All posts filed under: Events

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. I will update this post as more …

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 …

Did someone say Palooza?

I consider Pinot Noir the “gateway red” and next Saturday on September 3rd, Pinot Palooza, a celebration of Pinot Noir is coming to Auckland. Auckland’s first Pinot Palooza features unlimited tastings of 150 wines, 60 producers from New Zealand and Australia. Regions represented are Central Otago, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough, Wairarapa, Waipara Valley, North Canterbury and Nelson. You may recognise some of the producers such as: Pegasus Bay  Neudorf Sileni Estates Giesen Wines Villa Maria Though there are many more, check out the full list here: http://pinotpalooza.com.au/auckland-your-wine-list/ If you’ve been to any other Bottle Shop Concepts events such as Game of Rhones, then you can expect the same token-free experience. That’s right no tokens meaning you can taste wines to your heart’s content without worrying how many pieces of silver you have left in your pocket. There will be music, there might even be dancing. Who knows? Tickets are $60pp which includes an EPIC crystal Plumm RedB Glass (value $35) or VIP tickets which includes early access, a food voucher, a curated tour and a special …

Street Eats 2016 – Eats

Some of the most delicious things happen by pure chance. On Saturday morning, while eating a whitebait fritter on slice of bread, AND a bag of crunchy deep fried chicken skins (both uncommon in my life), I realised I could combine the two. The result was better than either food on its own. Soft, fish, lemon, crunch, salt, chicken-y. It was so good. I should start my own stall. Ha. My friend and I set upon Street Eats at Shed 10 on Auckland’s Queens Wharf ready to eat and ready to be wowed. This year, Street Eats spanned two levels of Shed 10 giving more room for visitors to move about and there was plenty of seating available. A family friendly affair, there was plenty of activities to keep kids occupied which is great even if you don’t have kids…If you know what I mean. We ate, we drank, we enjoyed atmosphere as guests of AirAsia. We arrived early at 10.30am and didn’t come across any queues, though we did hustle through to avoid crowds. I …

The Food Show Auckland 2016 – review and packaging porn

I went solo to The Food Show today. If you’ve never been on your own before (this was my first time solo), it’s totally awesome. You can zip around quickly, miss the things you’re not into and spend longer chatting about food and to exhibitors generally being a big food NERD. Also, you can take photos of pretty packaging for as long as you like without anyone thinking, “Come ON, let’s GO (you weirdo)”.  The Food Show is huge. Like, MEGA. You could conceivably visit every day for 4 days and still find new things you missed before. I recommend allowing 3 hours, any longer can be a bit overwhelming and it’s easy to get lost. If you do, don’t panic. Eat something and just enjoy. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, The Food Show is packaging and food design HEAVEN. If you’re a budding graphic designer looking for food-related inspiration or even someone looking to get into making and packaging their own product. Go to The Food Show. I even saw creatives walking …

Street Eats giveaway winner

With special thanks to Auckland Restaurant Month I am pleased to announce the winner for the Street Eats prize pack. Drawn by Random.org the winner is… **drum roll please!** Element DP / Jason Faircloth Congratulations Jason! I hope you and your friend enjoy Street Eats the entry for two, two food items and two drinks to be redeemed on Saturday 6 August 2016 at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf. I loved reading all your answers to my skill question on your favourite places to eat in Auckland. Lots of great suggestions! To keep up with giveaways and announcements, make sure you follow my Facebook page here.

Auckland Restaurant Month and a Street Eats giveaway

August is Auckland Restaurant Month and this year, Street Eats on the first Saturday of the month (Saturday 6 Aug 2016). Huzzah! I love Street Eats which I view as a walking, build-your-own degustation. Browse, graze, have a drink, and enjoy the atmosphere. There will be over 80 dishes, usually priced between $5 to $12, covering many different cuisines from restaurants, cafes and food trucks around Auckland. With games for kids, a bar for grown ups and live music for everyone, there will be plenty to keep you amused. Entry is $5 for adults and free for supervised kids. Gates open 10.30am and close 8pm, though I highly recommend an early visit as many of the best dishes sell out. Check out the menus here if you’re like me and like to have a browse before the event. Here’s a few pics I’ve snapped of past Street Eats to get your appetite going…   There are lots of other foodie events on this month, with serious and novel themes. Events include Dinner in the Dark (sold out), Dessert Degustation Walking Tour …