All posts filed under: Events

10 dishes I’m dying to try…

…at Taste of Auckland presented by Electrolux (PLUS A GIVEAWAY) Taste of Auckland  presented by Electrolux turns 10 this year and I have a double pass to give away. For entry details, scroll to the bottom of this post. So Taste. I am a long time fan girl. I’ve been to every Taste since they started way, way back pre-blog. Haven’t missed one yet. It’s my favourite food festival and the last few years, I’ve been going to multiple sessions so I can sample even more of the restaurant menu offerings. There will be cooking demonstrations, countless artisan and food stalls, bars and villages, live entertainment (including Holly Smith – Duo, Laughton Kora, Sola Rosa Sound System). If you’re interested, check out some of my previous festival review posts here, here and here. I adore Taste. It’s a casual, build your own walking feast. You mosey about and eat all the dishes that you like the sound of. Heaven. Bring a friend or two and double or triple your quota. Held over 6 sessions, this year Taste …

Where I really want to go for American Express Restaurant Month

Restaurant Month is just around the corner. August is going to be an eating extravaganza. There are over 150 participating restaurants are offering special menus.  There are three price brackets and you can browse by budget: $25, $40 and $55+. There have been a bunch of new openings since last year so it’s a great time to head to the central city restaurants you have been meaning to visit. Last August I enjoyed 9 menus. Cassia, Clooney, Culprit, Soul, O’Connell Street Bistro, Gusto, Odettes, Giraffe, and Le Chef which set me back just over $400. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if dining out 9 times in a month for $400 is a good deal or not. I know I have no regrets. We’re celebrating Matariki right now (Māori New Year) and I enjoyed two Matariki events last week. With that in mind, the menu I am most excited about for next month is the “Taste of New Zealand” menu at The Cut on Federal. It’s a hotel restaurant offering Māori potato gnocchi, …

Taste of Auckland 2017 – food, mostly.

This is not a sponsored post, however the folks at Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux have supplied me with entry tickets. I visited the festival twice and paid my own way inside the festival. Here are my thoughts… Last week I (and thousands of others) celebrated incredible local food at Taste of Auckland. Taste is a four day festival of food and beverage at Western Springs, Auckland. A line up of 10 restaurants, a gourmet hangi, live demonstrations, cooking and master classes, hundreds of food products and samples, it is a wonderland for food lovers of all levels.   This year I was invited to the media opening with refreshments and mingling just before gates opened. A who’s who of chefs, restauranteurs, media and influencers. Disclosure, I’ve recently started freelancing in social media and I wear many hats that often look the same. Regardless, I take photos, I eat, I make content. I only hope to do the food justice! I snapped a pic of my buddy Georgie with her hero, George Calombaris …

Taste of Auckland turns 9! 

I haven’t always been food obsessed. I “got into food” in my mid-twenties and Taste of Auckland was the first food festival I attended. A year before I started this (mostly) food blog, Mum and I bought tickets to the first ever Taste. We checked out a few cooking demonstrations and I tried beef tartare for the first time ever. I took photos for no real reason as I didn’t have social media or a blog. It was casual. Just something to do. Nine years later, as I mentally prepare myself for next week’s festivities, I realise I’m am a die-hard fan girl. I’ve attended 8 years of Taste and I’m going to Taste of Auckland this year too. Twice. It helps that it’s usually around my birthday making my birthday month a bit more wonderful. Well, basically Running four days from 16 to 19 November, the six sessions of Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux is essentially a build-your-own degustation with your choice of fine wine, beer, even cocktails. There are 10 restaurants …

The Food Show 2017

Fun fact: I carried about 6kg of meaty weight around with me today. Was I on an gruelling new exercise regime? Hell no. I was at The Food Show. The Food Show Auckland is on now until Sunday and today was the preview day. I visited The Food Show today with Bri DiMattina and Michelle from The Foodie Inc. We didn’t  have a plan of attack aside from a cooking class with Barilla, so we checked out a couple of hours of stalls before heading to the pasta class. Take your time, flock to what interests you. Don’t worry too much about the other stuff. We weaved in and out of stalls, trying and buying. There was plenty that took my fancy and once I started shopping it was hard to stop. After a sizeable bowl of pasta, I didn’t have room for much else, though I persevered and continued for a few more hours. When I was almost done and had said goodbye to my friends, I snuck back and bought a little bottle …

Auckland! Prepare your waistbands.

