The Evolution of the Kiwi Food Story

A focus on the recovery of the hospitality industry and the post-COVID vision for Kiwi food will be the focus for this year’s food and hospitality hui.

The event is a two-day annual gathering jointly hosted by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand and Eat New Zealand, that brings together the best local and international leaders in food and hospitality to share ideas, tools and stories, to educate and inspire.

Day one will focus on the hospitality sector with Co-Founder of The Fast Fine Restaurant Group, Benjamin Calleja appearing as the keynote speaker. Calleja will join the Hui via satellite offering a global perspective on the future of restaurants.

His establishments are disruptive restaurant brands with innovation labs for extraordinary guest experiences as well as highly efficient and profitable restaurants and he brings this experience to the fore in his vision of the post-COVID opportunity for hospitality.

One of the biggest opportunities for the New Zealand food industry right now is to sell brand NZ to the world.

Celebrated Kiwi chefs Monique Fiso and Peter Gordon will deliver their thoughts on how to bring your heritage to the world stage alongside panellists Rewi Spraggon of the Māori Kitchen and Rex Morgan of Boulcott Street Bistro.

The recovery of the hospitality sector in a COVID world is the single most important issue facing the industry right now.

Staying relevant in a competitive and changing environment will also be discussed in the future of dining panel discussion featuring Shaun Clouston of Logan Brown, Jugnu Gill of Little India, Ruth Pretty and Hayden McMillan of Floriditas

Day two will focus on how to develop a National Food Strategy and the opportunities that exist for food as we reset tourism, in a COVID era.

Looking towards the future the day will open with a Kaitaki, a nationwide network of young food story-tellers who include farmers, fishers, iwi leaders, chefs, writers & health professionals. Together they’ll weave a picture of our future food landscape.

Perhaps the biggest object on our horizon is the possibility of a National Food Strategy for NZ., and this panel discussion will bring together some of the major thought leaders in this space, across Māori, Pacifika, local government, health, agribusiness, and community sectors.

Finally, we’ll look at the rise of Food Tourism around the country as we place greater emphasis on food stories as a way to stay connected to the world and each other while our borders remain closed.

“Every single resident and visitor to New Zealand consume our food. As we navigate no tourists for the foreseeable future, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to apply the hard-won gains of our 100% pure reputation to our food industry, repositioning the story of New Zealand’s food experience and better promote the depth and diversity of dining experiences,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“This will also create the halo effect of developing pride in our hospitality story and encourage more job seekers to view hospitality as an employment pathway for life. Whilst COVID has been undeniably tough it has also given us the opportunity to look at ourselves objectively and shape the future of a more sustainable industry.”

“Connecting people to our land through our food has never been more relevant or urgent. We know our food producers have the opportunity to lead recovery, and celebrating them through hospitality, events and tourism experiences has never been more important,” added Angela Clifford, CEO of EAT NZ.

“While our borders are closed we have the opportunity to reset our priorities creating a more resilient and future-proof version of our food nation. It’s with huge enthusiasm and hope that we present this most important conversation in New Zealand.”

For more information, updates to the event, and to book tickets, please visit