Wellington on a Plate proves success

01:07, Aug 05 2014

Wellington on a Plate looks like being a financial as well as a culinary success.

The fourth annual foodie festival finished on Sunday and early indications are that it has been the busiest yet.

While final figures  will not be available until October, 15,000 tickets were sold to events including the Fisher & Paykel Masterclass, Beervana and the New Zealand Chocolate Festival, co-director Sarah Meikle said.

''Everyone's buzzing - it's taken on a life of its own. Last year people would say they had heard of it but this year people would say, 'I went to this, I did that' - people did more than one thing. There seems to be more engagement.''

One hundred and nine restaurants participated, offering special set menus, competing in the Burger Wellington competition and holding events. Almost 60 per cent of the 119 events sold out.

Duke Carvell's manager Ralph Hilaga said the festival surpassed expectations. Dinner seatings for Thursdays to Saturdays were booked well in advance, and its set menu proved more popular than its burgers.

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El Matador owner Mike Marsland said his restaurant sold 65 burgers on the first day and continued to sell about 50 a day throughout the festival.

It helped restaurants increase patronage during the quieter winter months, and momentum from the festival was likely to continue through to the World of WearableArt shows in September and into Christmas, he said.

Ms Meikle said that, if growth in the festival continued, it could one day be added to the list of world-renowned events such as the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen

The Dominion Post