EAT The park
The limestone that underpins our district - and that forms the core of our geopark - has long had a strong impact on the “taste of the Waitaki”. Throughout the Waitaki district, restaurants, growers, vintners, brewers and producers have emerged that embrace the “paddock to plate” philosophy, growing produce and preparing meals using ingredients grown on-site, from our waterways, and raised on our farms, offering a true Waitaki taste experience.
New Zealand Christmas would not be complete without Ōamaru’s famed Jersey Benne potatoes, nurtured in the volcanic soils that render our produce among the tastiest in the country. Restaurants like Fleurs Place at Moeraki, Riverstone Kitchen on the Waitaki Plains and Ōamaru’s Pen-y-bryn have staked their reputations on the high quality of our local produce, and have earned national and international acclaim. The wineries of the Waitaki Valley have developed their reputation on the basis of our limestone rich soils, which have bestowed on their wines a character considered unique in New Zealand. This has led to the region being promoted as “the Burgundy of the South”. Several of these wineries have established popular tasting rooms on or near their vineyards.
What does Geogastronomy mean?
Geogastronomy [noun]: The act of travelling for a taste of place in order to get a sense of place, and of exploring the unique character of foods (including beers and wine) resulting from a geopark’s special geological character, including its soils, environment and climate, and the sustainable stewardship of the land by growers and producers. Here in the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark are lucky enough to have plenty of fresh produce that grows within the environment encompassed by an area of internationally unique geology leading to discernibly-different flavours.
Geogastronomy will help bring all local producers and industries together as a brand, so that we can clearly show visitors to our region, what we have to offer and where to go to experience it. This is not just about one or two big names, it’s about everything that’s great in the Waitaki, big and small.
Waitaki, we have good taste!
Geogastronomy is a celebration of local produce and the artisanal creativity of our people and it’s a way to take it to market. We are creating a unique, authentic brand based on the terrain of the area that is representing the regional taste of Waitaki.
We are looking after our place!
Geogastronomy is not just a marketing platform, but also a commitment to leverage our place for a sustainable future by sourcing as much local produce as possible and committing to a good treatment of the Earth and people.
Still hungry for more information? Read the Geogastronomy magazine and get inspired by our fabulous local producers and restaurants.
'Eat the Park' Interview Series
As part of the development of a geogastronomy sector group, we have been releasing a series of stories under the name 'Eat the Park', showcasing local growers and food providers, and the products special to the Waitaki District. Read about the people behind the produce and their story below. With organic vegetables, sustainable milk (and cream), wine, salmon, stone fruits, preserves, craft beer tomatoes and cherries, the Waitaki picnic basket is looking amazing!
Are you a grower, restaurateur, vintner, brewer or artisan food producer in Waitaki and want to be involved in this initiative? Then email firstname.lastname@example.org