Raymond Van Rijk is a genius. I first stumbled across this talented Dutch specimen at an A & P Show in Hastings, New Zealand. I brought a gorgeous mix of spices off him which if were mixed with olive oil and water made the yummiest bread dip I’ve stumbled across. Unfortunately he doesn’t make it any more, a sore point I brought up with him when I attended his BBQ class at Trinity Hill Winery as part of F.A.W.C, Hawkes Bay.
My motives for attending were definitely suspect. I eat a fair amount of game meat and in all honestly, I was in it for the lunch. That Trinity Hill’s wine maker, John Hancock was also going to be matching wines for the event was a huge bonus. More than 35 years wine making experience in New Zealand, Australia and France as well as a chardonnay that was awarded best in the world by the 1997 Wine Magazine’s International Wine Challenge, John has some significant achievements within the industry.
Raymond Van Rijk takes the humble BBQ to the next level. He encourages getting the basics right while endorsing the use of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables and the best equipment. Sally Haslett from Woodburn Venison attended, contrasting Raymond’s ‘bloke about the BBQ’ with a womanly touch. Meanwhile John was more than happy to raid the cellar (so to speak) to supply Trinity Hill Syrah, Tempranillo, and a Nobel Voignier to compliment our meal. The Trinity Hill 2009 Gimblett Gravels Nobel Voignier was so good I brought a bottle or two to enjoy later.
As well as sampling a few great Trinity Hill wines, I ate venison (farmed, not wild), alpaca and portobello mushrooms (a great vegetarian option).
This event was amazing. I came away with a huge respect for the humble BBQ as well as more than a few new tricks to try.