June 8th, 2018 Chris

8 ways to relive your childhood at Visa WOAP 2018

Back in the day

As I was walking to work yesterday, gripped by an icy chill that penetrated the five layers of clothing I had on, I was transported back to simpler days of school road patrol and the mug of piping hot Milo we were treated to on particularly cold days. So, instead of my morning coffee, when I got to the office I made myself a Milo and luxuriated in the nostalgia.

I love how certain foods and drinks can evoke times past, triggering memories of parties and family traditions. Not only is the 10th birthday of Visa Wellington on a Plate designed to turn Wellington into a foodie party for 17 days, it's also a trip down memory lane as we celebrate both the festival's past and the foods and experiences that are inextricably linked to our childhoods. There are also some great events aimed at families and children to foster new experiences with food. 

Here are eight VWOAP events and happenings that are guaranteed to please your inner child – or perhaps some actual children in your life.

  1. A world of pure imagination: 
    With the news that Donald Glover could be the next actor to take on the iconic role of Willy Wonka, now seems a good a time as any to go Wild With Wonka. Roxy Cinema has taken a look into their imaginations to recreate Wonka's colourful sugar-filled world complete with all the sweet fixings and, naturally, a golden ticket to find. There'll be a screening of the original 1971 film starring the original (and best) Wonka, Gene Wilder.
  2. Speaking of sweets... |
    An Afternoon of Sweet Delights awaits kids of all ages at New World Thorndon where you'll get a peek behind the scenes at the bakery before decorating your own cupcakes and enjoying all-you-can-eat sundaes. Last year's event sold out in minutes so get  in quick to secure your place.
  3. The bodyrock y'all
    Miramar's The Larder will use the classic childrens' earworm "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" as the basis of a five-course meal to celebrate 10 years of VWOAP. All eight body parts from the song – yes, even "eyes and ears and mouth and nose" – will make an appearance at some point in the night.
  4. Fish 'n' chips make me want to lick my lips...
    Here's another earworm from my school days I've never been able to shake: a song about eating fish 'n' chips for "breakfast, lunch and tea...".  The Kiwi family Friday night staple is given a posh makeover by Salty Pidgin at their Good Companions pop up with fish three ways, oysters and housemade hot dogs on offer, matched with craft beer, wine and soda. You batter believe this is going to be some of the best fish 'n' chips you'll ever have.
  5. There's always room for dessert
    Perennial VWOAP favourite It's A Sweet Life is back for another year to give kids a chance to go behind the scenes at Carrello del Gelato to make their own tub of gelato, which they get to take home and enjoy. Older, adult kiddies can try their hand at sorbet, semifreddo, gelato bombe, gelato cookies and ice blocks at It's A Sweet Night.
  6. All around the kitchen
    Many of my fondest childhood memories took place in kitchens – it's where I learnt how to cook with my grandparents and, many years later, worked after school in my parents' takeaway outlet. The Ultimate Italian Family Banquet will give kids (aged 10-14) the chance to learn some valuable culinary skills at this full-day workshop from learning how to design table settings to preparing a three-course meal for their friends and family to enjoy. How often do you get the chance to drop off the kids for a few hours and return to a three-course meal?
  7. Not-so-savage garden
    One of VWOAP's very special guests this year is the "Gangsta gardener" Ron Finley. Ron's mission is simple: for kids to grow up with the option of healthy food. In He Kai, He Whenua he'll share his wealth of knowledge and experience setting up community gardens in South Central Los Angeles to inspire you to grow and maintain a maara kai to feed you and your communities.  Ron will also appear in Feast Your Eyes: Can You Dig This, The Gangsta Food Gathering and Hiakai Hāngi.
  8. B is for...
    I know I can't get away with making one of these lists without mentioning a few burgers: Burger Liquor's Party Popper is a beef burger with candied bacon, salt 'n' vinegar chippies and Fanta-BBQ sauce, and it comes with a take-home party bag (which were by far the best part of every birthday party); the 'dip' in Thistle Inn's Disney-referencing Dip-itty-do-dah burger is the trusty Kiwi favourite onion dip; and while we're on a roll with children's songs in this blog post, let's wrap things up with Queen of Jackson's Mary Had A Little Lamb burger, featuring za'atar-spiced lamb, honey-pickled beetroot, feta cream and mint basil mayo.