All posts filed under: Events

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 …

Auckland Seafood Festival 2016

If you enjoy sensational, succulent seafood, then make sure you visit Auckland Seafood Festival this long weekend. My sister and I hit Auckland Seafood Festival on opening night and we had a truly delightful time.  We both love seafood so we shared a bunch of things we both enjoy. Arriving shortly after opening, there were no queues so we didn’t have to apply any strategy based on length of the queues. Last year I gave crayfish a miss because the lines were horrendous. Nothing like that this time around. We started with oysters and the Bluff farmed oysters at Sanford Oysters looked good to us. These were freshly shucked and served with malt vinegar and lemon (6 for $22). We had a little browse and then hit up Besos Latinos for some Peruvian ceviche ($14) and seafood empanadas ($10). The ceviche really hit the spot and the empanada (fried fresh to order) reminded us of a seafood pie.   Always popular at Auckland Seafood Festival are Auckland Fish Markets’ crayfish tails. This year they had grilled half cray tails …

Top gifts for Foodies at Auckland Fair

Auckland Fair is on next Sunday at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf from 10 to 4pm. Entry is $5, kids under 12 free. For those who haven’t been before, it’s a huge collection of carefully curated local makers under one roof. There will be jewellery, homewares, art, ceramics, textiles, snacks and heaps more. I’m looking forward to picking up locally made goodies for Christmas presents. Even applying a lot of self restraint, I ALWAYS end up buying some gifts for myself. I can’t help it. There’s so much awesome stuff. Buying locally this Christmas, even for a few gifts means your loved ones receive something unique and it supports small local businesses meaning this Christmas will be a little brighter for your community. I’ve rounded up a few gifts for foodies you will find at Auckland Fair. If you are not in Auckland, this list can serve as an ideas to find similar items in your area. Top gifts for foodies Ceramics A home cook can never have too many lovely bowls and plates to display their …

Project Botanicals – Auckland

Last night, my friend Miss A and I attended Project Botanicals as guests of Bombay Sapphire. Coincidentally, this event coincided with my birthday (week) and I am not one to turn down birthday cocktails. The pop-up is at James, an unassuming venue at the bottom of Parnell which you might have driven past but not noticed before. I’d been there for dinner with The Koala before years ago but it’s not somewhere that gets much foot traffic. It’s a shame because it’s a great venue. The space was beautifully transformed with flowers, cloth and blue lighting…an event planner’s wet dream. Gin is enjoying a revival these days and if you thought you didn’t like gin (as I once did) I urge you to rethink it. With so many flavours and ways to prepare drinks these days, gin cocktails have come a long, loooong way. Bombay Sapphire is made from 10 botanicals and each botanical was celebrated and translated into a cocktail and food pairing. A $40 ticket buys you a two hour session with two cocktails and two …

Artisanal tequila from Mexico and tapas at Besos Latinos

Hear me out friends. It’s my birthday today and I have an important message. My friend Vanessa has is moving from Auckland to Guatemala for a year. True story. Vanessa is one of those friends you have who is super smart, well travelled, passionate and with a heart so big it couldn’t possibly fit inside that chest of hers. She is a giver. Maybe you have one of those friends yourself? Here’s a pic of Vanessa, me and The Koala on the back of a truck in Thailand. Don’t ask me what The Koala is doing in this photo. I just don’t know. A group of us had finally met up in Koh Tao, it was Vanessa’s birthday and we had a rad time in the islands of Thailand. I’ve shared many a meal and drink with her Auckland and overseas. Vanessa will be volunteering full time next year as the Communications Officer for Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos doing the type of fulfilling work most of us can only dream of. Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) Spanish for ‘Our Little Brothers …

Taste of Auckland 2015 – the verdict

This year, I wined and dined at Taste of Auckland. Twice. Going twice is some next level shit because if you’re like me, there’s no way you get even CLOSE to trying all the dishes you want in one session. This year was blue skies and summer glory and festival veterans will be positively basking in the sunshine. The reason being that the weather was horrible at last year. It rained so much, the grounds were chocolate mousse and gumboots were on trend. This year at Taste, sunglasses, summer dresses and a slight sunburn were high fashion. Things to see Fisher and Paykel’s Social Kitchen was thoroughly educational and entertaining. I caught the SUMMER OF YUM ice pop session with Our Kitchen (F&P cooking blog) and Dr Feelgood. Hosted by Kelly Gibney from the food blog Bonnie Delicious, I learned some handy tips about ice pops. For example, to stop ice crystals forming, you need to freeze the ice pops as quickly as possible so that ice crystals don’t have enough time to form. This can …

