Tauranga's recent @Kinfolkmag Gathering - (dreaming of a long Sunday lunch with my bests)

By now I'm sure you've heard about Kinfolk (magazine) Gatherings - held twice a year, in locations right around the world. Each one is a collaboration by local creatives, who put together a shared feast for local guests to come and enjoy.

A couple of Sundays ago, in the Tauranga countryside, 2015's first New Zealand Kinfolk Gathering took place. Inspired by the theme Beneath the Surface, host and stylist Shaye Woolford (On My Hand) set a banquet table for 40 with rich autumn florals, purple and yellow beetroot, purple carrots, gourds and lots of hyacinth bean vine. Shaye had invited Tauranga food maestro Nadine Bailey (Devour Catering) to craft a menu celebrating ingredients sourced 'beneath the surface', with dessert provided by loved local cakery Spongedrop (Danielle Cubis). Food stylist Aimee Finlay (Hope and Organic) then worked with the team to make every plate a piece of art. 

As they dined, guests were treated to a fabric dyeing workshop, and then - just on sunset - with tummies full and cheeks flushed, everyone took home a gift box which included some of the recipes from the menu...

Gathering host and stylist Shaye Woolford (On My Hand) setting up her banquet table - this beautiful walled courtyard is part of Tauranga wedding venue Ataahua

Babe'n botanics by Shaye Woolford

Gifts for all 40 guests

Fire going, late long lunch, glass of wine... my idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon

These events are about celebrating the best of local, creative and independent businesses
 - including artisan bevvies.

Hand-painted signs by local calligrapher Michaela McBride
A gift for every guest, including seeds from Pod, naturally-dyed wrapping cloth (Furoshiki) with fabric from The Fabric Store, a recipe card printed on special seed paper (you can plant it!) from Love Notes, and more

The goodie bags included raw honey, harvested from The Forest Cantina's own at-home beehives

Auckland ceramicist Holly Houston (Houston Design Co) hand made scores of plates especially for the lunch

To start - roasted beetroot dip with feta, roasted squash dip, handmade lavosh
(Gorgeous handmade platter from Willow & Ash)

The menu simply showcased the hero produce, so all the dishes were a surprise
- how would the catering team make the Beneath the Surface ingredients shine?

In between courses, Gem Adams (Blackbird) gave a workshop on creating natural fabric dye from onion skins
First seated course - seared scallops with a citrus dashi broth, karengo & wakame seaweed

Lemon-baked ricotta with pickled radish salad & baby radish leaf

Parsnip & dandelion puree, braised baby carrots & slow-cooked beef cheeks

Spongedrop's Dessert was made using vanilla from Heilala
- a community aid project and local business that's fast-becoming an international success story

Warm ginger beer cake with gingered butterscotch sauce (why hello there, butterscotch sauce) beetroot meringues, cream cheese mousseline and chocolate soil.


Rather than just giving you FOMO, I hope these yummy images inspire you to maybe set up a special long lunch at your place, with your besties, this winter... 

For those who tried to get tickets (it sold out so quick!), there will be a second series of NZ Kinfolk Gatherings later this year, so look out for that...

All photography thanks to Bubblerock

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