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A Taste of Taranaki

Are you looking for a new dining experience?
By Genevieve Hole
June 18, 2013
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By Genevieve Hole
June 18, 2013
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Are you looking for a new dining experience? Fancy a bit of a surprise when you head out for a meal (and not in a fly-in-your-soup type of way)? Welcome to the wonderful world of experiential dining. The best part is you don’t have to fly to New York or London to get in on the action. Auckland has its very own pop-up restaurateurs who are opening a one-night-only restaurant this Friday, June 21.

Introducing chef Sam Campbell, Heartbreak Pie’s Delaney Mes and Nick of Green Meadows Beef – aka the dude with the meat. Together they’re putting on ‘A Taste of Taranaki’ – showcasing various cuts of Taranaki's finest beef at the Clarian Room.

Concrete Playground spoke to Delaney Mes about the event and what to expect from the pop-up restaurant.

CP: How did ‘A Taste of Taranaki’ come about?

DM: In a past life I was a lawyer but these days I’m a food blogger, and pop-up restaurant/dinner party planner and cook. Back in law school I met Sam and Nick. Sam got into cooking and never really looked back. He’s a freelancer now, but has done stints over in Europe and worked as a private chef for Peter Jackson. Nick hails from a dairy farm in Taranaki. His parents recently sold up to finance their true passion for beef. Nick was instrumental in the developmental stages of the setting up Green Meadows Beef and has been full time since the end of last year.

CP: Why Taranaki?

DM: Both Sam and Nick are ‘Naki' boys, so it’s a place close to their hearts. Our beautiful beef has been lovingly reared down there and we’re excited about bringing it to the big smoke. We’re also getting our hands on some locally brewed craft beer from Mike’s Premium Organic Beer for the evening.

CP: What’s the beef with Green Meadows?

DM: Green Meadows is boutique beef producer that embraces the whole ‘farm to fork’ mentality. Their cows graze on lush flat paddocks by the beach and apparently get so much sea-salted grass that they gain up to a kilo a day! You can taste the difference too. Their meat is considered the closest thing to organic and Green Meadows are very transparent about any products used on the farm. You can purchase their meat in 5 and 10 kilo packs online and the cool thing is you’ll get a mix of cuts – all top quality but encouraging you break out from you usual beef eating habits – and something we’re excited about profiling on Friday night.

CP: I’m new to pop-up dining, what should I expect?

DM: No two nights are the same when it comes to pop-up dining, so expect a unique, one-off experience. We aim to bridge the gap between dinner party and restaurant and bring you the best bits of both. The venue for Friday holds just 60 people and will have an intimate dinner party atmosphere in a transformed space. Everyone will be seated on long tables so you might find yourself making some new friends. I love hearing how pop-up restaurants I’ve done in the past have led to people who didn’t know each other going out dancing until 4am, and starting new friendships and all sorts of things.

CP: How do I get a ticket?

DM: Head to Event Brite. The event is this Friday, June 21st at the Clarian Room, 21 Beaumont St, Victoria Park, Auckland. Tickets are $69. There’s a lot of interest in the event and a maximum of 60 guests, so get in quick to secure your spot.

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