A Summer Feast to Savour

Words by  Hannah Mumby

Taranaki’s seasonal Feastival event is set to dish up a weekend of long lunches, live music and relaxing outdoor dining for the region and its visitors this summer.

Following the highly successful Spring Feastival event held in September, a passionate group of chefs, restauranteurs, producers and growers are ready to do it all again from February 16-19.  

Event founder, Rachel Church, says the success of the spring event brought tears to her eyes, and confirmed that the region had been waiting for an event that would truly celebrate Taranaki’s culinary flavour.

“This event is unique in New Zealand and represents the best of our region.  Feastival has been around since 2018, but with the new seasonal weekend-based format and support from the local community, Spring 2022 was the best Feastival yet.”

Having sold out 10 events and 92 per cent of tickets, Rachel says it was testament to the collaborative and innovative approach shown by event hosts that contributed to the spring event’s success.

“They are creating something wonderful for the region, using the skills, passion, pride and produce they continually pour into the Taranaki food scene. The summer event is coming around fast and will again focus on local collaboration, seasonally produced food and beverages, our creative hospitality staff, amazing venues and the best of Taranaki’s summer experiences.”

More than 20 individual events have been submitted for the four-day feast, with creativity being cooked up by many local establishments such as Wild Pear Kitchen, Black Sands Pizza, Known Unknown Urban Winery, Peihana Farms, the Taranaki Farmers Market, Nice Hotel, Three Sisters Brewery and many more.

Picture collaborations between Shining Peak Brewing and The Serial Griller, Quail’s Nest Eatery with Zoa Liquor, Liardet Street Project with Gamma Rays, Viet Nom Nom and Garden Cake Kitchen, and a Food Film Festival at Govett Brewster Art Gallery’s Len Lye Centre cinema that is partnering with local food producers and restaurants.

“It can be nerve-wracking when awaiting event submissions, but our hospitality industry keeps coming up with amazing events and their passion for this region and their own industry is amazing – it shows in our event line up. We are so impressed by the creativity and collaboration.”

Through the support of Venture Taranaki, the New Plymouth District Council, South Taranaki District Council and Favour the Brave, Rachel says the event is going from strength to strength.

“They were the ones who made it possible to keep going after the struggle and pause that was 2020. They should be so proud of what they are helping to create for our region. 

“Every local supplier goes above and beyond for us for things like our website, photography, transport, audio and printing. The list is long, but we are so grateful.”

The leadership and support of Taranaki Culinary Action Group co-chairs Suzanne Porter (TAFT) and Jessica Parker (Taranaki Chamber of Commerce), alongside hospitality specialists on the committee, have also pushed the event to new levels.

“These women and our committee are true local champions and their knowledge of event production is world class. They all give their time as volunteers and I couldn’t be more grateful for their support.”

Tickets to Summer Feastival were on sale from 7 December, and with many people missing out on their chosen events last time, Rachel is encouraging everyone to choose their feast wisely, but quickly.

“In spring it was a very locally-attended event, but we know everyone who enjoyed it is now championing it to their friends and family around New Zealand. There’ll be so much fun to be had – we can’t wait.”

For more information on events and tickets, head to www.feastival.co.nz.  

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