Niue gears up for food festival
Niue will host its first international food festival in a bid to attract more visitors outside the peak tourism season.
Niue will host its first international food festival in a bid to attract more visitors and "foodie tourists" outside the peak tourism season.
The Kai Niue International Food Festival will be held for four days in early October and showcase the country's local produce and ways to prepare, cook and present food.
The Niue tourism director, Vanessa Marsh, says the festival will include cultural events, celebrity chef demonstrations and tropical cocktail parties.
She told Mary Baines it will provide an opportunity to expand the country's tourism market.
VANESSA MARSH: It's our first foray into trying to promote food tourism, and we think Niue has quite a lot of unique offerings that would appeal to the foodie. This year we have decided to create this event in the hope we can establish it as an ongoing event. We're hoping that it will also provide another added incentive for people to visit Niue and get to experience what we have to offer here. We're hoping to do some capacity building for our local chefs and restaurant owners.
MARY BAINES: So what kind of local food will be served up?
VM: So the food that will feature will be a mix of traditional Niuean food that has been given a bit more of a contemporary twist. So we're going to showcase a lot of the unique cuisine that's available on-island, which will range from seafood through to food that's been prepared the traditional way in a ground oven similar to a hangi. We have some island buffets utilising local produce. We're looking to see if we can get some pates going, using local produce, different types of chutneys and condiments, so we're actually quite excited. There's a new test kitchen that has been established on the island as well and a lot of interesting recipes and food product coming out of that, so we want to showcase it to a wider audience.
MB: And it will all be made by locals?
VM: Correct, we do have local talent on island. Most of them are currently working in family owned and operated businesses or restaurants. A couple of others are cooks who have a passion for what they do but we're also looking at some outside influence, so we've got a couple of chefs that we are hoping we can entice to come over and support the festival and we're currently in discussions with a couple of them in New Zealand.
MB: So the events in October, which is generally not the tourist season. Are you hoping to get a lot of overseas visitors specifically for this event?
VM: One of the reasons why we've held it in October is we do want to try and grow the tourism season outside of that traditional period which is from July through to September. It's appealing to a different type of visitor, and then of course just trying to see how we can build the tourism season out a little bit longer. But moving forward we would hopefully like to see it fit in the calendar month of April, perhaps. So again the focus is on trying to find events that we can help to build the tourism season out a bit longer.
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