Impressive line-up announced for November event
Food lovers won’t want to miss this year’s Taste of Auckland presented in partnership with Electrolux, with chefs Ben Bayly from Baduzzi, Gareth Stewart from Euro, Cameron Knox from Tok Tok and Australian MasterChef judge George Calombaris just some of the big names in a jam-packed November line-up.
With tickets on sale this week, the 16-19 November festival at Western Springs is already shaping up as the most ambitious yet. Live cooking demonstrations, intimate chef experiences, a gourmet hāngi and wine masterclasses are just some of the foodie-friendly attractions on offer, as well as cocktail bars, the return of Brew Street, a souped-up music stage and of course, a stunning menu of delicious food.
Chef, restaurateur and MasterChef Australia co-judge, George Calombaris heads our way for his first New Zealand food festival appearance. Bringing a taste of his highly-regarded Melbourne restaurant The Press Club to Auckland, fans can catch him in the Electrolux Taste Theatre where he will host a free live cooking demonstration on the Saturday.
Ten top Auckland restaurants will be serving up their signature fare at this year’s Taste, including North Wharf favourite Baduzzi. After a four-year hiatus, owner Michael Dearth and chef Ben Bayly say they are looking forward to getting back into the tasting action and forecast a lot of meatballs.
Chef Gareth Stewart will return with Nourish Group’s flagship Euro Bar & Restaurant and says he is looking forward to bringing some excitement, fun and freshness to the Taste menu this year. “From land, sea and garden we will be looking for something to grab your taste buds,” he says.
Pals and former My Kitchen Rules judges Bayly and Stewart and their respective teams will also be collaborating on a special opening night VIP dinner in the Qantas Hospitality Marquee.
Winner of last year’s ‘Best in Taste Awards’ and much-loved Takapuna Asian fusion eatery Tok Tok is back at Taste, with chef Cameron Knox already working on some punchy flavours to outdo his winning Crispy Hapuka Dry Red Curry dish from 2016.
New on this year’s line-up is Ponsonby darling Saan and chef Lek Trirattanavatin with award-winning Northern Thai cuisine, and chef Murray Wiblin from Vodka Room serving up Russian (and vodka) inspired specialties.
Ponsonby BBQ joint Miss Moonshine’s also makes an appearance with pit boss and owner Ryan Clarke planning an Argentinean style open fire BBQ. This promises to go well with a brew or two at Brew Street, with craft brewers Liberty, Cassels, Tuatara, Good George and Birkenhead Brewery so far confirmed to take part.
After wowing guests two years ago, the popular Gourmet Hāngi makes a return with host and hāngi master Rewi Spraggon and guest chefs including Ben Bayly and his team from The Grove and Kyle Street of Culprit, who will each offer festival visitors their own unique contemporary gourmet take on the traditional Māori hāngi.
Back after last year’s inaugural success, Electrolux Chefs’ Secrets will give restaurant aficionados the opportunity to intimately cook and dine with some of the country’s top names in food, including Clooney’s newly appointed chef Jacob Kear and FISH chef Fraser Shenton.
The ever-popular Electrolux Taste Theatre hosted by food writer Delaney Mes will return with free live cooking demonstrations, offering guests the opportunity to learn first-hand from the country’s leading culinary stars including George Calombaris, Art Green and Matilda Rice, wholefood writer Kelly Gibney and Cazador chef Dariush Lolaiy.
With such a stellar cast of culinary superstars sharing their food knowledge and more than 100 producers of fine food, wine, spirits and craft brews joining them to showcase their best products, fans can expect an ambitious, jam-packed Taste, says Festival Director Rob Eliott.
“Our team, the chefs, producers and our wonderful partners are all hard at work creating fresh experiences for our guests and a truly world-class food and drink festival here in Auckland and I think we’re well on the way to a standout year.”
Eliott says ticket pricing has changed this year with exceptional value on offer for Thursday and Friday afternoon tickets and advance purchase ticket deals for all sessions available over the next month.
Qantas have extended their involvement in the festival to present the very the best of food, drink and hospitality in the luxuriously appointed Qantas Hospitality Marquee. This will host some very special dining events and also provide a base for VIP Ticket holders at the weekend. Guests will enjoy the spacious covered lounge, bar and additional conveniences to enhance their experience at Taste of Auckland.
Early Bird Tickets go on sale Thursday 24 August with General Admission starting from just $17 and VIP Tickets offering access to the large Qantas Hospitality Marquee from just $95.
Corporate Hospitality packages can be purchased directly through event organisers Lemongrass Productions. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Head to the Taste website for more information www.tasteofauckland.co.nz