This is not a sponsored post. Sorry if I get gushy…I just get easily excited about food and I love a bargain. It’s almost August which means Auckland Restaurant Month starts next week. A great time to visit all the CBD restaurants you have been meaning to visit. There are special menus starting from $25 (some including wine!) there is something for all tastes and budgets. Below is my 10 picks for the month. I’ve curated this list from over 100 offerings. Some are set menus and others have options to choose from.Hopefully this helps you make some decisions or entices you to check out the other menus for the month. Full disclaimer, this list is purely self indulgent. They are all places that were already on my wish list or places I’ve wanted to get back to. I’m unlikely to get through them all but a girl can dream. Have a nosey and if you are hungry for more, check out the rest of the offerings here. IMPORTANT! Make sure you read the terms …

Fire smoke land and sea

Heading west on Friday afternoon, we drive into a brilliant lilac sunset. My “fork buddy” Aimee is at the wheel and our spirits are high. We’ve been looking forward to this for months. We are going to Hiakai and hiakai means hungry in Māori. However, the weather soon sours. By the time we arrive at Vineyard Cottages in the heart of Kumeu, it is dusk and both sky and earth are wet. Typical Auckland. A couple of fire pits and glowing tents are beacons in the dark, confirming our destination. One bell tent with a warming wood stove burner is to be our dining room and the other canvas tent to serve as the camp kitchen and kitchen pass. I first cottoned on to chef Monique Fiso on the recommendation of fellow blogger Bri DiMattina. @momofiso’s brand of honest, humble humour track her explorations and experiments into a new standard of fiercely Māori cuisine. Having spent 7 years working in some of New York’s best kitchens, Wellington-born, Māori-Samoan chef Fiso returned to New Zealand in 2016 …

Taste of Auckland 2016 – the run down

Taste of Auckland is here and last night, my fork buddies and I braved the weather to enjoy opening night. The promise of rain might have kept the crowds away and while the weather was nowhere near as horrendous as Taste 2014, we were glad we wore gumboots as it drizzled later in the night. There are 5 more sessions to go over the next 3 days and with many different areas and entertainment to keep you busy, there’s something for every shade of foodie. Even those who hate the term “foodie”. Taking photos of your food is 100% acceptable at Taste, some of the servers even made styling suggestions when I asked if I could take photos. I love how Taste is a shared communal experience and it’s totally OK to ask complete strangers about the food they’re enjoying. A stranger at Taste is a fork buddy you haven’t met yet. Once again, a well run festival, easy to navigate and meander around. No queues when we went meaning more time to enjoy the festival. Great atmosphere, delicious food, tastings and …

Te Matuku Oyster Festival and a deep fried oyster recipe

The Koala and I had the pleasure of attending the Te Matuku Oysters on Waiheke on Saturday thanks to Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney and Te Matuku Oysters. Our first festival of any kind since last summer, the weather held up – aside from a couple of light showers, it felt like summer. Waiheke is an island just a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland with loads of pristine beaches, a warm Mediterranean micro-climate and a focus on growing quality food and wine. We started with a delightful pilsner from Albi Brewing Company and a complimentary 3 oysters each. We were in oyster heaven and gobbled up more than our share and at festival special prices, it didn’t hurt the wallet one bit. If you love oysters the festival is time to gorge yourself on fresh, plump oysters. If your preference is natural with a squeeze of lemon (or Worcestershire sauce or vinaigrette), then shucked oysters are just $20 per dozen. To give you an idea of market price, a local restaurant sells the same oysters at $48 per dozen. …

Learning to shuck oysters and a recipe for Oysters Tamarind Kilpatrick

From my father, I inherited a fierce love for fresh oysters. If there was ever a moment I didn’t love raw oysters, I don’t remember it. As a kid, I ate my weight in oysters and any buffet worth visiting had fresh oysters in it’s offerings. Those in our family who loved them would eat a plate piled high. As a young adult, I once (or twice) turned up to family gatherings armed with several dozen shucked oysters on a polystyrene box, knowing they would go down a treat. Oysters are cheaper and fresher if you shuck them yourself but I’d never shucked oysters before. I vaguely remember my uncle wrestling with oysters but that didn’t interest me as a kid – I just wanted to eat them. In anticipation of the Te Matuku Oyster Festival on Waiheke this Saturday, I had the opportunity to shuck and cook up some plump Waiheke oysters. I’m no pro yet, so I won’t be sharing any shucking tips but I watched a bunch of Youtube videos (including this …

