A mortar and pestle with star anise, cinnamon quills, and cloves in the foreground

About Ground

Ground Gourmet Essentials produces a range of hand-ground spice blends and condiments. Exotic spices are ground in a traditional mortar and pestle to make authentic blends from the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific. These spice blends and pastes and other enticing goodies are made in a kitchen overlooking the beautiful Mahau Sound.

Jenny Garing

Jenny Garing is the creative force behind Ground Culinary Centre in Lyttelton (destroyed in the 2011 earthquake) and the Ground Gourmet Essential range. She is also a food columnist and recipe writer and has managed to combine her two biggest loves - other cultures and food - into a life of travelling on her stomach.

Jenny's food blog includes recipes and food ideas from around the globe. Read her answers to culinary questions and some of her nationally published articles in Epicurious. With the move to the gourmet food and wine region of the South Island, keep an eye out for possible culinary retreats with Jenny and enquire about bespoke cooking classes

How it started

It all started in 2003 when two gourmet foodies living in Lyttelton in the South Island of New Zealand were frustrated at the lack of exotic food products on the market. Many recipes they wanted to try called for ingredients that simply were not available in New Zealand. They started to make their own, and the feedback from family and friends was overwhelming. Ground was born from the love of good food, and authentic cooking.

The mortar and pestle logo was chosen, as it is one of the key tools in the Ground kitchen. Now operating from a small commercial kitchen with spectacular views of the Mahau Sound in the Marlborough Sounds, Ground is a small company with a big aim – to make exotic cooking easy and enjoyable for everyone.