Eat.Taste.Central: Celebrating the flavours of Central Otago
For the next month, local cafes, restaurants and cellar doors across the region will be collectively producing their own Central Otago Regional Menus.
Central Otago grows some of the world’s finest flavours and produce.
Think soft buttery walnuts, pure thyme honey, creamy cheeses and peppery olive oil. All washed down with a lovingly crafted local beer or sampled with a boutique Central Otago wine.
The annual food and wine experience runs from September 20 through until 28 October.
Campaign manager Antz Longman says the regions local cafés, restaurants and cellar doors have been really creative with their interpretations of this year’s theme ‘Heritage Flavours, inspired by tradition’.
“We have a record 65 dishes and events on offer throughout the promotional period,” Longman says.
There will be a mix of options to suit taste buds across five categories:
- Tapas & Shared Plates
- Burger & Sandwich Challenge
- Pie Challenge
- Main Meal
- Sweet & Dessert
Many of these dishes are matched to local Central Otago wines, beers, juices and also cocktails. The public can vote online for their favourite menu items.
The overall winners from the top five People’s Choice dishes in each category will be chosen by a judging panel including MiNDFOOD’s Michael and Michelle McHugh.
“Some of the best dining experiences in the country are within Central Otago”, says MiNDFOOD’s Editor-in-Chief Michael McHugh.
“I’m really looking forward to tasting great local ingredients matched with local wines and beers, that complement perfectly. Last year was such a high standard I’m keen to see what the locals have in store for us this year.”
A range of food, wine and heritage-themed events will also be on offer.
These include a Pie & Pint night at Highlands in Cromwell, a ‘Central Mexico’ three-course meal at Amigos in Alexandra, and special exhibition highlighting the history of the Nevis Valley at the Courthouse Café.
Several key annual spring events will take place during the period including the Alexandra Blossom Festival, Across the Bridge in Bannockburn, the Cromwell Street Party and Fireworks, Cromwell Half Marathon and Alexandra New Release Wine event.
The growth in the Eat.Taste.Central event has also been supported by a continued relationship with MiNDFOOD, and new collaborations with several businesses and organisations from inside and outside the region.