Taste of Auckland – Winners announcement

Happy Friday everyone! With a big thank you to Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux, I am pleased to announce the three winners to my Taste of Auckland double pass giveaway. The winners are… *drumroll please* Alice Chan, Mira Bi and Kiely Evans! Congratulations! I hope you and your friends enjoy your time at Taste of Auckland. Thanks to all who entered and if you missed out, don’t be sad,  I’m also giving away a $150 voucher for New World over here. Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux is back for the eighth year in a row. Running from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 November 2016 and once again at Western Springs, Taste of Auckland will be settling in for 6 sessions over 4 days of al fresco dining with wine and cocktails. Check out my write up about last year’s event and the year before last if you’re feeling eager and if you missed it, check out my intro post for this year’s event here. Advance tickets General admission $25, Premium $60 (includes 40 crowns), VIP $110. Concessions available. …

Tofu Tuesday: Food Writers NZ Conference

Last Friday I went along to the Food Writers New Zealand Conference at Villa Maria with fellow food bloggers Ari from Ari Eats and Rhi from In Rhi’s Pantry. The goodie bags were AMAZING. I have to admit, we’ve already eaten almost half the goods so Tofu the bunny models just a portion of the goodie bag goodies for you today. There were a couple of other food bloggers there, and of course, food writers, chefs, and others in the food production, education and community sectors. The keynote speaker was Jonathan Bloom, journalist, consultant, writer and blogger over at WastedFood.com talking about wasted food. As a food blogger – and I’m sure I am not alone in this – I’m often gifted food that I wouldn’t normally purchase and the majority of gifted food doesn’t end up on this blog. If I’m not going to eat it myself, I always do my best to find that food a new home. I know the diets and preferences of friends and family and I’ve yet to come …

Taste of Auckland 2016 is coming and a giveaway

Happy Friday everyone! We’re about halfway through October already and I am loving day light savings time. Longer evenings and we’re actually getting more sunny days than rainy days. November is my favourite month and not just because it’s my birthday (although that certainly helps). November means that my favourite festival of delicious proportions, Taste of Auckland is back for the eighth year in a row. Thanks to Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux, I have three double passes to give away to three lucky readers (Total value $150). To enter, fill in the entry form at the bottom of this post including a skill question: Adriano Zumbo will be demonstrating at Electrolux Taste Theatre on which 2 days? The answer can be found here. Running from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 November 2016 and once again at Western Springs, Taste of Auckland will be settling in for 6 sessions over 4 days of al fresco dining with wine and cocktails. If I gush a bit in this post, please understand I am a Taste fan girl. I …

Pinot Pinball at Pinot Palooza

My friend Miss A and I attended the first Auckland Pinot Palooza on Saturday at Shed 10. This celebration of pinot noir is aimed specifically at wine drinkers rather than wine snobs. There was very little else aside from pinot noir so it was eye-opening to try pinot noir from different climates and vintages all one after the other. Pinot Palooza has been running in Australia for 5 years and has a cult following of feel good wine drinking over there. With over 60 pinot noir producers on site, each offering an average of 3 bottles each, there was no way we would get through them all. Not even close and especially since we weren’t spitting. Sauvignon Blanc are the number one planting in our vineyards taking a massive 72% of our production but Pinot Noir is (a very distant but growing) second with 8% of NZ wine production (Source: NZ Wine). After starting with a couple of wines from Wine Australia followed by Framingham in Marlborough, we quickly devised our plan of action which …

Pies and wine

I had the BEST foodie day in Britomart last Friday. A couple of hours work in the morning and then lunch at Ortolana with fellow bloggers Ari Eats and Miss Charlotte Cake, followed by a gourmet pie masterclass, followed by coffee at Oaken (one of my favourite spots), followed by a food and wine matching class by Ostro, followed by dinner at Indochine with my bestie (and more wine).   Social Kitchen I was invited as a guest to a couple of masterclasses at Fisher and Paykel’s Social Kitchen in Britomart, set up as part of Auckland Restaurant Month. With a covered seating area, stage and demonstration kitchen, these were presented by Kelly Gibney of Bonnie Delicious blog. Chefs, restaurants and food personalities represented included Paul Carmichael (Momofuku Seiobo), Kyle Street (Depot, Federal), Gareth Stewart (Euro, The Culpepper), Michael Dearth (The Grove) Jordon Rondel (The Caker), Giapo Grazioli (Giapo) and more. Each class was starkly different and there really was something for every level of foodie. The weather was glorious so it was nice to see beanbags out …