Wild Country Fine Foods & 362 Grillhouse
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Wild Country handmake a range of delicious gourmet condiments using many locally grown ingredients from the Waikato and New Zealand.  Husband and wife team Angelique and Stephen have a hands-on approach with manufacturing, recipe development and customer service.

Wild Country Fine Foods (NZ) began in 1995 using interesting bottles for flavoured olive oils and vinegars.  In 2000 the operation was expanded with their purpose-built commercial kitchen based in rural Waikato and have become a leading condiments manufacturer with their range of chutneys, jams, marmalatas, dressings, sauces and aiolis.

In 2011 Wild Country the team introduced a second brand, 362 GRILLHOUSE which has quickly gained market share in specialty food retail stores.

Their bacon range shot to fame as part of Wendy’s Most Bacony Burger yet – Read about it here 

Their latest creation is a collaboration with Chef Al Brown making his famous Old Yella Habanero Mustard which is served at Depot, Best Ugly Bagels and Federal St Deli and now a favourite among other eateries and chefs.

Read more in this article on Angelique and Stephen written by Denise Irvine in The Waikato Times (Sept 28, 2016)

Angelique van Camp is stirring two enormous pots of fragrant roasted tomato and cumin chutney on her stovetop. The recipe is a spicy Goan-style condiment from southwest India, and it’s being made in a distinctly Waikato setting. “We’ve got one of the best kitchen views around,” she says, as she surveys the green paddocks and grazing cows out her window.

This is the commercial kitchen of Wild Country Fine Foods at Te Kowhai, near Hamilton, a condiment business run by Angelique and husband Stephen Wilkinson. From their rural base, they sell their flavoursome handmade chutneys, sauces, jams, aiolis, mayos, mustards and dressings to specialty stores throughout the country.

This spring, they’re celebrating 21 years in the industry. It seems like quite an achievement in a competitive niche market, where food safety and labelling regulations are – of necessity – demanding. Stephen says they work hard to be innovative and original, to introduce new flavours and packaging and to be utterly hands-on in their operation.

Angelique and Stephen make about 60 different small-batch products across their two brands, Wild Country and 362 Grillhouse. They supply more than 200 outlets, including big names such as Moore Wilson’s in Wellington and Farro Fresh in Auckland. They export their onion balsamic marmalata (their top seller) to a food group in Singapore, they make a special brew of habanero mustard for Auckland chef Al Brown’s restaurants and their gutsy 362 Grillhouse bacon jam has many loyal followers. It’s brilliant with a burger.

In early winter you’ll likely find the Wild Country crew harvesting quinces from local trees and their Waikato location means they’re handy to the source of excellent berries, tomatoes, figs and more.

Stephen and Angelique started Wild Country in 1995 when they both worked in marketing in Auckland. They produced infused oils and vinegars as a sideline gift business, and five years later they gambled on going fulltime into condiment manufacture. They relocated to the Waikato where Stephen was raised, and he recalls their move south: “We had the dog in the back of the car, we were both unemployed and Ange was pregnant.”

Nowadays they have two sons who are partial to dipping their fries in their parents’ truffle mayonnaise and a thriving business. Stephen does sales and Angelique handles production. Angelique has Dutch and Lebanese heritage. She grew up in a family of food lovers and commercial chocolate-makers and reckons an appreciation of condiments is in her genes. “When you add a condiment to a steak or a sandwich, you give it another dimension.  A ham sandwich needs mustard, cheese needs chutney, burgers need a sauce.”

Wild Country searches widely for flavour inspiration. Some recipes have been developed from family favourites and others have been inspired by research trips throughout the US. Angelique jokes that Stephen will sometimes have a hare-brained idea, and she’ll then do the painstaking methodology and microbiology. “You can’t just stick things in a jar.”

Today, the well-tested roast tomato and cumin chutney on the stove smells like it’s definitely ready for the jar. “It’s lovely on pizza, or with lamb, fish or chicken,” the condiment queen advises, as she gives it another gentle stir.

Order yours here