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Food businesses open for takeaways & Hopgood’s Smoked Fish Pate

Many businesses have changed the way they operate so they can start trading in a small way during Covid-19 Level 3 restrictions and food businesses are right at the front of the queue.

While many restaurants and cafes have started selling their delicious food as takeaways or are delivering direct to your door others, like Hopgood’s & Co, have taken a slightly different approach, they are spending a couple of weeks under Level 3 refreshing things in the restaurant.

Kevin Hopgood told me they made some major changes last winter and early spring when they put in a new bar area with upgraded equipment and carried out a full redecoration but the kitchen needed the same treatment. “We make sure the kitchen has good equipment and put a lot of effort into making sure it is cleaned properly every day but the area hasn’t been painted since the restaurant opened.”

He said it isn’t something you can do during the day and open for dinner so this lockdown has given them time to dismantle everything and repaint the walls, “All the sanding and preparation makes a heck of a mess but it is almost finished and we can give everything a clean before we put it back together again.”

The lockdown over the last few weeks means he has also had time to share some very easy recipes with you and there is another one below.

To help the restaurants, cafes and catering companies that are back up and operating in a limited way we have decided to buy one meal a week from a different place each week. Last Friday we bought a Korean Pork dish from Gourmet Catering and Beachside Conference and Events. It was delivered during the afternoon in recyclable containers that are oven and microwave safe so were really easy to reheat for dinner. And the food was delicious, the pork belly was meltingly tender, the rice wasn’t dry and the vegetables still had a little bite to them.

I would love it if as many people as possible could do as we are, just buy one delicious meal a week from your favourite restaurant, café or other food business to make sure they are still in business when lockdown moves to level 2 and we can all go out again. Just check their website or phone them to see what they are offering.

Kevin Hopgood’s Smoked Fish Pate. 

Kevin says “This is a family favourite, is easy to make and looks great in little pottles. You can use any smoked fish and also add lemon zest coarse ground black pepper and chopped chives to the butter that seals the pate. Enjoy”


  • 400g of Smoked Fish
  • 50ml Milk
  • 125g melted butter
  • 25g Butter
  • 125g cream cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Chopped Dill


  • Warm the smoked fish in 25g butter and 50ml of milk.
  • When warm flake the fish into the bowl of a food processor and add the warm liquor you heated the fish in then pulse for a few seconds to break up.
  • Add butter, cream cheese and lemon juice.
  • Process to a smooth paste.
  • Check seasoning and add salt pepper and tabasco to your taste
  • Mix in chopped dill (you can use Chives, Chervil or Flat leaf Parsley).
  • Put in small pots for a dinner party or a single dish for home or a large party,
  • Smooth over and seal with a little melted butter.
  • Chill for at least 4 hours.
  • Serve with hot toast or crackers

Published in the Nelson  Mail 06.05.20

I have been writing a regular wine column for The Nelson Mail newspaper since 2000.

Unfortunately the column space is not big enough to include my thoughts on all of the many wines I taste. Hopefully this blog will fix that. It also gives me somewhere to archive the many columns I write. I will also include some favourite recipes from my dearly beloved who loves cooking and of course because wine and food simply go together. I will also point you in the direction of upcoming events and websites I think are great. Enjoy, Neil

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