Local flavour for Kaiko¯ura Seafest
Kaiko¯ura Seafest is expected to take on more of a local flavour this year.
Organiser Sheena Hamilton said the festival, now in its 23rd year, started off as a family-style event to bring people to town and kick off the start of the tourist season.
As more younger people became involved it has taken on more of a festival atmosphere, and people dress up and make their own costumes.
‘‘In the last few years families have come back,’’ Hamilton said.
The festival clown, Adam Allsorts, will be there in a special child-friendly zone.
‘‘We had to make a lot of adjustments post-quake and there’s been a lot of challenges to make it happen this year, but we were determined to make it go ahead,’’ said Hamilton.
‘‘There were lots of logistical challenges and little roadblocks to get around.
‘‘It’s been hard to find volunteers to help because everyone is working and otherwise occupied.
‘‘Accommodation is still tight, however, there’s still lots of tourist park accommodation and we hope people make a road trip out of it.’’
To balance it out there’s a lot more local interest this year. Crayfish vendor Nin’s Bin, from Rakautara, will set up a stall, along with other locals, JP Seafood and Manapaua. Local brewers Emporium Brewery and Kaiko¯ura Brewing Company will also showcase their craft beers.
Local tourism companies have pitched in and offered exclusive discounts for the weekend, and Dive Kaikoura has partnered with Seafest and The Edge radio station to offer a PADI Openwater course as a prize.
‘‘The festival has always been a celebration of living by the sea.
‘‘Kaiko¯ura’s coast is known for seafood, but there will be plenty of other food options.
‘‘Although we’re known as the cray coast, we have plenty of land bounty out there - so it isn’t specifically seafood.’’
As food demonstrations have become more popular Bidfood has sponsored an even larger area for Cray Coast Cuisine demonstrations.
‘‘We’ve got some really great chefs this year, starting with local chefs Mike Write and Bryce Edwards from Hislop’s Wholefoods Cafe.
‘‘They’re going to talk about how to make kimchi, and what particular dishes match with their Hexagon Mead.’’
Later executive chef Stefan Feuding, from Fig Restaurant, will be demonstrating how to make a mouth-watering spicy wild venison loin slider, with a chilli, coriander and apple slaw.
Host chef and MC, Jax Hamilton, will cook mussels in smoked ale and cream sauce, and Mehul Ganjawalla, from Braemar Lodge, will pan sear scallops with a salmon caviar and create a wild salmon dish with diamond sea clams.
‘‘We just hope people walk away feeling inspired to try to make some of the dishes,’’ Hamilton said.
Tickets for Kaiko¯ura Seafest on Saturday, October 7 are $45 and available from the Kaiko¯ura i-Site or www.seafest.co.nz.
Crabs were on the menu at last year’s event.