Happy crowds head to festival

Tai Avatea cooks up Rukau and Pork with a tropical taste at the Southern Wild Food Festival.
Tai Avatea cooks up Rukau and Pork with a tropical taste at the Southern Wild Food Festival.
Megan Currie and Leanda Davis enjoy a tipple at the Southern Wild Food Festival.
Megan Currie and Leanda Davis enjoy a tipple at the Southern Wild Food Festival.
Renee Waghorn enjoys a taste of haggis at the Southern Wild Food Festival.
Renee Waghorn enjoys a taste of haggis at the Southern Wild Food Festival.
A large crowd gathers at the Southern Wild Food Festival at Stadium Southland.
A large crowd gathers at the Southern Wild Food Festival at Stadium Southland.
Nicky and Emma Fitzpatrick about to tuck in to the baby octopus.
Nicky and Emma Fitzpatrick about to tuck in to the baby octopus.
Steven Russell and Brad Smart entertain as the band Hit Men at the Southern Wild Food Festival.
Steven Russell and Brad Smart entertain as the band Hit Men at the Southern Wild Food Festival.
Guest chef Richard Till cooks up corn fritters.
Guest chef Richard Till cooks up corn fritters.
LEFT: Jack Fraser about to take a bite of duck liver pate and plum at the Divine Dish stall. RIGHT: Gary Cooper cooks up some whitebait patties at the Southern Wild Food Festival.
LEFT: Jack Fraser about to take a bite of duck liver pate and plum at the Divine Dish stall. RIGHT: Gary Cooper cooks up some whitebait patties at the Southern Wild Food Festival.
Michelle O’Donoghue and Kieran McCube tuck into some delicacies at the Southern Wild Food Festival.
Michelle O’Donoghue and Kieran McCube tuck into some delicacies at the Southern Wild Food Festival.

Braised chicken feet are tasty, but you have to spit out the bones, Southern Wild Food Festival organiser Alice Pottinger says.

The inaugural event at the new ILT Stadium Southland attracted more than 2000 people on Saturday.

"I didn't hear one bad comment, the stall holders are happy, and people were leaving happy," Mrs Pottinger said.

WILD FOODS: Gary Cooper cooks up some whitebait patties at the Southern Wild Food Festival at Stadium Southland on Saturday
WILD FOODS: Gary Cooper cooks up some whitebait patties at the Southern Wild Food Festival at Stadium Southland on Saturday

"They were asking me, ‘you'll do it again next year, won't you?'."

With a wide variety of wild foods on offer, including baby octopus, haggis, whitebait patties, eel sliders and duck liver pate, Mrs Pottinger said she tried out a few of the delicacies, but her top choice was the braised chicken feet.

She had also eaten a whole chilli.

"It didn't really burn so much as that feeling you get at the back of your throat, like when you swallow peppercorns."

"It definitely sat in my belly and kept me warm for the rest of the day though," she said.

The Rotary Club of Invercargill, which organised the event, will donate money raised from the festival to the Rape and Abuse Support Centre Southland.

It was not yet known how much money had been raised.

The Southland Times