All posts tagged: festival

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 …

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. …

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 …

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 …

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 …

The Food Show 2015: double pass giveaway

Thanks to The Food Show, I have a double pass to give away. Competition details at the bottom of this post. Foodie July Can you believe it’s July already? As Carli from The Enthusiastic Cook  summarised the other day, “AGHHGHGHGH How can winter suck with so many fun food events coming up?!” Graze and Feast is on this Friday, Game of Rhones on Saturday, and I’ve been invited to a Cocktail Club and Zomato’s birthday bash next week. The Food Show Another food event on my calendar is The Food Show at the end of the month. The Food Show Thursday 30 July – Sunday 2 August 2015 10am – 6pm (finishes 5pm on Sunday) ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane, Auckland. Early bird tickets start at a very reasonable $26 for adults. For more information, please visit their website here. The Food Show is an accessible expo of for food. Anything you can find in a supermarket, greengrocer, booze shop or kitchen you can find at The Food Show. Look for new and innovative products, lots of tastings and …

Graze and Feast – The Menu

This time next week, there will be thousands of Aucklanders feasting on street food. Here’s a little preview of what they will be shoving in their pie holes… Graze and Feast will be held every Friday in July from 5pm at Shed 10 on Queen’s Wharf. Opening night is Friday 3 July. Entry is free and dishes range from $5 to $14. If you’re going, make sure you also check out my first post for everything you need to know about Graze and Feast. Vendors include: Ryan’s Kitchen, Brooklyn Dogs, Ekhaya, Dixie Barbecue, Banger Boys, Langos Hungarian Bread, Al’s Deli, Goodnight, Tiger Burger, Little Nomadic Kitchen, Love Bites, La Olivia, The Carvery, Go Go Mexican, Missoni Pizza, Siri Sri Lankan plus a few more. Follow their Facebook page for updates. “A gathering of Auckland’s best street foods including wood fired pizza, burgers, tacos, paella, bunny chow, Caesar salad, sirloin roll, pasties, American BBQ, patatas bravas, creme brûlée, ice cream, desserts.” Bunny chow? Unlike most, I actually know what bunny chow is, though I’ve never tried it. A …

#BirdOnAWireIsComing #WineIsComing

Game of Rhones, it’s on Saturday 4 July at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf. Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney have had their events and now it’s Auckland left. Over 100 wines by 20 producers, it’s going to be a hell of an afternoon. Check out my intro post here. The great thing about being last in a series of events is you get to see all the photos of the earlier events on Instagram as they happen…and get ideas for costumes. Game of Thrones attire is encouraged. If you feel silly dressing up in Game of Thrones gear, just know that after a few wines, you’ll be glad you did. Early Raven tickets were $40 and regular tickets are $50. The ticket price includes all tastings and a wine glass. Food (provided by Bird and Wire) is extra. For more information see the Game of Rhones website or their Facebook page here. I will be there in costume, with a prepped liver, an appetite and a camera. Will you? All men must dine Auckland’s event will be catered for by Bird …

#Winteriscoming #Wineiscoming

Winter is coming! Winter is coming! If you watch Game of Thrones, this will be a familiar phrase. The Koala and I were quite late to Game of Thrones. We started watching at season 3 and binged on 30 episodes in about 3 weeks. Now that we’re caught up we have to wait week by week like peasants. PEASANTS! A little while ago, my friend Miss A told me about a Game of Thrones-themed wine-tasting event. Called Game of Rhones, it’s on Saturday 4 July at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf. The event has been celebrated in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and for the first time this year, Sydney and Auckland. A celebration of fierce reds from the Rhone Valley in France representing faraway lands. There will also be 20 wine producers from our own land to battle them. Vote for your favourite wine and the winning house will rule the iron throne (or something). Tyrion would approve. Game of Thrones attire is encouraged. If you feel silly dressing up in Game of Thrones gear, just …

MiNDFOOD CheeseFest 2015 – The skinny

This time last week, I had eaten so much cheese my eyes were glazing over. This time last week, I was at the MiINDFOOD CheeseFest having just grazed my way through most of New Zealand’s best cheeses. I was lucky enough to get a trade/media pass which entitled me (and others) to a full hour of tastings and cheesemaker attention before the general public got in. I caught up with Bri DiMattina, local foodie, and blogger. Bri was the winner of the Curds & Whey Champion Home Crafted Cheese and Cheesemaker Award at last year’s CheeseFest. Being my first CheeseFest I was stoked to be cruising around with someone from the exclusive cheese society. Bri gave me some great festival tips and we rubbed shoulders with important people in the cheese and food industry.   I got to chat to one of the judges, Sonia Cousins, whose credentials include Cheese Activist, Cheese Judge, and Cheese Writer. I learned that like professional wine tasters, cheese tasting judges spit. Spit! It came as bit of a shock but Sonia assured me …

Splore Food 2015

This time last week, we were elbow deep in Splore. Splore is an extremely well run, three day festival of music and art. This was easily my favourite festival and it was over too quick. I’m a little ashamed to say I only ate 4 meals over 3 days because the food on offer is incredible. I did have plenty to drink…don’t worry, it wasn’t all Jägermeister and cider, I also managed a banana-berry smoothie and a green juice . Here’s a run down on some of the food we ate. Aloisio Brazilian BBQ Halloumi and Free range Harmony chorizo breakfast bun. Brazilian Churrasco. Chicken, beef and Brazilian sausage served with rice, black beans and vinaigrette topped with farofa (seasoned cassava flour). I only had a single meal during Day One and this plate of barbecued goodness from Aloisio kept me going for the whole the day (and night). Most people we saw shared a plate but The Koala and I had one each. No regrets! I loved the help yourself farofa which is a seasoned cassava flour and naturally …

A guide to Splore food

Splore starts tomorrow! Splore is a 3-day music and art astival at Tapapakanga Regional Park on the outskirts of Auckland, New Zealand. Originally held every two years, last year, Splore decided to become an annual event. As Splore also happens to land on The Koala’s birthday, we’ve pretty much got his birthday party sorted for all of time. Splore is now celebrating its 11th festival and this year will be The Koala and my 7th Splore. They have a great sustainable green ethos and the arty atmosphere and beachy location make it unique. You can float in the sea or lie on the beach while watching international and kiwi artists on the main stage. Up on the hills and scattered throughout the site are never seen before artworks to keen you entertained and amused. There are various workshops and markets if you want to broaden your mind or wardrobe. If you like music, art and the beach, this is a winner.  Home The theme this year’s theme is “Home”. Home isn’t a place, it is where …