Ten years ago at the Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland's top chefs were serving up prawn cocktails and wacky test tube creations - one of the hottest culinary trends of 2009.
The term "foodie" had yet to infiltrate the industry, rose wine was poured from a bottle and dehydrated food was a camping staple.
Fast forward a decade and the team from Taste of Auckland is gearing up for the festival's 10th anniversary which begins on Thursday.
Harking back to when the festival first started, director Rob Eliott recalled a handful of foodie trends which had since vanished from our menus.
Molecular gastronomy - the art of turning chemical reactions into haute cuisine which was hot in many of Auckland's top restaurants - was like a "dirty word" now, according to Eliott.
Top chefs like Simon Gault were pioneers in this type of cooking, he said, which changed the restaurant scene here as it did overseas.
This year, the latest and greatest delicacies ranged from fermented sriracha to "blue cheese" whipped up from cashews.
For the first time in the festival's history, Miann was bringing a dessert-only menu to the table.
The eatery was out to prove that dehydrated food was no longer survival food with its lemon ice-cream dish, that featured meringue crisps and dehydrated fruit salad.
This year also marked a shift in venue.
For the first time, Taste is being held on Auckland's waterfront, spread across The Cloud, Shed 10 and all outdoor spaces of Queens Wharf.
For festival director Rob Eliott, the move was a dream come true - and the extra space would be welcome.
Eliott said the event had doubled in size since 2009, while attendee numbers had increase three-fold.
Auckland was the smallest of around 20 cities that hosted a Taste festival worldwide, Eliott said.
"It's important to us that we live up to a similar standard, which is showcasing the best of the best."
A perk of the central location: it was easily accessible by public transport - something organisers hoped would attract a more diverse crowd.
Paris Butter chef Nick Honeyman described Taste as a social event, and "not pretentious at all". He said more Kiwis were developing an interest in all things food.
"I think your average Kiwi has become a bit of a foodie.
"People are starting to understand what they're eating, where it comes from and the quality, which is really cool."
Honeyman had been working the crowds at Taste since its early days - first with The French Cafe before he opened his Herne Bay restaurant Paris Butter.
This year, his restaurant's offering was a mixed bag.
An old favourite - duck fat fries - was on the menu, along with a sumptuous sounding duck ravioli.
"It's kind of a confit duck leg which is paying homage to the French food that I love so much, but presented in a lighter, festival style way," Honeyman said.
Similarly to the restaurateurs who had become mainstays of Taste, a collection of dedicated foodies had the festival booked in their calendar year after year.
Aucklander Dave Clark had a near-impeccable attendance record, having gone to every Taste festival bar one, since it started. Organiser Rob Eliott said Clark usually wore a distinctive hat which he began to recognise.
"You know when you see the same person a few too many times, and you have to say something?" Eliott asked. "It was like that."
Clark and his wife typically went to "most of the sessions" spread across the event's duration.
The pair often planned trips around foodie events or restaurants, Clark said, and had also attended Taste in Sydney and Melbourne.
"We're looking forward to getting out to Milan and some of the ones further afield."
For Clooney's Tony Stewart, a highlight was getting out of the restaurant and getting to interact with both diners and other restaurateurs.
"It's a really nice public event - it's one thing to have the customer inside the restaurant but this just has a casualness about it.
"It's a lot of fun."
>> Taste of Auckland
Tickets are available for the following sessions
Friday: Noon-4pm and 5.30pm-10pm
Saturday: Noon-4pm and 5.30pm-5.30pm
Tickets range from $25-$170
For more information visit: https:www.tasteofauckland.co.nz/