Hosted by Matters of Taste’s Tracey and Anthony Cotterell and their New Zealand buddy Elle Armon-Jones. You’ll enjoy VIP treatment and have the ultimate fun on this action-packed, truly inspiring and very delicious tour.
On the east coast of the North Island is the glorious region of Hawke’s Bay. This large semi-circular bay extends for 100 kilometres from northeast to southwest from Mahia Peninsula to Cape Kidnappers.
In 1931 it was hit by a massive earthquake. The residents of the bay vowed to rebuild in two years which is exactly what they achieved. The World Heritage Trust says no other location in the world surpasses Napier in terms of Art Deco style. This region is also the fruit bowl of New Zealand and home to some of the most famous wine growers in the country.
With mountainous shelter from prevailing westerly winds and refreshing sea breezes, Napier has some of the best sunshine hours in New Zealand and is home to glorious beaches and scenery.
Wellington sits near the North Island’s southernmost point on the Cook Strait. A compact city, it encompasses a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour and colourful timber houses on surrounding hills.
Wellington is not only the country’s Capital it’s also the culinary capital of New Zealand. Known for its large amount and variety of cafés and restaurants, which are spread all over the city and which offer the finest food, wine, and coffee this has to be a destination for us to explore and discover.
Our traditional start to all Culinary Tours, kicks off in Napier with an early evening Champagne Welcome. Dinner is at one of NZ’s Cuisine Magazine’s regional top 20 restaurants. A mind blowing degustation using lauded Maori and quintessentially New Zealand ingredients will make this a treat to remember.
Starting as we mean to go on with incredible experiences, we’ll be heading to Cape Kidnappers. This is the most breathtaking property which surrounds a luxury lodge on the cliffs high above the Pacific.
The chefs will show us around the kitchen garden, share with us the story behind various plants, what they are harvesting and how they use the produce in their daily menus. We can then kick back in their dining room and enjoy a beautiful lunch which will include fresh produce from the garden.
The Marist Brother monks brought winemaking skills to Hawke’s Bay around 1851. This afternoon we will head out to the oldest vineyard in New Zealand for a wine tasting and tour of the property.
This evening you are free to explore. Choose from the waterfront, town or port areas to dine. Recommendations will be provided.
We spend today with leading cheese writer Juliet Harbutt who has recently moved back to Hawkes Bay. This is the woman who wrote the The World Cheese Book that has sold over 90,000 copies. Juliet is also the original owner of Jeraboams, the famed Wine and Cheese Shop in London. She’s lived and travelled all over the world but on this trip she can show us her personal current highlights of the region she now calls home.
Generously, she has invited us all to descend on her property to prepare lunch together. Naturally, this will have to include a Cheese MasterClass!
In the evening we head out to dine in a cool Scandi-meets-Japan decor inspired interior of a Category One Art Deco gem of a building. The head chef and owner has worked with Heston Blumenthal so expect a bit of fun thrown in with the incredible flavours we’ll get served by James and his team.
It’s up and at ’em first thing on Sunday for the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market. Wander around, talk with the grower, producer or maker and ask them about their products. See, touch, smell and taste the goods. Held rain or shine, this gathering of local producers is three times the size of the Matakana markets we visited during our 2017 Auckland tour.
Meeting some of the local producers along the way, we’ll collect ingredients for a regional produce cooking demonstration. Elle and Tracey will treat you to a learning experience like no other! This is guaranteed to be full of fun and laughter as well culinary learning. A relaxed final evening in Napier will be spent enjoying the dinner you have cooked alongside the girls.
Monday is our trip to Wellington. We’ll start early to make the most of the day.
Heading out down to the Wairarapa we’ll spend time with butcher and small goods maker, Rachel. Here she will instruct us in a salumi masterclass on making quality Italian style cured meats. Lunch is at Rachel’s Italian restaurant in Greytown.
Further down the road travelling towards Wellington we may hop off the beaten track and visit either a cattle farm or enjoy wine tasting at one of the Wairarapa’s award winning vineyards before we get into the Culinary Capital early evening.
Dinner will be low key affair, allowing us to get some beauty sleep before our first day in Wellington.
On Tuesday morning we take to the city streets for a food tour of the capital.
New Zealand’s culinary capital, it’s smaller than Auckland but packs a big foody punch! This is metropolitan lifestyle taken with a pinch of laid back bohemian kind of style. With an incredible coffee culture we’ll check out some of the fave haunts of The Lord of The Rings movie stars.
Lunch and afternoon at your leisure. We have lots of suggestions if needed.
An early dinner with a difference…enjoy a delicious meal at a popular venue and learn how to use your smart phone to snap professional style photographs. Instagram watch out. Here come the MoT food paparazzi!
If you are thinking this experience couldn’t get any better, this morning we attend a cooking class where we’ll learn how to make crusty sourdough bread and doughnuts.
Finally this evening, the last on this Extraordinary Culinary Tour of Hawkes Bay and Wellington we kick up our heels with a cocktail tour of the city. Meet sommeliers and mixologists who’ll show us how to use elements of aromatics to make amazing cocktails.
Our final celebratory meal together and farewell will be held at our pick of the city’s best establishments.
You’ll not only be bringing home with you enhanced cooking skills and recipes to share with family and friends, but a whole lot of wonderful memories, laughter and some new best friends.
The 4 minute video below highlights some of our adventures in the 2017 Tour of Auckland and The West Coast. You’ll also meet Elle towards the end as she and Tracey discuss what they have planned for the 2018 tour.
Click on 2018 New Zealand Registration Form and Terms for more details. To reserve your place, simply complete the Registration Form and email or mail to us.
Please call us at the office on 9319 1097 if you have any questions.
Tour price includes all food and experiences featured on the itinerary. You book and pay for flights and accommodation. Use those air miles! Details of accommodation costs for twin share per night for seven nights on application. We have secured accommodation for our group.
*To receive BONUS Cooking Classes, payment must be made in full. Class Gift Vouchers to be issued once tour is complete.
Many thanks for considering this tour, we hope you can join us.
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