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Festival fever arrives at Victoria Park

For immediate release
Friday 19th November

Festival fever arrives at Victoria Park

Taste of Auckland began with a roast and a sizzle last night as foodies made the most of a balmy summer evening

After 18 months of preparation, Taste of Auckland, the first multi-day festival in Victoria Park opened its gates last night to receive an expected 20,000 visitors over four days, 18-21 November.

A foodie Mecca with 14 of Auckland’s top restaurants serving their signature dishes tapas style and more than 120 gourmet producers on site selling their delicious creations, thousands of people descended on the inner city park to have their taste buds tempted.

Attendees enjoyed a spectacular line-up of music and wandered under a canopy of stars from Mudbrick to Bracu, Soto to Clooney, dining, sipping and sampling.
Chefs were kept busy in the kitchen and on the stage as they worked hard to keep up with demand and then showed how it was all done in the Fisher & Paykel Chef’s Kitchen arena.

What does it takes to create foodie heaven in the inner city?
Victoria Park – transforming cricket pitches into catering kitchens
Beginning on Saturday night, it took 5 days to erect 38 marquees, install 18 cook tops, lay 3.4 kilometres of cabling to power 18 cool rooms and 193 power sockets and install 62 luxury loos.

From Kitchen to table – 60,000 dishes for 20,000 visitors over four days
The head chefs of 14 of Auckland’s top restaurants have worked the night shift to prepare for Taste of Auckland and also ensure their restaurant kitchens are running smoothly in their absence.

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Many Taste of Auckland kitchens started their prep two weeks out from the festival and with an average of more than 400 man hours per restaurant a total of 4,800 hours have been spent cutting, dicing and slicing to ensure everything was ready to go from 5:30pm last night.

Ben Bayly from The Grove worked the graveyard shift to get his meals ready.
“For a restaurant that can average 1000 meals a week, we have to maintain this and prep 4000 extra dishes for four days, it’s certainly a challenge but that’s why we do it.” Says Bayly

The team at dine by Peter Gordon had to debone 900 portions of poussin, each of which takes 7 minutes and Soto created 1500 prawn filo tempura, which restaurant owner, Ricky Lee, says required the filo to be cut 150,000 times which will take one person 24 hours.

Soto have also closed their newly opened restaurant in Ponsonby, Cocoro, to ensure they have their staff at Victoria Park for the four days.

Orders that have passed the books of gourmet food suppliers are:
Bracu Restaurant – 56kg scampi tails, 280 duck breasts, 75 organic lamb shoulder and 30L yoghurt gelato

Clooney Restaurant – 800 duck breast and 24 whole Salmon
Toto Restaurant – 100kg octopus, 100kg pork, 20L Extra Virgin olive oil and 60kg mixed vegetables
Mudbrick Restaurant – 400 ducks and 200 dozen oysters
Monsoon Poon – 200kg Beef
The Grove – 150kg Wild Boar cheek and belly
Dine by Peter Gordon – 250kg scallops, 120kg buffalo mozzarella, 80 litres of Heilala vanilla dressing
Harbourside 200kg snapper, 50kg kingfish and 100 litres of extra virgin olive oil
Prego – 150kg mussels, 60kg prawns, 60kg cockles and 1200 portions of sticky date pudding

And using only the finest compostable cutlery attendees will go through 48,000 knives, 64,000 forks, 32,000 spoons and 60,000 napkins.
Taste of Auckland
In the heart of Auckland’s BIG little city, Taste of Auckland is the place to discover, experience and be tempted. Enjoy tapas style meals from some of Auckland’s most prestigious restaurants and sample fine food and beverages from over 120 producers; all while enjoying outstanding entertainment in a festival atmosphere.

Date: 18 – 21 November 2010
Venue: Victoria Park, Auckland City
For more information and ticketing www.tasteofauckland.co.nz

Taste of Auckland is part of the international series of Taste Festival which have been running since 2004 (see www.tastefestivals.com). Sponsors of Taste of Auckland include Singapore Airlines, Metro Magazine, Fisher & Paykel, Heart of the City, Carlton Party Hire, Arano, Dilmah, Regal Salmon.
Prepared by Cathy Campbell Communications on behalf of Brand Events and Festivals


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