It’s that time again. The loose-waisted pants are out of the wardrobe. And life is managed by spreadsheet for 15 days.
Aside from just the sheer frivolity of it all though, it’s worth thinking about the theme put to chefs and mixologists – this year, celebrating food as part of New Zealand’s culture – and how you score your eats and drinks:
- Celebrating the role that food plays alongside other cultural forms such as art, music and creative expression
- What is New Zealand’s contemporary cuisine?
- What role does our multicultural society play in our cuisine?
This is how mystery judges apportion their scores:
- 15% service (knowledge, timeliness)
- 15% presentation
- 15% use of local ingredients
- 5% beer, tapas or local beverage matching
- 5% relation to the festival theme
- 25% taste
Before adding the last 20% from final weighted average public scores.
We of course all have our own perspectives and benchmarks (my pet peeve – if a burger can’t be held in the hands and eaten easily, its not a burger), but it might be interesting to contemplate the above factors when deciding your scores.
So far I’ve had one experience at the Glasshouse Restaurant (Thorndon Hotel) where Nona was excellent at describing the dish components and how to maximise the tastes, and one at WBC where the festival theme was reflected in a fusion of Asian/New Zealand styles and ingredients by a renowned chef, Jenny Gao of Shanghai (although I only found that out later when chatting while paying).
And my last piece of advice? Keep your thoughts and probable scores written down somewhere for the first few days, as what feels like a 7/10 might become more or less once you have a few other bites and slurps under your belt to compare to.
Lots to think about aye?
So have at it, have some fun and happy scoring (log into the VWOAP site and click the scoring link at the bottom of each Establishment’s page).
And I’ll see you for Slimming September on the other end!