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Health and wellbeing that lasts: Unichem Cashel

Wondering how to achieve health and wellbeing that lasts? Want to do this naturally, without processed foods, meal replacements or fad diets? Taste Success at Unichem Cashel Pharmacy is a holistic approach to health and wellbeing that celebrates simple, fresh and easy meals which taste delicious!


Head Pharmacist Annabel Turley.


You won’t find processed foods, meal replacements, calorie counting or fad diets as part of Taste Success, says Head Pharmacist Annabel Turley.

“Your diet plays a massive part in your health and wellbeing,” she says. “Taste Success provides a realistic, non-judgemental approach.

“We meet you where you’re at and encourage you to practice loving kindness toward yourself as you gently change your eating habits.”

Designed by an experienced naturopath, Tracey Loughran, there are three programmes under Taste Success – Foundation, Skin and Refresh.

Each programme includes support from a holistic nutritionist as well as one-on-one support from the pharmacy’s passionate and caring team.

The 12-week Foundation programme gives you a solid, easy-to-follow plan to get your eating right on track for a “healthier, more energised you”, says Annabel.

It includes recipes that are tasty, easy to prepare, family-friendly and varied; meal plans that do the thinking for you and make meal preparation a breeze like lunches that are left over from the night before – and all of which are nutritionally balanced to prevent cravings which can drive unhealthy food habits.

The specialised six-week Skin programme has been developed to naturally improve skin health through nutrition.

“The recipes not only taste delicious, but also contain nutrients that are aimed at supporting healthy skin,” says Annabel.

“Whether you have eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, dryness, itchy skin or other conditions, this programme nourishes your skin from the inside out. It is based on easy recipes made from clean wholefoods, so it not only works on your skin health, but your whole wellbeing.”

The Refresh was developed due to popular demand as a further twelve weeks of delicious meals and weekly menus.

“A slight step up from the Foundation programme, Taste Success Refresh includes more high quality, nutrient-dense foods to keep you moving in the right direction for optimising your health and wellbeing.”

Find out more or book at the website below, or contact Unichem Cashel on (03) 595 1289 or via


Causing a Stir: Stir Cafe

The beautifully restored Christchurch historic tram is a renowned city attraction that brings joy to riders aboard the family-friendly journey. It is at the iconic New Regent Street stop you will find Café Stir, waiting to subdue your hunger and quench your thirst with its creative and artistic offerings.


With a cosy atmosphere, delicious Switch espresso, and an enviable menu and cabinet offerings – the quaint cafe is a stop on the famed tram tour in its own right.


Café Stir’s all-day breakfast menu is renowned for its eggs benedict with mesclun and a vivid pink hollandaise sauce and equally highly photogenic bacon and banana French toast with berry coulis and maple syrup.

The lunch menu boasts, amongst others, a seasonal whitebait omelette; garlic mussel spaghetti; mushroom corn fritters – and its famous take on the Kiwi classic, fish’n’chips.

The cabinet is bursting with delicious savoury and sweet treats (watermelon macarons anyone?) – and outdoor seating allows diners to soak in the ambiance of the colourful, happening streetscape.

Check out Café Stir on Facebook, or visit any day between 10am and 4pm.



Generous, genuine Greek: The Athens Yacht Club

Passion to create an authentic Greek experience is translated into every aspect of The Athens Yacht Club restaurant. Here, the head chef has perfected owners Emilios and Rebecca Kotzikas’ family recipes, staff greet you with a genuine smile, and the atmosphere mimics a Greek family meal.



Emilios and Rebecca are driven by a philosophy to ensure every guest feels “welcomed and appreciated” to this new hospitality hotspot. And the passion they put into this objective is infectious.

The restaurant provides an authentically Greek experience where you are served quality food by someone who truly cares in tasteful surroundings.

“We provide authentic Greek that you cannot get just anywhere,” he says. “We take no shortcuts, we use the best quality natural ingredients that you can buy and let food do the talking.”

Hero dishes on the menu include the must-try Saganaki – Flamed Greek cheese with honey, oregano and metaxa; courgette flowers stuffed with haloumi, feta, lemon and pinenuts; a selection of locally sourced fresh seafood, and a 1.2kg, slow cooked Te Mana Lamb Shoulder.

Calling all seafood lovers, March 4 is a date to remember.

To celebrate Bluff Oyster season, The Athens Yacht Club will host a Bottomless Bluff Oyster and Perrier-Jouët champagne event. Aw, Shucks!

Check out the venue and menu, buy tickets to the oyster and champagne event, or book your table online or phone (03) 365 0435.


