Eat, drink, party and be Welly
Ten top international chefs are coming to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Wellington’s VISA Wellington on a Plate in August. Also announced, at the launch of the annual foodie extravaganza this week, was a new VISA Festival Hub that will host pop up outlets, chef seminars and food industry discussions. On the now massive festival ‘menu’ will be the usual star performers, 140 events in total including the biggest yet Burger Wellington challenge (180 contenders), Dine Wellington Festival dishes and more than 100 events encompassing Greater Wellington’s restaurants, cafes, food trucks and bars.
At the launch Wellington mayor, Justin Lester, promised more council financial support to ensure the long term viability of the event that has become a lynchpin in the Wellington annual calendar.
Melbourne-based Jack Phillips, speaking for sponsor VISA, declared VISA ‘WOAP’ the biggest and most innovative food festival in New Zealand that ‘certainly gets mentioned over the ditch’.
Festival director, Sarah Meikle, said this year’s festival would change the way WOAP is experienced. There would be a greater focus on partying and entertainment, with events themed for example around 70s style dinner parties. Meikle also awarded Foundation Partners Certificates to the 16 restaurants that had been with the festival from the very start, in 2008.
International chefs and foodie outlets set to join the festival and collaborate with Wellington’s best include Dan Hong and Matt Swinhoe (Mr Wong and Ms G’s), Sydney; Belles Hot Chicken (Australia), Anna Hansen, London’s Modern Pantry; Frank Camorra (Melbourne’s MoVida), Hayden McMillan (Melbourne’s Etta) and Kenny Trinh (Adelaide’s Shiki).
Michael Meredith (Auckalnd) Ron Finley (Los Angeles), Morgan McGlone (Melbourne) and James Knappet (United Kingdon) will collaborate with local foodies to prepare Hiakai Hangi, a celebration of Polynesian culinary traditions.
‘Future Foods: What we’ll eat in 2050” will be the topic of Kim Hill-hosted discussion including New Zealand’s leading experts in the fields of food science.
VISA Wellington on a Plate will take place from August 10 to 26.