LOOKING AHEAD IN KIWI KAI
gets a taste of what’s on offer at the third annual ConversatioNZ symposium.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE of New Zealand’s kai and what will it look like in 2030?
That’s the theme of the third annual ConversatioNZ symposium, to be held on August 2, the final day of Visa Wellington On a Plate.
The food-concerned collective’s TED-X style event this year has an illustrious line-up of chefs, media and industry leaders and producers speaking about the future of New Zealand food. The ConversatioNZ executive committee will also share plans for the future of the collective’s drive to champion and promote New Zealand food.
Started by Roots restaurant chefowner Giulio Sturla, ConversatioNZ aims to highlight the quality and array of edible resources in New Zealand. Headlining the event is worldrenowned Kiwi chef Ben Shewry, from Melbourne restaurant Attica, and Pulitzer-prize-winning LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold. Other speakers include Rachel Taulelei, chief executive of Kono (see page 67), potential weka farmer Roger Beattie, tourism futurologist Ian Yeoman and pig farmer Naya Brangenberg.
Pomegranate Kitchen’s Rebecca Stewart will also be speaking about her social enterprise, which employs refugees to cook for people.
Cuisine editor Kelli Brett will once again lead a panel of experts to discuss the perception of restaurants and whose opinions matter when it comes to ratings and reviews.
Lunch will be provided by organic Mexican eatery La Boca Loca and there will be plenty of Mojo coffee. The event will be held at Victoria University’s Pipitea Campus on Bunny St and is open to food-minded members of the public. Tickets, costing $95, can be purchased on the Visa Wellington On a Plate website. visawoap.com BEN SHEWRY
WAITARA-BORN-AND-RAISED, this chef has made a name for himself both in Australia and the world with his Melbourne restaurant Attica making The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list several times as well as being dubbed Australia’s best. Shewry cut his teeth in Wellington, working at Shed Five before moving to Roxburgh Bistro, where he met his main influence: chef Mark Limacher. Shewry trained under Limacher before moving to Australia about 15 years ago and has been Attica’s head chef since 2005. Shewry has since featured on acclaimed Netflix series
Chef’s Table, in which he shared the inspiration and influences behind the dishes that have launched him into the international limelight. The 40-year-old is well known for cooking indigenous Australian ingredients, taking inspiration from his surroundings and his rural Taranaki upbringing. The chef will also rejoin his mentor in Wellington before the symposium to cook a five-course lunch menu at Ortega Fish Shack on August 26 and 27.
JONATHAN GOLD LA TIMES FOOD WRITER AND
COLUMNIST Jonathan Gold has long been championing family-run restaurants often ignored by high-end restaurant critics. Gold’s democratic approach to food has seen him become Los Angeles’ foremost expert on food, at the highest and lowest ends of the spectrum, and he has become an internationally recognised personality in the food industry. In 2015, City of
Gold, a documentary about Gold’s work around LA, showed him trawling the streets in his green Dodge Ram ute, searching out the city’s next best bite. Gold received a Pulitzer Prize for his services in food criticism, the first and only person to have done so, in 2007. ■
Gold’s democratic approach to food has seen him become Los Angeles’ foremost expert on food, at the highest and lowest ends of the spectrum.