Taste of NZ: It's 'foodie heaven' at festival in the park

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Grove head chef Ben Bayly with crayfish destined to become culinary delights at the Taste of New Zealand festival. Photo / Greg Bowker
Grove head chef Ben Bayly with crayfish destined to become culinary delights at the Taste of New Zealand festival. Photo / Greg Bowker

Some of New Zealand's finest cuisine will be showcased in the biggest food and wine festival of the year, Taste of New Zealand.

The multimillion-dollar event has 120 artisan food producers, boutique wineries and 13 top restaurants showing off their culinary skills and dishes.

Up to 70 Kiwi chefs will be at the event - including television's Annabel Langbein - as well as overseas stars Rick Stein and Gary Rhodes.

The four-day festival, at Victoria Park, starts tonight and is expected to attract thousands of people. Yesterday, dozens of tents had been set up and restaurant teams were preparing their full-functioning kitchens inside.

Festival director Rob Eliott said the festival was a must-visit for locals and tourists.

"This is the biggest gourmet village available. Some of the best restaurants in the country will be making their signature dishes," he said.

"It's a foodie's heaven. There's 140 exhibitors with gourmet cheeses, olives, beautiful icecreams and so much more.

"You get to sample dishes for a fraction of what it would cost in a restaurant."

Tonight's opening starts at 5.30 and will include a range of demonstrations and events. Stein will create Asian delights in the Malaysian kitchen, while Rhodes and Maori queen of cuisine Anne Thorp will also be doing a demonstration.

Mr Eliott said the festival featured produce, food and beverages from all parts of the country, so it was a perfect place for everyone to better understand Kiwi cuisine.

"We've got the ovens running and the kitchens are ready. If you like food then you've got to come here."

tasteofnewzealand.co.nz
For tickets and for more information

- NZ Herald

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