Foodies prepare yourselves for culinary delights as F.A.W.C! launches 2024 programme

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The Taittinger Oyster and Whitebait Street Bar will be held in the Advintage carpark in Havelock North on March 23. It’s a walk up event that starts at 4pm.

Prepare yourself foodies.

F.A.W.C! Food and Wine Classic has launched a sumptuous programme laden with culinary stars, award-winning winemakers and events.

In its 12th year, and the first since Hawke’s Bay was named a great wine capital of the world, Summer F.A.W.C! will run from March 15-24 across numerous venues in Hawke’s Bay.

Now a cornerstone of New Zealand’s foodie calendar, Summer F.A.W.C! will showcase more than 30 events, with everything from the F.A.W.C! grand long lunch in a secret location to intimate dining experiences and summer sundowners.

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The line-up of guest and local culinary talent will draw foodies from across the country to the region, with visiting names including Adelaide’s Callum Hann (Lou’s Place and Eleven Restaurant) and Cuisine Magazine’s Chef of the Year Zennon Wijlens (Paris Butter) joining local legends Casey McDonald (Craggy Range Winery), Francky Godinho (St Georges), Christopher Stockdale (Wallingford) and many more.

Wine lovers will delight in the March timing of this year’s festival, bringing with it the opportunity to take part in the region’s 2024 vintage.

A sold-out affair last summer, the grand long lunch will be one of the festival’s hottest tickets. Situated in a secret, picturesque corner of New Zealand’s food and wine country, the lunch will transport F.A.W.C!ers to a smorgasbord of intertwined food, wine, styling and live entertainment.

The five-course menu will be prepared by some of Australasia’s leading chefs – Hawke’s Bay’s McDonald, Auckland’s Plabita Florence (Forest Restaurant), Auckland’s Wijlens, Dunedin’s Greg Piner (Marbecks), and South Australia’s Hann . Each of the five courses will feature Hawke’s Bay produce and be matched to a different Hawke’s Bay wine.

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New to the F.A.W.C! calendar this year are events from Brother cafe in Havelock North, which is throwing Sundowner Groove, an epic late-summer soiree event, and the Farm Shop at Waihua Station in Wairoa, which is running the late lunch, a three-course meal with views from farm to ocean.

Havelock North cafe St Martha is also making its debut festival appearance.

From 2024 onwards, F.A.W.C! will showcase a different member place at each festival and first up, it’s Adelaide, South Australia. Hann will collaborate with the team at St Martha’s Cafe for a three-course, taste of Adelaide with matching wines from South Australia.

The region’s wineries are jumping on the adjusted F.A.W.C! timing with vintage-inspired events at Trinity Hill and Church Road, a great wine capitals masterclass at Smith and Sheth, music, harvest parties and much more.

Hawke’s Bay Tourism chief executive Hamish Saxton is looking forward to the first Summer F.A.W.C! since the region was named a great wine capital.

“F.A.W.C! is a fantastic display as to why Hawke’s Bay is a great wine capital and can be considered alongside other prominent wine tourism regions such as Bordeaux, Napa Valley, and Adelaide. Our iconic food and wine festival showcases the immense brilliance that comes from Hawke’s Bay’s producers, winemakers, chefs, event managers and suppliers, and artisans and it is the perfect time to visit,” says Saxton.

“We are also taking this opportunity to search for our next F.A.W.C! Hawke’s Bay legend. For the third year we are on the hunt for a super-visionary who has helped to shape Hawke’s Bay into a leading food and wine destination, and we’d love to hear from you.

“Sir Graeme Avery was named the inaugural legend in 2021 for his lasting and momentous impact on the landscape of food tourism, and in 2022, Kim Thorp, of Black Barn Vineyards, was awarded the honours. Now we’re all set to discover the 2024 stories of F.A.W.C! Hawke’s Bay legends.”

The full F.A.W.C! menu can be found at www.fawc.co.nz, with the nomination form for this year’s Hawke’s Bay legend.

Tickets go on sale on January 31, with pre-sale tickets available from January 30. Register for pre-sales at www.fawc.co.nz

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