Local Table Autumn is announced!

We are very pleased to announce that the second Local Table Cooking Competition will take place on Sunday 27th April 2014.

This time we will celebrate Autumn and all the delights that it has to offer for the table.


  • Main/savory dish
  • Dessert/sweet dish
  • Baking
  • Condiments, Sauces & Cheeses
  • Kids under 10yrs (all entries)
  • 10 – 17yr olds (all entries)
  • Drinks – non-alcoholic
  • Drinks – alcoholic
Hannah Zwartz' Karaka Kernel Pesto Potato Salad won the Native Foods category in the Winter 2013 competition

Hannah Zwartz’ Karaka Kernel Pesto Potato Salad won the spontaneously created Native Foods category at the Winter 2013 competition.

This season there will be an additional prize for Native Foods which can be won in any of the above categories.







So here’s the low-down…

The key word here is LOCAL! All entries to this competition must be made with 100%* Paekakariki sourced ingredients. Forage in the park, hunt in the hills, and fish in the bay, by all means barter and trade with your friends and neighbours, just make sure you can guarantee that each ingredient has actually been produced here.

*But just to confuse you…. There is one ingredient exception this season – milk & cream.

  1. *You may source milk or cream from outside of the village, however it must come from the Kapiti-Horowhenua area, AND you will need to ‘earn’ it. To earn the right to use milk or cream in your entry dish you will need to process it in some way – for example, make butter from cream, make cheese, yoghurt or kefir etc from milk. You may not simply add it unprocessed to a dish for flavour. We can easily source raw milk or cream for anyone who wants some. The price is very reasonable too, so send us an email if you’re interested – delivery day will be Monday 21st March.
  2. *Sorry adults, (another exception to the rule), kids actually do get to use milk unprocessed (but they will get far more brownie points with the judges if they have made the effort to process it first).
  3. Oil for cooking: If you are having trouble sourcing oil, please get in touch because we have some small bottles of local olive oil available. Last year we had an entry dish cooked with duck fat, there are plenty of possibilities including making your own butter also.
  4. All your other ingredients must be produced in, and originate from Paekakariki. This includes all spices, salt, flours, vinegar, oil, and sweeteners such as honey or sugar etc. If you can’t make an ingredient, you will need to work around it or find someone else who has made it and barter with them.
  5. Trading and bartering is encouraged!
  6. ‘Paekakariki sourced’ includes fishing in the Paekakariki area, hunting up in the hills behind the village, foraging in QE Park etc. Please check out our Resources Page for more info on hunting, collecting and fishing guidelines, marine reserve restrictions, home-kill regulations, bee-keeping, KCDC’s Keeping of Animals, Bees and Poultry Bylaw 2010, raw milk safety etc.

On the day

  1. The two kids categories will be held first with kids prize-giving immediately after.
  2. All other competition categories will be staggered throughout the afternoon with prize giving at the end. Please make sure you know what time your category is being judged at, and arrive with your dish with plenty of time to register! We will do our best to enable hot dishes to be served promptly, however this may prove to be logistically challenging. We will be finalising the timetable (as we get a clearer picture of the entry numbers) and will be posting it here on the website soon.
  3. You will bring your cooked and prepared dish to the hall. There will be space for plating-up, however you will need to bring all your own equipment for this (i.e serving spoons, knives, paper towels, plates, bowls etc -whatever you need to serve it as you want).
  4. Cooking will not be permitted anywhere inside the hall, however, you may contact us prior should you wish to use a bbq outside in the courtyard next to the hall. Cooking outside is entirely weather dependent and no guarantees can be made that this option will be viable on the day. We will only organize a bbq if we are contacted about this no later than Thursday 24th April. Please don’t turn up expecting to be able to use a bbq without checking with us first! BYO bbq ok.
  5. Presentation of food category entries: You will be serving a plate of your entry dish to each of our two judges. Please bring two plates/bowls, i.e one for each of the judges. Each plate should be presented as a single portion. Example 1. A slice of pie on a plate, not an entire pie still in a baking dish (unless it’s a single portion sized pie of course!). Example 2. A portion of carved meat, not the entire roast etc. You may garnish your dish as you wish, adding sauces, veges, butter, yoghurt etc as desired (all garnishes must be 100% local of course). Entries may only be served on one plate per judge i.e no side plates of salad (in this case, salad would be served on the main plate).
  6. Please bring a third plate and serving utensils for the tasting table, there are no restrictions on size or presentation for this one. The tasting table is for everyone else in the hall to have a sample of your food, so keep this in mind when planning your presentation style (easy to ‘taste’ portions advisable).
  7. For entries such as sauces, pickles or pestos, you will need to consider how this will be tasted. Provide a spoon -or better still some local food item to carry it on (vege chips, walnut crackers etc). Consider whether you will be serving it warm or cold, and remember we don’t have cooking facilities at the hall.
  8. For drinks categories, you will need to serve your entry drink in an appropriate glass or cup that you have brought from home. There will be hot water available at the hall so you can freshly brew any hot drinks. Please contact us if you have questions.
  9. You must bring a completed entry form with you on the day and this will be required BEFORE you can present your entry to the judges. Email info@localtable.co.nz for your copy.
  10. People arriving with their entries at the hall will need to first go to the registrations table to get their official number and hand in their registration form which includes your full ingredients list and info about how you made them, or where you got them from. We suggest you take time to prepare this before you cook. It is one more opportunity to impress the judges with your dish’s ‘story’.
  11. Please label all your dishes and serving gear! You are responsible for making sure you get them back again at the end.

Other (optional) bits n bobs

  1. We will be having a seed-swapping table. Please bring any locally harvested seeds from edible plants, as well as from flowers (from your garden) that you are happy to give away. Also any seedlings are welcome too.
  2. The Paekakariki Orchard Gardens group is mapping the village’s fruit and nut trees. If you are happy to, please bring a list of any edibles – trees, bushes and perennials – you have on your property. The point of this exercise is to develop a picture of which varieties grow well here, any heirloom varieties, and what might be available to propagate from. This will be useful information as the group begins to establish its tree grafting and propagation nursery.

And one last message

The most important thing to remember is that this is all about getting creative and having fun! Top chefs and gardeners everywhere make mess and make mistakes. BUT they keep on experimenting, trying out new things and making fresh discoveries. This is where the real creativity begins. So come on, dust off you apron and give it a go!

The aim is not to cook anything you can think of, but rather to work with what is available locally and seasonally.

The aim is not to cook absolutely anything you can think of, but rather to work with what is available locally & seasonally, and get really creative with it.

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