Highway haven: Cafe Mayfield

When Kevin and Gaye Monson decided to retire from their long years of running a take-away and grocery store in Mayfield, their daughter, Deborah McCormick, bought the business and immediately got to work on updating it, beginning with a name change to Café Mayfield.



In those three years since the purchase, Deborah has worked very hard to update the business by providing a relaxing setting for people to rest up, relax and dine in comfort.

Open seven days, the dining-in menu features everything from full breakfast, waffles, eggs benedict, and fish basket to toasted sandwiches, paninis and bagels.

Here is where gourmet coffee is created exactly as you like it, and to go with that meal, a scrumptious slice, biscuit or cake, baked fresh and onsite by the super-talented team.

Take-aways of fish and chips, burgers, pies and savouries are perfect for commuters on-the-run, and to burn off all that pent-up energy, the kids can take an ice-cream out to the fenced playground and lick away to their heart’s content before clambering over the jungle-gym.

Life’s sweetest pleasures are all found here at Café Mayfield – the gem of Highway 72.

Visit Café Mayfield at 1992 Arundel Rakaia Gorge Road, Mayfield or phone ahead on (03) 303 6210


All fired up: Arbour Woodfired Pizza

A century-old Lyttelton fishing boat is the centre-piece bar for a pizza joint that’s authentic to the core. Arbour Woodfired Pizza and Bar is rustic simplicity and intense perfection in the same bite.



Megan Hancox-Hammer and arbourist husband, Ra, dreamed of woodfired pizza set amongst native timbers, using local produce in Italian-esque tradition.

It’s now a community hangout with a menu conjured by two seasoned pizza maestros, who are given free reign.

Originally a pop-up pizza truck, it now permanently fills a gap in Lyttelton. Megan and Ra’s brother Mario run the business under its transparent roof, with indoor plants, a picturesque courtyard, and timber fit-out by Troy of Aridium Design. Since December’s opening, diners from both sides of the tunnel have experienced pizza as they’ve unlikely tasted before.

The New-Zealand-made wood-fired oven is fired by logs from Ra’s arborist business, The Tree People.

Sustainability is imperative, and the business even recycles used oil for Ra’s chainsaws.

As a lockdown project, he began raising pigs for the tasty pancetta, and curing their own meat.

Megan eats plant based and shares her passion delectably in the menu choices.

Supporting locals from farmers market produce to wines from across the harbour, many surprising stories lie behind the details, from a family who keep enhancing their epicurean adventure.


Ripe & ready

A day of indulging in the spoils of one of the world’s finest wine and food producing regions is on the agenda for those heading to Ripe next month. The Wānaka Wine and Food Festival is a celebration of the best of Central Otago’s rich culture and cuisine.



More than 30 vendors are already lined up to showcase the region’s best, set against the picturesque alpine lake landscape at Corbridge Woolshed, a stunning 325-hectare rolling field backdrop on March 21.

Guests can imbibe the crispest sauvignon blancs, earthiest pinot noirs – and every varietal in between from the region’s most celebrated vineyards, with the most sought-after food matchings on-site, too.

Aside from the gastronomy on display, the Jordan Luck Band will entertain crowds with a mix of classic and contemporary favourites; world-leading wine writer, commentator, judge and reviewer, New Zealand’s only Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas will host a wine education seminar, and Kiwi chef, dietician, writer, columnist and business owner, Nadia Lim, will give a live cooking demonstration.

Wānaka local and Otago Event Planning owner Nathan White says an event that celebrates the taste of Central Otago has long been wanted for the area.

“Ripe is about the passion and energy for the best wine and food of our region and our country – backed by a deep respect, appreciation and knowledge for the industry.

“Our producers have a deep connection to the land and a passion for the product, and we want to celebrate this while bringing a much-needed boost to the local economy,” he says.

Wine makers and chefs from around the region will be available to talk to and purchase wine from, and people will be able to taste the produce.

Maude, Amisfield, Māori Point, Ceres, Misha’s Vineyard, Akarua and Cloudy Bay are among many of the Central Otago wineries who will be present at the festival, supported by food from the likes of The Stoaker Room, Hawker & Roll, and Hook, plus some local breweries and distilleries ensuring there is something for everyone.

Sunday March 21, 11am to 6pm. Purchase tickets at or via the website below.


Grilled Bluff Oysters

When grilling oysters, you need to pick a species that is robust enough to stand up to the heat. The firmness of Bluff oysters makes them perfect for popping onto a barbecue with a spoonful of dressing or compound butter. This recipe comes from the early pop-up days of Hiakai.

