While tourism products will take centre stage at TRENZ 2012 (Queenstown 7-10 May), the country’s finest food and beverages will also have a starring role at the four-day event.
“From boutique beers, whitebait fritters and Maori kai to hand-crafted cheese, food cooked in wine barrels and chocolates that reveal personality traits, delegates at TRENZ are in for a taste treat,” says Ann-Marie Johnson, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Communications Manager.
“Food is considered a vital part of a holiday experience for many of the world’s travellers and TRENZ is the perfect occasion to show international travel Buyers and Media that New Zealand produce and our chefs are world-class,” says Ms Johnson.
She says there is a natural fit between the tourism and food and beverage sectors.
“We both have a commitment to quality, innovation and environmental sustainability plus a desire to give the consumer a fantastic experience. Food is also an essential ingredient in the New Zealand visitor experience – whether it’s fine dining, al fresco meals, tasting at the cellar door, mingling with local producers at farmers markets or an authentic Maori hangi experience.”
The more than 300 international travel Buyers and Media attending TRENZ 2012 will have plenty of opportunities to taste the best of New Zealand.
At the Regional Rendezvous function on Tuesday evening 8 May, they can network informally while sampling regional delicacies served up by around Regional Tourism Organisations, including Southland’s Bluff oysters, gourmet offerings from Dunedin’s award-winning farmers market, Rotorua boutique beers and Hawke’s Bay premium wines.
Demonstration kitchens will be a drawcard during TRENZ morning and afternoon teas. They will feature some of New Zealand’s best chefs in action preparing everything from Maori canapés and quail pie to quintessential Kiwi fare such as crayfish, venison and organic lamb.
TRENZ caterer Flying Trestles is charged with delivering consistently fantastic food to around 1000 TRENZ delegates throughout the four-day event, says Ms Johnson.
“Based in Queenstown and Wanaka, this very mobile caterer has a great track record of serving up healthy, seasonal and varied food, often in very remote locations – from Mount Everest to Bougainville where they recently catered for the film crew working on Mister Pip.”
She says TRENZ functions such as the Southern Lakes Welcome Event will also allow the host region’s food and beverage producers room to shine.
“The grand finale will be a fabulous farewell function at Queenstown’s The Steamer Wharf. Spread across eight restaurants and bars and vintage steamer The Earnslaw, the wharf chefs will join together to showcase local cuisine matched with wonderful New Zealand wines.”