Written by Joanne Barrett
The team at Milly’s Kitchen in Three Lamps Ponsonby has an enthusiasm for uncomplicated food, perfect ingredients, quality cookware and tried and true techniques that allow flavours to speak for themselves.
New Zealand was built on the adage, ‘if something is broken, fix it’ – or darn it, or mend it. 50 or more years ago, this was simply par for the course. Quality was paramount because a product had to last and the axiom rang true, ‘you get what you pay for’. It was a kind of long-lasting or fix and re-use, hand-me-down way of thinking – recycling before ‘recycling’ had become the new buzz word.
The past few decades has seen an increase in the ‘buy cheap and throw away’ concept adopted as an easy, convenient and affordable option. However, this living in a disposal world has not served the environment well.
Generally, buying clothing or smaller household items online means cheaper and easier purchasing. But the question is, how do we know what we are buying is good value for money?
Recognised for its quality kitchenware, we paid a visit to Milly’s Kitchen in Three Lamps Ponsonby and spoke with manager and owner Liz Oldfield to find out what philosophy the business operates by.
Milly’s philosophy has always been ‘buy once and buy well’.
Wendy Muir was the original owner of Milly's of Ponsonby when it first opened the doors in 1983. Liz says, “36 years on we continue to hold strong to Wendy’s philosophy of ‘buy once and buy well’. We talk about the value that our customers – and more recently the planet – derive from making purchasing decisions based on heritage brands that will last the distance.
“It is important to remember that cheap cookware and kitchen utensils may only have a six-month lifespan before they get dumped into our landfills and this is not good for our environment.
“Likewise, the methods applied in the manufacture of these cheaper products such as the raw materials used and cheap labour needed, to drive prices down to those low levels, is detrimental to both the environment and people.”
Providing outstanding product knowledge is an integral part of what the Milly’s Kitchen the team do.
Liz says, “By talking directly with customers, they’re able to more accurately assess the customers’ requirements. We can ascertain what a customer likes to cook, how many people they’re cooking for, what they’ve used in the past and why they did or didn’t like a product.
“In addition, we are quite particular to find out how they like to care for their kitchenware, whether they require dishwasher-safe products or perhaps they prefer to handwash. We will advise and suggest appropriate products to suit individual needs.”
She adds, “It’s difficult for anyone to obtain that level of guidance and expertise when purchasing online, especially if there is no human interaction. As with all research, if one has started with the wrong ‘premise’, it’s very easy to end up in the wrong place, particularly in an online platform.”
Likewise, outdoor entertaining or a barbecue at the beach does not need to be a complicated chore. After all, the idea is to make summer living as relaxed and as easy as possible – all we want is food that is simple yet healthy and delicious.
The Casugrill single-use BBQ is a sustainable, 100% natural option, ideal for relaxed cooking at summer picnics or gatherings.
To create a relaxed barbecue or outdoor picnic experience, the Casugrill is a great option. It is a sustainable, 100% natural, single-use BBQ. Its design is simple. Made of cardboard lined with lava stone and the grill rack made of bamboo, it is effortless to transport, very easy to light and will reach grilling temperature in five minutes and retain heat for an hour.
Now that you have your delicious grilled food with a true crispy barbecued finish, serve it on the beautiful Portuguese, ceramic, Costa Nova Riviera, foliage-inspired serve ware. And to round off your meal, serve ice-cold drinks in the Mixology G&T and Spritz glasses.
Liz says, “I do live by a quote I heard once, and it is a sentiment that increasingly resonates with me, ‘Cooking is about being inspired by the simple things around you – fresh markets, various spices. It doesn’t necessarily have to look fancy.’
“As I mature as a cook, I less often find myself seeking to impress. Rather, I’m paring back complicated recipes and reaching for simple, yet perfect ingredients and techniques that allow flavours to speak for themselves.”
There is increased demand for eco products – glass keep cups, beeswax wrap, stainless steel straws and double-walled drink bottles, ‘cover blubber’ and silicone lids to replace plastic wrap.
“Similarly, my cupboards are emptying of single-use cookware and gadgets as I seek the simplicity of good investment pieces that I will use again and again. I’m also mindful of replacing single-use plastic goods with eco products that can be reused. This is the criteria we applied when selecting products for this year's catalogue – inspiring pieces of kitchen kit that are an investment in both sustainability and joy.”