Festival of flavours on the menu

Maketū chefs Kasey and Kārena Bird. Photo: Supplied.

The Bay of Plenty coastline will host its first Flavours of Plenty Festival in April next year, showcasing the cuisine and creativity associated with the region’s plentiful produce.
The four-day festival is expected to attract 10,000 people, and will feature a range of events including Vegan Vibes and the Ōhope Local Wild Food Festival, alongside newcomers such as The Modern Day Hāngī with Maket
ū chefs Kasey and Kārena Bird.
Tourism Bay of Plenty general manager Oscar Nathan says the festival will provide visitors and locals with the ideal opportunity to celebrate the region’s horticultural origins, from Waihī Beach to Whakatāne and Ōhope.

“We encourage everyone to save April 7-10 in your calendar now,” says Oscar. “It doesn’t matter how adventurous your palate is or where you are in the coastal Bay of Plenty, there will be something to savour and delight your tastebuds.”

The Flavours of Plenty brand was initially launched in June, marking a collaboration between people from the food, education and hospitality sectors keen to identify opportunities that build on the region’s identity as a source of high-quality land and sea produce.

Flavours of Plenty chairperson Stacey Jones, founder of pop-up restaurant Kitchen Takeover, says the foodie community quickly mobilised, and is excited about delivering an event that will reflect the region’s developing food story.

“The Bay of Plenty is earning a reputation for its amazing plant-based food,” says Stacey, “and we have very talented individuals here doing great things in this space.”

Nathan hopes the festival announcement will provide a much-needed boost for tourism, event and hospitality businesses in the region as they continue to work through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re genuinely excited at the momentum of support and enthusiasm that’s building around Flavours of Plenty, as a celebration of our horticultural richness and the community connectivity of food provenance, people and place,” he says.

“We’re also looking forward to announcing some ongoing community partnerships and collaborations in the coming months.”

Former Queenstown Winter Festival director Rae Baker will stage the festival, and is no stranger to the Bay of Plenty coast, having been involved in event management for Bay Dreams and the delivery of the 2017 Tauranga street art festival Paradox.

Rae says she’s delighted to be at the helm. “Flavours of Plenty Festival has all the ingredients to become an iconic event, not just for the coastal Bay of Plenty, but for foodie lovers from all around the country. The festival already has a real buzz about it.”

Programme details, including ticket sales, will be announced in early 2022. For more information, visit: www.flavoursofplentyfestival.com

You can also follow festival updates via: @flavoursofplenty on Instagram and Facebook.

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