During the Rugby World Cup, close to 100,000 visitors are expected to grace our shores and, if the throng of diners at the new Wynyard Quarter is any guide, they'll be spending plenty of time and money sampling our food and beverages inbetween games. It's a great opportunity to show tourists what we can do and, as part of its in-restaurant marketing push, Fly the Flag, Silver Fern Farms and Bidvest are doing everything they can to get Kiwi meat into visitor's gullets by supplying New Zealand grown lamb, venison and beef to 138 leading restaurants around the country, including Logan Brown and Pravda in Wellington, the Hilton in Auckland and Tatler and Millbrook in Queenstown.
"Food trends tell us that people want effortless style with excellent ingredients produced with love and care," says Sharon Angus, group marketing manager. "They want food that is naturally sourced and that is prepared in a way that allows the central ingredient to shine through, with fresh seasonal flavours that complement the best cuts of meat. We’re hoping that visitors have the chance to experience a real taste of New Zealand and for us that means supplying our best cuts, carefully selected from the world’s best farming environment and delivered fresh to restaurants daily."
Shaun Clouston, head chef at Logan Brown, is pretty bloody excited about being able to promote local food to international visitors and he predicts the venison with beetroot risotto and black pudding will be a big hit.
"It gives us the chance to build on the idea that New Zealand does have its own unique cuisine and that it’s fast becoming world renowned. We’ve been planning since February and are glad we did, some restaurants are starting to worry that they might find themselves left short of supplies."
A few bar owners we've spoken to are also working through the logistic and supply issues that need to be sorted if they hope to sell more booze than normal to the punters without running out. Preparation is key, of course, and suppliers were given the opportunity in May to contract for the August/September period, with over 430 farmers committing 25,000 lambs, 11,000 cattle and over 31,000 deer, in addition to the normal supply.
For more info and recipes, as well as a chance to win one of six $250.00 restaurant vouchers, visit the Fly the Flag page on Silver Fern Farms website.
Elsewhere in food land, Taste of New Zealand is set to bedazzle its guests with delectable treats in the days before the finals. And word on the street is that there is a whole heap more interest than normal from stallholders. Youtube Video