Local Wild Food Challenge returns bigger and bette

Photo: Supplied.

Wild food enthusiasts from across the Bay of Plenty are planning their menus and waiting expectantly for Whakatane’s Local Wild Food Challenge.

Challenge entrants will present dishes using wild ingredients sourced from land and the ocean.

The food festival returns to Mahy Reserve, Ohope Beach on Saturday, February 2, and celebrates the region’s abundance of wild food and the natural environment.

The event is part of a worldwide event series that has grown from small beginnings on the shores of Eastbourne, New Zealand.

The event’s main attraction is a challenge that sees entrants hunt, gather, forage, barter or fish for local wild food and create a unique dish to be prepared on the day.

To support the dish, participants must include a story about their wild food masterpiece. More information about the challenge, including the prize pool, is available via: www.whakatane.com/lwfc Challenge contestants receive free entry to the food festival.

Those not interested in cooking, but looking for a great day out, can watch challenge participants in action and enjoy food demonstrations and tastings, live Latin and jazz beats, a craft beer garden, food stalls, kids’ activities and more.

Demonstrations include how to break down a beast, laying a Hangi, making soft cheese and sauerkraut, foraging for wild edible weeds and the art of Rongoa – traditional Maori healing.

Earlybird tickets are available from: www.eventfinda.com for $7.50, with gate sales on the day $10. Youngsters under-16 can attend free of charge.