An epic food fight!

I popped in to Our Place on Willow Street to see what all the food fuss was about.

Good Neighbour’s Angela Rogers had her head in a box of lettuce and tomatoes, and was looking for something to attack one of the chefs with. Nearby, Tauranga chef Ian Mikkelsen was already ‘weaponised’ with a French stick at the ready.

Over by the stage, Rachelle Duffy was doing what she does so well – organising an event and working with a team of people.

“What’s going on?” I asked. I could hear talk of raffles, prizes, face painting and food, glorious food. The committee around Rachelle was humming with enthusiasm.

Angela had set up the Good Neighbour stand, so I took a closer look. Some of the fruit had markings, but otherwise it all looked very ‘organic’.

“What is this for?” I asked.

It turns out that top Tauranga chefs are getting their knives out ready to compete in the biggest ever rescued food festival to come to the Bay.

On March 23, from 10am-3pm, at Our Place, chefs from Somerset Cottage, Halo, Clarence, Robert Harris, Waihi Beach Motel, Nomad and Mount Bistro will be taking up the challenge to create top cuisine from rescued food.

They then have to convince us all to eat it, for just $5. The chef that sells the most wins the challenge. It looks too easy, and the rescued food already  looks delicious.

The Synergy Technologies Ltd ‘Food for Thought’ Rescued Food Festival will see our best chefs take part in this competitive cook-off, and involves corporate teams from Countdown, Pak’nSave Cameron Road, Brookfield New World and Synergy Technologies.

What is rescued food? It’s food that’s good enough to eat but not good enough to sell.

Good Neighbour is the organisation that has been collecting or ‘rescuing’ food from supermarkets, markets, distributors and cafes before repackaging it and distributing to local organisations to use. They even have a fruit picking team.

They joined forces with the Te Aranui Youth Trust to run the festival as a fundraiser involving food, and at the same time help people learn to take care of the environment.

Ian is the new owner of Robert Harris Tauranga, and he plans to take out the winner’s trophy. He’s worked as a pastry chef in five-star resorts, and learned his craft under the tutelage of European pastry masters.

“It’s important to me to offer my time and skills to be part of this food festival because I want to show people what can be done with ‘waste’ products,”  Ian says.

“As a father to two young children, I want them to live in a society where everyone has enough.”

“We want people to come along and have some fun,” says Angela.

“Come and sample street food made from local rescued food by top chefs, their corporate teams and Toi Ohomai hospitality students.”

Entry is by gold coin donation.

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