The inaugural FEAST 2020, organised by Savour!NORTHLAND was held towards the end of Matariki this year. While the time to prepare for this local flavour celebration was limited due to the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, the involvement and enthusiasm from Northland hospitality businesses was very encouraging.


“Before the pandemic hit, we had planned to hold our second industry event at the end of March. This was to be an open invitation to all food and beverage businesses in Northland and we intended to discuss the idea of holding an annual Northland food and beverage celebration,” event organiser Justine Stuart explains. “Due to lock-down, the industry event couldn’t take place and we moved

quickly into Level 1. So we felt that going ahead with a region-wide event to showcase local flavours was a good way to support the whole industry, as businesses dealt with the challenges of this extraordinary time.”


To be part of the two week event, cafes, restaurants and wineries across Tai Tokerau were asked to create a special edition dish or set-menu celebrating Northland ingredients to offer customers over the two-weeks. “The response has been fantastic, we had hospitality venues from every district putting their version of Northland on a plate.” Justine says.


People were guided by an online map at which was created especially by the team at Te Kaupapa, a soon-to-launch boutique travel app. The event was promoted across social media, newspaper and radio advertising and was supported with voucher giveaways for winners to spend at participating venues.”From Northland inspired pizza right through to 10 course degustation dinners where local ingredients were the star, it really offered something for everyone” Justine commented. “We even had Level 5 Cookery students from NorthTec get involved with their own recipe-creation competition and the winning recipes are now available for free download.”


The Matariki timing was chosen to carry the themes through, as a time to piripiri, (draw close), give thanks for the plentiful harvest of the previous season and look ahead to the next, to celebrate and feast together. “We hope this has created a platform for what could be a brilliant annual event for

Northland. There are so many ways that it could expand and become a real draw-card for Tai Tokerau at a time when things tend to slow down for tourism. A great time for locals and visitors alike to experience what it is to savour Northland” Mrs Stuart concludes.


Savour!NORTHLAND is backed by Northland Inc the regional economic development agency, and aims to support and promote the whole Northland food and beverage industry. For more information go to and follow @savournorthland on Facebook and Instagram.