HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Banana Court café celebrates 20 years
The owners of Club Bana Bistro are celebrating 20 years of operations this week. The Hutchinson family started the popular day time eatery, Blue Note Café, in 1992, and introduced the first espresso coffee machine to the island.
“I remember it well,” says Tarita Hutchinson, “my Mum, my sister and I went to Melbourne and were trained to be Baristas by the Italians at Moccopan.” When we came back we worked with Juergen at Atiu Coffee to design a local blend that would suit our new Rancillio machine.”
“We still use that blend today which established our popular cappuccinos, lattes and espressos.”
Another signature item from the original menu is the fresh tropical fruit smoothie, which uses a blend of pawpaws, mangoes, pineapple, bananas, and star fruit, most of it grown in the family garden.
The menus change every season and over the past four years Hutchinson, who bought the business from her family with her partner, Tiri John in 2008, notices that customers are willing to try more local food. “It’s fantastic that we can incorporate more local produce in our seasonal menu.”
Food has come a long way in the Cooks. “When I had my first job in hospitality in 1985 it was meat with carrots, peas and potatoes, everything on the plate was imported, even the hoki fillet fish,” Hutchinson says.
“I come from a family that loves to cook, loves to eat, and loves to entertain.” Perhaps that’s the secret for the eatery’s longevity. Happy birthday Club Bana. You can see Tarita Hutchinson on the next series of a Taste of Cooks. Try her recipe for Coconut pie below:

Mama Mereana’s Coconut & Citrus Pie

I can remember my mum teaching my sister and I to make this custardy coconut pie when we were small children. I love it because it is so simple and tastes so good.
1 cup coconut grated
½ cup self raising flour
1 cup sugar
120g softened butter
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 lemon rind and juice of 1 lemon
Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees Celcius. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

-Tarita Hutchenson

Herald Issue 608 21 March
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- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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