From 31 October to 3 November, New Zealand’s biggest food and drink festival will see some of Auckland’s most exciting restaurants, chefs and artisans take over the waterfront’s Cloud and Shed 10 for four delicious days and nights.
Shaping up to be a veritable ‘foodies’ playground’, new festival themes to explore include Spice Alley, Ocean Terrace, The Shed and Decadence Collective, all showcasing signature dishes from some of Auckland’s most exciting restaurants, and gourmet treats, condiments, fine wines and chef favourites just waiting to be discovered.
Announcing its biggest line-up yet, this year will include Epicer, Andiamo, Hugo’s Bistro, Culprit., Xoong, Nanam, Oyster & Chop, Shucker Brothers, LOWBROW., Crab Shack, &Sushi, a special Collab Kitchen and a return of the Gourmet Hāngi - bring Taste’s pop-up restaurant tally to 13, including nine that are new to the festival.
In a festival first, a special Collab Kitchen involving leading chefs Josh Barlow ex Sugar Club, Hayden McMillan ex Etta of Melbourne, Lucas Parkinson from Ode in Wanaka, Phil Clark of Phil’s Kitchen and Nick Honeyman of Paris Butter is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Also new to the festival and another Herne Bay favourite Andiamo, bringing modern Italian dishes!
With new festival zones to explore, start your Taste journey at the Decadence Collective. Treat yourself with delicacies from the special Sashimi Bar created by the clever team at &Sushi or fresh oysters from Shucker Brothers. Wash it all down with a glass of No. 1 Family Estate Cuvee.
Moving to Spice Alley, ignite your taste buds with exceptional Indian from Ponsonby’s Epicer, a signature beetroot steamed bun with sticky pork belly, crispy shallots and pickles from Filipino newcomer Nanam, or crispy lamb ribs with green nam jim, avocado and mint from Asian fusion favourite Xoong.
If all things fired, fried and fermented is more your deal, head to rustic refuge The Shed where you’ll find clever comfort food on the menu at Culprit and Lowbrow and charred, smoky notes at Hugo’s Bistro. Discover a new favourite craft beer, meet some of New Zealand’s best boutique wineries or sip on a smoky whisky, all while savouring a curried goat corn dog from Culprit, aged beef tartare with horseradish and dripping toast from Hugo’s Bistro, or a fried birthday cake sundae with sprinkles and vanilla soft serve from Lowbrow.
For million dollar views, look no further than the Ocean Terrace. Overlooking Auckland’s spectacular Waitemata Harbour, sit back and enjoy the high life with a glass in hand and a trio of cooked oysters from Oyster & Chop or a tempura soft shell crab with miso mayonnaise, pickled daikon and coriander from the Crab Shack’s coastal themed mobile caravan.
Or for a contemporary take on traditional Maori cuisine, head to The Maori Kitchen where trained chef and hāngi master Rewi Spraggon and award-winning hospitality veteran Ganesh Raj will tempt with elevated dishes such as pulled hāngi pork in coconut and horopito dressing with watercress salad in kumara ciabatta.
Marco Pierre White
From further afield, one of the biggest names in the global culinary scene, Marco Pierre White, is a special guest at New Zealand’s largest food festival.
Dubbed the ‘Godfather of Modern Cooking’ and known for his razer-sharp wit as much as his signature wild mushroom risotto, Marco will navigate his way around the festival as head judge of the Best in Taste Awards.
Marco Pierre White will also appear within the new purpose built SUB ZERO & Wolf Kitchen on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening. Set up to accommodate more than 400 people, if you want to see the maestro that taught Gordon Ramsay how to cook, this is your chance. Entry to the SUB ZERO & Wolf Kitchen is free with your Taste ticket. Seating is on a first in first served basis.
Marco's demonstrations will take place at these times:
Friday Evening (Session 3): 7pm
Saturday Afternoon (Session 4): 2pm
Saturday Evening (Session 5): 7pm
Each demonstration will last approximately 30 - 45 minutes.
Be sure to also bring a book by the British chef, restaurateur and TV personality for book signings at selected sessions.
Gourmet Shopping and Experiences
Head over to the 9K International’s Speakeasy Whisky Lounge to enjoy a timeless cocktail, or to the Schweppes pop-up bar to discover the brand’s new 1783 range of distinguished premium mixers.
Inspire your palate with a smorgasbord of delicious offerings from more than 80 artisanal producers including tasty treats from Appleby Farms Icecream, La Petite Chocolate and Petal Cupcakes, sensational seasonings from Taipa Salt Pig, Waiheke Herbs and Aromatics, divine drinks from Blush Gin, Lone Bee Mead and Kavalan Whisky, and creative concepts including cricket corn chips from Primal Future and personalised tea boxes from The Tea Curator.
Sample top drops from some of the country’s top wineries including Mount Michael, Yealands, Black Barn, Palliser Estate, Nautilus Estate, Mount Beautiful, Gibbston Valley and Villa Maria, and enjoy beer tastings from leading craft breweries including Fortune Favours, New New New and Liberty Brewing.
Live music is a wonderful way to put the cherry on the Taste cake – Thursday evening sees Laughton Kora take to the stage, Peter Urlich is back for his traditional DJ set on the Friday evening, and Sal Valentine will warm up Saturday evening followed by the 10 piece funk and soul powerhouse Mister Speaker.
Every session has live music with 12 live acts over the 4 days, see the website for details.
With an extra-special VIP offering this year, VIP ticket holders get exclusive access to the elevated waterfront Platinum Lounge with spectacular views of the Waitemata Harbour, a glass of No. 1 Family Estate Cuvée on arrival and exclusive access to The Curiosity Gin Botanical Garden.
Tickets on sale now.
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