Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre has unveiled its inaugural menus, produced by its culinary team in collaboration with local suppliers.
Executive chef Desmond Davies has spent months working with local suppliers to design a menu that he describes as “a true taste of New Zealand”, from kawakawa-rubbed Te Mana lamb rump from New Zealand’s high country, to oven-roasted Akaroa king salmon, sustainably raised just 90 minutes from the new convention centre.
Te Pae Christchurch general manager Ross Steele said: “Our clients want their delegates to be immersed in the things that make Christchurch and Canterbury a great place to host a conference. Food plays such a large role in the overall event experience, which is why it is so vital for us to provide a real taste of the region to our guests.
“Our country has a strong and innovative agricultural background, and offers a wonderful diversity of products for our team to work with – they have really been spoiled for choice.”
The team also invested time in sourcing and working with small artisan suppliers, such as cheese, cured meat and olive oil producers. As a result, more than 60% of Te Pae Christchurch’s food and beverage needs are sourced within a four-hour drive of the centre, reducing food miles and ensuring options to cater for all dietary requirements and event needs.
Davies said: “As well as heading out to meet suppliers, I’ve been very privileged to spend time learning about traditional ingredients such as harakeke (flax), korengo (seawood) and pikopiko (fern tips), how to forage for them, and how best to incorporate them into the centre’s menu.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity to put a new, distinctly local twist on my European and Asian-influenced food background. We have derived so much new inspiration during the development of dishes, using ingredients like pūha (sowthistle) in a Sticky Pork Belly dish.”
Full menus encompassing Breakfast, Refreshment Breaks, Full Day, Cocktails and Canapes, and Dinner, can be found on Te Pae Christchurch’s website, while menus for specific events, such as exhibitions, can be provided to clients on request.
The NZ$475m (US$315.2m) Te Pae Convention Centre was originally meant to be completed in October 2020, however, the Covid-19 pandemic and construction issues have meant a delay on opening until 2021. No new official date for the opening has yet been confirmed, however.