How to make your Matariki feast shine


| Inspiration | How to make your Matariki feast shine

How to make your Matariki feast shine

Matariki is a time to gather with whānau and friends to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future and kai is a powerful way to bring people together to do just that.

It’s also a time to appreciate some of our indigenous kai and connect with Taiao – the natural world. So looking to nature, we’ve got five simple ideas to lift your Matariki feast and table to the next level.

  1. Utilise indigenous raw ingredients to decorate the table (as well as cook for the meal) – a flax kete or wooden bowl full of beautiful fresh purple kūmara or kamokamo has an earthy beauty reminding us of the kai recently harvested.
  2. Dust off the beautiful pāua shells and driftwood you’ve collected over the years to place alongside the food. These will remind us of the gift of kaimoana from the sea.
  3. Get the kids involved making a harakeke whetū (star) or lanterns to include in the table setting or give as gifts.
  4. Look to our native bush to provide a burst of colour – the blotchy red horopito, often used in cooking, has beautiful stems that can also brighten up the table. This shrub can often be found self-seeded in gardens or on the edges of bush. Washed and dried Puka leaves and Nikau fronds can be used as vessels or plates for food.
  5. If it’s a clear night, don’t forget to take any over-nighting guests outside to look at the stars predawn – see if you can spot Matariki – and if you need a little help, check out the link here.

Mānuka-Smoked Lamb Leg with Green-Lipped Mussel Salsa, and Kūmara and Watercress Gratin

This mānuka-smoked lamb leg with green-lipped mussel salsa and kūmara gratin pays homage to the stars of Matariki, and what they represent; from the earth, to the sea, and the sky. The lamb represents Tupuānuku, the eldest of the sisters of Matariki, who sees over the land. The watercress relates to the star Waitī, who is connected to freshwater. The mānuka, Tupu-ā-rangi, who looks after the forests. And the steamed mussels, you can thank Waitā – the star associated with food from the sea.


Matariki Surf 'n' Turf Platter

Matariki, the Māori New Year, is a wonderful time to celebrate the amazing produce we have available in New Zealand. Chefs Rex Morgan and Lyall Minhinnick have created a Māori-style Surf 'n' Turf recipe which utilizes both Māori ingredients and cooking methods. Manuka smoked beef rib, Horopito crust roasted bone marrow, Urenika Smash, beer-battered Paua chips, crayfish, and root vegetables - this recipe is a real winner.


Baked Meatballs with Twice-Cooked Kawakawa Kumara and Peas

Peter Gordon's baked meatballs and cheese with tomato chickpea stew is served alongside twice-cooked sesame kawakawa kumara and peas. This recipe comes from Homeland’s Community Day hosting Whangaparāoa Marae and takes the best that New Zealand has to offer, like homegrown New Zealand beef and kumara, and pairs them with budget-friendly pantry items like chickpeas and chilli.


Manuka Smoked Beef Rib with Horopito-Crusted Bone Marrow

Chef Rex Morgan's Manuka smoked beef rib is fall off the bone tender and packed full of flavour. Served alongside roasted bone marrow with a delicious Horopito crust and root vegetables - this recipe is perfect to share with family and friends.


Posted by Regina Wypych