What to eat and see at Taste of Auckland 2015

Taste of Auckland starts on this Thursday! Running Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 November 2015, this will be their second year at the new location of Western Springs. A haven for foodies, this festival is now in it’s 7th year. Consider it a walking, living, breathing, build-your-own degustation. Tickets are available online or if you prefer to wait and see what the weather is doing, there are also door sales. I haven’t missed a single Taste festival yet. Yup. You could say I’m a fan. Gourmet Hangi For the first time at Taste, there will be a gourmet hangi. Each session a different chef or restaurant team will be offering a gourmet take on the Māori hangi. Be in quick, portions are limited and on first in first serve basis. I grew up in Rotorua where hangi feasts were fairly common but since moving to Auckland 20+ years ago, there’s been a distinct absence of hangi from my life. You can bet I’ll be trying as much gourmet hangi as I can! The Gourmet Hangi will be …

Bunny Eats Design turns 5 – Taste of Auckland giveaway

Taste of Auckland is my favourite, favourite, favourite foodie event. Taste is 7 years old this year and I have been attending religiously every year since inception, including the bonus Taste at The Cloud during RWC year. Obsessed much? Taste of Auckland is coming up in November and tickets are on sale now. With special thanks to Lemongrass Productions, I have two tickets to give away to one lucky reader. To enter, just visit my Instagram account and name one dish I have posted to Instagram recently. Entry form at the bottom of this post. The main drawcard of Taste are the restaurants, each serving up a small menu of tasty morsels. This year there will also be Brew Street, a craft beer special with 10 minute meet the makers talks. The Social Kitchen by Fisher and Paykel is always popular with the festival goers. Nothing quite like an interactive, edible exhibit. You can also look forward to a gourmet hangi. A first in Taste history. Bloggers, reviewers and food pornographers will be happy to learn that Canon will be running a Food Photography workshop during the festival. Tickets: $50 per person including your …

Street Eats 2015 – food porn and people watching

Today is the last day of Restaurant Month. What a month it’s been! On Saturday was Street Eats, a highlight and grand finale event of Restaurant Month. I arrived at Street Eats at 10.30am when it opened, paid $5 admission and set upon documenting and eating my way through the huge selection of delicious food. As I’ve mentioned before, going early is the best way to avoid crowds at Street Eats. I only had to wait in line for 1 dish and since I got there early before the crowds, I even got to chat to some chefs about their dishes. Each restaurant, eatery, pop up and food truck offered between 3 and 5 dishes, all under $10. Shed 10 was filled with restaurants and plenty of seating. In the centre island, drinks could be bought from various wine, cider and beer retailers.  With festive bunting and live music it was set for great atmosphere. Food trucks and pop ups lined the outside space between Shed 10 and The Cloud. I had already eaten at both Mexico and Orleans last week …

Everything you need to know about Street Eats 2015

Street Eats is a highlight of Restaurant Month and it’s on this coming Saturday. Now in it’s third year, this popular event is cheap, busy and delicious. This is not so much a celebration of “street foods”, but a celebration of restaurants’ take on street foods. If you enjoy eating lots of different types of foods by our local restaurant chefs, this is for you. Being a one day event has seen intense crowds and many sold out stalls. This year they are introducing a $5 entry fee which may cut down crowds. Still, I would recommend going early to avoid missing out. Street Eats Saturday 29 August 2015 10.30am – 8pm Shed 10, Queens Wharf $5 entry (Free entry for supervised children) More info at: http://www.heartofthecity.co.nz/auckland-events/food-and-drink-events/street-eats Tips for Street Eats Bring an appetite but get something quick and fast when you arrive so you don’t get hangry Bring a friend (or two) to share dishes with Entry is $5. Bring cash as some stalls may not accept EFTPOS Expect to spent $25-50 per person depending on your appetite and …

Everything you need to know about Wine AKL 2015

Do you like wine? Good. On Friday 14 and Saturday 15 August 2015, 80 of NZ’s top wineries will converge across the two floors of Shed 10 for Wine AKL. Wineries will be grouped by region so it will be like taking a little roadtrip vineyard tour of the country. Bottles of wine will be available for purchase and there will be a DJ, dancers and food from Euro available. Check out Euro’s festival menu here. Tickets are $25 plus booking fee and includes a tasting glass, the first five tastings and a wine guide. This event is strictly R18. There are 3 sessions: Session 1. Friday 14 August 2015, 5:00pm – 8:30pm Session 2. Saturday 15 August 2015, 12:00pm – 3:30pm Session 3. Saturday 15 August 2015, 4:30pm – 8:00pm For those with a thirst for some extra wine knowledge, there are 9 masterclasses which are $20 per class on top of your entry ticket. Masterclasses are: Session 1 Bob Campbell, Chardonnay – a regional round up of top wines Yvonne Lorkin, Organic Awesomeness! 5 of …