A highlight of the 2016 foodie calendar that invites Aucklanders to enjoy the best of the city centre’s dining scene is welcoming The Social Kitchen™ Theatre by Fisher & Paykel to its menu for the first time.
A long-standing festival favourite at Taste of Auckland, The Social Kitchen™ Theatre will take Restaurant Month – and its top talent – to the streets, playing host to 21 pop-up epicurean experiences at Britomart’s Takutai Square from 19 to 21 August.
The central city’s most exciting chefs and foodies, from The Grove’s Michael Dearth to Lucky Buddha’s Michael Choi, will lead a mix of free and ticketed sessions for those hungry for food – and food for thought.
The Social Kitchen™ Theatre emcee and renowned food writer, stylist and photographer of Bonnie Delicious fame, Kelly Gibney, says the café-style space “is designed to inspire us to think about food, cooking and the kitchen in new ways.”
Chefs will step out of their restaurant kitchens to host interactive cooking demonstrations, masterclasses and skills sessions and get up close and personal with guests.
“It’s like a backstage pass at your favourite restaurant – with delicious tasters and spot prizes thrown in”, says Gibney.
“Every experience is fun and hands-on, and you’re guaranteed to get your fill of insider tips and fresh ideas.”
While most Restaurant Month events come with a range of price tags, many sessions at The Social Kitchen™ Theatre are complimentary and open to ‘walk-ins’.
Highlights include an early morning DIY Smoothies class hosted by whole foods masters Misters (ideal for commuters craving a nutritious breakfast en route to work), a pasta-making class with Ortolana head chef Gavin Doyle (pasta doesn’t make you fat, so tuck in) and a DIY Wholesome Pancakes class with Gibney for Sunday brunch, where kids can adorn their own pancakes with healthy toppings.
The full schedule of free events is available here. Also on the menu is a series of ticketed sessions where guests can learn everything from how to mix their own cold pressed cocktail with Megan May from The Unbakeries to the ins and outs of the New Zealand restaurant business with Gareth Stewart (the man behind downtown hotspots Euro and The Culpeper).
Chris Masterson, GM of New Zealand Marketing at Fisher & Paykel, says the line-up was curated to “cater for everyone”, and reflects the variety of approaches we take to cooking and the kitchen.
“Fisher & Paykel products are designed to not only match each other, but your family’s home and lifestyle,” says Masterson.
“We hope these experiences will inspire guests to think about food differently and start new conversations – whether they’re a Curious Novice or a Perfectionist.”
The Social Kitchen™ Theatre by Fisher & Paykel will also host an exclusive event during Restaurant Month, the Black Banquet – an invite-only dinner party featuring a black-themed menu co-created by Giapo Grazioli, the genius behind ‘haute gelato’ destination Giapo Gareth Stewart and bright young things from Otago Polytechnic’s Food Design Institute.