In the heart of the Waikato, Cambridge is establishing itself as a hub for fine food. The town of 20,500 is hosting Culinary Cambridge from 15-19 September , highlighting the abundance and variety of local produce, and the talent of local chefs.
The inaugural Culinary Cambridge took place in 2019 and was so successful that planning immediately began for 2020, only for it to be postponed and then cancelled due to Covid.
Culinary Cambridge is organised by local restaurateurs and Destination Cambridge Inc whose CEO Miff Macdiarmid says that after a two-year wait, the town judged ‘Most Beautiful Large Town in New Zealand’ in 2019 is ready to showcase Cambridge’s award-winning restaurants, eclectic cafes, and wine and beer experiences. Once again, Forsyth Barr is a major sponsor of the event.
This year’s programme includes a special opening night at the luxurious ‘The Henley’ hotel, degustation menus, a mixology session, Italian long lunches, farm and winery tours, and a worm farming workshop.
“We’ve also got producer visits for people keen to see where their food comes from and how it’s grown; this event truly celebrates our food scene – from farm gate to plate,” says Macdiarmid.
The Waipa region, and Cambridge in particular, punches above its weight in the food scene and the town is seen as an attractive destination by people from outside the region. Macdiarmid says Culinary Cambridge not only brings the community together, it also gives locals a chance to show off their town and what it can offer.
“September coincides with spring produce and the town looks wonderful at that time – full of spring blossom. Importantly, it helps the local economy in that ‘shoulder’ season, a time that’s traditionally quiet for our businesses.”
Huge roading improvements in the Waikato mean that for Aucklanders Cambridge is less than two hours’ drive away, and an even shorter distance for Bay of Plenty foodies. Accommodation packages will make it easy for visitors to stay for the duration and enjoy the festival.
“We’re expecting even more people from outside the region to come and experience what Cambridge has to offer,” Macdiarmid says.
Keep up to date with event and ticket information, register your business’ interest or become a sponsor at Culinary Cambridge: https://www.culinarycambridge.co.nz/