Gourmet hāngi could be on award-winning restaurant menu

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

How can you improve on the classic hāngi?  That's the main challenge facing six talented chefs for the annual Taste of Auckland Festival.  The aim is to see what innovative ideas and gourmet ingredients can be applied to the traditional hāngi.

One of the six chefs is Head Chef, Mark Southon of O'Connell Street Bistro based in Auckland.  Southon is looking to combine hāngi with the Sunday roast.

“We are going to try and get different flavours into different areas of different ingredients, because a lot of people say that everything tastes the same because it's all cooked under the ground and it steams and tastes the same, so that's an area where we really want to try to get distinctions of flavour,” said Southon.

O'Connell St Bistro has won numerous awards for their quality food.  Southon hopes his hāngi dish will help him win another.

“Well, I think if the people love it then I think we can pop it up on the menu, if it all goes well and we get the thumbs up from the people,” added Southon.

Taste of Auckland kicks off next week on Thursday until Sunday at Western Springs Park.