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The Empanada Kitchen launched five years ago in
Queenstown by Mauro and Rebecca Viale has a clear
philosophy for its South American and European styled
street food -- "simple things done well"
Mauro is a trained chef and has fine tuned his Italian based
family recipes to create up-market, restaurant quality
empanadas that reflect his food heritage.
"I took my grandmother's favourite recipes and adjusted
them to suit this environment. The quality of ingredients is
key which is why we collaborate with other local suppliers
like locally cured meats from Zamora, fresh seafood and
even local beers from Altitude Brewing Studio in our dishes.
The Empanada Kitchen is a regular attendee at the
Remarkables Market and the company also runs a kiosk at
Earnslaw Park in Queenstown where the black board menu
changes daily with fresh and appetising empanada options.
Flavour combinations include lemon and rosemary chicken,
red wine braised beef checks with green olive paste and a
vegetarian option of Kapiti blue cheese and walnut.
"We are constantly improving and adjusting what we
do dependent on what's in season,
" says Mauro. "The
Remarkables Market has a good community focus where
we see customers' reaction to our food which is really
rewarding. We sell fresh hot empanadas and also 'ready to
freeze' packs for take home meals.
The Empanada Kitchen has had further success after
developing a range of sauces and condiments.The Aji Sauce
recently won a 2015 Cuisine Artisan Award.
"The Aji is a true taste of South America and perfect
accompaniment to chicken, seafood, and grilled meats,
SIMPLE APPETISING STREET FOOD
A visit to the Remarkables Market is not complete without
stopping by the Habebes food cart for a delicious bite of
Middle Eastern inspired foods, fresh salads and healthy
Habebes owner Amanda Mulqueen spends weekdays at
her popular Queenstown café in Shotover Street and on
Saturdays she relishes the opportunity to base herself at the
"We have been attending the markets for a couple of years
now and last year we bought the purpose built food cart
which is brilliant because it gives us a dedicated space to
make all the fresh foods right there for our customers. I
really enjoy the community focus and the atmosphere is
very relaxed with great facilities for families to enjoy being
outside and eating good food.
At the market the Habebes food cart provides a mini version
of the food Amanda serves in her downtown café. There is
a selection of four or five freshly prepared salads, one or
two homemade soups and an array of pies and wraps that
Habebes is renowned for.
"We do the smaller vegetarian lentil pies, our lamb pasties,
the spicy falafels and chicken wraps,
" says Amanda. "Our
smoothies are a big attraction and we offer a smoothie
of the day like the 'Chia Me Up' which is popular with the
Amanda's sweet treats such as fig balls, caramel slice and
chocolate addiction are also big sellers and she serves hot
and cold drinks including Stir tea, Teza Iced tea, Ziwi juices
and Chia drinks.
"The food cart showcases our fresh, tasty, healthy food that
our customers say is delicious,
" she says. "That's what we
are all about -- everyday delicious!"
High profile food and speciality butchery,
Zamora, has been operating for over five years
in Queenstown and for the past four seasons has
been an integral part of the Remarkables Market.
The brainchild of Argentinian Nicolas Karlsson
and Matais Mautone from Uruguay Zamora has
attracted a significant following in the region.
"We are surprised by the level of growth we have
been experiencing, but really excited that so many
people are on board with wanting quality products
and are enjoying what we have to offer,
As purveyors of fine meat products Zamora offers
a selection of cured meats that are not only unique
to Queenstown but push the boundaries.
"Our cultural heritage has a huge influence on the
flavours and techniques we employ at Zamora.
This year we produced our second ever batch of
cured ham. This particular cut takes 12 months to
cure and has been so popular we have almost sold
" he says.
Team work is important as is sourcing raw
products from local suppliers where possible and
the majority of meat comes from farms across
Southland and Otago.
Known for their lunch time gourmet sandwiches
Zamora sells many different foods and meats at
the Remarkables Market each Saturday.
"We have a range of $10 lunch menus at the market
that change each week along with a selection of
our gourmet sausages, South American cuts of
meats and cured meats for sale,
" says Nicolas.
"We also sell our own version of Chimichuri - a
typical South American sauce and marinade and
we also love to use condiments from other local
suppliers and market stalls such as The Empanada
Kitchen and Traditional Heritage preserves.
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