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Regional

Rewi Spraggon’s Matariki menu will get Taupō thermal

Hot on the heels of the Supercars debut in Taupō, hāngī master Rewi Spraggon has announced the celebrated Matariki feast Tohunga Tūmau will also be held in the lake city.

Tickets for the five-star Māori cuisine celebration are on sale for the event, to be held at the Taupō Events Centre on June 20.

Guests will be treated to a food extravaganza from New Zealand’s top Māori chefs:

  • Peter Gordon — presenter, author, owner and executive chef, Homelands;
  • Nancye Pirini — executive chef, e Kaahu, Te Arkinui Pullman Auckland Airport Hotel;
  • Tama Salive — executive chef, The Duke of Marlborough;
  • Rex Morgan — ex executive chef and owner, Boulcott Suite Bistro;
  • Karena and Kasey Bird — authors, presenters, MasterChef 2014 winners;
  • Joe McLeod — chef, kai Māori expert; and
  • Rewi Spraggon — hāngī master, TV presenter, chef.

Six hundred guests will be catered for at the event, which is special in that the menu is a degustation offering. Previous attendees have come to expect a menu filled with Maōri delicacies including koura (crayfish), kina, tītī (muttonbird), and hāngī, with local trout sure to be on the menu at the Taupō event.

Each dish is matched to wines from Māori-owned wineries.

Taupo district councillor and Ngāti Tūwharetoa member Danny Loughlin, who has worked to bring the event to Taupō, says: “Ngāti Tūwharetoa are excited to be hosting Tohunga Tūmau in Taupō this year. We look forward to showcasing our ingredients and our manaakitanga to guests from all over the motu. Our council is pleased to have 600 guests in Taupō boosting the local economy on the eve of Matariki. The Taupō Events Centre will be an awesome venue to showcase the best Maori chefs in Aotearoa.”

This year the chef collective is launching Rangatahi Tūmau, a programme in which aspiring young chefs get to join the Tohunga Tūmau kitchen for the week and learn the art of kai Maori from some of the country’s most experienced and talented chefs.

“Tohunga Tūmau has always been about celebrating our indigenous food culture and proving how great it can be. This new initiative is about building confidence among our up-and-coming chefs, encouraging them to learn and take kai Maōri with them wherever their careers take them,” Spraggon said.

Tohunga Tūmau is an initiative of Spraggon’s Māori food directory Kauta.co.nz and managed by Lemongrass Productions. You can book a table at www.tohungatumau.co.nz

- NZ Herald