From The President: 16th June 2019

Like you, I love talking to people passionate about New Zealand food and hearing their stories. As much as I relish those conversations, I wonder what more we as food communicators can do.  How much can you really say in a social media post or story, and is it about them or more about what it says about you?

A story in a magazine or online provides great exposure for the region, producer, chef or restauranteur, but how do we give those stories longevity? How do you leverage the hype created before and during events, and connect them to bigger regional or national food stories?

The past 10 days – from a leisurely long weekend in Hawke’s Bay, to the Waikato Food Forum and a work project producing presentations for a business who enables New Zealand primary exporters to win on the world stage – have been all about sharing stories.

The questions are endless, but it was 90 minutes with Francky Godinho, from St Georges Restaurant in Havelock North that really got me thinking.  I had arranged to meet Francky to see the kitchen garden, not expecting the highly entertaining and passionate discussion about food provenance and sustainability that followed. Nor the hair-raising drive, taking short-cuts through local properties to meet the animals – next month’s beef dish – and visit the larger market garden he tends with a friend, before being shown how they break down a side of beef, aged for 45 days, to ensure there is no wastage.

How many of you know his story? What he grows and who for? Why food traceability has meant a move to raising their own beef, pigs and next spring, lambs? More on his story another time, but I should mention you need to book for dinner, the food and flavours were amazing. Unfortunately you’re too late for his events at F.A.W.C. Winter 2019, as they were sold out long ago!

The following day I joined The Waikato Food Forum which brought together nearly 100 people passionate about their local food scene to collaborate and share ideas. With inspiring speakers and panellists, an ideas workshop and plenty of opportunity to network, the next step is creating a strategic direction and finding a way to build and maintain momentum as they share their regional food story. As members of Foodwriters NZ, we have a fabulous opportunity to support the Waikato food story before, during and after our 2019 Conference in October.

Embracing Events
It’s fantastic to see people embracing events. A massive thank you to everyone involved in making them happen.  The recent Roundtable lunch in Wellington was such a success – thanks Nalini Baruch and Kate Underwood – it is now going to be a regular fixture in Wellingtonian members’ calendars. May Market Day gets better and better each year, thanks to our hardworking events committee – Pip Duncan and Kathy Paterson. And we love it when members pull people together too; thanks to Lynda Hallinan-Hinton a group enjoyed a ‘tomato-inspired’ night out in Newmarket.

Keep an eye on your inbox and in the Facebook group for upcoming events and workshops.  If you have any ideas, please post them in the Facebook group or send an email to admin@foodwriters.org.nz  More information and tickets for Food Writers Conference 2019 will be available in early July so watch this space.

Code of Ethics
Our recently updated Code of Ethics is available on our website and saved in the Facebook group. Please be mindful of our Code of Ethics, both in your work and in your interactions with other members.

We hope you enjoy the latest edition of Digest.  If you’re keen to contribute, the deadline for the next issue is July 31. Send your content and images to admin@foodwriters.org.nz

Enjoy!
Michelle

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