All posts filed under: Events

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 …

The Food Show Auckland is coming – double pass giveaway

The Food Show is coming back to Auckland from Thursday 28 to Sunday 31 July, from 10am to 6pm at ASB Showgrounds. A great place to sample new products, buy show specials and explore new food trends. The ever popular Whirlpool Cooking Theatre will be showing 5 demonstrations each day with headlong NZ food personalities including Chelsea Winter, Josh Emett, Ray McVinnie, Sachie Nomura (Sachie’s Kitchen), Simon Gault, Megan May (Little Bird) and Kyle Street (Depot). Also for the first time, there will be demonstrations by food blogger Emma Galloway from My Darling Lemon Thyme. It’s so cool to see food bloggers at events like this. My Darling Lemon Thyme blog has been around for years, even longer than this blog. Emma and her family have been in living in Perth for 5 years but recently moved back to NZ meaning she can do cool stuff here like The Food Show. I count Emma as a blog role model so I look forward to seeing her demonstration. The full schedule for Whirlpool Cooking Theatre can be viewed online here. This year, …

Hiakai means “hungry”

Māori cuisine is curiously uncommon in our culinary landscape. Growing up in the Māori wonderland of Rotorua, I enjoyed many hangi as a kid. I just didn’t appreciate or understand how special it was until we moved to Auckland and there were no more hangi. For those not from around here, hangi is a traditional Māori technique of cooking food underground, using heated rocks and covered baskets. It involves a lot of digging and a lot of time and is thus reserved for special occasions on marae (Māori meeting houses) such as weddings and funerals. For most New Zealanders, Māori cuisine is not an everyday occurrence and even tourists visiting our country will struggle to find Māori cuisine. Searching “hangi” on Zomato comes up with one result and both “boil up” and “Māori” yield no results. None. I know of one cafe in Auckland serving Rewena bread as part of their menu, but it’s not like I can just go out and enjoy Māori food whenever I want. The industry just doesn’t look like that. Yet. In contrast, searching “sushi”, “butter …

Game of Rhones AK16

I made the most of a precious work-free weekend and had a BLAST at Game of Rhones. Being it’s second year here in Auckland, Game of Rhones is gathering momentum. Game of Rhones is different to other wine festivals and your $60 ticket gets you a quality PLUMM REDa wine glass (value $30) and all your tastings. That’s right, no tokens are required for wine tastings. It’s all included in your ticket price. Taste to your hearts content. Visitors are encouraged to dress up GoT style and I this year my fur and leather combo channeled GoT Nights Watch, Wildlings and the Iron Islands. Sitting on the bus in costume, no one even looked twice, which made me feel at ease. While I was quite warm, I felt more comfortable in this costume than the gown and cape I wore last year (not really my style). There were more attendees in costume this year and I feel that it will only get better with each year. Kiwis are naturally a little shy when it comes …

Game of Rhones – double pass winner

With special thanks to Game of Rhones I am pleased to announce the winner for the double pass to this Saturday’s Auckland event (worth $120). Drawn by Random.org the winner is… **drum roll please!** Emma Tan Congratulations Emma, I hope you and your friend enjoy the event! All wine tastings are included, just bring money for food and take home bottles if that’s your thing. To keep up with giveaways and announcements, make sure you follow my Facebook page here.

#WineIsComing – A double pass giveaway

(scroll down for giveaway)     There are people who like drinking wine and having fun. Are you one of those people? If so, keep reading. I was a late convert to Game of Thrones but I now watch it religiously. The season finale of Season 6 is in 3 days and it will be long, loooong wait until the next season in 2017. But wait! There’s more! Next Saturday, while the season finale of GoT is still warm, Auckland is getting a very special event called Game of Rhones. Not affiliated in any way with GoT, Game of Rhones is a big deal in Australia, where it began…Where Dan Sims, the founder started it as a bit of a joke, but then more seriously and rather quickly expanded into Game of Rhones events in 7 cities in Australia and New Zealand. Where people drink wine and are encouraged to channel their favourite GoT character. I’ve included some photos I took of Auckland’s 2015 event but check out their Facebook album to get the full effect of …

