With 2000 varieties of cheese in existence, it's fair to say that cheese is one of the most versatile ingredients in a kitchen; it can be sweet, savoury or something in between. Cheese is at the heart of the aptly-named Festival du Fromage running until 31 August at Beast and Butterflies. The four-course set menu showcases the very best of local cheeses.
Starting with whipped goat's cheese encased in delicate layers of brick pastry, its creamy acidity is tempered by the sweetly savoury salted roasted beetroot, caramelised onion and walnut praline. While the ricotta dumplings, delicately flavoured by Armaretto, almond, pickled golden raisins, crispy sage and a brown butter vinaigrette offer a subtle but satisfying palate cleanser. The main course goes straight for the jugular with a richly flavoured Kapiti Kikorangi blue giving some clout to a braised beef cheek and roasted vegetables. Finally, a velveteen tiramisu marries together homemade caramel chocolate sorbet, hazelnut chocolate soil and Bailey's jelly for an elegant finish.
If you're after something a little more laid back, there will also be burgers with Kapati's smoked havarti available and cheese platters to share, or not, depending on your mood.