Fes­ti­val of Cul­tures

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE -

Food­ies re­joice. This week­end brings a feast for gour­mands, tan­ta­lis­ing the taste buds and tick­ling the ear lobes.

The an­nual Fes­ti­val of Cul­tures takes over The Square in a flurry of flavours, sounds and colours.

Open­ing on Fri­day night with the tra­di­tional Lan­tern Pa­rade, the Food, Mu­sic and Cul­ture Fair, com­plete with stage per­form­ers, con­tin­ues on Satur­day.

Desti­na­tion Manawatu event or­gan­iser Re­nee Bar­bour says Satur­day’s huge va­ri­ety of eth­nic cui­sine and en­ter­tain­ment will be aug­mented on Sun­day with a bril­liant new event – the first ever New Zealand Food Truck Face­off

‘‘Four­teen trucks from across the North Is­land, in­clud­ing Auck­land, Welling­ton and some of our own Manawatu favourites, will make their way here to bat­tle for the right to be called the ul­ti­mate New Zealand food truck.’’

The com­pe­ti­tion will cu­mu­late in a Best Cul­tural Dish, judged by celebrity judge Ray McVin­nie of MasterChef New Zealand fame and lo­cal celebrity food blog­ger Lau­ren Bram­ley.

‘‘Par­tic­i­pants have to fo­cus on au­then­tic cul­tural food, with a mix­ture of styles from tra­di­tional dishes through to pa­leo nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ent-based menus.

‘‘Fes­ti­val-go­ers will also be able to vote for the Peo­ple’s Choice dish.’’

Com­peti­tors Os­car Lon­dono and Yoana Bel­tran of Dos Lo­cos Taco’s are look­ing for­ward to the com­pe­ti­tion as a way of ex­pos­ing peo­ple to their Mex­i­can cul­ture.

‘‘The Food Truck Face­off will give [the fes­ti­val] na­tional scope,’’ Re­nee says. ‘‘No-one in New Zealand has ever held an event like this.’’

The food trucks will be in The Square from 10am – 2pm with lo­cal en­ter­tain­ment on­stage from 10.30am – 1.30pm.

The fes­ti­val con­cludes on Sun­day night in ‘Tango Al­ley’ – the laneway off Main St be­hind City Li­brary. Welling- ton’s Latin Club Band led by Brazil­ian singer and world mu­sic ra­dio dj, Alda Rezende with Scot­tish drum­mer and com­poser John Rae, bring an evening of Ar­gen­tinian dance pas­sion and wine from 7pm. Cour­tesy of the Ar­gen­tinian Em­bassy, Massey U and City Li­brary, all are wel­come.

Re­nee is ex­pect­ing crowds of be­tween 10,000 and 13,000 for the full week­end of fes­tiv­i­ties.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

A lit­tle touch of tango in the night from Brazil­ian singer and world mu­sic ra­dio dj, Alda Rezende, lead singer for Welling­ton’s Latin Club Band, who will be ap­pear­ing in Tango Al­ley for this week­end’s Fes­ti­val of Cul­tures.

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