There are many perks associated with being a member of the Our Kitchen team. Of course, we are lucky enough to take time out from our various roles in design, marketing and product development to write recipes, cook delicious food and take beautiful photographs, but this is the second year we have been privileged to attend Taste in Auckland’s lush Victoria Park. Timed to coincide with the final week of the Rugby World Cup, Taste of New Zealand was a great excuse for the whole Our Kitchen team to get together, sharing new ideas for recipes, cooking lovely little canapés to serve up at the event, meeting our readers and sharing our passion for all things food related.
This year we served three tasters from the Our Kitchen archives: Seared beef on blue cheese crème with pear; peach, walnut ricotta and prosciutto on croute; and a selection of flavoured granitas (check out Emma’s recipe for cocoa granita here) – mandarin, lime and pineapple; coconut and chocolate; sour cherry; and strawberry champagne.
We gave away tea towels emblazoned with “EAT YOUR HEART OUT”, a fitting statement given the amount of gorgeous food about the place. We sampled charcoal grilled Sumiyaki beef (my personal favourite dish of the event), prawn and courgette tempura, slow cooked beef cheek, venison sliders, South Indian venison curry, a mouth watering mixed grill, and I have lost count of how many completely luscious cupcakes we downed. And let’s not forget the incredible cocktails, wines, ciders and beers from both big names and small artisan producers that provided a little lubrication for the whole event!
I love visiting Auckland. It really is a beautiful, bustling and vibrant city. Those of us up from Dunedin stayed in central city accommodation and we certainly made the most of the city’s many bars and restaurants, even squeezing in a cheeky visit to the newly refurbished art gallery one morning. And of course the icing on the cake – a win for the mighty All Blacks on Sunday night! A perfect end to a great week.
I asked the team their favourite part of the event, and above all the delicious food, it was the people we met that made the most impact. We all felt weak at the knees over a couple who had fallen in love at the event the previous year, using our ‘YUM’ branding to confess untold feelings. Then there were the countless people who came to try our tasters or check out the appliances because one of their friends had told them they ‘simply must try the granita’, ‘have the divine canapés’, or ‘look at my dream kitchen’!
Most of all we loved meeting some of our readers; we hope you enjoyed meeting us!