Two weeks of foodie heaven

AMY JACKMAN
Last updated 14:09 14/08/2014
WOAP
MIKE HEYDON/Fairfax NZ

MANDARIN DELIGHT: Muse on Allen's Textures of Mandarin dish.

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Wellington on a Plate 2014

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Start loosening those belt buckles Wellington, the food festival is back with two more weeks of dining heaven.

The Wellington on a Plate festival kicks off for the sixth time tomorrow, August 15.

This year's programme features Dutch baked goods, tripe, cheese scones, burgers, blind tastings and a pop-up gelato shop.

Founder Sarah Miekle said the festival was creating a buzz around town.

"I feel really confident that this year's festival is going to be another stellar for the region," she said.

"There's a real buzz and the industry are gearing up for it. To top things off, we have just won two awards, which we are feeling pretty happy about."

The New Zealand Association of Event Professional Awards bestowed best event partnership and best established regional event to the Wellington food festival.

Meikle said it was tough to say how it compared to previous festivals as this year's programme was different.

"It's tough to compare year-to- year, but I feel as though the programme continues to evolve and brings a different offering to the Wellington region every time.

"That means that there's a reason to get out and enjoy it every year."

This year's best Dine Wellington menu went to Logan Brown and the Dish of the Festival went to last year's top menu winner Muse on Allen for its Textures of Mandarin dessert.

Ti Kouka's lunch menu was also highly commended.

Muse owner and chef Samuel North said Wellington on a Plate was a great showcase of what Wellington suppliers and producers had to offer.

"Wellington should really show off more often, then we wouldn't need two weeks of Wellington on a Plate, we would have it all year round," he said.

"This is a chance for us to showcase what we have and what we can do."

North said diners trying to decide where to go should ignore the price.

"If you want to treat yourself go to the higher end restaurants," he said.

"It's good to see people challenge themselves. Last year we had a lot of people in here who weren't used to the modern way of dining, with three courses, the whole experience. Eating out should change people. What we do here isn't what people do at home."

Wellington on a Plate was also a time to eat the quality cuts of meat, the expensive food items and try something you've never had before, North said.

North will showcase Wellington products at the Mindfood 2014 Producers Awards banquet dinner at Muse on Allen tomorrow night, 6pm till 11pm.

Tickets are $120 from wellingtononaplate.com, and include a goodie bag.

Wellington on a Plate, August 15 till 31, more information at wellingtononaplate.com.

The Wellingtonian has a $100 Dine voucher to giveaway for Muse on Allen. To enter email your name, phone number and address to win@thewellingtonian.co.nz by 5pm, Monday, August 18. Please put Muse in the subject line.

BY THE NUMBERS

From 2013: 25,670 people attended ticketed events

$1.1 million in ticket sales

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66 per cent of festival-goers came from Wellington City

This year: 6000 tickets sold to date.

97 Dine menus

121 events

70 Burger Wellington entries.

Family friendly: The Pop-Up Dutch Bakkerij, Mojo Roastery, Customhouse Quay, August 30 and 31, 9am till 4pm. It's a Sweet Lunch pop up by Carrello del Gelato, Hunter St, Thursdays and Fridays, 11.30am till 3pm. Classic Soda and Siphon Workshop, Six Barrel Soda, 33 Dixon St, August 21 and 28, 6pm, tickets $25 for adults and children.

Weird food: Tripe, Trotters and Testicles, The Larder, Miramar, five-course menu, August 26, 6pm, tickets $80. Sense Education, Flight Coffee Hangar, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm, tickets $60. Experience Blind Dining, WBC, Victoria St, tickets available for Mondays and Tuesdays, $155.

Burgers: Dragonfly's Ninja Burger, soft-shell crab with crispy lotus chips, $25. Duke Carvell's Duke's Double Down, chicken and smoked provolone with fries, $22. Little Beer Quarter's The Big Mack Daddy Burger, a double beef burger with hoppy fries, $23. Charlie Bill's Miss Piggy is Hot to Trot, pork patty with horopito potatoes, $23.

Vegetarians: Homegrown, Osteria del Toro, Tory St, August 30, from 11.30am, tickets $79. Pretzel Making - Uwe Style, Amora Hotel, Wakefield St, tickets available for August 17 and 22, 2pm till 4pm, $50. St Johns Bar & Restaurant's Dine lunch menu, Cable St, $25 for two courses and a drink.

- The Wellingtonian

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