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Organisers push pause on plating events

Rose and Smith in Tauherenikau had been due to host two sessions of ‘Barbacoa and Beats’ at the weekend. PHOTOS/FILE

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News of the covid-19 alert level change came at the height of New Zealand’s largest culinary festival, forcing events to postpone.

Wellington On A Plate would be placed on hold until a reassessment was made in line with government advice. Organisers hoped to reschedule events which were yet to run, with refunds available for those unable to make the new dates.

Owner of Martinborough’s Union Square and Crouching Tiger Nicola Newell said while it was inconvenient to have to reschedule events, there had always been the risk of a lockdown.

“We’ve been so lucky for the last year,” she said.

“Obviously what the government did was right and it meant we had a year of business as usual.

“As hard as this is, I believe it’s the right thing to do.”

Union Square in Martinborough had been due to hold its sold-out ‘Game On: Wild Food Degustation Dinner’ on Friday.

Union Square had been due to hold its sold-out ‘Game On: Wild Food Degustation Dinner’ on Friday, but now would not be able to host the event until a return to alert level 1.

Luckily, the restaurant hadn’t been expecting most of its ingredients to be delivered until later in the week, Newell said.

“We’ve got all the wines, but they will keep.

“Hopefully most of the people who are booked will be able to make the new date.”

Rose and Smith chef Dale Keith said the two weekend sessions of ‘Barbacoa and Beats’ had also been postponed.

The way the meat for the event was prepared meant it needed two or three day’s preparation, Keith said.

“I’ve got close to a hundred kilos of protein in my chiller.

“I had close to 140 avocados too, which were ripening nicely … this time of year it takes a week and a half.”

The avocados had since been delivered around the community, while the meat would also need repurposing.

Keith had guessed earlier on Tuesday a lockdown would be imposed. He knew what it was like to have an event derailed due to covid, having been forced to cancel another when Wairarapa entered level 2 earlier this year.

“We’ve done if before,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a rollercoaster. Everyone in hospo’s in the same boat.

“It’s part of trading in this day and age.”

Goodtimes Food owners Rewa and Andy Hocquard were less than a week into Burger Wellington.

Goodtimes Food in Martinborough was less than a week into Burger Wellington, which started last Friday, when the news hit.

Owner-chef Andy Hocquard said he wasn’t too phased.

“We knew if it was going to happen, it was going to happen quickly, so you’ve just got to prepare for it,” he said.

The food truck did not have many ingredients going to waste, with most sourced as fresh as possible.

“We kind of dodged a bullet there, but it will be an issue for lots of people,” Hocquard said.

“You kind of enter this weird malaise where you’re like ‘it’s over now’ for three hours and then you get on with it.”

He was looking forward to spending a few days off with his children, and hoped to reopen for contactless trading at level 3.

“I think it always knocks people’s confidence a bit,” Hocquard said.

“But we’ll try and get people happy and confident again.

“We’re Goodtimes, that’s what we’re about.”

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