Jul 01, 2024
Slow & Sustainable: Cuisine Magazine July 2024 issue
Slow & Sustainable by Alexia Santamaria

When someone mentions Queenstown, it's hard to stop your mind conjuring up images of jet boating, bungy jumping, skiing, flashy restaurants and fancy cocktails. This resort town has long been associated with fast, good times. But there's another side to Aotearoa New Zealand's adventure capital which we've seen more of in recent years, a side with a more languid pace where people stop to truly appreciate the breathtaking scenery, connect with the land and its bounty, and consider their impact on the planet. This is in no small part due to an ambitious Destination Management plan which has set a target for a carbon-zero visitor economy by 2030 as well as working consistently and doggedly towards a properly regenerative tourism future that will improve local and visitor wellbeing, forge connections between people and place, and enable healthy ecosystems.

But what does this have to do with food and wine? Well, plenty - it means a growing movement towards eating like granny used to (well, maybe a well-travelled granny with adventurous tastes rather than one who boils the broccoli for two hours). Fresh roduce from kitchen gardens, sustainable processes, waste minimisation, eating seasonally and reducing the use of processed ingredients are all part of the picture.

I was lucky enough to take a three-day tour of some hospitality operations working hard towards this future - in an electric car, of course. Here are some of my tour highlights:


Mora Wines and Artisan Kitchen
Regenerative tourism isn't just about sustainability, it's about mental wellbeing and slowing down to connect with people. From the minute you sit down in Mora's outdoor setting, complete with walnut and willow trees, classic wooden wagon wheels, barrels and a gorgeous cellar door, you know it's going to be impossible to make this a quick stop - in fact Mora means to linger, or take pause, so it would be rude to rush. The menu is loaded with fresh produce and bright flavours. The beets and whipped feta dish we enjoyed may be one of the best around and the lamb came from Royalburn just up the road - thanks Nadia!
Please confirm you are over the age of 18 years