Celebrating Matariki through food

Our local kai creators (foodies) are skilled in the culinary arts, utilising Te Puna Waihanga (the spring of creativity) to create innovative masterpieces for the mouth. 

To celebrate this creativity and the arrival of the Matariki season, we've challenged local eateries to create the region's best Matariki-inspired dish by shining a light on the abundance of local produce and the unique cultural stories of Aotearoa.

Running from 13 June to 17 July, participating eateries will be judged on both the overall service and the dish itself. There will also be the People's Choice Award which allows the public to vote online for their favourite dish and be in to win a foodie box worth over $200!

Check out the entries below.

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TIMATANGA HOU | BUT FIRST DESSERT

The inspiration behind this dish came from the legend of Te Pura, the guardian taniwha of the Wairoa River. The dish "Timatanga Hou" translates to "New Beginnings" and is one of the key messages of many behind the legend of Te Pura- forgiveness, reflection and new beginnings. The dish contains elements of the legend (eggs, river, riverbank).

THE DISH

Triple chocolate mousse, Kaimai Range honey, mixed berry glass, Excelso Coffee crumble, beetroot tuille, salted caramel and Te Puke truffle ice cream.

But First Dessert, 6/109 Devonport Road, Tauranga

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PĀUA TOTERINI KARENGO | FIFE LANE

Inspired by the star in the Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea (The eyes of the god Tāwhirimātea) cluster called Waitā. This is the star for the ocean and the food that comes from it. Being in a prime location of Te Moananui ā Toi, the dish celebrates the harvest from the ocean through the pāua and the seaweed. 

THE DISH

Pāua Tortellini made with Nicki’s Eggs, creamed oyster sauce with Pacific Harvest seaweed and Doug Jarvis’ watercress.

Fife Lane Kitchen & Bar, 512 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui

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HIDE MATARIKI SPECIAL | HIDE THIRST & HUNGER

The inspiration for this dish is the traditional Matariki meal which was prepared in a hāngī. The steam that was emitted when the meal was served, would rise into the sky symbolically feeding the stars and beginning the Māori New Year. The food for this dish has been from the earth and the ocean as gifts to the stars, specifically Waitā (Star connected to oceans) and Tupuanuku (Star connected to food grown in the gardens).

THE DISH

Seared kingfish with toasted Harbourside Macadamia nuts and spices, served with parsnip purée and rice stuffed Abundant Backyard Organic steamed cavelo nero and crispy kūmara.

Hide Thirst & Hunger, 147B Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui

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KAWAKAWA TEA INFUSED PANNA COTTA | LANTERN

In Vietnam and around Asia, tea-infused milk is popular among young people and with a bit of technique, the panna cotta will taste more interesting with herbal and lemony flavour of kawakawa.

THE DISH

Kawakawa tea infused Panna Cotta with Manuka milk crumb, kiwifruit compote, and cornflake.

Lantern, 20 Domain road, Papamoa

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NORRIS & BELL BOIL UP | NORRIS & BELL

To celebrate Mataraki, Norris & Bell have put a twist on the boil up. Featuring locally sourced ingredients, including Mount Eliza Cheese, organic vegetables from Abundant Backyard and Mr Bean. Native herbs & spices foraged by the kitchen team and a master of native plants & Hauraki Association veteran. Completed by cooking over fire with fire wood sourced from the Kaimai Range.

THE DISH

Manuka Smoked pork jowl with bacon jam, house cured kingfish ham, Mount Eliza cheese, kūmara and horipito beignet, watercress puree a pork and kawakawa broth served with rewena bread and pāua butter.

Norris & Bell, 83 The Strand, Tauranga

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NGĀ KAI A MATARIKI NĀNA I AO AKE NEI | SUGO

Head chef Ian Harrison got his dish inspiration from a Matariki proverb in a book by Doctor Rangi Mātāmua.

Ngā kai a Matariki nāna I ao ake nei | Food that is scooped up by Matariki.

Matariki is connected with food and the nature of its early morning appearance in winter is said to determine the bounty of the impending year. The above statement is said of Matariki when it rises in the month of Pipiri (June) and food is cooked and offered upon appearance. Matariki is weak and cold from carrying out its yearly duty, and Māori would cook food to replenish its strength. This proverb is said during the early morning New Year ceremony.

With this proverb in mind, the dish works to the strength and wellbeing returned to Matariki. The cold months ahead would rely heavily on storage foods from the warmer months, the preserving of meats or fishes, while celebrating the kai of the season.

THE DISH

Smoked kahawai & buckwheat risotto, Jerusalem artichoke, onion weed, kawakawa.

Sugo, 19 Wharf Street, Tauranga

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MATARIKI CHEFS MENU | THE TRADING POST

Inspired by 5 of the stars in the Matariki Star Cluster.

THE DISHES

Matariki: Sourdough bread & smoked butter

Waitā: Kaipara organic oysters au naturel, kawakawa oil & oyster emulsion 

Waitī: Apatu Aqua smoked eel, watercress & potato velouté

Tupu-ā-nuku: Lumina confit lamb shoulder, kūmara & horopito gnocchi’s, Mama Kali's micro greens, jus

Tupu-ā-rangi: Vanilla poached apple, pure NZ buckwheat crumbs, maple syrup cloud

The Trading Post, 1 Hall Road, Paengaroa

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