Guests at this year’s Locavore’s Lunch – taking place during the summer installment of the Hawkes Bay Food and Wine Classic – are being told to “expect the unexpected”. There’s really no better way to sum up the day: each table of twelve will watch on or pitch in ideas as their personal chef works out how best to prepare a mystery box filled with nothing but the best local produce and ingredients.
Held on November 15th, the Locavore’s Lunch will take place amongst the beautiful gardens of The Old Church. The venue’s Head Chef, Andy Glover, says he’s excited to see what the chefs come up with on the day. Guests are welcome to try their hand at helping prepare the dishes or just sit back and relax while lunch is whipped up before their eyes.
“I think it will make for a fun lunch – most chefs I know have a weird sense of humour,” Andy says. “The guests may pick up a few tips; we may pick up some tips from them! I’m sure it will bring the competitive side out in the chefs too. It’s going to be a great day.”
Andy also says the “iconic” Old Church will provide the perfect location, not least because of a recent “glamorous makeover” to its interior. Opened in 1863, the church has since enjoyed a rich history, before reaching its new life as a restaurant and place of celebration.
“The grounds have also been developed to provide a variety of great outdoor dining options,” Andy explains. “Whether it’s for a wedding, à la carte dining, or platters outside in the sun, The Old Church has it all.”
Andy says he’s keen to see what produce he’ll get to work with as the Hawkes Bay “has an abundance” of locally-grown ingredients, although he does have one particular favourite.
“Asparagus, I love it! We have a dish on the menu at the moment with soft potato gnocchi, salsa verde, parmesan, whipped goats cheese and herbs from the garden. Our supplier, Nigel, is at the end of our road, so he picks and delivers as we need it. It couldn’t be any closer.”
FAWC! is a celebration of the region’s producers, growers, food and wine and Andy says it’s these exact elements that, as a chef, make living and working in the Hawkes Bay so great.
“Living in the Hawkes Bay is perfect, we are very lucky to have so many growers and suppliers on our doorsteps. I don’t think I even need to mention the wine that is produced here, it speaks for itself,” he says.
“It’s such a great place to bring up our two young children, Phoebe and George. It’s also home to some of the best fly fishing around!”
Tickets to the Locavore’s Lunch can be found here. The Hawke’s Bay’s Food and Wine Classic Summer Series runs from the 6th to the 15th of November. To find out more about the many exciting events on offer, head to F.A.W.C’s website, click here to peruse their programme or keep up to date by following their Facebook page.