A True Delight for the Tastebuds
Taste of Auckland 2012 - a True Delight for the Tastebuds
2012’s Taste of Auckland Festival has been declared one of the best yet by exhibitors, chefs and attendees alike. Taking place over four days at Victoria Park, Taste of Auckland proved once again to be the place foodies go to indulge in the best culinary delights available.
Festival Director Rob Eliott said the inclement weather didn’t deter the tastebuds of attendees. “Over the four days we really felt that Taste of Auckland delivered what we wanted it to – to both inspire and encourage people to look at the art of hospitality and entertainment with a renewed passion,” says Eliott.
“There is such a wealth of talent that fills our restaurant kitchens right across the country, and so many incredibly innovative producers of food and beverages to discover, we’re really proud to be the one festival that brings it altogether for the public to indulge in and enjoy.”
This year’s Carlton Corporate Marquee line-up was a major highlight, kicking off with the much-talked about opening night dinner - A Tribute to Antoine’s Restaurant. With dishes designed by Astle protégés Simon Gault and Michael Meredith, guests were also treated to an exquisite offal main course dish created by Tony Astle himself. The Great Metro Food Debate, Ladies Who Lunch and the Italian Family Rivalry were also extremely popular events with every session booked out well in advance.
The Mix Live was a huge hit with Taste guests, with each session completely booked out. World renowned cocktail champion Frankie Walker said each day was booked out within half an hour of opening, with just shy of 1,000 novice mixologists learning how to mix stunning cocktails with the best in the business. “We loved it, they loved it – we actually had people high-fiving us on the way out - it was fantastic!”
Villa Maria Estate Founder and Managing Director, Sir George Fistonich said his team thoroughly enjoyed meeting fellow wine connoisseurs and conducting tastings throughout the event. “I am passionate about wine and food, and I’m delighted that Taste of Auckland provides an opportunity for New Zealanders to experience the very best of both. We were thrilled to take part in this premier event.”
Auckland’s champagne lovers were spoilt for choice with the award-winning Laurent-Perrier Vintage and Rose available exclusively from Red+White Cellar. Paul Sunde, General Manager said the team had a hugely successful year, with many of the bubbles purchased being “enjoyed with oysters from the DEPOT marquee”.
Depot’s Al Brown said his
first experience of Taste of Auckland was a great
experience, selling more than 4,000 of their pulled-pork
sliders over the four days.
“The team at Depot were delighted to have the chance to be amongst their friends and competitors at Taste of Auckland,” said Brown. “It was great to be able to support the vibrant Auckland hospitality scene and give something back to our customers,” he said.
Taste of Auckland provided the Craggy Range Winery team a chance to speak with their Auckland customers face-to-face – something that they seldom get to do being based in the Hawkes Bay. Natalie Corkey, Communications Manager for Craggy Range said demand was high for their fine wines. “Each year we try to offer something special that can’t be found elsewhere. This year for the evening sessions we showcased magnums of our 2006 Te Muna Pinot Noir, and were completely sold out in the first two hours!” she said.
Stolen Rum had a cracker of a time with their customers said Katie Du Fall, Marketing Manager. “For us, the Taste of Auckland Festival is the perfect setting to engage with our punters and offer them the full Stolen experience - we can have a yarn, a bit of banter and a rum cocktail of course!” she said. This year Stolen Rum had four rum offerings available, up two from 2011 including their highly coveted SX9 65% Overproof Rum which isn't yet available for retail purchase.
Music maestro Peter Urlich is in agreement with exhibitors that this year’s Taste of Auckland Festival will be hard to beat. “I have been Musical Director for every Taste Festival in Auckland, and I reckon this was the best yet. Despite inclement weather on the Saturday, the Peroni Bandstand delivered a wonderful cocktail of sounds including gypsy jazz, searing soul and some funky house beats.”
“For me, highlights have to include The Hipstamatics soul revue, Caitlin Smith's virtuoso vocal and Voxnova's incredible violinist - but they were all good, and the love shown by the audience was fabulous. I can’t wait till next year!”
Planning has already started for next year’s Taste Festival with new attractions and foodie experiences being planned.