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Matariki Celebrated at World on Your Plate

Matariki Celebrated at World on Your Plate This Saturday

World on Your Plate at Auckland Museum this Saturday is a very special Matariki event involving the best things in life: food and music.

This weekend discover the best of Maori cuisine: fun and incredibly healthy. Chef Charles Royal kicks off the event with a demonstration of the best of Maori cooking followed by food tastings. Charles has been on a mission to rediscover some of the native ingredients which made traditional Maori food so special and flavoursome.

Charles sustainably harvests Maori herbs and spices (many of which had historically been used for medicinal purposes) and combines them with his considerable skills as a contemporary modern chef. Charles plans to prepare:

• Pikopiko (bush asparagus), which will go into a soda bread and pesto
• Horopito (native bush pepper), which will be folded into a hommus
• Kawakawa (Maori bush basil), which has traditionally been used as a tonic. Charles will put it in a tea and a shortbread
• Pirita (or supplejack) vine, which is used as a steamed vegetable, though Charles is putting it in a chocolate!

Charles is updating these ingredients for the 21st century, with a focus on sustainable harvesting practices and the creation of employment and delicious eating.

Fellow Rotorua locals Andrew Baker and Te Okahurangi Waaka will provide the musical backdrop to the cooking and eating with a range of songs celebrating Matariki. Te Okahurangi, who was raised at Ohinemutu village with her Te Arawa elders, is the daughter of Maureen Kingi, who in 1962 became the first Maori Miss New Zealand. She is a television producer for Kura Productions, which produces shows such as Pukoro, Kupu Huna and Tōku Reo for Maori TV.

Andrew, a nephew of the late Sir Howard Morrison, is a skilled guitarist with a silken voice and charm to match. The pair will sing a bracket of Maori waiata (bilingual with explanations where appropriate) at the museum at 1 p.m. this Saturday to tautoko (support) their cousin Charles Royal as part of the Kai to Pie exhibition.


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