Seafood Festival 2012, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland

This was my first visit to the annual event, which celebrates kai moana (seafood) and the people who catch it, gather it and process it for the rest of us to enjoy. The Seafood Festival was held over the three day Auckland Anniversary Weekend (28 – 30 Jan). I was nursing a summer cold, and just barely made it to the last day of the festival. Continue reading

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NZ Food Bloggers Conference 2011

The New Zealand Food Bloggers Association’s inaugural conference took place at The Tasting Shed in Kumeu on the 12th November. 26 food bloggers from around NZ came together under the auspice of Alli Pirrie-Mawer (peasepudding.wordpress.com) to mull over food, writing, photography, and commentary over what makes us pursue this time-consuming, sanity-sapping, low-paying (and that’s for the lucky few who actually derive an income from this) craft.

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Taste of New Zealand 2011, Victoria Park, Auckland

The annual Taste of New Zealand took place from the 19 – 22nd October this year, a month earlier than usual to coincide with the Rugby World cup celebrations and visitors. A smaller teaser event, called Taste at the Cloud at Queens Wharf had primed my taste buds.

Taste of New Zealand is Auckland’s premier culinary event, with participation of top* (comment end of post) restaurants, food and wine exhibitors and cooking masterclasses. This year’s chef ambassadors included Rick Stein (representing Malaysia Kitchen programme), Gary Rhodes, Annabel Langbein, Josh Emmet and Justin North. There were 7 evening or afternoon sessions across the 4 days; a session ticket allowed you into the event for one of the 4-hour slot.

13 restaurants took part, each showcasing 2-3 dishes which can be purchased using plastic tokens called crowns. Each crown is equivalent to $1. It was difficult to pick what to sample across the 35 plates on offer, but here are my final choice. Continue reading

Taste at the Cloud, Queens Wharf, Auckland

This has to be one of the better part of the Rugby World Cup experience. Part of the temporary Cloud structure houses a pop-up dining experience called ‘Taste at the Cloud’, which runs from 13 September – 23 October (11:30am – 6pm weekdays, 10am – 6pm weekends)

Several well-known NZ chefs (Josh Emmet, Justin North, Annabel Langbein and Warren Turnbull), have combined their talents to interpret the best of Kiwi produce from the sea, orchard/winery, urban and rural sectors. Each ‘zone’ highlights 4 cocktail-sized dishes with paired wine (or selection of non-alcoholic beverages). Continue reading

Auckland Food Show 2011

The annual Auckland Food Show (28 – 31 August 2011) is a foodie-in-training’s little paradise. For the $25 ticket price (or $22.50 if you purchase online and bypass the queues), you get an invite (along with over 50,000 others!) to a world of new products, flavours and tips on how to expand your culinary horizons by over 450 exhibitors. There are multiple tastings at every stall, and some of the more popular ones had crowds of eager punters. I love that the artisan producers are out in force, and the gourmet food markets (Farro Fresh and Nosh) are supporting them to exhibit.

This year I made the trip with Mum and Little Z who asked to come along on our expedition. Little Z was a trooper, and impressed us with his palate, – he refused processed cheese (specially packaged for children) and meats, and asked for seconds of salmon gremolata and gourmet frozen yoghurt. I don’t recall being this ‘evolved’ at 4 ½ years old!

Being a teetotaler (completely due to my allergy to alcohol I assure you, not by choice), I merrily skipped past all the wine and alcoholic beverage producers (of which there were many) to the gourmet confectioners, seafood, meats, non-alcoholic beverages (to my happy surprise, there were many as well, – is my fantasy of Kiwiland becoming un-boozy coming true?), frozen desserts and condiments galore.

Some of the tasty offerings this year were:

The fantastic gremolata was from Salmon Man

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