A Toast to Toast Martinborough

Celebrating Toast Martinborough’s 25th this weekend is pretty cool.  Our motto is “fresh and fast”, and it’s a huge day pulling people, food and tents together. Many people ask how we do it, so here’s the inside story.

As it has turned out, Toast has been our training ground for catering big events and projects, all with the driving force of getting the food out fresh and fast, and with high service levels.

We have some flexibility with staff and systems to adjust to changing circumstances as needed. For example, at Toast we try to keep queues short for particularly popular items by adding more staff at peak times.

This year there are some innovations at Toast. There will be no more paper Francs – replaced by a whizzy electronic wristband for ticketholders. Like a Snapper card but smarter – it means you can get a refund for any unspent money loaded up.  We will be in The Square from 4.30-6pm with an ice cream stand, so you can cool off while dancing under the gorgeous big trees. And the old glass has gone, replaced with a no-break high-tech plastic that feels amazingly like glass.  Ata Rangi’s winemaker Helen gave it the thumbs up, and if Helen says it’s OK we’re happy too.

With 19 choices, we bring a lot of food.  It’s well chilled leaving Te Horo, travels chilled, and held in chilled containers on site, so it’s fresh. We prep as far as possible in advance, and cook hot foods to order. A row of food processors go full blast making hollandaise sauce for those whitebait fritters!  In 1995, the blades were not included with the food processors.  Lesson learnt.

The logistics of getting food and equipment to and from Martinborough are massive, with our fleet of vans doing many trips preparing and clearing out.

After one year with dreadful weather, we decided several small tents were safer than the huge marquee we used to have and which nearly took off in high winds.  Fortunately most years the weather is beautiful, and it’s forecast sunny with some cloud this year.  See you there!

And a big congratulations to Grant Smith, the Toast Martinborough MVP for 25 years of Toast. 

Photo Credit:  Pete Monk