Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre has unveiled its inaugural menus, with local produce and suppliers taking pride of place.
Te Pae Christchurch’s culinary team, led by Executive Chef Desmond Davies, has spent months working with local suppliers to design a menu that is a true taste of New Zealand, from kawakawa-rubbed Te Mana lamb rump from New Zealand’s high country, to oven-roasted Akaroa king salmon, sustainably raised just 90 minutes from the convention centre. Te Pae Christchurch General Manager Ross Steele said as a regeneration project for the city of Christchurch, it was important the convention centre supported local suppliers wherever possible.
“Our clients want their delegates to be immersed in the things that make Christchurch and Canterbury a great place to host a conference. Food plays such a large role in the overall event experience, which is why it is so vital for us to provide a real taste of the region to our guests.”
Mr Steele said New Zealand is internationally recognised for its fantastic produce. “Our country has a strong and innovative agricultural background, and offers a wonderful diversity of products for our team to work with– they have really been spoiled for choice.”
Significant time has also been spent sourcing and working with small artisan suppliers, such as award-winning cheese, cured meat and olive oil producers, to provide them opportunities to showcase their products on a world stage.
In designing a modern menu that also celebrates New Zealand’s traditional food influences, Chef Davies’ dishes make the most of fresh seasonal, sustainable produce and native ingredients.
“As well as heading out to meet suppliers, I’ve been very privileged to spend time learning about traditional ingredients such as harakeke (flax), korengo (seawood) and pikopiko (fern tips), how to forage for them, and how best to incorporate them into the centre’s menu,” Chef Davies said.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity to put a new, distinctly local twist on my European and Asian-influenced food background. We have derived so much new inspiration during the development of dishes, using ingredients like pūha (sowthistle) in a Sticky Pork Belly dish and incorporating pikopiko (fern tips) and korengo (seaweed) in our Roasted Beetroot entrée.”