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last ever competition entry – was thrilled at 2 acceptances last year, for images which now I think are very average, so entered my most positively commented on Facebook pics this year. Nada.  Since you do not get any feedback on how what you have submitted can be improved – how can you succeed? Sorry….. I know the organisers put in an incredible amount  of hard work….. but the judges really need to give some constructive and helpful comments either negative or positive on your images….. I know this might be a disincentive to judge, bearing in mind there are 2000 pics to go through, but generally people put their heart and soul in to what they submit – as do I. We deserve better…

I very nearly put all my gear up for sale and quit, but changed my mind after positive comments from Facebook friends…

Exhibition

My first solo exhibition will be held at the Lake House Art Centre, in Barrys Point Reserve Takapuna, on Auckland’s North Shore 20th May 2014 – 1st June 2014. The Exhibition is titled  “……. In the Eye of the Beholder” it will feature 3 x  A1 photographic prints 2 x A2 B + W prints on Hahne Muhle and 6 A2 prints on photo paper.  total of 11 images that are sure to delight! This is being organised as Part of the Auckland Festival of Photography 2014 as part of the Fringe Festival. The opening will be 20th May between 5 and 7pm.

Images will include  birdlife and a range of delightful landscapes and seascapes. All are available on my website, as limited edition signed and numbered prints. Visit http://www.christopherfidoephotography.co.nz for images and details.

Restaurant Review – Degustation at Number 5

Friday January 31st 2014.

My wife and I last went to this restaurant in 2011 just after it changed hands – we enjoyed it then, so when we were given a voucher for a 5 course degustation  feast we were really looking forward to it. We were certainly NOT disappointed! The accompanying wine list selected by the head waiter as a course match was all by award winning wine maker Villa Maria. He admitted not having his sommelier papers but you would never know  by the quality of the matches…

First, the menu, by Head Chef Barry Armstrong:

Beetroot

Liquorice, apple, goats cheese, walnut

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ohiti Gravels Arneis 2013

Kingfish Cerviche

Golden raisin lime, avocado, salmon pearls, cucumber

Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012

Trophy (Champion Chardonnay) & Pure Elite Gold +

Trophy (Reserve Wine of the Show) – both trophies given at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013 (NZ)

Gameford Lodge Duck Breast

Confit leg, courgette, carrot, plum, spice almonds

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Pinot Noir 2010

Multi award winning wine, 5 stars and 96,97 points given over 5 separate reviews and No.1 in my list of all time favourites!

Hawkes Bay Lamb Loin

Sweetbread, black olive, roast garlic gnocchi,

dried tomato, salsa verde, white anchovy

Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007 2 gold awards and a 4 star.

Poached Pear

Cardamom burnt cream, rhubarb sorbet, ginger, rhubarb meringue

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Semillon 2011

Conclusion:

every single dish combined a perfect balance of flavours and textures to a degree that no single dish either stood out, or failed in any way to deliver a superb dining experience. It has been our experience in the past with degustation menus, there has often been just one dish that was just off key. That was certainly not the case here – well done “Number 5 Restaurant” – 5 stars from us.

As for the wines, they were all extremely enjoyable especially the Semillon but most of all the Pinot Noir!

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