Wednesday, 18 September 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Taste of life on Endeavour for dinner guests

Mercury Bay Area School hospitality students, alongside their food, nutrition and hospitality teacher, Joanna Mannington will host a Tuia 250 dinner inspired by the diet consumed on board H.M. Bark Endeavour after its arrival in Mercury Bay 250 years ago. 

The students have used Gavin Bishop’s children’s book, “Cook’s Cook,” as the main resource for their menu ideas and will welcome the author to the dinner on 29 August.

The group of thirty-six Year 11 students have been working towards this event all year assisted by Joanna’s experience as a cook onboard the replica H.M Bark Endeavour for four and a half years.

Cook’s Cook chronicles the journey of Captain James Cook in 1768, onboard the H.M Bark Endeavour with his one-handed ship’s cook, John Thompson, as the narrator. The book tells multiple stories of the places the ship travelled in the Pacific and the events on board, with real recipes such as Pease Porridge, Albatross Stew and Stingray Pie included. It describes how the resourceful cook fed ninety-four hungry sailors on their extraordinary adventure.

In preparation for the Tuia 250 dinner, the kitchen and front of house tasks will be divided between the students who will use this practical experience for assessment purposes. The cost of the ticket will cover all expenses and any remaining money will fund the students’ annual hospitality trip. Last year the students travelled to Auckland University of Technology and experienced a formal dinner at the AUT teaching kitchen facility.

There are two dining options at the event emulating the conditions on board the Endeavour. The Captain’s Table, which is already fully reserved, will have the prime spot in the room close to the fireplace, protected from the general seamen. The menu will reflect the social hierarchy of day, with the gentlemen enjoying quality options such as beef consommé with pumpkin and wild greens and spit roast game served with Yorkshire pudding.

At the Seamen's Table, guests may be offered pease porridge, ham soup and a main course of pork boil up. All guests will enjoy rum punch, Captain Cook spruce beer and inevitably rum features in both dessert menus. Both Gavin and Joanna will speak about life onboard the Endeavour through the eyes of the cooks, but it is the students that will shine on the night, says Joanna.

“I know they will be fantastic and will get a big confidence boost from their success.”

The event on 29 August will take place at the Flaxmill Bay Conference Hall starting at 6pm, with dinner served at 7pm. Captain’s Table tickets cost $100 each (sold out) and Seamen Table tickets cost $70 each. For tickets and information, please contact Joanna Mannington on 021 033 2608 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pictured: Some of the MBAS students who will be hosting the Tuia 250 dinner on 29 August. From the left- Sydney Novis, Shayla Taydla, Emma Scott, Jasmine Luff, Beni Colman, Stella McQueen, Meghan Rana, Amber Simms and Mia Anderson.

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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.