Raglan chef Tamati Edwards got inspired last week and served up the ‘Matariki Constellation’ on a plate – its seven components, he says, representing the seven stars of Pleiades which mark the Maori New Year.
He included traditional Maori food like watercress and smoked eel, mussels and kumara alongside purple carrot puree and pan-fried tarakihi in a colourful creation that’s now on the menu at Bow Street Depot, the popular indoor-outdoor eatery best known for its tapas.
A modest Tamati told the Chronicle it was local entrepreneur Charlie Young who got him thinking about creating a unique dish to celebrate Matariki. Inspired to “give it a go”, he entered the inaugural Tino Reka te Kai Matariki Menu Challenge – a combined Waikato District Council and Waikato Food Inc competition.
The challenge was to come up with an exceptional dish using at least two ingredients grown or produced in the Waikato, and available on menus for no more than $30.
Tamati’s done just that and thrown in a can of Good George limited edition India Pale Ale (IPA) to complement the platter, aptly named Matariki Constellation.
The overall winner will gain not only the kudos of creating the best Matariki dish for 2015 but also a trophy and prizes to the value of $2000.
There’s also a people’s choice award that will give the voting public the chance to win a dinner out and a weekend for two at Whale Bay’s Dreamcatcher Lodge.