Wild Food - Maori Style
Somewhere between Taupo and Napier lies a 5,000 acre block of land. Access is either by helicopter or modified four-wheel drive vehicle. It is remote, very remote. It's also high, beautiful land, stretching from an elevated river plateau up to mountains still covered in native bush and trees. On the land are a number of wild foods, used by Maori for hundreds of years as well as some more recently introduced wild foods which also appeal to Maori.
A key aspect of Maori is adaptability. The early Polynesians arrived in a country totally unlike their native Pacific Islands. They adapted. The Europeans then arrived, and Maori adapted again. It is not commonly known that in the decades surrounding the establishment of a European population here in New Zealand, many successful small businesses were owned and operated by Maori.
So it is not surprising that Maori have adapted well to the introduction of various international foods. Wild pork, for one, has become a Maori wild food.
Add to the elements above an interesting man, taught to understand, use and love wild land and the wild animals and plants on that land by his father and his uncles. Then send that man overseas for 20 years to work as a chef in a number of countries. Then bring him and his love of food and people back to New Zealand, give him this beautiful piece of land which he remembers well from his childhood to work on, and you have something rather special.
Thomas Loughlin is that man, and our latest find in this country. He gives a lovely wild food and bush lore experience which can be coupled with hunting sika deer or wild pigs or fishing trout or eels. As usual we are working closely with Thomas to fully understand what can be done and help develop this experience in the right direction. We took a client there a month ago and he is already planning his return visit, from Europe.