Foodie festival continues to taste success

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FINE FARE: Foodies enjoyed this year's Farmhouse Kitchen Winter FAWC event at the Farmhouse Kitchen cooking school. PHOTO FILE
FINE FARE: Foodies enjoyed this year's Farmhouse Kitchen Winter FAWC event at the Farmhouse Kitchen cooking school. PHOTO FILE

The Winter F.A.W.C! Series (Food and Wine Classic) and F.A.W.C! by 5 has again been lauded as a "huge success".

Now in its fourth year, the celebration of food and wine has again proven popular with locals and visitors.

This year 55 delicious events were held during the four weekends of June.

Organisers said 96 per cent of events were sold out, which was up 15.9 per cent on last year, and there was close to $200,000 in event ticket sales.

F.A.W.C! by 5 saw close to 1000 menu items served across 17 participating restaurants.

About 25-30 per cent of those who attended were from out of town, predominantly Auckland and Wellington.

Thirty-six per cent of visitors to F.A.W.C! were new to the event, which organisers said showed the event is still growing and 75 per cent of people rated the events they attended "very good" or "Excellent".

Annie Dundas, general manager of Hawke's Bay Tourism, said they were "thrilled" with the growth of the Winter Series of F.A.W.C! and how it was building year on year.

"It really is a true celebration of Hawke's Bay food and wine in winter and it's fantastic seeing so many people getting involved. We are particularly grateful to the event owners, managers and staff who deliver such outstanding events every series."

Megan Taylor, marketing support person for Elephant Hill, said with four sold-out events, the series at the winery had provided "another successful opportunity to showcase our passion for premium crafted wine and sumptuous food with guests from all around New Zealand".

Birdwoods Gallery owner Louise Stobart, who participated in the series as well as the F.A.W.C! by 5 series, said it had "a good following and each year the brand is stronger and more people are looking for the F.A.W.C! deals and actively seeking them out".

- Hawkes Bay Today

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