1 Feb 2021

Grow Ōtautahi ignites Canterbury’s tastebuds

Jax Hamilton - Food Ambassador

Get a taste of Ōtautahi at Grow in March, as top chefs from around the region share their culinary skills with visitors to Christchurch’s very own, FREE, garden festival.

Celebrity chef Jax Hamilton will lead a team of top chefs as they take on the plant-based Meadow Mushrooms Mystery Box challenge over three days in the Grow Ōtautahi Garden Kitchen.

You’ve sampled their creations at some of Canterbury’s most popular eateries, now you can be inspired first-hand by chefs including: Daniel Jenkins (Kaikoura Cheese), Alex Davies (Gatherings/Alfred), Simon Levy (Inati), Flip Grater (Grater Goods), Max Perry and Samson Stewart (Fifth Street), Fleur Sullivan (Fleurs Place), Andy Bardsley (ex Bicycle Thief), Eeva Torvinen (The Monday Room), Giulio Sturla (ex-Roots).

Working from the Davinia Sutton-designed Garden Kitchen and using herbs and vegetables from the surrounding “picking pantry”, the chefs will take turns over the three days of the festival – under the watchful and sometimes cheeky eye of Jax Hamilton – to create new and exciting dishes from a plant-based mystery box.

Jax says the events of the past year mean we’ve all had to refocus on what’s important; it’s also put a spotlight on New Zealand and Grow is our chance to show everyone what we have to offer.

“At most parties, the kitchen is where the action is at, and I’m so proud to be able to have such a wealth of experience and creative ability in our Garden Kitchen, over the three-day festival.

“I am an interactive host, so even if you’re a quiet audience member, I’ll ask lots of questions on your behalf, so we get all the information to inspire us when we head home to our own kitchens.”

The event is sure to inspire viewers and ignite their taste buds. Never fear, there will be plenty to taste and the food team behind Grow Ōtautahi, led by the inimitable Jonny Schwass, will have a great range of food and drink on offer to satisfy all palates.

Festival Director Sandi MacRae says Grow Ōtautahi is more than a garden show. “The festival has been designed especially for the garden city and it celebrates our local community, champions our environment and supports education. Most of all, we’ve all been working hard to create a fun festival that people of all ages and interests can explore and enjoy right here in the Garden City.”

You can sample locally sourced food, explore cutting edge landscape design, participate in workshops and masterclasses, learn about food science, experience gardening through the eyes of children and more at Grow Ōtautahi.