22.07.2010 New Zealand, Auckland

When considering what to do for your upcoming New Zealand luxury vacation, consider the scores of people who have benefitted from this sage advice: If you want to experience a place, make sure you dig into the local food. What better way to take this advice than to time your vacation to coincide with a major food festival?

The Auckland Food Show is an annual event that the locals enjoy — and take exceptionally seriously. So seriously that in 2008 and 2009 alike, it won awards for the best food show in its size category for all of Australasia, and the best overall event in New Zealand. World-famous chefs and aspiring amateurs alike show up to the event and do their best to make it one of the most exciting times for visitors and locals.

There’s plenty on display for purchase and for sampling. Categories of food available at this event include the entire spectrum; if it can be prepared, it will be present. Asian-local fusion dishes, new takes on old standards, classic confections refined until they’re utterly perfect, delicious candied treats and, of course, an abundant supply of fine local wines, beers and liquors all work to enchant the tongue.

Of course, eating isn’t the only thing one can do at the food show. There are celebrity cooking classes, where you rub shoulders with famous chefs and listen to their advice on how to open up the many flavors of your food in your own cooking at home. There’s the opportunity to swap recipes with fellow travelers, see food as entertainment in Iron Chef-style competitions and to place orders for high-quality cookware that you might not otherwise come across.

If you love food, but have trouble deciding what new dish to experience first, the Auckland Food Show is the vacation to be preferred. Advice and options abound, and the time spent will stand out in the memory as a feast beyond compare.

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