In April, the World's 50 Best Restaurants, an annual ranking of restaurants at which you have a slim chance of scoring a table — but if you did, would blow your culinary mind — was released. And instead of wishfully trawling menus and international restaurant Instagrams like the rest of the world, us lucky Aucklanders get a taste of the festivities as Estrella Damm — the award's official beer sponsor — brings the prestige of the gastronomy showcase to us with Chef's Choice menu takeovers at some top local eateries.
Influenced by Barcelona, home of Estrella Damm — and a city in which you're never more than ten metres from a paper cone packed with freshly-shaved Jamon and breadsticks — 21 top Auckland chefs will each create a Mediterranean-inspired dish unique to their restaurant, incorporating the dry-cured ham, to be paired with the Spanish beer.
To mention a few, expect belly-warming ham tostada with heirloom tomato, pickled daikon and zesty chimichurri from Peruvian-Japanese spot, Azabu. Spanish waterside eatery, La Vista will pair eggplant, bocconcini and Jamon and pine nut pesto with the crisp lager, and cosy wine and tapas joint, Bonita Bar, is even frying up quail's eggs for the occasion.
The specially curated pairings will be available in 21 venues across the city until July 9. That's just about one a day. Better get started.