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FT-Annual2017 27 The mother of two moved to Dunedin five years ago to study the Bachelor of Culinary Arts at Otago Polytechnic and soon became fascinated with how much waste we produce in our culinary wanderings. “I take everything that’s considered inferior in the food world, and turn it into something that tastes and looks great,” she says. Madison started with ‘Compost Cookies’ - using discarded by-products like vegetable peels and fruit-juice pulp to make delicious biscuits. “The result tastes good, it looks good and it’s affordable. Why pay top dollar when you’re just going to put it through a mincer or a pulper and cook it anyway?” she says. The day after she graduated in 2015, Madison started selling her goods at the Otago Farmers’ Market, run at Dunedin’s historic railway station every Saturday morning. Her business, Revival Food Company, was now in the real world. “I’ve been really well supported by the Otago Farmers’ Market and the vendors there,” she says. “Many give me their amazing by-product and are really keen to help me get up and running. Plus, my customers, the people of Dunedin, really love the story behind what I’m doing.” Madison will consider any by-product. She makes ricotta from the whey produced at the Evansdale Cheese Factory; Emerson’s Brewery gives her spent grains which she processes to make her own flour for baking; and Palmerston Asparagus provides her with its ‘seconds’ spears which Madison puts into her sausage rolls and dips. Her food philosophy has an added feel-good factor. “It’s better for the environment as well,” she says. “I do my best to have a waste-free kitchen. If I absolutely can’t use it, it goes into the compost. Even my suppliers are starting to be more aware. I won’t take anything over-wrapped, and I don’t like plastic or bubble-wrap.” Madison’s next step is a line of liqueurs using windfall fruit from Central Otago, ‘seconds’ berries and foraged botanicals. “I filter spring water through sapwood offcuts, so the flavour’s infused into the water,” she says. ‘Branch Water Liqueurs’ will be launched early 2017. Passionate about her business, Madison is also passionate about the place from where she’s creating. “Dunedin is such a supportive city. People are happy to impart their knowledge to give you the very best chance to succeed,” she says. “I also couldn’t have done it without Otago Polytechnic. My study there was life changing. I’ve gone back to study post graduate courses, and the lecturers still help me in every way they can, even though I’m no longer a student.” Other Otago Polytechnic students are also keen to see her succeed. “All my beautiful new branding is created by third-year design student Rachael Kelso. The support has been absolutely amazing. “I’m 50 next year, and many of my peers are starting to think about retirement … but I’m doing the exact opposite. My studies at the Otago Polytechnic Food Design Institute have brought out a passion in me, and given me the strength and focus to start this company. It’s given me a new shot at life.” Future Visionary: VICTORIA MADISON Victoria Madison’s mantra is ‘Great Taste, No Waste’, and that really does sum up everything she creates. “I take everything that’s considered inferior in the food world, and turn it into something that tastes and looks great”

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