Darling readers,

As you know I deeply love the modern generation. And how smart they are. This last Sunday I had as guests a delightful 12-year-old and a rugby playing 8-year-old for lunch. My kitchen staff had whipped up a new soup and wanted it tested. Exercising my executive prerogative I determined the best persons to evaluate this new recipe were the taste buds and brain evaluation capacities of the above mentioned food tasting volunteers. I have a theory inherited from my French whakapapa that making the good plain food that the Good Lord has given us is something that needs to be succored, appreciated. And the younger we are the more able are we to learn fabulous fresh food. Taste, sense etc. 

And we all need to learn the techniques of appreciation. The two judges carried out their tasks and meticulously recorded their points. Then with consummate confidence read and explained their point allocations to the assembled guests.

Michelin Judge’s Evaluation Sheet for Kapiti Coast


Congratulations on being chosen to carry out an evaluation of this new recipe from Bistro Manly.  This is the first time this soup has been presented to the public, and in fact you have the responsibility of deciding whether this concoction is worthy of further development or assignment to the recipe dust bin. Your expertise in sorting the wheat from the chaff [the good from the rubbish] is why you have been  engaged to carry out the evaluation.

  1. Taste (Scrumptiousness):  45 points maximum
  2. Texture:                              20 points maximum
  3. Colour/ aesthetics:            10 points maximum
  4. Health*:                              15 points maximum. 
  5. Overall Impression:          10 points maximum


Kumara, Carrot, Ginger, Celeriac leaves, Gluten-free vegetable stock cubes in 0.6 litres of fresh Kapiti water, 15 grams of cottage cheese, 90 grams of grilled bacon, Smidgeon of salt, A grinding of black pepper.

Without reading the above ingredients, how many things (“elements”) did you identify?

Of course the success of a good recipe is not how you can taste different bits — a cricket ball is made of different pieces sewn together — no, it is how it tastes as a whole. Just like that cricket ball — and we in NZ love it to swing! Does this recipe swing?

Outcome: Judge 1 gave 58/100. Judge 2, 83/100. So the recipe will undergo further development. And what a tremendous job the adjudicators did. So, dear readers, have fun, the kids have fun. And the polluting drive to McDonalds needs to be no more.

Bon apéritif

Louisa Carroll 

* This soup has only 1 gram of butter per serving. It  also only has 25% of the salt in MacDonald products. And unlike McDonalds and KFC etc, it has no sugar!  In this section, not having available the necessary laboratory equipment to  carry out a precise scientific evaluation, you use your taste buds to decide whether it is healthy. You can rely on the kitchen advice that there is little fat, and there has been no straining. This means that this soup is super-high fibre and so ultra healthy.