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Top food and tipple tempts chefs

18 Feb 2016

Chefs and retail buyers were treated to the latest and greatest gourmet goods from Wellington at the Visa Wellington On a Plate Supplier Showcase on Monday, held at the Michael Fowler Centre.

Supplier showcase 2016

Over 70 of the Wellington region’s top food and beverage suppliers exhibited at this year’s showcase, the largest ever, with products including artisan cheese, cured meats, fresh produce, wine and specialty liqueurs. The event was part of the annual Visa Wellington On a Plate festival and attracted restaurateurs, chefs, bar managers and retail buyers.

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency Chief Executive Chris Whelan said food and beverage production contributed around $703 million to the region’s GDP.

“From small artisans to large-scale exporters, this event showcases the quality products that help make Wellington the cuisine capital.”

“The Visa Wellington On a Plate festival is a highly-anticipated event for locals and visitors, and is a delicious celebration of Wellington’s amazing produce, culinary creativity and hospitality excellence. It was great to see restaurants and suppliers discussing new collaborative ideas at the showcase. I can’t wait to taste what they come up with this year.”

Alasdair Bennett from Duke Carvell’s restaurant said he was always on the lookout for new menu ideas.

“It’s pretty easy to get stuck in a rut, but it’s great coming to these events and saying ‘that looks awesome.’”

Sharon Galeon from Wooden Spoon Freezery said the showcases provided excellent exposure for small, growing brands like hers.

The Wooden Spoon had created a mint chocolate chip icecream pie for the showcase.

“To show we can do something fun. We’re pretty good at pivoting – the chef’s imagination is the limit.”

Michal Haines, General Manager of Farro Fresh Food, said the showcase was a fantastic opportunity to speak to new producers and those already supplying their Auckland stores.

“We wish every New Zealand city held something like this to help small producers grow into successful businesses.”

The Visa Wellington On a Plate Supplier Showcase is an annual event organised by the Wellington Culinary Events Trust and the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency.

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