Makes 12 | COOK 30 Minutes


50g thick-cut pancetta, cut into matchsticks
1 large shallot, peeled and finely diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely diced
1T piri piri paste
Freshly squeezed juice and zest of 1 lime
Flaky sea salt
12 Bluff oysters, shucked and kept in the half shell


Set a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and allow to cook until the fat renders out, stirring to ensure it caramelises evenly.

Add the shallots, garlic and piri piri paste to the pan. Cook until the shallots have softened and started to turn golden brown. Add the lime juice and zest, then remove from the heat.

Season with a little flaky sea salt and keep warm until needed.

When you’re ready to serve, bring a charcoal grill or barbecue up to a high heat. Put the oysters on the grill in their shells and cook for one minute, until the residual oyster juices in the shell start to bubble.

Spoon one teaspoon of the piri piri dressing onto each oyster and cook for another 30 seconds. When the dressing starts to bubble, remove from the heat and serve immediately.


Extracted from Hiakai by Monique Fiso, published by Godwit, Random House NZ, RRP $65.
Text © Monique Fiso, 2020. Photography © Amber-Jayne Bain, 2020



Leftovers lead the way

Creating new dishes from last night’s (or the night before’s) leftovers is nothing new. But creating whole new products from the remnants of meals past? Welcome to the world of edible upcycling.



Food upcycling – where new edible products are created from leftovers, by-products and surplus food waste – is tipped to become big this year as conscious consumers and food makers alike look for delicious solutions to reducing food waste.

In New Zealand, it’s estimated about a third of our food goes to waste. So it’s little surprise foodie heavyweights like Kiwi chefs Nadia Lim and Ben Bayly are fans of the practice.

Food upcyclism takes foods which have imperfections – such as unusually shaped or minorly damaged produce, or items close to its sell-by date – and create whole new edible delights.

Upcycled products can include beer brewed from leftover bread – and leftover grain from beer brewing made into bread; damaged or funny looking fruit and veges can be transformed into nutrient-dense powders and sauces, and meat trimmings can become pet food.

Kiwis can keep an eye out for local brands like Citizen Collective beer and bread, Deja dog food, and Upcycled Grain Project’s range of upcycled crackers. Let the guilt-free snacking begin!


Powering up plants for 2021

Including more plants on your plate is nothing new, but the global appetite for meat alternatives is tipped to just keep growing in 2021. A win for your health, and the environment, it’s hard to fault this trending food philosophy. So here are Metropol’s suggestions on how to up your plant intake and add a few new foodie tricks to your repertoire.



Plant-based burgers are old news, and plant-based seafood is in, according to vegan media site, The Beet. Made with konjac, carrot and cellular agriculture (yes, lab-grown), there’s plant-based tuna, crab and fish cakes.

Finally, an answer to the, “But, what about bacon?” question often posed to plant-based converts. More and more plant-based bacon and pork alternatives are making their way onto shelves, in all their smoky-flavoured glory.

Don’t fret if the idea of never touching steak again sends chills down your spine. Adapting a flexitarian mindset ensures you get to keep your rib-eye or cheese – just eat them in moderation. Start by making plants and pulses the heroes of your meal, instead of meat.

Already a rich and flavourful favourite, mushrooms are getting a meaty reboot for 2021. Mushroom meats resembling steak, meat patties and even braised beef are all the rage overseas. Keep an eye out for fungal proteins called Mycoprotein and mycelium, too.


Peck of the bunch: Purple Weka Cafe

Wekas are known as cheeky food-stealing birds, but at Purple Weka Café & Bar, the food is the one stealing the show. Teamed with a welcoming atmosphere and impeccable service, this is one local hospitality hotspot worth adding to your 2021 to-do list.



Owner Stewart McDougall says the fare is made on-site with fresh ingredients (including house-made jams and relish) and serves up time-honoured favourites.

“Our food is quite traditional and all cooked on the premises apart from some pies,” he says. “Our most popular dish is the savoury mince served with a soft poached egg, or the creamy mushrooms served with bacon on grilled ciabatta.”

Much like the playful bird, the atmosphere at the Purple Weka is fun and friendly.

“Our café is a fun place to visit, often with peals of laughter coming from the diners interacting with the team,” says Stewart.

Add some Purple Weka magic to your next meal out, or enquire about catering for your next event.

You’ll find them at 48 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch.

Phone orders are welcome on (03) 366 0258 or browse the menu online.