Falling in love with New Zealand food

Where it all begun

Can you remember the first time you fell in love with a certain food?  Upon first bite, feeling completely weak at the knees, unable to continue conversation except for some mumbling resembling ‘oh my, this is *insert word/s of choice* good’.

I remember when I fell in love with New Zealand salmon.  I was on a skiing holiday and although the skiing was great, this particular trip has never been remembered for the skiing, rather it is forever remembered as the time I fell in love with New Zealand salmon.  On the morning of the first day of skiing, we walked into a café, unbeknownst to us of what was to come next.  We ordered scrambled eggs and locally sourced smoked salmon; not an uncommon dish, the kind of dish where you know what you’re getting.  Except this time, this was no ordinary smoked salmon, it was the most flavoursome, melt in your mouth smoked salmon.  It raised the bar for smoked salmon for forever more and needless to say, we ordered the exact same dish every morning of our trip thereafter.

This experience was not just about the smoked salmon, it was the start of a growing appreciation of New Zealand produce and food.

Eat New Zealand food

But what is New Zealand food?  When I think of New Zealand and food, what initially comes to mind is dairy products, vibrant berries, lamb, fresh seafood and wine (not a food substitute of course!).  I wanted to find out more and couldn’t resist the opportunity to be immersed in the topic at the ConversatioNZ (now known as ‘Eat New Zealand’) symposium on Sunday 27th August 2017, held as part of the Wellington on a Plate festival.

What is Eat New Zealand?

‘We grow & make food, we’re restaurant owners & chefs, we’re storytellers and writers, we’re event organisers and tourism operators, we’re lovers of our food. 

Together we’re committed to encouraging the world to Eat New Zealand’. 

Speakers included Rachel Taulelei (CEO, Kono), Ben Shewry (owner/chef, Attica, Melbourne) and Jonathan Gold (food critic, Los Angeles Times), plus of course, the founder and driving force behind Eat New Zealand, Guilio Sturla (owner/chef, Roots, Lyttelton).  Thought-provoking and inspiring, it was wonderful to be surrounded by food enthusiasts, driven by a common value and love of good food.

Clockwise (from top left): Eat New Zealand symposium 2017 at Victoria University of Wellington; Rachel Taulelei speaker notes ‘Beyond Haka and Hāngi’; Mojo coffee – Cheers to that!; Jonathan Gold speaker notes ‘Two Cheers for Authenticity’

Wellington on a Plate

Outside the Eat New Zealand symposium I continued to be immersed in New Zealand produce and food.  Wellington is a delight at every turn (and every hill!), with delicious places to eat, and coffee and craft beer to be enjoyed.  A picture speaks a thousand words…if only you could taste some of them too!

Cafe/Restaurants

Clockwise (from top left): The Botanist in Lyall Bay, Wellington; Warm Winter Salad, The Botanist; Proper Sardines, The Larder in Miramar, Wellington; Aro Cafe in Aro Valley, Wellington

Checking out the supermarket

New Zealand yoghurt

Clevedon Valley Buffalo yoghurt is divine!

New Zealand icecream

New Zealand icecream – Kohu Road ice cream is delicious!

Out and about

Egmont St Eatery interior

Egmont St Eatery, Wellington – the food was eaten before a photo could be taken!

Left to right: Outside Wellington Chocolate Factory – chocolate is serious stuff!; Wellington street art; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Back in Oz, the love of New Zealand made food continues…

Left to right: NZ Good Health Choices magazine, Wellington made Nourish bar and a home brewed cuppa; Wellington made: Wellington Chocolate Factory, Fix & Fogg

With my fleeting visit to Wellington, I’ve only taste tested a hint of New Zealand produce and food, but if the food in Wellington is anything to go by, I have a longing appetite for more!

If you’re not already, get ready to fall in love with New Zealand food too!