Back for its second year, the Flavours of Plenty Festival is living up to its name with plenty on offer for locals and visitors to the region to enjoy.
Oscar Nathan, from Tourism Bay of Plenty, says, “We’re showcasing our coastal region’s world-class horticultural produce and seafood and the skills and flair of our innovative artisans and chefs across forty different events this year.
“We’ve recognised the growing demand for culinary tourism events and experiences, and this festival is also a great way for us to support the hospitality businesses that have faced some really difficult challenges with COVID and staffing over the past few years.”
Festival Director Rae Baker is thrilled at the response she’s had from funders, eateries, event organisers and food and beverage suppliers who are keen to support the festival, and the 2023 line-up of events reflects this with more than double the number that were featured in 2022.
“There truly is something for everyone,” says Rae. “We’re excited to continue to showcase the plentiful produce and talent we have here in the Bay of Plenty.
“It’s great to see a cross-section of events that anyone can get involved in, like the Get Started with Microgreens, Bee-Hind the scenes with Bee NZ, or Local Wild Food Festival, to showcasing some of our superstars like Cherie Metcalf from Pepper and Me with her Long Lunch at Mount Maunganui Surf Club, Kasey and Kārena Bird at the Kitchen Takeover Ki Tua events, and local Pitmaster Mike Jeffries with his Big Smoke BBQ workshop.
“Our hero events will also demonstrate the routes from education to employment, with Our Future Creative Gifts hosted at Solera, and Battle of the Snack at Saltwater Oyster Bar and Grill.”
Get hands-on and learn to ice your own fancy cupcakes, grow your own microgreens, and make sausages. Join The Big Smoke BBQ Co. for their BBQ Class or discover the magic of bees with either Kitchen Takeover and Bee First Apiaries honey experience or the Bee-hind the scenes tour of Bee NZ.
Devour a five-course kai experience that takes you into the immersive world of Māori Atua (gods) and their connection with the natural world with Kitchen Takeover and Kārena and Kasey Bird.
Explore a culinary trail of the Mount’s most popular foodie spots with a six-course set menu roaming lunch.
Enjoy wine, food and cocktails with Tauranga Tasting Tours.
Get up and close with some of the bay’s best producers from a tour of Solomons Gold factory to an afternoon at Picnicka to celebrate the wonders of our locally-produced mushrooms.
Tauranga Farmers Market has a special morning tea or you could enjoy time with Mystery Valley olive orchard and Te Puke Truffles followed by a late lunch at The Trading Post.
Kitchen Takeover, Stacey Jones is hosting an evening of Food for Thought and Blabla’s Secret Society has a night of tasting, learning and discussions with Whakatāne’s Mata Brewery, Solomons Gold and Goodbuzz Kombucha at Special Mention.
Discover Japanese Omakase with Rika Rika at Benny & Brew Café or the region’s emerging talent at Solera where Toi Ohomai | Te Pūkenga students will work alongside established chefs to create a dinner not to be missed.
There are plenty of options for long lingering lunches with Sugo and Fife Lane both offering Flavours of Plenty lunches celebrating local producers. Cherie Metcalfe of Pepper and Me will host a Friday beachside long lunch featuring recipes from her new cookbook Together.
The Alpino crew have Fanculo La Dieta planned – a three-hour lunch of traditional Italian recipes and plenty of wine!
Enjoy some wonderful days out with festivals within the festival.
First We Eat combines leading Kiwi musicians, boutique food vendors, celebrity chefs, renowned wineries and craft breweries for one huge day out.
Whakatāne’s Wild Food Festival has an action-packed programme which includes a wild food cooking challenge, demonstrations with food tastings, an interactive mystery box cooking challenge, live bands, a craft beer garden, food and market stalls.
Discover the full menu of events here