Impressive prize pool for Local Wild Food Challenge

A prize pool worth over $4,500 is up for grabs at this weekend’s Local Wild Food Challenge at Mahy Reserve in Ōhope.

With 16 prize categories, there are plenty of chances to win. Donated by local businesses, prizes include a Masport Lifestyle 3 Series hooded BBQ worth $600 from Placemakers, a smoker box pack worth $400 and camp cooking set worth over $250 from Whakatane Hunting and Fishing, and return flights for two to Auckland donated by Air Chatham’s. FMG and Farmlands are providing the prizes for the overall winner and kids’ category winner. The best children’s dish will take away a kids kayak with paddle and lifejacket worth over $500.

The Local Wild Food Challenge takes place this Saturday 3 February, from 2-8pm and calls for wild food enthusiasts to enter a dish using any edible ingredient found in the wild. Entries can be hot, cold, liquid or frozen and must be accompanied by a story about how the dish came together.

On the day a panel of experts, including Master Hangi Chef Joe McLeod from Wellington, will judge the dishes at the Pak n Save White Island Contestant Stations. Mr. McLeod says he is passionate about wild food and is looking forward to the event.

"Everything I use is wild. I always look forward to seeing dishes people come up with using native and wild ingredients to promote the local wild food culture the Maori have been using for centuries."

Other Judges include locals, Rosemary Sloman, Mawera Karetai and the 2016 grand winner, Tom Rosewarne who will be judging the children’s challenge.

Being held for the third time in Whakatāne, 2018 brings a change of venue to Mahy Reserve. We’re optimistic that the new location will help to grow the event.

This year we have the space to provide live music and a food festival alongside the challenge itself. We’ve focused on seeking out locally based food producers, food trucks and stalls, and encouraging them to take part in what we believe will be a fantastic annual food event and great family day out.

As always the Local Wild Food Challenge is free to enter with gates opening at 2pm.

Attendees can pay a $5 koha to sample challenge dishes in an assigned tasting area. There will also be a variety of food trucks and stalls, live music and wild food demonstrations throughout the afternoon.

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