Fabulous fritter foodies are forming a queue to ply their wares at this year’s Fritter Festival on 29 March.
Those returning to the gastronomic gala include award-winning eateries Top Sail who won the 2013 New World People’s Choice Award for their Wild Venison Fritter and Absolute Caterers whose Kingfish Fritter served with roast fennel yoghurt won the 2013 Best Fritter Trophy judged by New Zealand MasterChef Brett McGregor.
“This year we will take the humble NZ Fritter to new heights, both sweet and savoury, and this time we want to take both trophies,” said Chef Shannon Hauraki.
Absolute Caterers and Top Sail will be joined by other returning fritter connoisseurs, Bank Street Social Club, The Cafe Helena Bay Hill, Cafe Jerusalem, First Fruits Kerikeri, Flavours Catering, Killer Prawn, Nectar Cafe and Nomad Cafe.
New to the competition line up this year are The Apprentice NorthTec, Cafe Lafamilia, Cafe Divine and Red Pizzeria.
Debbie and Ian Luen from Top Sail remember the huge buzz (and sizzle) of the event last year.
“The gates rattled open and our first wild venison fritter sizzled on the grill at exactly 11am. We sold our last fritter at 6pm and we hadn’t stopped ALL Day. It was amazing!
"This year we return with our wild Fiordland venison fritter and our new creation will be a little spicy number from the waters off Northland with a TopSail twist. Hope to see you there!
MasterChef Brett McGregor will be back to award the Best Fritter Trophy in 2014.
New Zealand's original Masterchef and all round food lover Brett McGregor has taken all opportunities Masterchef NZ presented. You will see him on your television screens, writing for many food publications or even in the bookstores,” said Marketing & Events Manager, Venues & Events Rachel O'Gorman.
“Brett is the author of two best selling cookbooks, a Taste of a Traveller and a Taste of Home and is really beginning to shape the way many kiwis eat with family friendly everyday recipes that pack huge flavour. He is even beginning to take groups of food lovers to some of the worlds most exciting destinations- Vietnam, Malaysia and soon heading to Tasting Australia to cook with some of Aussies finest chefs.
“He said he is very excited to be coming back to Whangarei for the festival and was floored by the quality of ingredients and the way the chefs put everything together. Last years competition was so close he is sure this year will be better than ever,” said Mrs O’Gorman.
“If you would like a preview of the fabulous food and the chance to win tickets to the festival, dine at any of the Fritter restaurants and cafes between now and March 26. Each one has two tickets to give away. Dine as many times as you like, one entry per visit.
For those happy to delay fritter gratification until the festival, tickets are available from www.eventfinda.co.nz and Forum North Box Office, Rust Avenue, Whangarei. For more information go to www.fritterfestival.co.nz.