A focus on the future of the New Zealand hospitality industry and a look inwards at the nation’s food system will be the focus of this year’s food and hospitality hui.

Due to COVID restrictions, the event is now being held virtually on Monday November 1 and is jointly hosted by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand and Eat New Zealand. It brings together the best local and international leaders in food and hospitality to share ideas, tools and stories, to educate and inspire.

The Minister of Economic and Regional Development, Forestry, Small Business and Tourism – Hon Stuart Nash – will join in to provide additional insight into the pathway forward, including any new, relevant details on the Covid-19 Protection Framework, as they apply to hospitality businesses.

Renowned hospitality chefs Peter Gordon and Monica Galetti will also discuss their experiences as Kiwis on the international stage.

The day will see an esteemed line up of food professionals, including foresight practitioner and professional director Melissa Clark-Reynolds. Melissa brings with her 25 plus years’ experience as an entrepreneur and CEO of a number of Technology companies.

Michelin-starred chef Matt Lambert will appear as a keynote speaker alongside long time friend DJ Sir-Vere, and will talk about his experience and journey from Aotearoa to The Big Apple and back again.

Matt is then joined by Dominique Fourie from Floriditas, culinary coach, Jo Hempseed, and Programme Director for Go with Tourism, Matt Stenton, to discuss what the workforce will look like in 20 years.

A leaders and innovators panel will also take a look at what operating strategies will take us into the future. 

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois will lead a panel with industry innovators and leaders, Chand Sahrawat, Mia Zhao, Rex Morgan and Matt Lambert, to discuss how to create a positive narrative for the future of the industry.

Eat New Zealand’s morning sessions will focus on embracing who New Zealanders are as a food nation; from producers, to those who celebrate food and food experiences.

It will be a first chance to hear more details about a proposed values-based framework or a national food strategy for Aotearoa, titled ‘Mana Kai’, presented by Ian Proudfoot, Global Agribusiness lead for KPMG.

The day will begin with keynote speaker Dr Hana O’Regan, CEO of CORE Education and member of the Waitangi Tribunal, who will challenge us to consider what happens to our food story when some of our cultural narratives are silenced and ask “How can we reimagine ourselves with partnership at the heart of the way we move forward”?

Massey University  academics and NZ Farmers Market Chair will show the importance of local food networks in these difficult times. And as the possibility of re-opening New Zealand borders gets closer, two of our tourism experts, Tracey Berno and Marijke Dunselman will look at the role food tourism can play in telling New Zealand stories to the world.

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois says “The pandemic has given us leave to understand and celebrate what is great about our industry but also to look at ourselves objectively to shape the future of a more sustainable industry.

“Every industry must evolve and it is only by putting ourselves under pressure and having a clear vision for the future that we can bravely forge ahead. Food Hui 2021 will give us a much needed opportunity to come together to consider these changes.”

Angela Clifford, CEO of Eat New Zealand adds “Our mission is to connect people to our land through our food. For the last seven years, we’ve used the power of hui to challenge and change our food system. Covid has put pressure on this system like never before.

“International tourism has ceased, hospitality is hugely affected by lockdowns, food producers unable to find staff or reach markets, the duopoly of supermarkets given unprecedented access to our weekly food budget and almost 20% of New Zealanders are considered food insecure.

“As a national food movement, we’ve never seen so much opportunity for positive change. The idea that we might be able to rebuild better is tantalising and has opened up an entire menu of possibilities. While we’re ‘tied to place’ we’ll let our imaginations wander, visioning a way forward for all our food businesses and communities”.

For more information, updates to the event, and to book tickets, please visit foodhui.nz.

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