January 26, 2016
Chefs add spice to waka festival
Paddling can work up an appetite.
Some of Aotearoa’s leading Maori chefs are looking forward to showcasing the best of contemporary and traditional Maori food during this weekend’s first Tamaki Herenga Waka Festival at The Cloud on Auckland’s waterfront.
Te Kai Maori head chef Grant Kitchen says he’s preparing a chicken supreme with potatoes baked in earth in the oven, to get that smoky hangi flavour, with pikopiko fern fronds and a horopito jus.
Tui Fearn is making pork, prawn and puha dumplings with dipping sauces, while the pudding course from Nancye Pirini is a polenta sponge cooked like a traditional hangi steamed pudding.
Mr Kitchen believes there is a lot of room to develop New Zealand’s indigenous flavours and ingredients, not just for restaurant or home use here but as an export offering.
Hauauru Rawiri, the chair of the festival’s Mana Whenua Steering Committee, says sharing kai goes right to the heart of the Maori value of manaakitanga, welcoming, offering hospitality and looking after people.
The three day festival will also include music, storytelling, healing and of course waka demonstrations and racing.
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