OUR FOOD IN FO­CUS

Some choice words from the re­cent Con­ver­sa­tioNZ Sym­po­sium.

Cuisine - - CONTENTS -

In­sight­ful words from the re­cent Con­ver­sa­tioNZ Sym­po­sium in Auck­land

WHILE REV­ELLERS were mak­ing the most of the sun and flavours of Taste of Auck­land, there was a much more se­ri­ous con­ver­sa­tion go­ing on in­side one of the tents. Peo­ple trav­elled from all around the coun­try to lis­ten to, and join, Con­ver­sa­tioNZ for a day of dis­cus­sion about the pro­mo­tion of New Zealand food.

A col­lec­tive of chefs, pro­duc­ers, food me­dia and tourism and event op­er­a­tors, the group’s ul­ti­mate goal is to pro­mote and cham­pion the coun­try’s food, drink and gas­tro­nom­i­cal tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Nine­teen food cham­pi­ons from around the coun­try con­gre­gated to speak about the se­ries of chal­lenges within the food scene, in­clud­ing defin­ing New Zealand food and how we present it glob­ally.

It has been a mo­men­tous year for Con­ver­sa­tioNZ, but it’s still the start of the col­lec­tive’s journey. To stay up to date, or to join the con­ver­sa­tion, visit con­ver­sa­tionz. co.nz, or search Con­ver­sa­tioNZ” on Twit­ter, Face­book and In­sta­gram.

“We are a very re­laxed peo­ple – food bonds us and brings us to­gether.” SARAH MEIKLE, WELLING­TON CULI­NARY EVENTS TRUST (WCET) “I feel like one thing that holds us back is that we tend to not be very open to crit­i­cism. Be­cause we’re such a small coun­try, it’s re­ally hard to cri­tique each other. We need to look at what we’re do­ing.” MONIQUE FISO, HIAKAI, QUEEN­STOWN “It was very clear to me that this was some­thing that did not just come out of my head. We are here, in the world, to give the best of our­selves and en­cour­age oth­ers to do so.” GIULIO STURLA, ROOTS, LYT­TEL­TON “The fu­ture should not be pas­teurised.” JILL WHALLEY, MT EL­IZA CHEESE, KATIKATI “Food and tourism are New Zealand’s big­gest in­dus­tries. If you re­move the ‘and’, you’ve got food tourism.” ELLE ARMON-JONES, THE BIG FOODY, AUCK­LAND “We’re not re­ally good at for­mal, but we are re­ally good at in­for­mal­ity.” AL BROWN, DE­POT, BEST UGLY BAGELS AND FED­ERAL DEL­I­CATESSEN, AUCK­LAND “What we’ve got to be re­ally mind­ful of is that we cel­e­brate the best that we can pro­duce and not con­stantly go to our de­fault po­si­tion, which is ‘how can we pro­duce more of it, cheaper?’.” PETER CULLINANE, LEWIS ROAD CREAM­ERY, AUCK­LAND “By build­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion, we get at­ten­tion.” JUDY FINN, NEUDORF WIN­ERY, NELSON “We’re in the teenage phase – we’re a wee bit grumpy and self-con­fi­dent. We need to trip and fall and graze our knees.” JONNY SCHWASS, HAR­LEQUIN PUB­LIC HOUSE, CHRISTCHURCH “If we take a minute to do the sums, it doesn’t take long to un­der­stand how ir­re­spon­si­ble we are.” TONY STE­WART, CLOONEY, AUCK­LAND

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