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.


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.

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