MASH Catering is helmed by chef Mat Jackson, who says the team works with a range of local suppliers: Southern Seafood Products, Uppercuts Butchery, Bayside Fish Supply, Southland Food Services, Fare Game, and Te WaeWae Eggs, to name a few.
Produce delivered by local suppliers spans delicacies like wild venison, Southland-reared lamb, and the best seafood from the waters of Te Ara a Kiwa (Foveaux Strait) such as Bluff oysters, Stewart Island salmon, and of course plenty of blue cod. In fact, the team’s even started its own MASH produce company – growing microgreens, herbs and a small range of vegetables that are hand-picked daily before being served up in cafes The Grille and Meccaspresso as well as event guests.
A focus on engaging with local suppliers to deliver produce for the plate is the backbone of the MASH philosophy, Jackson says.
“We’re spoiled for choice here in Southland, and it’s always great to buy and support local,” Jackson says. “It not only means a low carbon footprint, but it means we get the best, fresh seasonal produce.”
As for the MASH team’s favourite dishes highlighting local ingredients? “Oyster and leek-crusted blue cod with lemon beurre blanc. We’ve been serving this dish for the last 20 years and it’s always a favourite. Second-best would be hot-smoked Stewart Island salmon on potato and spinach gnocchi.”
Ingredients grown in the deep south were often hard to source in other parts of the country, and when out-of-towners arrive they were often keen to try some southern fare, he says.
As well as usual favourites like blue cod and Southland lamb, many were keen to sample some more unusual ingredients – like tītī (muttonbird), which can only be harvested by those who whakapapa to a group of islands near Stewart Island-Rakiura.
TW Events & Incentives events manager Adam Reinsfield says the mouth-watering menus crafted by the MASH team are always a huge selling point with clients.
“Southland has a reputation for being home to some of the finest cuisine in the country, and we’re incredibly lucky to be able to tap into the strong relationships executive chef Mat Jackson and the MASH team have cultivated with suppliers,” Reinsfield says.
“Particularly for events clients coming from outside of the region, delicacies like Southland lamb and Bluff oysters are always popular requests when it comes time to start talking menus.
“With MASH, we know our guests are getting some of the freshest, top-quality ingredients on the plate. Being able to tell our clients about the MASH ethos, which places so much importance on being able to track their produce’s journey from start to finish, just adds another string to our bow in delivering an event with real care.”