“First sunrise in the world in New Zealand. You’ve got to see this, Sam.” Graham knocks on the camper to rouse his friend. “Totally worth it.” Sam half-tumbles out of the door, wearing a sequined wrap and a sleep mask rucked up on his forehead. “No,” he says as Graham continues to wax poetic, then shuts the door behind him. Welcome to Men in Kilts Episode 3!
This installment of the Sam & Graham Show will be all about food. Beef, pork, lamb — “there’s so much lamb. There’s like 10 for every person here,” Graham notes — salmon, shellfish, honey. The guys talk about how they’re excited to chow down, and they’ll check out some bees along the way. “Tell the bees I am coming,” Graham says, having fun with the title of Diana Gabaldon’s ninth novel in the Outlander series, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.
In Dunedin, Sam and Graham don white suits with netted hoods and meet Dave Temple, a beekeeper. They all talk a bit about Manuka honey, which is a local, very dark variety. Then Graham thanks “Jeff” — wait, I thought the keeper’s name was Dave? — and then they’re off to a dairy farm. “I’ve actually never held a teat… or milked a cow,” Sam offers. Do with that what you will. Graham shares that his worst cow encounter came during a professional endeavor and “it did involve me examining a cow using a very, very, very long glove that went up to my shoulder. I think you can paint the rest of the picture.”
The farm they’re going to is home to more than 400 cows. And when they meet Stuart Muir, a farmer, Stuart Muir, he’s wearing a kilt and explaining that he’s a descendant of Scots that arrived in New Zealand seven or eight generations ago. Stuart adds that his family is very concerned with increasing biodiversity, planting trees and trying to make the land more like it was before it was cleared for farming many years ago.
Enough jibber-jabber: Let’s get to milking! Stuart offers some sage wisdom about spending some time near cows’ hindquarters: “If they like you, they won’t s—t on you. It’s just like people.” That seals it: I love this guy. Sam tries first and quickly messes things up. “You’re going to give that one a personality disorder,” Graham teases him. But then it’s Graham’s turn, and he doesn’t do much better.
Back in the camper! A bee flies under Sam’s kilt, the guys give us a musical interlude — the “William Tell Overture” sung with only the words “men in kilts” — and then they head to Hawke’s Bay, which is known for its wine. David McKee, a winemaker, gives them an overview of how winemaking became a billion-dollar export industry. “Rosé is about drinking, not thinking,” he says at one point, giving Stuart a serious run for his money in the Kim’s Favorite Person of the Episode contest.
Fleur Sullivan, a restaurateur with a spot in Moeraki, is the guys’ next stop. She makes them a feast complemented by Maori bread and finished off with a Christmas pudding, a cheese course and after-dinner spirits. And as the men contemplate their full bellies and food-based experiences, they clink glasses, and Sam says, “Here’s to driving with the best travel companion.”
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!