“We’re having a wine festival, would you like to do our food?” asked my good friend Phyll Pattie, of Ata Rangi vineyard in Martinborough.
“That sounds like fun, why not!” I replied, having no idea that 25 years later we would be celebrating 25 years of Toast Martinborough.
Tickets go on sale Wednesday 21 September online at Ticketek and I suggest you get in quickly, as nostalgia is in the air with lots of people planning their return. The festival is on Sunday 20 November 2016.
The famous wine, food and music festival has evolved over 25 years but some things don‘t change. Like our West Coast Whitebait Fritters with Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce, and Ata Rangi’s wonderful wines, which are both now iconic in their own right.
In 25 years we've served nearly 30,000 portions of the fabulous fritters and over 150,000 stalks of asparagus.
Feeling nostalgic, I dived back into the files to see what else we served over those years. Delicious but fiddly barbecued quail lasted one year only, while scallops with sweet chilli sauce were always popular. Blackcurrant and White Chocolate Creme Brulees have always been popular, but recently we've added a selection of our favourite pastries as well.
Generally, New Zealanders love pies. We’ve served meat, chicken, seafood and vegetable pies and run out every time; I think I’d be lynched without a pie or two on the menu. So come and see our pie line-up this year, plus other favourites. We’ve gone for a bit of culinary nostalgia in our menu, but you will also love our Gua Bao with pulled pork.
Ata Rangi and Ruth Pretty is renowned as the “meet you for lunch” spot at Toast, so we recommend you come in a wee bit before midday to beat the queues or even earlier to satisfy your coffee cravings thanks to our friends at L'affare. I love seeing people from cooking classes and other events, although please excuse me if I’m a bit rushed at times, supervising over 40 staff!
What else have I learned after 25 years? It’s spring, so the weather could do anything. Gorgeous spring frocks are everywhere, and smart girls bring a sunhat, sunscreen plus a wrap or jacket just in case. Beautiful sandals are much better than heels on grassy vineyards!
We look forward to seeing you at Toast Martinborough. Really, you don’t look 25 years older!!