City ready for two-week feast
Ready, steady, eat - Wellington's annual two weeks of gorging itself on the region's finest food and drink has begun.
Culinary festival Wellington On a Plate kicks off today, and with more than 7000 tickets sold so far, the capital's foodies are already showing their appreciation.
Cafe Polo co-owner Adrian Green said the Miramar eatery, which has an event, a set menu and a Burger Wellington entry on offer, was bracing itself for the event.
"We've all got clenched bum cheeks. We're just doing one party this year . . . and that's all but sold out, there's one ticket left. This Saturday is going to be horrendous and we've already got bookings into next week."
Logan Brown head chef Shaun Clouston said they still had some room on bookings early in the week or for lunch, but the phone had been ringing hot.
"We . . . just push really hard for a couple of weeks. We've got around about 180 people tomorrow, and are booked pretty solid all weekend."
Bolton Hotel business development manager Amy Brown said Wellington On a Plate did wonders for its restaurant, Artisan.
"It's really good for our restaurant because we're a bit off the beaten track and a lot of people don't know about us, so events like this get our name out there."
The hotel's two culinary events, I Heart Wellington and Hearty Roman Feast, sold out within a week and restaurant bookings are higher than usual. It is estimated the event brought $4.1 million into the Wellington economy last year.
Ngaio man Rob Mayo last year managed 37 Wellington On a Plate events, Dine Wellington menus and Burger Wellington entries.
Another year, he did dozens of sittings at restaurants beginning with P, just because it was as good a way as any to select from the options.
"The first couple of years I was working up Manners St, it was so easy to walk out and walk a couple of metres into any number of restaurants and pay anything between $15 and $45."
His pick this year are PreFab's oyster pop-up PigFish, and Ruth Pretty's pop-up icecream shack in Frank Kitts Park, We All Scream For More Icecream, as well as set menus and burger offerings at his spots, Pravda Cafe and Plum.
The Dominion Post