19 Feb 2016

Forage to Feast (Part 2)

From Country Life, 9:40 pm on 19 February 2016

Sixty food and wine lovers spend a morning picking, foraging, digging, fishing and even shooting a host of food in the Waipara Valley.

The Forage North Canterbury event was created by five North Canterbury vineyards; Bellbird Spring, Black Estate, Greystone, Pegasus Bay and Tongue in Groove which, as it turns out, make wine in environments rich with seasonal wild food.

To celebrate the relationship between local grapes and food, the vineyards invited cooks, sommeliers and writers from as far afield as China and England to hunt in the hills, forage in the fields and forests, fish in the ocean and gather from the seashore in and around the Waipara Valley.

One of the organisers, Penelope Naish from Black Estate says the wild food adds another layer to a sense of place.

"It's the best way to show context to our wines....if visitors are coming to the regions to look at the wines, they also experience the environment around the wines and the food that grows around the wines. They really do, in one day, get to understand what this region is about."

The foragers were split in to eight groups and their goal was to collect enough food in the morning to feed all the participants. They achieved it with ease.  Their fare covered several tables and eight chefs spent the afternoon converting the bounty into unique dishes that were matched with locally grown wines.