Central Otago and Queenstown's outstanding food and wine will be showcased at three superb lunches at this year's BMW ISPS Handa New Zealand Open.
The 'Long Lunch Series presented by Amisfield' will feature lunches delivered at entertainment area 'The 19th' by Josh Emett and his team from Rata, Amisfield Executive Chef Vaughan Mabee, and a team of some of the country's top chefs to compete at the Culinary Olympics in Germany later this year.
The four-course Rata lunch (March 11) and the five-course Culinary Olympics lunch (March 13) are both ticketed events, while the Amisfield lunch (March 14) is for 80 invited guests, all partners of players attending the Open.
A Josh Emett lunch was held at The 19th for the first time last year, and was such a huge success tournament organisers have decided to build on it.
"Food and wine is a big focus of The 19th for us this year as it adds a fantastic sense of atmosphere to the area and we could have sold last year's lunch a few times over," says tournament director Michael Glading.
"There's nothing better than enjoying some of New Zealand's best culinary fare complemented by award-winning wines from Amisfield and picturesque Queenstown views."
As well as teeing off alongside the professionals in the Pro-Am, Emett will bring the iconic Rata dining experience to The Hills, cooking and hosting an intimate lunch paired with Amisfield wines.
The Long Lunch with Rata and Josh Emett is a 'must attend' event for anyone who loves food or golf (or both) with limited tickets available for this unique dining experience. The menu's being kept under wraps until closer to the day but is sure to feature some Rata favourites.
The Amisfield lunch, with bubbles on arrival and three courses featuring a carefully-selected matching wine, will showcase chef Vaughan Mabee's experience gained in highly-acclaimed kitchens in the US and Europe, including two and three-star Michelin restaurants.
The lunch features an installation by fashion designer Juliette Hogan, a Q&A with Juliette and Vaughan Mabee, and models wearing garments from Juliette's winter range.
Vaughan is creating a dessert dish especially for the event inspired by Juliette's signature winter fabrics, a Wild Blackberry Sorbet with whipped crème fraiche, summer berry meringue, matched with an Amisfield Pinot Noir Rosé 2015.
Other courses feature West Coast whitebait, roasted hapuka with a white truffle sweetcorn and a stunning summer salad.
The NZ Chefs' Olympic team features a squad of ten of the country's top chefs and professional cookery tutors who will compete against 2000 chefs from 40 countries around the world to showcase New Zealand's culinary expertise and world-class produce.
New Zealand hasn't competed in the event for 28 years, but is being sponsored this year by Fonterra.
Olympic Culinary team 'Chef de Mission' and NZChefs President Graham Hawkes of Invercargill says the team is "very much looking forward" to the Queenstown lunch as part of a training programme of choosing and then refining the three courses they'll present in Germany in October.
Three of the five courses served will be those served during the world's most competitive Culinary Competition - a pan-seared Akaroa salmon, lamb loin with braised shoulder and a pear and chocolate delice dessert - as part of the Long Lunch programme.
An Asian-style eye fillet of beef is being presented by local guest chef Andi Bozhiqi, Executive Chef at tournament co-host Millbrook Resort, and a cheese course will come from Otago Polytechnic culinary students.