Topic: Matariki

Waikato cook-off to celebrate Matariki

By Hone-Haunui Rapana
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

A cook-off competition is set to take place between Waikato Food Inc and the Waikato District Council in celebration of Matariki.

Fresh produce, fresh dishes, fresh ideas in a new competition to welcome in the Māori New Year, Matariki.

Vicki Ravlich-Horan of Waikato Food Inc. says, "The Waikato District Council came to Waikato Food.Inc with an idea to incoporate food into the Matariki celebration."

Waikato chef Mark Macaskill says, "The more I've learnt about the competition, the more I've wanted to get involved, the more I've found food that can match the style and the kind of food you can harvest around this time of year."

Macaskill is preparing his special dish.  Networking was a key factor in starting this initiative, as well as using local ingredients.

"The chefs you meet, the local people you find, they just come to you and want to offer you what they got," he adds.

The dishes created by the different chefs will be put on the menu at each restaurant ready to be marked by four mystery judges as well as locals from mid-June to mid-July.