Aucklanders are being urged to uncover the city's hidden food stories and "taste your way around Auckland" as a way to beat the winter blues.

Elemental Feast takes place as part of Auckland's first winter festival Elemental AKL this July.

The festival is aimed at igniting some life in the city and also draw visitors to the city during the quiet winter season.

More than 100 restaurants are signed up to be part of Elemental Feast, which is focused on providing opportunities for people to uncover some of the lesser known food stories around Auckland.

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Peking duck set at Huami is matched with Flox-tail cocktail, comprising rum, pink grapefruit, spiced peach and a touch of art. Photo / Michael Craig.
Peking duck set at Huami is matched with Flox-tail cocktail, comprising rum, pink grapefruit, spiced peach and a touch of art. Photo / Michael Craig.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) general manager Steve Armitage said the agency had worked with 120 eateries throughout Auckland to develop a "smorgasbord of special dishes".

"The Elemental Feast component is shining the spotlight on our incredible local cuisine," Armitage said.

He said the dishes will be inspired by the four elements; air, fire, earth and water, using locally sourced winter produce.

Besos Latinos owner and chef Luis Cabrera's waka-shaped crispy corn tortilla representing the fusion of Maori and Mexican cultures. Photo / File
Besos Latinos owner and chef Luis Cabrera's waka-shaped crispy corn tortilla representing the fusion of Maori and Mexican cultures. Photo / File

Armitage said the event will see "world class" restaurateurs, chefs, artisans and local producers showcase what makes Auckland's food and beverage scene "vibrant, ever-evolving and of exceptional quality".

It would offer an opportunity, he said, for people to uncover some of the lesser known food stories around Auckland as a gastronomic region.

At SkyCity's Huami, executive chef Raymond Xue is eager to share his fruit wood-fired Peking duck set - which in winter, comes with hot duck soup on the side.

Growing up in China, Xue said the dish was a winter favourite and he would spend many evenings looking for the best Peking duck eatery in Shanghai.

"It's something that brings joy to me when I eat especially on cold winter nights, and I hope it can also do the same for my Kiwi diners this winter here."

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The crispy-skinned poultry is usually just served in slices with pancakes, spring onions, cucumber and hoisin sauce, but Xue's winter set is accompanied with a bowl of steaming hot duck broth soup on request.

"In China, sometimes people add brandy to the soup because that's the way to warm up the body," Xue added.

Instead of pouring liquor into the soup, Huami sommelier Marek Prxyborek is matching the dish with a cocktail "Flox-tail" that has golden rum, pink grapefruit, spiced peach and a touch of art topping to give diners pretty much a similar effect.

Cordis Auckland hotel executive chef Volker Marecek will pair each canape with different gin cocktail. Photo / File
Cordis Auckland hotel executive chef Volker Marecek will pair each canape with different gin cocktail. Photo / File

At Cordis Hotel, locally produced artisanal gins will feature at a Hidden World gin tasting event on July 4, a collaboration between Luke Nicholas of the Epic Brewing Company and Anthony Sexton of Vaione Gin.

Special gin cocktails will be matched to canapes designed by Cordis executive chef Volker Marecek.

"Designing the menu with different elements has been a great opportunity to explore unique flavours while pairing each canape with different gin cocktails," Marecek said.

"From hangi potato, sour cream and salmon caviar paired with Guardian gin or chilli gin with chilli chocolate...we aim to use locally sourced ingredients."

Offerings from other eateries include a fire-inspired braised oxtail from Red Wall 1939, campfire lamb at Vodka Room and vegan brownie dessert "Tane Mahuta" by La Petite Fourchette.

Chefs at Besos Latinos have created a waka-shaped crispy corn tortilla and called it "Waka-mole", representing the fusion of Maori and Mexican cultures.

Elemental AKL is presented by ATEED and will run from July 1 to 31 throughout the Auckland region. It includes more than 50 free and ticketed events.