May 10, 2019
Connecting whānau with kai
Waitara locals are in for a treat when Earth Oven Hangi & Roast House opens its doors for the first time, at the end of this month.
“It’s a shop that will offer our locals and wider community the opportunity to experience Aotearoa fusion style cooking at its best, said executive chef and owner Renae Te Ringa Wetere. (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Tama).
“The food will be authentic in taste and flavours because we will be cooking with volcanic rocks, a method which was first developed by my stepdad and founder of Kōhatu Hangi Cookers John Stephens. I want to take his concept of cooking to the next level, and create a unique Chef style hangi experience that I believe people will enjoy” she said.
“Offering a chef quality style kai experience is a way of expressing aroha’ said Renae. “When you are on the marae the way we show hospitality is through the sharing of kai. We want to continue this tradition by offering people a unique eating experience. .It will be a place for people to share kai, connect with one another, and enjoy the surroundings which will reflect our indigenous culture”, said Renae.
An experienced chef who has worked in many top restaurants in New Zealand, Renae believes indigenous cuisine needs to be recognised in the chef world. “When I trained the focus was on understanding European and French cooking, there wasn’t any training or recognition of our own indigenous cooking styles.” said Renae.
“. I want to promote our own home grown cuisine that reflects who we are as Māori and as New Zealanders. I want to cook food which we can all relate too and experience”, she said.
Earth Oven Hangi & Roast House will be the first in the New Plymouth district. The shop will also include a catering service and free workshops for those who have a passion for cooking
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