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Kiwis in London to get unique taste of home


Kiwis in London to get unique taste of home

More than 5,000 paua and whitebait fritters will lure Kiwis abroad to the first Kiwiana-themed wine and food festival in London later this month.

The first of its kind for Kiwis on their OE in the United Kingdom, the Kiwiana Festival is organised by New Zealander Mike Kaye, of UK company 1st Contact. The Festival is the largest of its kind to be held outside of New Zealand.

With New Zealand draw-cards like renowned chef Chris Green (of Wellington's Boulcott Street Bistro), cooking up Kiwiana tastes, music legend Dave Dobbyn performing Kiwi classics and a selection of local wines for tasting, the crowd is sure to be in a Kiwiana-mood, says Mike Kaye, owner of 1st Contact.

"1st Contact's customers are predominantly antipodeans on their OE, based in the United Kingdom. The Kiwiana-themed Festival is all about giving Kiwis abroad a chance to reminisce about home, over a paua fritter and glass of local wine."

Chris Green and his team of local chefs will serve up to 11,000 portions to the expected 5,000 plus crowd. Using all New Zealand produce, tastes will include roast lamb and kumara, whitebait and paua fritters, bluff oysters, homemade pies, tuatua and mussel burgers, hokey pokey icecream and petit pavlovas.

The menu is based on food that is unique to New Zealand and ingredients will be specially exported to the UK for the event, says Chris Green. "You can't buy bluff oysters, whitebait or hokey pokey ice-cream anywhere else in the world, and we couldn't leave out the lamb roast and kumara."

Approximately 100 kilograms of paua and whitebait, 3,000 Bluff oysters and 6,000 greenlip mussels have been sourced in New Zealand and will be flown to London specially for the event. New Zealand meat, including the 130 kilograms of boneless lamb leg for the 'Sunday roast', is to be provided by a local distributor.

Five large marquees will house over 60 wines from more than 20 wineries, including Kumeu River, Church Road, Ngatarawa, Palliser Estate, Jackson Estate, Pegasus Bay and Gibbston Valley. Each marquee will feature a different wine region: Auckland/Northland, Hawkes Bay/Gisborne, Martinborough, Marlborough and Nelson/Canterbury/Otago. Wine will be available to purchase by the taster, glass or bottle.

As well as entertaining, the 1st Contact Kiwiana Festival will be making a donating of 50p from each on-line ticket sale, as well as proceeds from a collection on the day of the Festival, to Auckland's Starship Children's Hospital.

"As a New Zealander, organising a New Zealand-themed Festival for Kiwis abroad, it is an ideal opportunity for 1st Contact to give back to the community," says Mr Kaye.

1st Contact is a multi-million dollar UK-based company set up by New Zealander Mike Kaye and South African Reg Bamford, to help the independent traveller settle in the United Kingdom. This includes expert visa and immigration services, work placement for teachers and financial management, through to accommodation, money and world-wide tours.

Chris Green is a consulting chef for Air New Zealand and has previously been involved with the Toast Martinborough wine and food festival. He is currently head Chef at Wellington's celebrated Boulcott Street Bistro and was recently honoured as the first New Zealand chef to create a menu for the Krug House of Champagne.

The 1st Contact Kiwiana Festival will be held on Saturday 29 June 2002 at Richmond Athletic Grounds in Richmond, London, from 12.00pm - 8.00pm. Entry tickets cost 20 pounds, with 'Festival currency' required to purchase wine and food.

1st Contact is also holding similar Festivals with South African and Australian themes on 6 July and 13 July respectively, at the same Richmond venue.


For further information

Melanie Fletcher, Manager, 1st Contact, NZ: 021 882 887

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