What’s cook­ing? – it could be you

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

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

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