In keeping with NZChefs National Foraging Day, Kiwi Kids Can Cook sponsored by vegetables.co.nz has gone wild for the early part of the year by joining forces with The Local Wild Food Challenge.
The Chatham Islands heat was held just before Christmas, and Raetihi a couple of weekends ago. There are two more Local Wild Food Challenges to come; Eastbourne, Wellington, on March 7th and and Whakatane in July.
The kids are not only embracing the new Kiwi Kids Can Cook criteria, ‘of a savoury dish that is packed with at least three New Zealand grown vegetables’ but they are thinking outside the box when it comes to including the one wild or foraged ingredient that also enters their dish into the Local Wild Food Challenge.
On the Chatham Islands, you would think seafood would have ruled the day, but not so. We did try some very nice Curried Paua and Watercress Sliders but it was Shyne Day Preese and her Weka and Vegetable Pie with Red Currant Jelly that really wooed the judges. Marion Emeny from Air Chathams said it was a deliciously light flavoursome dish.
Fun Fact! The Chatham Islands is the only part of New Zealand where Weka are allowed to be hunted as a food source. They are protected birds everywhere else.
Fast Forward to the Waimarino showground at Raetihi, Ruapehu district, February 15th.
Yet again, a pie reigned supreme. This time hedgehog was the principal protein, slowly casseroled with local carrots, celery, onions and other aromatics and topped with a purple potato top served with Garlic and Thyme snails and Garden Greens. Young Ella von Pein got inspiration for her dish from the food chain. The garden greens are what the snails eat and the snails are what the hedgehog eats. A lot of effort went into this dish as Ella spent three weeks purging both the snails and the hedgehog by feeding them oats and bread and water.
Other notable dishes included Rabbit and Vegetable Stew with Rawena bread, Wild Pork and Apricot Burger with a medley of roasted roots, Venison and Vegetable Rawena Spring rolls with sweet kamboucha dip.
This competition never stops surprising me. The way that the kids just deal with the challenges put in front of them is quite inspiring.
Big congratulations to both Shyne Day Preece and Ella von Pein who are heading to the Kiwi Kids Can Cook National finals at Westfield Manukau August 23rd. The question is, who from Wellington will be joining them?
Next event will be held at Williams Park, Days Bay, Wellington March 7th; enter through our website or at
Upcoming Event Dates
Wellington – Saturday 7th March, Williams Park, Days Bay, Lower Hutt
Northland (Far North) – Saturday 4th April, Opua Primary school Gala Day
Fielding – Wednesday 8th April, North Street School, Feilding
Christchurch – Sunday 24th May, South City Shopping Centre, Christchurch
Auckland – Sunday 21st June, Ignite Colleges, Wiri, Auckland
Taranaki – Sunday 28th June WITT, New Plymouth