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Feast Matariki Is New Zealand's First National Food Celebration

The celebration will comprise over 100 events and regional activations across the country.
By Stephen Heard
May 15, 2019
By Stephen Heard
May 15, 2019

Pavlova, fish 'n' chips and hokey pokey ice cream are just a few delicacies that pop up when Googling 'New Zealand food culture', but, as delicious as they might be, they're not really shining examples of the incredible ingredients grown and harvested in our stunning nation.

For the first time this year, Eat New Zealand — a food movement dedicated to connecting people with our land through our food — is set to present a national food celebration. Kicking off 1 June and running through July, Feast Matariki will comprise over 100 events and regional activations across the country.

Chief Executive of Eat New Zealand, Angela Clifford, says, "It's a moment to reconnect with where our food comes from and to recognise the truly incredible ingredients we grow, catch and make here. It's also a time to acknowledge the manaakitanga or hospitality that is an intrinsic part of who we are as Kiwis."

The festival will include regional efforts such as Feast Festival in Taranaki, Elemental Feast in Auckland, Matariki Dish Challenge in Waikato, Dine Dunedin, FAWC in Hawke's Bay, and Feast Matariki in Wellington. Events will be as diverse as street festivals, Matariki dish competitions, hāngis, community food celebrations and chef collaborations.

In the capital, Monique Fiso of Aotearoa-focused restaurant, Hiakai, and Charles Michel of Netflix's The Final Table will be offering a Matariki storytelling feast using foraged flora and an exploration of indigenous flavours and ingredients.

Elsewhere around the country, Christchurch will host its first annual Mushroom Market, celebrating the region's rich supply of farmed and foraged fungi; hāngi master Rewi Spraggon and game chef Dariush Lolaiy will team up with chef Will Michell for a winter celebration of earth and fire, preparing five courses; and those in Hawke's Bay will have the opportunity to follow truffle hunting dogs before enjoying a long lunch starring the precious ingredient.

Keep an eye on the Eat New Zealand website for further events and more information. 

Published on May 15, 2019 by Stephen Heard


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