10 September 2019

The third annual Eat.Taste.Central Regional Menu organised by Tourism Central Otago (TCO) is set to launch next week encouraging local and visitors to Central to explore with their taste buds, and then vote for their favourite dishes.

The annual food and wine experience runs from 20 September through until 28 October. Campaign manager Antz Longman said local cafés, restaurants and cellar doors had been really creative with their interpretations of the theme 'Heritage Flavours, inspired by tradition'.

"We have a record 65 dishes and events on offer throughout the promotional period."

There are a mix of options to suit your taste buds across the five categories: Tapas & Shared Plates, Burger & Sandwich Challenge, Pie Challenge, Main Meal and Sweet & Dessert. Many of these dishes are matched to local Central Otago wines, beers, juices or even special cocktails. The public can vote online for their favourite menu items, and a soon to be announced invited judging panel will select the overall winners from the top five People's Choice dishes in each category.

A range of food, wine and heritage themed events are on offer during the campaign including a Pie & Pint night at Highlands in Cromwell, a 'Central Mexico' three-course meal at Amigos in Alexandra, and special exhibition highlighting the history of the Nevis Valley at the Courthouse Café. Several key annual spring events will take place during the period including the Alexandra Blossom Festival, Across the Bridge in Bannockburn, the Cromwell Street Party and Fireworks, Cromwell Half Marathon and Alexandra New Release Wine event.

"In just three years the campaign has captured the interest of not only our venues, but locals and visitors have all talked about looking forward to tasting their way around Central in Spring," said Mr Longman. "Now that the menu is almost ready to launch it's time for people to plan a road trip and discover some of culinary secrets that are spread across our distinctive landscape."

The growth in the Eat.Taste.Central event has also been supported by a continued relationship with MiNDFOOD media, and new collaborations with several businesses and organisations from inside and outside the region. Local brand Provenance Meat is supporting the People's Choice awards and offering the chance to win prize packs for those who vote for People's Choice, More FM and the Central App are joining as media partners, and the Central Otago Winegrowers Association as an industry partner. Further afield TCO has connected with out of region businesses to extend the reach of the campaign including Go Rentals, Dunedin Airport, Eat New Zealand and Air New Zealand.

For those keen to keep an eye on the activity make sure to watch the Central Otago NZ and Eat.Taste.Central Facebook and Instagram pages for information on meals and opportunities to win prizes.

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Page reviewed: 12 Sep 2019 8:55am