Few cities in the world offer ‘something for everything' quite like Wellington. Known as New Zealand's cultural capital, it has plenty of offer film fans, party animals, musicians, adrenalin junkies, beach bums and sports fanatics alike. There's also lots of things on offer for the gourmand, with Wellington housing more restaurants per capita than New York City.
If you really love your food, then you want to make sure you are in Wellington between August the 15th and 31st, when the Wellington on a Plate festival of food kicks off. Since 2009, this event has become a mecca for food lovers far and wide, with events to suit everybody's palate.
The 2013 fiesta was the biggest yet, with over 113 events taking place. Amongst them was A Matter of Palate, which challenged participants to match wine and food for the optimum taste, the Art of Eating, which matched ideal accompanying food to local artwork, Curried Garage, a craft beer and curry night, Tastes at Te Papa, which offered haute cuisine canapés amongst an exhibition of Warhol art and Martinborough Musings, which offered a hands on guide to local wines.
Such variety and excitement should be expected once again from this year's fiesta, with even more events likely to be on the cards.
One that is most certain to be making a return is Burger Wellington, the annual battle of the buns that challenges chefs to serve the perfect burger. Last year's top prize was taken home by Ti Kouka Cafe's All About Longbush Pork Burger, which combined pig bacon, pork belly and pulled pork, topped with pickled cucumber, hoisin mayo and iceberg lettuce.
Last year, we also saw the first ever Garage Project Burger Challenge, which asked chefs to match their burgers to one of Garage Project's legendary craft brews. The first winner was Crazy Horse the Steak House that served its Kimchi Burger alongside a Garage Project Angry Peaches.
Another event we are likely to see return this August is the Wellington Fisher and Paykel Master Class, which took place in the Wellington Town Hall last August. At this event, attendees could listen to some of the best chefs at the festival discuss their craft, before tasting their creations and even learning their recipes. Not only that, there was plenty of wine to go with the food too.
Those with a competitive streak should look out for the Back Club – an annual bake off that culminates at the festival, with $5,500 worth of prizes on offer.