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Designing a Degustation: Grape vs. Hop

Feb 14, 2020  ·  2 min read

Free the mind and unshackle the palate. This was the challenge our superstar Executive Chef gave himself when concocting the idea behind his latest gastronomic experience taking over QT Wellington.

Reporting for duty, Chef Jiwon will be showcasing his passion for our foodie capital and New Zealand’s regions by creating an unexpected menu featuring the best locally-sourced ingredients.

While his dishes are usually the star of any dining experience, his most recent menu shares the spotlight with local wine and craft beer. Generous, isn’t he?

Chef Jiwon has designed a new regionally-focussed menu in time for a special Grape vs. Hop Degustation Dinner. On the evening of 27 February, Hippopotamus is going hippodrome, and the restaurant will transform into a rink of rivalry.

Martinborough Vineyard and Emerson’s Brewery have each paired a libation to match each of Chef Jiwon’s seven courses – and guests will decide the victor of each round.

“The ethos of the menu is centred around featuring regional products,” said Chef Jiwon. “From Kapiti’s albacore tuna to Levin’s pork, everything featured is from right here in New Zealand’s own backyard.”

To create a true flavour-based experience, Chef Jiwon curated a paired back list of ingredients to allow the local flavours to shine through – and to put Martinborough Vineyard and Emerson’s Brewery centre stage. Cue the close up!

“For example, the Marlborough-inspired dish features the sustainably raised and caught Ora King Salmon. Its higher fat content makes it a prime candidate to be paired with a beverage that balances out the flavour. I’ve added Ruby Chocolate as a start, but I can’t wait to see what wine and beer will do the trick – and which will prevail as the winner.”

The Ora King Salmon with Blood Orange, Ruby Chocolate, Lime, Courgette and Lot8’s Flavour of the East will be paired with both Emerson’s 1812 Pale Ale and Te Tera Pinot Noir.

Beyond that, we’re staying tight-lipped. The rest of the menu items are strictly under wraps as a surprise for guests at Hippopotamus’ Grape vs. Hop Degustation Dinner. Limited tickets are still available here – and all palates are welcome, from the sophisticated to taste-buds in training.

Martinborough Vineyard and Emerson’s Brewery’s fate is in your hands on 27 February. Will you help us decide the victor?

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