Record crowd drinks in wine and food festival

18:43, Feb 17 2013
Food and Wine Festival
Chef Josh Emett's finished dish of duck.
Food and Wine Festival
Peking duck with orange pancakes served up by Victoria St Bistro.
Food and Wines Festival
Colourful macaroons from My Sweet Things.
Food and Wine Festival
Chef Josh Emett talking with festival-goers.
Food and Wine Festival
Chocolate and caramel brownies on sale.
Food and Wine Festival
By lunchtime the crowds had arrived and the wine was flowing freely.
Food and Wine Festival
Lane and Nola Bridgman found their own fun.
Food and Wine Festival
Music plays a big part in the festival.
Food and Wine Festival
Chef Josh Emett shows the crowds how to cook like a pro.
Food and Wine Festival
The gentle hands of Josh Emett make light work of a complicated duck dish.
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival.
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival.
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival.
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival.
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival.
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival

The sun was shining and the good times were flowing almost as freely as the wine with a record crowd flocking to the Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival at the weekend.

This year's festival saw more people through on the first day alone, than last year's saw over the whole weekend.

And it's little wonder, with more exhibitors, an impressive line-up of jazz, blues, and soul musicians, a special ‘back by popular demand' appearance from boogie pianist Jan Preston and a visit from Hamilton's own MasterChef, Josh Emett.

KICKING BACK: Sue Lomas, Pauline Sinel, and Sandra Groupsky soak in the atmosphere at the Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival. This year the event was held for the first time at Claudelands Event Centre.
KICKING BACK: Sue Lomas, Pauline Sinel, and Sandra Groupsky soak in the atmosphere at the Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival. This year the event was held for the first time at Claudelands Event Centre.

Festival organiser and Waikato Times marketing manager Bernadette Kirkham said it was a great turnout and an "absolutely fantastic event".

It was a relief after concerns over moving the event from Hamilton Gardens, where it has been for the past three years, to Claudelands Event Centre.

"It was quite a risk to move it after three successful years there, but it's actually gone really well. We were a bit worried because it's a big weekend in the Waikato with the cricket and other events on," she said.

"But in the end we had exhibitors running out of food and wine. Everyone's having a good time, it's been exhausting but it's been a lot of fun."

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