanation of the unique heir achy and and associated terminology that encompasses the modern kitchen. In this series I will try and lay out all the positions in their true (sometimes ugly) reality including some of my own experiences (I have, at some point of my career so far, occupied almost every level). Please excuse some of the language, this is just another reality of working in hospo. Till next time – James


“Be wary the pig, for he has nowhere to go but up”

Almost everyone can recall the “first-day-jitters”, well, for the pig, life is one long first day! You’re the newbie, the last in the gate, no-one quite knows your name yet (in the pigs case, no-one really wants to) you’re there for one, and only one reason: “wash the dishes pig!”

Continue reading

My first pizza…
September 10, 2007, 1:34 am
Filed under: Basics, Recipes


So we’re trying out some new things at the restaurant end of my business endeavors. Namely, pizza! Having never made a pizza in my life (bar a few “make your owns” using pre-frozen bases, uck!) I was a wee bit apprehensive but, after a bit of reasearch I decided to give it a go. The result can be seen above.

For the crust i just appropriated the bread recipe from earlier on, minus oil and salt (enough of that on top!) and, of course rolled the whole thing dead flat! I thought I might try a square pizza, I’ve seen them overseas before, but never here in New Zealand. It all turned out pretty well, don’t you think?

By the way: this one’s topped with:

  • Kalamata olives
  • Cheeses (mozerella, feta & edam)
  • Spinach
  • Fresh cut tomato
  • Mushrooms

Plus of course, plenty of herbs and cracked pepper! For the base I simply took a tomato bisque we use in another dish and thickened it up by blending in more peeled tomatoes and lots of rosemary (a fair amount of simmering too!).

So we chucked the pizzas on the menu and all seems to be going pretty well, sold a heap last night, maybe it’s the start of a new thing for us…

Food photography
September 9, 2007, 12:03 am
Filed under: Art


I came across this earlier this-morning, so now I know where all those little scratches on my baking trays come from!