July 3rd, 2017 Chris

Five VWOAP events to surprise you

How did July sneak up on us so quickly? It’s barely been a month since the VWOAP programme was launched, setting stomachs rumbling and mouths drooling across the nation. Now the initial excitement has settled, let’s deep dive into some events to consider as you decide how to fill those 17 days in August. There's plenty of time to refine your wish lists and schedules before it all kicks off next month (!). These events are bound to surprise, delight, inspire, and remind you why VWOAP is New Zealand’s premiere food festival.

Go to an old-school surf Beach Party

We’re well and truly caught in the crush of winter’s icy grasp, and it seems like those around me are all skipping the country for tropical getaways. One of my workmates is currently sunning himself in Cairns; I’m so happy for him. *sobs silently at work desk* So the idea of an old-school surf Beach Party during VWOAP sounds very ideal right about now. Six Barrel Soda Co. and Maranui Café, with the help of local band The She-Jays, will bring summer to us ahead of schedule. Although it might not be beach-appropriate weather outdoors, Maranui Café will provide a warm indoor alternative for you to sip on refreshing sodas and cocktails made with Six Barrel syrups, and plenty of surf snacks from Maranui Café and fellow Lyall Bay eatery Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli.

Enjoy a degustation of food-inspired cocktails  

Many of the bartenders I’ve come to know during my career as a semi-professional barfly are as equally passionate about food as they are cocktails. It makes sense, of course – one of their skills is to use contrasting flavours to their full potential, carefully balancing them against one another in new and unexpected ways. For VWOAP, the team at Hawthorn Lounge will be offering a cocktail degustation. Each of the seven “courses” in Inspiration Welcomes Distillation will take inspiration from the world of food – incorporating the culinary concepts of seasonality, locality, quality, tools and techniques. Some of the drinks will also honour classic Wellington dishes. If you’re a fan of Nikau’s kedgeree, Capitol’s Parmesan-crusted livers or Scopa’s hot chocolate, then this is your chance to see them presented in a whole new and innovative way.

Be taken on a road trip 

If you feel like you need to get out of the city for a change of scenery, think of Beats, Brews, Buses and Views as VWOAP takes on another Kiwi summer tradition: the road trip. Jump on board and hit the road with Wellington food truck Beat Kitchen on an excursion to the stunning Woodroyd Estate in Kelson, where you’ll enjoy canapés while taking in the breathtaking views. That’s followed by a three-course dinner with beer matches from Baylands Brewery, who are bringing along a beer brewed especially for this event. Throw in a cool soundtrack and you have the makings of an unforgettable night away from the chaos of Saturday night in the city.

Pit beer against wine

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been distracted form this dire weather by investing in a number of sporting battles, from our hard-fought America’s Cup victory to the rolling red sea that is the Lions tour. But it’s time for the ultimate battle: Grape vs Grain. It’s here that we pit beer against wine in a thirst-quenching showdown of which is the best food match. In the red corner, making beer for the bold, the brave and the lucky, it’s Fortune Favours Brewery; and in the blue corner, all the way from the vineyards of Martinborough, raise your glasses for Nga Waka Winery. Muse Eatery & Bar will provide the arena for a four-course meal, each with an accompanying beer and wine. Which drink will we toast at the end of the meal?

Indulge for a good cause 

VWOAP is undoubtedly a time to treat yourself to the things you love – don’t be ashamed to let that selfish gene stop you from sharing your dessert. Having said that, there a number of events that will let you indulge yourself and give back to some good causes at the same time. Ticket sales from All Taste, No Waste will contribute to throwing a special dinner for those who regularly receive Kaibosh’s services, and proceeds from The Wholesale Boot Community Hall will go to Youthline Wellington, which provides essential services to our young people. St Johns Bar and Restaurant’s premises ­– the original home of the Wellington Free Ambulance – will provide historical inspiration for a delicious five-course meal. A portion of every ticket sold will go straight to Wellington Free Ambulance to keep them on the road when we need them the most.