Winetopia 2016 – things I have learned

I have been cursed with the realisation that I like expensive wine. Last Saturday, my friend and I attended Winetopia, an expo for wine lovers. Set upstairs at the expansive Shed 10 on Queens Wharf, in Auckland CBD, the event was bursting at the seams with well behaved but jovial attendees, wine exhibitors, food stalls and plenty of free wine talks (with tastings).       We’d already enjoyed a leisurely feast of a lunch (to line the stomach) but I couldn’t go past freshly shucked Mahurangi Oysters and my friend enjoyed a Food Snob cheese platter. There’s a decent array of food if you want or need it, but we were here for wine. Entry included a tasting wine glass and 5 tokens, though more tokens could be purchased for $2 each. Most wine tastings cost 1 token, though there were 2 and 3 token tastings for the more expensive bottles. For an extra $20pp you could also choose to attend various Masterclasses with guaranteed tastings. The King of Pinot Noir We were lucky to swing a …

Winetopia 2016 double pass winner

With special thanks to Lemongrass Productions I am pleased to announce the winner for the double pass to Winetopia presented by Singapore Airlines. Drawn by Random.org the winner is… **drum roll please!** Indiana Turner Congratulations Indiana, I hope you and your friend have a wonderful time at the Winetopia! Tickets are $30+bf and includes x5 tastings plus a wine glass. Tickets available through iTicket. Extra tastings are $2 each and can be purchased at the event. For more information, visit: www.winetopia.nz  Make sure you try some of the event food pairings. Free range pork terrine, prawn and pork rice paper rolls, oysters, dumplings, cheese platters, cured meats and chocolate. Heavenly! Thank to everyone else for all your entries. I loved reading your delicious answers. To keep up with giveaways and announcements, make sure you follow my Facebook page here.

Winetopia 2016 – double pass giveaway

Around this time next month, a new wine event called Winetopia will descend upstairs at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf. With one evening session on Friday 20 May 2016 and two sessions on Saturday 21 May 2016, New Zealand’s top wineries will be represented as well as local wine experts, critics and sommeliers. Run by Lemongrass Productions, the good people behind Taste of Auckland and Wine AKL you can expect the same level of atmosphere and delicious tastings at Winetopia. If you’re interested in learning thing or two about wine, there will be free classes as well as $20 Masterclasses. Bluesy Jazz duo Hopetoun Brown (ex-Supergroove brass section) will play a live set at all three sessions. Thanks to Lemongrass Productions, I have a double pass to Winetopia presented by Singapore Airlines on Saturday 21st May 2016, 12pm to 3.30pm. This includes 5x tastings plus a wine glass each, plus free talks and entertainment. To enter, complete the form at the bottom of this post, including a skill question. With Earlybird tickets well and truly gone (I snaffled up …

Countdown CheeseFest 2016 – review

Last week, my social media was stuffed with cheese. I had the pleasure of being a steward at the judging for NZ Cheese Awards and also attended the CheeseFest a few days later. It’s hard to pin down an exact number, but I tasted at least 50 of NZ’s finest cheeses. While I can’t share much about the judging process due to strict confidentiality regulations, I can say that it was a full day of cheese judging and I would do it again next year. I’ve never worked as a steward before, but it’s a bit like being a waitress only you’re handling cheese, and you get to sample a lot of cheese. I mean a LOT. I picked up a bunch of tips for my next cheese tasting event and while I don’t think I will be spitting cheese at tastings any time soon, I do understand why it’s done. If you love cheese and can spare a Sunday in February/March, I would recommend volunteering at the judging next year. PM me for details. …

Countdown Cheesefest is coming! Double pass giveaway

Calling all cheese lovers! The very best of New Zealand’s cheeses will be carefully judged and ranked for the New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards in a few days. To celebrate the winners, this year sponsored by Countdown, the CheeseFest will be hosted at The Langham Auckland’s Great Room, from 5pm to 8.30pm on WEDNESDAY 2 MARCH 2016. Taste, admire and purchase NZ’s best cheeses to your hearts delight and enjoy a complimentary Crossroads wine or Epic beer on arrival. Tickets are $30 +bf and available online here. Door sales from 4.30pm on the day $35.   Thanks to the CheeseFest, I have a double pass to give away (worth $60). To enter, simply fill in the entry form at the bottom of this post. There will be plenty of cheese samples and also cheese bargains to be found on their famous cheese sales tables. I attended my first CheeseFest last year and I was in awe of the cheese sales tables. Check out my rundown of last year’s CheeseFest here. Tips for CheeseFest: There are amazing specials on cheese. Clear your fridge and …