(L to R) Kasey Bird, Stacey Jones and Karena Bird at Kitchen Takeover’s ‘Taiao: Food of the Gods’ event, which won one of the main prizes at the NZ Event Awards in Hastings. Photo / Provided
Tauranga Kitchen Takeover pop-up restaurant has won two major gongs at the New Zealand Events Association awards in Hastings.
Edible adventure specialists, founded by Stacey Jones in 2018, won the 2021 Best Arts or Culture Event award for “Taiao: Food of the Gods,” a collaboration with celebrity chefs from Maketu, Karena and Kasey Bird.
Against a record 108 entries, Kitchen Takeover went on to achieve a notable double as they set off from three South Island events – the Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival, the Wānaka Wine & Food Festival and the Wanaka A&P Show – to win the Best Lifestyle Event 2021 with ‘Eat Your Memories’.
“Being nominated in two categories was one thing against such remarkable competition, but then winning both is just amazing,” Jones said.
“Kitchen Takeover was born with a clear goal in mind – to create unforgettable, ready-made, edible experiences for foodies looking for an adventure – and we’re absolutely thrilled to have taken so many people on this journey. . with us.”
Jones is currently in France researching food trends for the Kitchen Takeover Christmas experience.
“Taiao: Food of the Gods” was inspired by whakapapa and the upbringing of the Bird siblings, celebrating the Maori deities of the natural world through a six-course tasting dinner, and the sisters were thrilled to share Success.
“Kasey and I are deeply passionate about bringing our whakapapa to life through edible stories,” Bird said.
“We loved working with the Kitchen Takeover team on this event, so it’s amazing to be recognized with this award.”
“Eat Your Memories” took diners back in time to devour their fondest food memories. From the edible sand to the fish and chips to the “Mom, I dropped my ice cream” dessert, every bite told a story.
Jones also paid tribute to his chefs Shane Yardley and Rob Forsman, as well as his extended team, who run three events a year, for 10 weeks at a time.
“After all, you can’t cook 5280 plates of delicious food yourself.”
The winners were announced at a gala evening at Toitoi Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Center in Hastings, during NZEA’s two-day Eventing the Future 2022 conference. A total of 17 prizes were awarded in three categories.
NZ Events Association chief executive Ségolène de Fontenay said it was an honor to recognize the excellence, not only of the winners but of each finalist.
“Entries not only entertain the nation, but in the case of business events, they also boost the economy.
“You cannot underestimate the value of the events industry to the well-being of New Zealanders in the economic, social and environmental spheres, and ultimately to the health and prosperity of the population of a nation.”