Sky's the limit for foodie festival

By Matthew Backhouse

Renato Passoni Ribeiro, Nic Watt and Andrew Methven will be cooking in the street. Photo / Doug Sherring
Renato Passoni Ribeiro, Nic Watt and Andrew Methven will be cooking in the street. Photo / Doug Sherring

Scrumptious street food from some of Auckland's best restaurants will be served up as SkyCity throws a two-day block party to celebrate its 20th birthday.

The Federal St Summer Festival will transform the street into a pedestrian mall from 4pm tomorrow. There will be music by top local artists and a chance to meet Auckland sports stars - but the main attraction for foodies will be eight pop-up restaurants pumping out dishes for only $8 each.

Celebrity chef Nic Watt was excited to bring signature dishes from his Masu restaurant to a wider audience. He'll be cooking up kingfish ceviche tacos alongside spicy bangers.

"They're actually dishes you can come in and get at the restaurant."

The pressure in the kitchen will be intense, however, with an estimated 1600 dishes to be cooked over two days. Adding to the heat will be Mr Watt's 10-year-old daughter Kiana, who will don her chef's whites to "crack the whip" in the kitchen.

"She's been in the kitchen since she's 4, so she knows what she's talking about," Mr Watt said.

Head chef at Andy's Burgers and Bar Renato Passoni Ribeiro is offering two of the most popular dishes from the restaurant's menu - chicken wings with blue cheese, and char-grilled cheeseburgers.

"I think it really fits into the street food concept," he said.

Executive chef Andrew Methven of The Kitchen c/o SkyCity, will be cooking one of three vegetarian dishes on offer - cauliflower and blue cheese croquettes - as well as snapper sliders.

SkyCity Auckland general manager John Mortensen said the festival, ahead of SkyCity's 20th birthday on February 2, would be a street party for all Auckland.

"I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than with our largest festival to date."

Federal St Festival

• Runs from 4pm-10pm tomorrow and 2pm-10pm Saturday.

• Pop-up restaurants from Bellota, Masu, Gusto at the Grand, The Grill by Sean Connolly, Federal Delicatessen, Jade Dragon, The Kitchen c/o SkyCity, and Andy's Burgers and Bar.

- NZ Herald

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