The Lyttelton Farmers Market has given us the opportunity to participate with our stall to present our creations, the first week we were doing pastrami sandwiches and one customer asked if we could sell the whole loaf we had on the table, the conversation ended with him saying “bread is like any bread”.
Well no, our bread is very different. The sourdough starter is 2 years old all made from grapes and wild yeast, we source our whole wheat flour freshly milled to order from no more 100 km away, our konini wheat is hand picked, sprouted, dehydrated and milled at the moment we make our dough, for the dough we use whey obtained from the ricotta cheese we make ourselves, and a little salt from the New Zealand coast. This is our bread.
Making bread in this way means that it’s easier to digest due to the longer fermentation of more than 24 hrs, it has a natural sweetness because the grain has been brought to life when sprouting and it has a moist texture after being baked.
This bread has it’s own character and is always changing, but all the time delicious.
We know about gluten free, and we know how wheat now is a treat for many people because almost all the wheat has being modified, bleached or changed composition to create an industrialized bread with chemicals, sugars and additives. That’s why we would like people to try or do a research about gluten free allergies and get to know about breads made through a long fermentation process.
At Roots we don’t have a day off or a day at work, we are committed to our project because we live it 100%. Every part of our daily life is linked to the restaurant in different ways. As when we are at the beach enjoying we are looking around to try and find inspiration within our surroundings or just picking from what nature has to offer.
It is amazing the amount of information that has been collected in the last months about food grown locally, and the best of the best is coming from very small producers, they are opening their doors to us and letting us pick what they grow, this is the most important part for us that we can get connected and become ONE with the farmers, understand what they do and transfer the same respect to our guests in the restaurant.
Our garden is more than happy with the summer weather and already harvesting a variety of products, making a big difference. The Garden dish lets our guests taste every single leaf and flower, warm and cold textures and fermented vegetables. One of the highlights of our daily foraging walk is the Kawakawa fruit we collect from the single tree we know in Lyttelton, not many new zealanders know about this native plant so they are more than impressed.
When people ask about what food style we do, we respond that we are an ingredient-product base kitchen, I mean that the base of our menu is not driven by a food culture, first is the ingredient and its flavor/texture that take our creativity to create a dish that we feel will be a good pairing for the other ingredients and our drinks menu.
Driven to be sustainable we are focusing a lot of our efforts in finding products like long line caught fish or farmed, as well as by catch product like squid, skate and mackerel, for us it is impossible to under rate an animal that when fresh and cooked properly tastes so delicious that our guests ask for the recipe.