Stage set for KaiNiue Food Festival

15/09/2014

A four-day event to showcase the unique cuisine of Niue – the KaiNiue Food Festival – gets under way next week. <!--more-->The soiree that runs from September 19 to 22 includes cultural community food events, children’s creative food section, cooking demonstrations by celebrity international chefs matched with New Zealand wines, tropical cocktail parties, culminating in a spectacular gala dinner.

“The event will support our growing Tourism market by raising the standard of food preparation and contemporising our offering,” Niue Tourism Director Vanessa Marsh told <b>Pacific Periscope</b> during the run up to the festival.

One of the events, Kai Makete (tasting market) that takes place on September 19, will feature local foods lined up for all visitors offering them the opportunity to taste Niue cuisine and flavours. Both talented and amateur cooks will be setting up ‘taster stalls’ in a range of food categories. Local honey and vanilla producers will also feature their products during the event, which will feature local entertainment.

The Auckland offices of <b>Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I)</b> is supporting Kai Makete especially to showcase the export potential of local honey and vanilla and to explore possibilities of products using these fine ingredients. <b>PT&amp;I</b> is already with the two producers.

Besides Kai Makete, other events at the festival include a traditional Umu Ti to open the festival at the Alofi South village, guests will be entertained with traditional Niuean chants and dances while they taste a local delicacy and meander on to the market for the rest of the afternoon; the Niue Primary School Poster competition sponsored by FAO; a Niue Signature Dish competition where the winning dishes will be featured at the gala dinner on September 22 (there are prizes for the winner); and a KaiNiue junior chefs event.

The eight student chefs (working in pairs) with their mentors, have all been working hard the past two months, experimenting with local ingredients, trying new ideas and creating new dishes that promises to wow the celebrity judges on competition day.

Celebrity chefs attending the festival include international award winning New Zealand chef, author and TV host Robert Oliver; chef Michael Meredith, of Meredith’s restaurant who has a strong affinity to the Pacific through his Samoan heritage; and Tongan born Auckland based chef, Alex Kaihea, owner of The Beach House at Bucklands Beach.

Message from the organisers: “KaiNiue Food Festival event tickets are selling out fast. The Taste of Niue Lunch at the New Zealand High Commission is sold out and so is the Finalist Buffet Breakfast and the Gala Dinner. Tickets for the Cocktails and Canapes are nearly sold out as well as the Traditional Umu tickets so if you are interested in attending any one of those events, book your ticket now! They won’t last long.”

More on the festival at <a href="http://www.kainiue.com/">www.kainiue.com</a>