Chef's Garden


From Maori translation meaning the process of protection and guardianship of looking after our environment and showing care for what we have.

We are lucky to live in a frost-free, subtropical permaculture. At Arcadia Lodge we make our own preserves, marmalades & jellies served at breakfast - up to about 250 jars per year. Fruits such as plums are picked over summer and frozen, Feijoas are poached, herbs are dried or made into pesto. Chillies grow really well in Northland and they look great in our Cottage Garden by the front entrance.

As a community we share our abundances, such as local bananas, which I make into banana bread for breakfasts, we gather chillies from the garden and then give our friends & family jars of Asian Chilli Jam and our delicious Sweet Chilli Sauce. Here is our rather delicious recipe for:

Caramelised Chilli Almonds that was shared by a friend, they are really addictive.

In a bowl mix together :
1 tsp Flaky Sea Salt,
1 tsp Chilli Flakes
1 Chopped Chilli. (or omit if you don't like it hot)
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tablespoon of Sugar

In a fry pan over medium heat :
300g whole Blanched Almonds
1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil
1/4 Cup of Sugar

Pan fry the almonds, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, until the sugar & the almonds caramelise. You might need to turn the heat down, don't rush the process, this should take about 10 mins until they are golden brown. Remove from the heat. Tip in the spicy seasonings and mix till fragrant. Turn out onto a tray lined with baking paper, and with a wooden spoon spread out into a single layer, and let cool, then break apart.  

Later in life, I learned my mother use to hide things from us in the washing machine so we couldn't find them, perhaps you might need to do the same with these caramelised chilli almonds, as they are delicious. We hope you love them as much as we do.

Chef's Notes

Food for me has always been inspirational, and I love fragrant bold and tasty food. There is nothing nicer than a well-balanced dish such as a curry, or a sauce and upon the first taste you know this person gets food and they cared enough to not be average.

As a child, my Aunt Eadie made Danish pastries in night school classes, and the taste of the cardamom is something I have never forgotten.

If you have an amazing recipe to share, email Peter at and I will send you one of mine back.

Our Goal

We strive to provide you with a breakfast that is tasty and a little different, often my take on a set of flavours from other countries.

It is our aim that this extends far beyond our breakfast into you having a great stay and feeling that we cared - but not fussed over you.
We hope you have some great, wonderful memories of a stay that differs from most. Our dream is not to be average.