Every year there are VWOAP events that earn such legendary status the demand to bring them back is so ferocious there’s no choice but to give the people what they want. So in the words of one Ms Britney Spears, “They want more? Well I'll give them more.”
I couldn’t imagine VWOAP being complete without favourites like The Cuban Air Raid (backstreet sandwiches are back!), The Cross Cat Café for SPCA (more cute cats to cuddle!) and Match: Play With Your Food and Wine (this year with two locations!). Here are five other exciting events making an encore appearance at this year’s VWOAP for you to consider for a second (or third!) helping.
Learn how Longbush Free Range Pork dedicate themselves to producing premium pork products and gain insight on some of the tasty things you can do with such a wonderful, magical animal. Longbush pride themselves on raising happy pigs with ethical and sustainable farming, supplying a number of top Wellington and Wairarapa eateries. This Wairarapa field trip begins with a visit to Longbush’s 19-hectare farm (bring your gumboots!), followed by a cured meats demonstration and three-course feast at La Pancetta Restaurant in Greytown. Get ready to pig out!
Continue the meaty theme with El Matador’s El Gran Asado (“the great roast”), an authentic wood-fired asado feast right in the heart of Cuba Street. Asado is the Argentinian tradition of cooking meat on a grill over an open fire – it’s cooking at its most primal and a fantastic example of Argentinian food culture. This asado will be given a Kiwi twist by using mānuka embers to fuel the fire, over which a whole lamb will be slow roasted. Escape the Wellington winter for a few hours with this fiery shared lunch of roast meats, Argentinian wine and tango dancing.
Feast Your Eyes at the Roxy
Another excellent way to hide from our chilly winter nights is to disappear into another world at the movies. Each year, The Roxy Cinema provides the opportunity to 'eat the film' with specially curated food and beverage to a unique flick. This year there are two Feast Your Eyes events:
- the first is themed around new Kiwi classic Hunt For The Wilderpeople, featuring an indoor hāngi;
- the second (edit: presale sold out) is a special screening of the documentary City of Gold with the subject himself, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold, on hand for a Q&A session. This is your chance to grill him on his career as one of the most popular and revered food critics working today. As food critic for The LA Times, Gold shines a spotlight not just on the city’s fine dining scene, but also on the foodie treasures to be found in Los Angeles’ working class and immigrant neighbourhoods. The NY Times called City of Gold “an affectionate portrait…worth attending to even if you think you have no interest in food, California or criticism”.
Finished everything on your plate and stuck with the age-old dilemma of going for seconds or saving room for dessert? With the return of Brewed: Tea With Tuatara this second helping is dessert – specifically, a high tea with a hoppy twist. Last year’s event paired Tuatara beers (some enhanced with bitters, smoke, tea and flavoured foams) with a mouth-watering selection of puddings, pies and cakes. For those who wouldn’t normally consider having beer with their dessert, this event will present some unexpected yet intriguing propositions. Tuatara aren’t strangers to taking inspiration from sweet treats for their beer – some of their special limited brews include their Tiramisu Oatmeal Stout and Moo Lah Chocolate Milk Stout, so you know you’ll be in safe hands.
Toast the final weekend of VWOAP at Fizzingly Fantastic (edit: presale sold out) with a glass – OK, several glasses – of sumptuous champagne. The students and lecturers at Le Cordon Bleu will deliver an evening of classical French cuisine paired with a number of champagnes, with the aim of giving you a greater appreciation of the wide range that is available for you to enjoy. Whether you’re a connoisseur or you don’t know your blanc de noirs from your blanc de blancs, you’re guaranteed a sparkling night out.