It takes a lot of preparation and dedication to plate up dreams. Midnight edged closer as we talked about the shared dreams that led us to such a huge moment: waiting for the arrival of a freshly printed New Zealand Herald containing Ed’s first review. It’s an understatement to describe the last five months as a ‘rollercoaster’. We passed the time in my car outside a 24hr petrol station by narrating the story of our year together. It dawned on us just how much this review could, and would, mean.

We reflected on the sudden changes, unexpected accolades and vast challenges we’ve faced. We remembered milestones like the Ballet Banquet and Ed’s first dish on the menu at Stafford Road. The huge moment arrived and we stood in a Mobil garage eagerly flipping through pages in Viva until we saw it… “A Shore Thing“. A promising title… As we read Nici Wickes’ overwhelmingly positive review, all the hard work and long nights were validated. By midnight we were home: celebrating with a glass of wine, nourished by that warm feeling of validation, and excited about what comes next. Regardless of where the rating out of ten fell, we are most glad that Ed’s philosophy as a chef and his dedication to the little details has been captured so well, and with such enthusiasm.

I’m glad to have been a good influence on Ed by encouraging him to take photos of his work and always asking for updates. Photographs link us when we are apart and we both know the importance of documenting our trials, failures and successes. My favourite time of day is when my phone lights up with a photograph of butter churning, sourdough rising, plants growing, freshly picked flowers, or Ed’s latest menu experiment. In honour of the journey to Ed’s first review at Stafford Road Wine Bar, here’s a gallery of Ed’s phone photos telling the story of a changing menu, and some of the little details it holds.