A taste of New Zealand as Te Pae Christchurch unveils its inaugural menus

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre has unveiled its inaugural menus led by executive chef Desmond Davies.

The culinary team has spent months working with local suppliers to design a menu that is a true taste of New Zealand, from kawakawa-rubbed Te Mana lamb rump from New Zealand’s high country, to oven-roasted Akaroa king salmon, sustainably raised just 90 minutes from the convention centre.

“Our clients want their delegates to be immersed in the things that make Christchurch and Canterbury a great place to host a conference,” said Te Pae Christchurch general manager Ross Steele.

“Food plays such a large role in the overall event experience, which is why it is so vital for us to provide a real taste of the region to our guests.”

Significant time has also been spent sourcing and working with small artisan suppliers, such as award-winning cheese, cured meat and olive oil producers, to provide them opportunities to showcase their products on a world stage.

As a result, more than 60 per cent of Te Pae Christchurch’s food and beverage needs are sourced within a four-hour drive of the centre.

“As well as heading out to meet suppliers, I’ve been very privileged to spend time learning about traditional ingredients such as harakeke (flax), korengo (seawood) and pikopiko (fern tips), how to forage for them, and how best to incorporate them into the centre’s menu,” Davies said.

“It’s been an amazing opportunity to put a new, distinctly local twist on my European and Asian-influenced food background. We have derived so much new inspiration during the development of dishes, using ingredients like pūha (sowthistle) in a Sticky Pork Belly dish and incorporating pikopiko (fern tips) and korengo (seaweed) in our Roasted Beetroot entrée.”