New Zealand is cooking at Frankfurt Book Fair
07 Jun 2012
Aotearoa New Zealand’s presence at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair will be much more than a literary experience as international visitors will be treated - literally - to a taste of Kiwi cuisine and culture.
As guest of honour at the giant literary event, New Zealand’s centre-piece pavilion will feature cultural events, multi-media story-telling, and some of the country’s best regional food and wine - woven together to tell an authentic New Zealand story.
Themed ‘While You Were Sleeping’, the different elements will depict what’s happening down-under while the northern hemisphere is sleeping - such as writing books, shooting films, growing wine and creating cuisine during the southern hemisphere's daylight hours.
The guest of honour programme includes a series of New Zealand activities and events held in different parts of Germany during the year leading up to the October fair.
New Zealand’s programme has been inspired by the Maori concept of Manaakitanga - which is about giving, hosting and taking care of others - and, in this case, sharing Kiwi writers, ideas and creativity with Germany as a way of gifting New Zealand's light.
Food for thought
In preparation for the fair, Frankfurt-born chef, foodie and gastro-philosopher Leon Joskowitz has spent four months roaming New Zealand, visiting chefs, cafes and restaurants, and learning about regional delicacies.
During his travels Joskowitz has been gathering culinary inspiration for a series of pop-up kitchens that will feature in the New Zealand Wine Culinary Festival which runs in Frankfurt during the fair.
Joskowitz - whose CV includes philosophy studies, a "gastrosophical" tour of Europe, and founding a catering company - reports on his culinary field research in New Zealand in his ‘New Zealand is Cooking’ blog. Check out some of the highlights here:
February 27: New Zealand is cooking
My name is Leon Joskowitz. I am a traveller - a man on a culinary journey. As part of the Frankfurt Book Fair and its Guest of Honour New Zealand 2012 programme, I’ll be bringing New Zealand delicacies to Frankfurt this October with "New Zealand is Cooking". More
February 29: Flaming swords at Mount Bistro
Have you ever eaten a flaming sword? I have - at the small restaurant "Mount Bistro" of award-winning chef Stephen Barry. Mount Bistro is located in Mount Maunganui, the world capital of the kiwi. The town is situated at the foot of an inactive volcano of the same name, though today it is officially known by its original Maori name of Mauao. More
March 05: Of juicy pears, creamy honey and oily wheatgrass
I’m on my way to a meeting with Robert Oliver. He was honoured with the Gourmand World Cook Book Award in Paris in 2011 for the world’s best cookbook. It’s called "Me’a Kai - The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific" and it’s a collection of traditional recipes from the Pacific Islands. More
March 12: Fresh mussels on the South Island
Three weeks have now passed since I arrived in New Zealand. My car is running again and I cross over to the South Island. It’s painfully early and I’ve only slept a few hours. Last night I got stranded at a bar called Motel, where I drank Japanese whiskey with Irish musicians and New Zealand rum with French dancers. More
March 20: At sea with the oyster fishermen
The last few days have been eventful. In the middle of the week, just about halfway through my journey, I reached New Zealand’s southernmost city of Bluff. In Bluff, people have been catching oysters for generations from the turbulent waters between the coast and the offshore Stewart Island. More
March 30: Even a blind squirrel finds ... a mushroom
Porcini mushrooms are a very rare find in New Zealand and they go for about 70 New Zealand dollars per kilo. The top restaurants in the area are always scrambling to find good porcini mushrooms. Nevertheless, I managed to unearth one of these rare specimens with a little help from experienced porcini mushroom hunters Mike and Shirley. More
April 10: No worries - Farewell to the South
I’m departing the South Island once again. The ferry brings me to Wellington. Behind me, the Marlborough Sounds slowly disappear into the haze that hovers over the ocean. I want to use this time to reflect a bit - and to sing the praises of southern New Zealand. More
May 02: Hangi - or kai and the elements
Have you ever attended a hangi? Or at least heard of one? No? No worries. That’s just one of the many reasons why I’m travelling through New Zealand for you. The purpose of a hangi is two fold - it’s both an earth oven and a social event. More
May 30: Kiwi cuisine in transition
Several weeks have passed since I returned to summery Frankfurt, but I’m only now finding time to review my final notes from New Zealand. My work for the Culinary Festival requires my full concentration. But since I don’t want to deprive you of my last impressions of island life, here are some of my recollections. More
New Zealand food and wine
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