Saturday, June 11, 2016

My Wellington on a Plate picks for 2016

Visa Wellington on a Plate has just launched its 2016 programme (presale tickets are available from midday Monday, or Wednesday if you don't have a Visa card). I'm always a big fan of the events (they always seem to be the most special, if you know what I mean - often very different from what you can do the rest of the year), so I pore over the event section of the website and make a big list of all the ones that sound good, then gradually whittle it down to my favourites.

I thought I'd share my top picks here - but of course you're welcome to make your own spreadsheet and event schedule (that's normal behaviour, right?) to optimise your WOAP experience.


You know that the chocolate-centric events are always going to draw my eye - and there are quite a few options that fit this criteria this year.

A Night with Willy Wonka includes a tour of Wellington Chocolate Factory, then the chance to make two bars of your own to take home.

Laurent Loudeac of Hippopotamus and George Havlik of Bohemien Chocolates join together to present the Chocoholic High Tea. You can bet I'm aiming for a ticket to this one!

If you're not a fan of wine, beer, or coffee (the beverages of choice for food pairing events) maybe this Craft Chocolate and Soda Night might work for you. Local businesses The Chocolate Bar and Six Barrel Soda are the brains behind this one.

And if that's not enough the New Zealand Chocolate Festival can cater to every chocolatey whim.


Getting caught scoffing a cheeky steak and cheese pie tipped off one of my colleagues to my first pregnancy, and in the first trimester of my second I ate them almost daily... So I'm excited to see the humble pie getting some culinary love in this year's festival. Even without being pregnant I can certainly appreciate the beauty of a good pie.

Beer no evil, Pie no evil matches classic Kiwi pies with beer at the Sprig and Fern in Thorndon - or if, like me, you prefer wine to beer, Pie and Pinot at Goldings Free Dive might suit you better.

Other awesome stuff

Who Ate all the (Pizza) Pies? is an upmarket version of the great institution that was Pizza Hut's all you can eat. The pizza here is provided by the Tommy Millions crew, and instead of a red-roofed takeaway joint this will be held at Prefab. Naturally there will also be a DIY soft-serve bar, because don't we all have fond childhood memories of going nuts on the buffet dessert at Pizza Hut?

If money wasn't an issue, I'd be sorely tempted to try the Breakneck Feed - 19 courses in 190 minutes with a focus on Wellington cuisine. It sounds amazing, but at $250 a head it is on the pricey side.

St Johns Supper Tub combines cocktails, finger food, outdoor cinema and a relaxing soak in a spa. Quirky and intriguing!

There are plenty of meat-focused events, not to mention swathes of burgers, but if you want to delve into meat-free deliciousness, Egmont St Eatery's Umami Origami sounds pretty cool. Four courses of amazing vegetarian fare, drawing on many different techniques to maximise flavour.

So those are my top picks for events. There are also plenty of great Dine menus, burgers and cocktails to sift through and ensure that August is the month of the expanding waistline as well.

Do you like special events, or do you prefer the great deals the Dine menus offer, or the abundance of delicious burgers the festival brings?

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