Plan a delicious weekend away with these exciting food, wine and beer events happening across New Zealand in 2020, writes Johanna Thornton
Wallingford Truffle Weekends in Hawke’s Bay, June 19-21 and 26-28
Luxury retreat Wallingford Homestead in Central Hawke’s Bay offers memorable weekend stays and unique food experiences. One of New Zealand’s oldest homesteads, Wallingford is set on 890ha with a 1700 French oak trufflere (truffle plantation) in its back yard, ideal for an immersive and restorative weekend of dining, foraging, and truffle hunting. Its restaurant is run by award-winning chef and co-owner Chris Stockdale with a menu celebrating the seasonal produce found on the Wallingford surrounds – truffles, herbs, vegetables and Angus beef, to name a few. The truffle weekend package includes accommodation, fabulous food and wine, and a truffle hunt and masterclass where you can sample the results (truffle pasta, hemp seed sourdough and tonka bean icecream), or just book in for Friday night’s degustation dinner or Sunday’s truffle hunt and cooking masterclass.
Seriously Good Food Show in Mount Maunganui, Sep 5-6
The Seriously Good Food Show at Tauranga’s Trustpower Arena Baypark brings together artisanal food and beverage makers from all over New Zealand for a weekend celebration of food, craft beer and New Zealand wine and liquor. Vendors are yet to be confirmed but visitors can expect to see Food Show favourites Rik’s Belgium Truffles; Kapiti Artisan Bakehouse; and Olives on the Hill, as well as new exhibitors The Remarkable Chocolate Co; Uncle Dunkle’s Chilli Sauces and The Red Kitchen. The Landing Food Truck Hub will feature again in 2020, and the live cooking theatre lineup is in the works. Managing director of Bay Events Dana McCurdy says she’s looking forward to bringing back the festival for its eighth year. “We love bringing together regional and national food businesses and we encourage the people of Tauranga to support them after what has been a deeply challenging time.”
Wellington on A Plate, Oct 1-31
This long-running annual festival is a highlight of the food calendar that sets the city alive with events, collabs, special menus and custom cocktails, food-themed exhibitions and “everything in between” for a whole month. The festival will run from October 1-31 with about 150 still-to-be confirmed events and hundreds of specially created dishes that highlight the region’s ingredients, producers and suppliers. Like last year’s festival, the programme will centre around Dine Wellington (Oct 1-11), which sees restaurants create special festival menus to tempt diners and compete for the best main course of the festival, a high honour. Burger Wellington runs from Oct 12-31, presented by Garage Project, which similarly sees eateries compete to create the ultimate burger with inventive flavour combinations. The remaining festival events will be confirmed on August 24 when the festival programme launches online, with pre-sale tickets available from August 31. Festival director Sarah Meikle says in the absence of international chefs, the focus will rightly be on community collaboration and celebrating Wellington’s culinary talent, of which there is plenty.
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