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Maori Art Show: Smell And Taste of Childhood Memories

Smell And Taste of Childhood Memories Added to Contemporary Maori Art Show

Top chef Rex Morgan will add a sense of smell and taste to this year’s showcase MAORI ART MARKet being staged at Porirua’s Te Rauparaha Arena.

Morgan will be running a demonstration series of contemporary Maori food, which he’s called “childhood memories” and will reveal how to achieve subtle hangi flavours the contemporary way. He says tasters will be able to close their eyes and let the food take them back to mildly smoky, full-flavoured hangi feasts they remember as youngsters on their marae.

He will use traditional Titi (muttonbird), Karengo (seaweed) and bush herbs in a modern context that people can use in their everyday kitchens at home.

Helping the master chef with his work will be two Maori trainee chefs - Thomas McBride from Porirua and Graham Snelgar from Grenada. Both students at Whitireia Polytechnic have been warned to expect “a bit of the Gordon Ramsay style”. But the softer side of Morgan shows through when he says he hopes to motivate his helpers and inspire other young Maori to think about careers as chefs.

“Young Maori who are prepared to work hard make excellent chefs and once they become established, the world’s their oyster,” Morgan says.

Thomas, aged 32, a butcher by trade, was inspired to become a chef after watching food shows on television. He won a silver medal in this year’s food festival and his knowledge of meat cuts is already giving him a good start to his new career.

Graham, aged 23, father to three young children and soon to be a fourth, has a background in adventure tourism, but switched careers to the food industry after finding a passion for cooking at home and wanting to be sure his wife and young family were eating healthy food.

Morgan, who is a regular on television food shows here and abroad, is the consultant chef to Air New Zealand business class and has won every major New Zealand culinary award going. He has travelled the world and cooked for members of the Royal Family, European presidents, international politicians, fashion designers, musicians and actors.

He is the chef and business partner at Wellington’s classy Boulcott Street Bistro.

He will join an elite line-up of over 200 artists displaying their work at the MAORI ART MARKet, which is this country’s largest gathering of contemporary Maori artists. This year’s event coincides with the final pool games and the quarter finals of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

An influx of tens of thousands of international rugby tourists is expected during the event, which will provide an opportunity to showcase Maori culture through contemporary Maori art, and enable visitors to talk to the artists and buy genuine Maori items to take home as mementos.

MAORI ART MARKet will be open to the public from 10am from October 9-11 at the Te Rauparaha Arena and Pataka Museum in Porirua City.

A special international guest is the Japanese clown painter Bunmei Okabe, who was paralysed playing rugby as a young man and gained inspiration to turn his life around after meeting members of the 1967 New Zealand Universities team including All Black Mick Williment.

The New Zealand invited artist is Grahame Sydney, and Contemporary Maori artists include Beverly Rhodes, Maria Brockhill, Barry Te Whatu, Norm Heke, Regan Balzer and Tanu Aumua.

Other specially invited guest artists to MAORI ART MARKet this year include Dan Namingha from USA, Danny Eastwood from Australia, Filipe Tohi, New Zealand Tongan, Fatu Feu’u, New Zealand Samoan, and documentary film maker Peter Coates.


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