It's hard to believe that the foodie event of the year celebrates its tenth birthday in 2018! That's right, Taste of Auckland is back—with a new location at Queen's Wharf—and promises to be bigger and better than ever. More than just food, Taste is a social event with live music, live demonstrations and plenty of food and drinks. With six sessions over four days, choose from an afternoon or evening sesh and be prepared to indulge in the best of the best of our foodie scene.
Make sure you book your tickets and get ready to taste your way around Auckland (or even the world!) at this epic foodie event.
Here's everything you can expect to eat, taste and do at this year's Taste of Auckland.
Taste Dishes From Auckland's Most Loved Restaurants
Naturally, no Taste of Auckland would be complete without some of the best restaurants serving up delicious food and some faves—as well as some newbies—are back to tickle our taste buds. Plus, each restaurant is also going to have a sustainable seafood dish for punters to enjoy.
Those who are regulars to Taste will know and love the creations from Baduzzi's chef Ben Bayly and owner Michael Dearth. Thankfully, they're back at it in 2018 and we can confirm that their half Karitane crayfish dish—which created all the buzz last year—is back. Expect long queues but be assured, these scrumptious bites are absolutely worth the wait.
Seek out the large wood-fired oven and the scent of fresh bread for a taste of Italy. Yep, Farina is back at Taste of Auckland and we couldn't be happier. Whether it's pizza or pasta, Sergio knows what he's doing, so make sure you don't miss it!
Paris Butter is a fave for locals and visitors alike, and with its roots in French food, Chef Nick Honeyman always manages to wow the crowds at Taste.
Vodka Room also returns to Taste of Auckland in 2018. Innovative, slow-cooked Russian-inspired dishes are what we've come to know and love them for and we can't wait to see what delicacies they'll concoct this year.
At just over a year old, Gerome is a relative newbie on Auckland's restaurant scene but has quickly secured itself as one of the best. Expect delicious Greek-inspired dishes to delight your taste buds.
You'll also find delectable eats from Culprit, who serve up American and European-inspired food in yum cha style. Brought to us by Kyle Street and Jordan MacDonald, they also recently opened Low Brow in new dining precinct Queen's Rise, which will also be at Taste.
Naturally Asian fusion needs representation and Mt Eden newcomer Xoong is stepping up. With tastes inspired by Japan and China with a thread of Vietnamese pulling it all together, it's quickly become an Auckland fave. And, you can expect something extra special because Chef Cameron Knox took out first place in the Best in Taste Awards 2016.
Experience Live Cooking Demonstrations
Yes, the food is next-level at Taste, but to get the full experience, head along to the Electrolux Taste Theatre to watch top chefs create their signature dishes. Make sure you nab your seat early as these sessions are so popular plenty of people are left standing. This year some of the best of the best of Auckland's chefs will hit the stage to showcase their talents. This year you can see Nic Watt of Masu, Kira Ghidoni from The Grove, Juan Balsani of Baduzzi, Josh Barlow of The Sugar Club, Megan May from Little Bird, wholefood writer Kelly Gibney, former Masterchef finalist Vanessa Baxter, Marco Edwardes of Waiheke’s Alibi Brewers Lounge, and Neil Brazier, former chef at The Sugar Club.
Learn Secrets From Chefs
Always wanted to know what it would be like to cook like a professional? Now’s your chance! The Elecrolux Chefs' Secrets returns to Taste this year and is perfect for serious foodies looking for an intimate session with some of Auckland's top chefs. This year's line-up includes Nobu Lee from Clooney, Gareth Stewart from Euro, Dariush Lolaiy from Cazador, Neil Brazier former head chef at The Sugar Club and Man Mohan Singh from the modern Indian restaurant, 1947 Eatery. You can buy tickets on the day, but get in quick because they sell out fast!
Rock The Music
Yep, there's always a party vibe at Taste of Auckland, and this is in large part due to the live music. This year they'll be performing to the backdrop of the spectacular Waitemata Harbour! Performers include the stellar Tami Nelson, Hollie Smith — DUO and Barnaby Weir & Friends. There will also be Sola Rosa Sound System, Hopetoun Brown, Laughton Kora and Omega Levine adding to the vibe over the course of the four days.
Yes, there is so much to love about Taste of Auckland, but for the ultimate experience, why not splash out and go as a VIP? These coveted tickets will give you a glass of No. 1 Family Estate Premium Cuvee on arrival, a $30 crown card (that's the currency the festival uses) as well as a glass. Perhaps the best thing though is that you can avoid all the queues with private bathroom and bar facilities!
Sample All The Wines
Taste of Auckland is the place to whet your palate with 20 of New Zealand's top wineries attending the festival. Make sure you purchase one of the glasses on arrival and sip your way around the festival.
Go On A Craft Beer Trail
If wine isn't your thing, then you're not missing out. This year's Taste has a craft beer trail for a hopping good time! Presented by Radio Hauraki, you'll find various spots dotted along the wharf serving up the golden liquid. You'll find the likes of Lakeman Brewing, Laughing Bones, Liberty Brewing and Good George serving up their ales, pilsners and stouts or, you can head to the Pale Ale Bar where you'll find brews by Tuatara, Black Dog and Lagunitas.
Enjoy Artisan Food
Taste is a great place to sample (and buy!) produce from more than 120 artisan producers. You'll find the latest and greatest, including everything from vegan cheesecake to cold brew coffee. Challenge your spice levels with condiments from Fire Dragon Chillies, make that sweet tooth happy with some honey from Rawhiti Manuka Honi and up your cheeseboard game with pâté from L’authentique.