Matariki is a time when we celebrate the rise of the stars and the dawn of a new year," says Sahini Bennet. "Its where we remember and honour our ancestors and our land," she says, "when we let go of the things that do not serve us and welcome in New Beginnings and change, The brighter the stars the bigger the yield!"
The Māori new year celebrations will take place all over New Zealand when Matariki, the Pleaides star cluster, rises in the sky over Aotearoa. The word 'Matariki' is an abbreviation of Ngā Mata o te Ariki which means 'Eyes of God' in reference to Tāwhirimātea, god of the wind and weather. For Sahini, Matariki is a special time of year that we as a nation should celebrate together each year.
The stars of Matariki
Sahini's Lyttelton eatery, SUPER, is celebrating Matariki on July 22nd, with a feast that cleverly uses food and storytelling to connect diners to "their kai and their environment". The chefs at Super are joining forces with Chef Craig Martin to create 9 courses alternately of Māori and Japanese foods from seasonal, local, organic and foraged ingredients. There'll be kareao (supplejack), kombu dashi custard, piko piko and smoked eel... An even mix of the same Japanese and Māori themes that grace the restaurant's regular menu will create a local/international vibe which feels appropriately planetary for the starry occasion.
To match, Sahini has invited award-winning Kiwi Poet Ben Brown to "weave words and stories" throughout the 9 course event, connecting diners to the meaning behind their food and the reason for the celebration of Matariki.
For Sahini, food is her love language. Including Japanese & Māori flavours and ingredients on the restaurant's menu was an easy decision. She loves the tradition, technique & clean elegance of Japanese food and culture.
She reckons the simple yet bold ingredients and methods of Japanese cuisine work well with our own native traditions and tecniques: "when you pair something like a shiitake tahini broth with Hāngi style pork belly ...It's a beautiful thing."
We tend to agree: that flavour combination sounds almost as good as a night spent learning about our nation's stories with 9 courses to match...
Event held on 22nd July, 2020
Tickets are $220 per person. Click here for more information.
5 Norwich Quay, Lyttelton 8082