Sugar at Chelsea Bay
Awarded by Ben Binkle
My family moved to Auckland when I was 10 years old, we had been living in many countries before this, mostly Taiwan and Singapore. One of my earliest memories of my new home was visiting the many little bakeries in our neighbourhood and tasting the unusual treats on offer, so different from what I had grown up with. Very quickly I found my favourite: the brightly coloured pink lamingtons! These treats always stood out from the range of beige doughnuts, yellow custard pies and pale brown hot savoury items in the bakery display cases. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered, quite recently, the lamingtons served up at the beautifully preserved Chelsea Sugar Factory in Birkenhead, still a working factory, indeed the only sugar works in the country, operating since 1884. Their raspberry lamingtons are huge, made from a fresh, lightweight sponge with a generous slab of decadent fresh cream and yummy, rich and aromatic raspberry coating. It’s an exquisite spin on the local bakery treats I first came to associate my new country with. There’s some contention over where lamingtons first originated from, New Zealand or Australia. Regardless, the lamington is a national treasure for New Zealand and it's only fitting they have a starring role here in Auckland, my adopted hometown, showcased to luxurious perfection at this iconic location.