Everyone jammed into Mojo Old Bank Arcade for the jam-off, craning to see the damson plum jam made by Simon’s partner (Catherine) and the raspberry jam made by Craig. Big name judges for the event were in attendance – Grant Robertson, MP for Wellington Central and Simon Gault currently a judge on MasterChef New Zealand.

The contestants, very nervous by now each introduced their jam – plums picked from the 20-year old tree in the neighbour’s back yard with special ingredient Cointreau added into the jam vs fresh raspberries brought from local small business Julian’s Berry Farm in Whakatane by Craig’s mother-in-law and ‘made into jam with love’ when Craig is up there visiting and taking a 20 minute break from work to stir the jam!

The crowd leaned in.

The judges tasted and in a very MasterChef-style review, Simon Gault gave the verdict. He reported that the raspberry jam had a ‘fantastic texture, simply outstanding’ and commented that the pips were soft, no bitter aftertaste and didn’t get stuck in your teeth. Just  wonderful on a piece of white bread.

He reported that the plum jam’s texture was not so good, a bit runny, but the ‘taste was surprising’, in fact he could imagine having it with a piece of ham. The addition of Cointreau really made the jam something special.

And the winner was announced – Catherine’s damson plum jam!

It was a great little break from the office and it was amazing to see how many people came along – it wasn’t all Xero staff either – family and friends, our travel agent, a Xero Board member and I’m sure I saw a couple of Xero customers I know there as well! Fantastic event Catherine – well done organising it (and starting the whole thing!) and thanks to the other bakers and jam makers who provided delicious treats for the crowd to taste. Everyone seems keen to do it next year!


March 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Craig – Man, will you have a drop-dead pinny next year!

March 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Awesome event! Kudos for Xero for getting into the spirit of this and running with it – and to Simon Gault and Grant Robertson. Next year, I want to enter MY jam…

Richard FD
March 2, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I guess I have to be honest; she does not get it from her father!

March 3, 2010 at 2:10 am

Craig – condolences.

Next year you should obviously have a go at making some plum jam… we can all then complement you on your “fine plumbs”,

March 3, 2010 at 9:37 am

Craig,remember these days it’s not the winning but participating!!!(yeah right) and you even had your brother and family over to support you from Chicago. Perhaps you could try the same event in Times Square!! Mum

March 3, 2010 at 10:24 am

I’m having a pikelet at the office – no jam in sight – reading this makes me jealous. Keen to book a work meeting in Wellington next year around the time of the great annual jam bake off……..

Jamoff: the aftermath « Sum in horto
March 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm

[…] Yesterday’s inaugural jamoff was pretty bloody successful, if I do say so myself. Check out Xero’s great post with some hilariously expressive photos of Craig over on their blog. […]

March 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Thank you Craig, and Xero, for such a cool competition! It was exciting and terrifying, quite a unique combination. Cheers for being such a good sport Craig (although yes, again, I realise I didn’t really give you a choice), and your raspberry jam is truly superb.

Jamoff recap for Get Growing email readers « Sum in horto
March 5, 2010 at 6:10 pm

[…] can find a write-up of the challenge, (with some brilliant photos of Craig!) on the Xero blog here and some more hilarious photos are […]

We be jammin’
March 20, 2011 at 10:56 am

[…] And if you are still pondering what the heck I am talking about, then check out how it began here and here […]

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