Hawke's Bay foodies are in for a treat when the NZ Culinary Olympics team roll into town for a one-service only banquet next month.
Riding high after sold-out banquets around the country - where diners have been treated to five courses of potential competition dishes for the Culinary Olympic "hot service" category - the New Zealand Anchor Food Professionals (NZAFP) Culinary Olympic team are looking forward to creating a feast for the senses for local lovers of fine food.
The NZAFP team boasts an enviable mix of seasoned competition chefs and exciting new talent working to create an Olympic menu that captures the essence of New Zealand cuisine using both classic and contemporary methods.
When the team converge on Napier to showcase their skill, they will also be looking to impress with ingenuity in a region known for its diverse and innovative food industry.
Diners in Napier can also look forward to an exciting format change for the evening with guest chef Adrian Hart, head chef at Orton Tailored Cuisine, attending to design the "creative course" inspired by local flavours and ingredients.
Joining Mr Hart is local winemaker Rod McDonald, who will be pairing his locally grown and produced Quarter Arce wines with each dish.
Team manager Neil MacInnes was "thrilled to be representing New Zealand and excited to have the opportunity to put the team through their paces across New Zealand".
"Regional fare can differ widely across New Zealand with diverse produce being heroed from Kaitaia to Bluff. Each banquet we hold will help our chef team to develop our inherent Kiwi culinary identity by exploring local produce.
"The opportunity to take the journey to the ultimate competition destination does not come around very often. Performing under this kind of pressure and at an international level is such an amazing career opportunity for all of us. We're also excited about what we can learn from some of the best chefs in the world who we will be competing against," said Mr MacInnes.
NZ Chef's Olympic Feast is taking place Sunday, August 14 at the The Old Church, Meeanee Rd, Napier. Tickets are limited, $145 or table of eight $1050, order at nzchefs.org.nz/shop.