It's hard to believe we have just two more days of F.A.W.C fun left. It's been a super duper week and I suspect there will be serious post F.A.W.C blues come Monday.
So far we have had more than 50 great events showcasing our culinary talent and wonderful food and wine and I've been lucky enough to get along to a good chunk of them. Yes, I have supped, tasted and experienced lots of new things, but I have also been privy to watching all kinds of people and businesses work together to pull off this amazing event that has put Hawke's Bay firmly back on the food and wine map.
Bayleys Real Estate sponsored the "Chefs in Homes" series as a way into some of our premium homes and lodges and Euro City provided luxury vehicles for F.A.W.C staff and visiting VIPs to drive so they could enjoy the best of the Bay in style. (As a side note, if you need a car, I can recommend a Skoda Yeti, they are very cool).
There have been chefs sharing recipes, wineries pouring wine at each other's venues, restaurants helping each other out with last-minute ingredients and lots of volunteers welcoming visitors at the airport, transporting BBQs, selling cookbooks and even pouring tea and coffee.
I've spoken to lots of visitors this past week and they have all said how friendly and welcoming Hawke's Bay folk have been so if you gave directions, offered advice or even smiled at a stranger we say thank you because those things make all the difference.
I can tell you of a German journalist who had the pleasure of meeting Andy Coltart from Black Barn who regaled her with stories of our fresh local produce, in particular Origin Earth cheese. He then went one step further and arranged a delivery of samples for her to enjoy before she returned home. (She was so touched she nearly cried).
My favourite story is Masterchef winner Brett McGregor and his wife meeting local man Jason Pearce and being rather taken with his new puppy. In fact they were so smitten that when they discovered there were puppies left, they drove to Hastings, picked one for themselves and flew it back to Auckland with them on Sunday as a surprise for their son.
But F.A.W.C is not over yet and you can still get involved.
You can head along to Ngatarawa Winery on Sunday for "Class in a Glass" between 11am-12pm. For just $25, you'll enjoy a vertical tasting of their Reserve Alwyn Chardonnay with winemaker Peter Gough.
Also on Sunday is the official F.A.W.C finale party from 11.30am to 4.30pm. Come and join us for a beachfront BBQ on the reserve at East Pier Restaurant and Bar in Ahuriri.
There'll be Hawke's Bay lamb, East Coast black angus scotch fillet, gourmet sausages and fresh seafood from Moana Pacific Fisheries, washed down with local beer and wine (yes, more food and wine). There will also be live music to add to the atmosphere so come along and help us celebrate, in F.A.W.C, a huge win for Hawke's Bay.
Tickets are just $66 and can be bought online at www.fawc.co.nz or on the door on the day. See you there.
Vicky Roebuck is communications manager for Hawke's Bay Tourism.