Chance to go wild in Waiheke with food challenge
Food lovers are being invited to register for a culinary competition on Waiheke Island which is the first of its kind in the north of the North Island.
The Local Wild Food Challenge is a free event where participants create a dish with at least one wild ingredient that is judged by a panel of chefs.
It is the brainchild of culinary adventure chef, Kiwi Billy Manson, who spends six months a year at Martha’s Vineyard and six months in New Zealand.
Manson has taken the challenge around the globe to Finland, the South of France and the United States – at Martha’s Vineyard and in Hawaii.
It is already established in Glenorchy in the South Island, and in Eastbourne near Wellington, but has never been brought further north. On Labour Day, the Local Wild Food Challenge will come to Waiheke Island. It will be run on the lawn at Wild on Waiheke, next to the vineyard restaurant.
Organiser and restaurant manager Willow Rowntree is encouraging people who are interested to register so she can get an idea of numbers.
‘‘It’s free to take part and it’s free for the public to come along and watch on the day. The day will have a country fete feel, with artisan producers also taking part.’’
It’s not a money-making venture, she says.
‘‘The idea is that when people engage with the environment, learn about the resources around them, and how to access them sustainably, they are more inclined to be guardians of the environment.
‘‘It’s also about families active – getting fishing, hunting and foraging together for the ingredients to make a meal.’’
Prizes will be up for grabs for the tastiest dish under different categories – best of the sea, best of the land, and the entry with the best story.
While at least one wild ingredient is a must, Rowntree says chef judges Bronwen Laight, Marco Edwardes and Corradino Artola may also award points for extra wild and locally sourced ingredients. And, if there are enough entries, there will also be an award for the brewed and distilled category – a new category created for the Waiheke challenge.
Cooking competition: Willow Rowntree says the Local Wild Food Challenge on Waiheke Island on Labour Day is about encouraging people to be guardians of the environment.
Go to aucklandcityharbour news.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to see a clip of a Martha’s Vineyard challenge.