There will be food, and wine

02:26, Feb 15 2013
FESTIVAL TIME: Sam Davenport and Bernadette Kirkham are ready for the Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival.

There will be food, there will be wine, there will be music and there will be (hopefully) be sunshine.

That pretty much ticks all the boxes for what you want in a festival and wouldn't you know it, there's one on fitting the bill in Hamilton this weekend.

The Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival has a new home this year, moving to Claudelands Arena.

That means more parking and, better still, more space for lots of lovely treats to enjoy.

As you can see the festival staff have busy all week setting up for the event, making the most of the new location and the striking backdrop of the historic Hamilton landmark The Grandstand.

But the new venue is not the biggest superstar to grace the festival. Celebrity chef Josh Emett will also be cooking live at the event, along with various amazing chefs from around the region.
Pumice head chef Carl Houben said it would be a great experience to cook alongside Mr Emett, who went to the same high school as him.

"He was always someone that I looked up to, " he said. "It's nice to see Hamilton talent succeeding on the local stage."

Mr Houben said he was looking forward to showcasing the way to cook healthy, fine-dining meals in your own home.

The boys from Vilagrad Winery have been exhibiting at the Waikato Times Food & Wine Festival from the beginning, but winemaker Jacob Nooyen was confident this year will blow the rest out of the water.

"It's great for the Waikato. It showcases Waikato food and wine - the best of the best of it, " he said.

"We're really excited about the new venue. There is more space and you can easily see where everything is, " he said.

Mr Nooyen said true to form, Vilagrads would be offering tastings of the new 2012 range, along with the increasingly popular new release Sparkling Charminer.

An added bonus of the Vilagrad exhibition would be free smoked tasters of the 150 kilogram marlin that Mr Nooyen's brother Adam caught off the coast of Raglan this week.