What’s cooking? – it could be you
Home cooks from Matamata have a chance to prove their prowess in the kitchen at the 2011 Waikato Times Food, Wine & Jazz Festival in Hamilton on February 26 and 27.
Wine, food and jazz lovers throughout the region are counting down to the two-day feast of food, wine and entertainment among the roses at Hamilton Gardens.
At its heart is an epicurean village with stall holders offering the best gourmet food and beverages, with a particular focus on Waikato produce.
More than 5100 people enjoyed the inaugural 2010 festival and organisers expect even more this year, said Waikato Times marketing manager Bernadette Kirkham.
‘‘This banquet of taste sensations is a wonderful addition to the annual Waikato Times Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival,’’ she said.
Visitors stroll through the roses, sample the gourmet delights and visit the Kitchen Things Cooking Theatre featuring demonstrations by well known chefs.
One of the most popular events are the finals of the Mercedes-Benz Ingham Prestige Great Waikato Food Challenge and Home Cook Challenge.
In the Great Waikato Food Challenge, Waikato chefs were challenged to create a spectacular dish showcasing quality Waikato produce.
Readers are encouraged to visit participating restaurants before February 13, select a food challenge dish and vote for their favourite online or by text. All entries go into a draw to win return flights to Brisbane for two, flying Pacific Blue.
The top restaurants will then progress to the finals in the Kitchen Things Cooking Theatre at the festival. Participating restaurants: Chim-Choo-Ree, Cullens Restaurant, Furnace, Gothenburg, Iguana, The Narrows Landing, Pumice, Palate, Smith & McKenzie, The Woodbox.
In The Home Cook Challenge entrants compete for the title of Waikato’s Best Home Cook in a fun-filled, Ready Steady Cook style cook-off at the festival. Home cooks must write in fewer than 200 words why they should be chosen to compete and email their entry to foodandwine@waikato times.co.nz or post to: Home Cook Challenge, Waikato Times Marketing, Private Bag 3086, Hamilton, 3240. Entries close 5pm, on February 11.
Semi-finalists will prepare their favourite dish at the Wintec Cookery School in front of industry judges and the three best progress to the finals. Finalists will be given a box of mystery ingredients and must design an original dish which they will prepare in front of a live audience and judges at the festival.
And what is a food, wine and jazz festival without jazz? For two long fragrant summer days, chill with Fosters Jazz in the Roses and let the smooth grooves flow over you. The performers are: The Caitlin Smith Trio, D’vino, Equinox, Slippery Noodle Trio, Diana Harris and 37PSI. Festival tickets are available from Ticketek and the BNZ in Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Morrinsville and Huntly.
For more information, visit http:/ / www. stuff. co. nz/ waikato-times/ readersservices/ 3114874/ Waikato-Times-FoodWine-Jazz-Festival