Press Release – Paul Blomfield
The countdown is on to the country’s grandest culinary adventure as Taste of Auckland announces the menu for this year’s event in Victoria Park, Auckland, 15 -18 November.
Combining the best of fine dining, different genres and festival fun, each chef has created magical moments of food heaven for Taste attendees.
“The event continues to evolve in new and exciting ways with a fantastic range of restaurants to try, and numerous demonstrations and master-classes on offer,” says festival organiser Rob Elliot. “It makes this year’s Taste of Auckland the biggest and most exciting yet.”
Joining the line-up for the first time is Toto, with chef Sergio Maglione show-casing the restaurant’s Italian heritage with three delicious mini-meals, Porchette, an Italian porchetta bun with spicy greens and sharp auricchio provolone, a Rotolo of spinach pasta with smoked mozzarella, buffalo ricotto, pinenut and marinated in a tomato salsa, and Salmon Bellavista with Russian salad, lemon asparagus, crayfish sauce and salmon roe.
Likewise, Poderi Crisci chef Antonio Crisci teams with Sal Grant to create delicious Italian dishes, such as Organic Shredded Milk Mozzarella, which is cooked on site and served with a selection of garden tomatoes, basil and their own extra virgin olive oil, an delectable Insalata Di Mare and a beautiful Cannelloni of confit duck, wild mushroom, porcini sauce, parmesan and truffle oil.
Iconic Auckland restaurant Kermadec Fine, although better known for its seafood, vies for the crown of best dessert this year with its Nayarit milk chocolate balloon. This is a Sambirano Chocolate Cremoso that combines cocoa powder and green pepper brick pastry, balsamic dressed poached strawberries and polenta crumbs. Living up to their reputation, Anton Leyland and Juan Balsani will also offer Fare Game Wild Deer and Tuna Tartae with Karengo, compressed Nashi, Piko Piko and Katsuobushi.
Mandy Lusk from High Street’s Vivace celebrates her restaurant’s 20th birthday this year at Taste of Auckland with a Mediterranean leap forward, creatively using three classic dishes from the opening 1992 menu, reworked with a 2012 twist. Expect Sweet Chilli Piquante peppers filled with a basil and oregano cream cheese, spicy Moroccan lamb & eggplant ragu and Tomato and Mozzarella stuffed Gnocchi with chorizo, sun dried tomato, feta, arbequina olives and parmesan (with a vegetarian option on request).
Des Harris from Clooney, winner of the Metro Magazines Best Fine Dining Restaurant 2012, has created a delectable Taste of Auckland menu that includes salmon with orange peel, saffron and fennel pollen; Razor back pig belly with apple, celery and toasted faro, finished with a Pecan crème brulee, containing Pedro xeminez and earl grey.
Simon Gault and Eugene Hamilton brings Euro Restaurant and Bar’s melting pot of flavours to Taste of Auckland 2012, where they will treat Taste guests to its special crab and prawn, jalapeño crème fraiche sauce, tobiko and tuna wafers. If that doesn’t make your mouth water, savour the fragrant Roasted Lamb Rump with pea and mint panacotta, confit garlic, anchovy and baby cos. Complete your mini Euro experience with caramelized white chocolate cheesecake, spiced short bread, guava pate & banana ice cream.
The enchanting Nick Honeyman from The Commons in Takapuna brings his distinctive and quirky menu combinations to Taste of Auckland this year with Carrot Cake Snapper – combining spiced beignets, carrot puree, cream cheese, baby carrots, ginger and lemon olive oil. He is also serving Duck Penang – a duck leg with penang custard, coconut, micro herbs, peanut and lychee. Nick’s final piece-de-resistance is a Valrohna Chocolate and Violet – valrohna chocolate delice, almond sandcastle, violet ice-cream and a violet meringue shard.
Join Javier Carmona, the chef behind the notorious Mexico restaurant in Britomart serves up three Mexican infused dishes that include prawns in a chipotle mayonnaise with baby cos lettuce, green gazpacho, tostada and candied lime, Guajillo dry rubbed beef skirt taco with roast green tomatillo, candied pepitas, and nasturtium leaves, and finally, Mexico fried chicken with citrus powder and jalapeno mayonnaise.
Fish restaurant in Princes Wharf is famous for its views over the Auckland Harbour, and for supporting sustainable fishing. Chef Shane Yardley ensures every morsel of seafood he serves has the eco credentials to back up the taste. Fish lives up to the name with its menu of Gulf Snapper served on a shaved fennel & orange salad dressed with a grapefruit and roasted garlic vinaigrette, Pepper Cured Trevally fillet served with horseradish, beetroot and puffed rice, and a Sri Lankan inspired prawn curry.
Rounding out the list of the country’s top chefs, ingredients and menus are Al Brown and Kyle Street, the dynamic duo from Depot Eatery and Oyster Bar. Finish your holiday in foodie heaven with a serving of oysters with chardonnay vinegar and shallots, before relishing the BBQ-pulled pork sliders with apple slaw and pickled jalapeños. The lemon meringue pie with cream is the perfect end to any culinary adventure.
Of course, all this fine food is more than adequately matched with a huge line-up of wines, spirits, coffee and fine artisan produce – all backed by the perfect summer soundtrack curated by Peter Urlich and friends.
Tickets for Taste of Auckland 2012 are sure to sell out so fans of fine food should see www.tasteofauckland.co.nz to plan their itinerary for the festival.