News | 3 May 2023
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Visa Wellington On a Plate serves up a mouth watering opening weekend

Visa Wellington On a Plate dishes up big names and crowd-pleasing Pop Ups for opening weekend, kicking off with the Festival’s official opening event Yardbird Hong Kong Izakaya Pop Up at Cinderella on Thursday 4 and Friday 5 May.

Yakitori sticks being cooked over a grill for Wellington On a Plate event.

The event features international chef Matt Abergel (Yardbird, Rōnin, HKG) cooking alongside Wellington local James Pask (Cinderella, Atlas, Astoria, WLG). 

The opening weekend of the Festival includes an all-day authentic Mexican food fiesta complete with mariachi bands and face painting. International chef Lucho Martinez of acclaimed restaurant Em in Mexico will be there alongside Wellington’s own Taco Addicts, Food Lab, and Viva Mexico. The Miramar Taco’ver will take place in the laneway at Double Vision Brewing on Saturday 6 May from 11am - 8pm. 

Visa Wellington On a Plate Festival Director Sarah Meikle says, the Festival’s new May timing and the re-opening of international borders brings a fresh new energy for 2023 with many ticketed events selling out within days.

“We’ve been thrilled to see such a strong appetite for the new May edition of Visa Wellington On a Plate and there are still many mouth-watering ways for people to experience the Festival this year,” she adds.

Visa Wellington On a Plate 

Visa’s Country Manager for New Zealand and South Pacific Anthony Watson says, Visa has been a proud partner of Visa Wellington on a Plate for 14 years and we are excited to see this level of creativity and innovation come to life within Wellington’s best culinary hot spots.

“The festival has become a major calendar moment for our talented hospitality sector and foodies across the country, and the return of international chefs and visitors is set to take this year’s event to the next level.” 

There are more than 100 ticketed Festival Events and non-ticketed Pop Ups, along with 70 Dine Wellington and 70 Cocktail Wellington to explore during the May edition of Visa Wellington On a Plate which runs from 5 - 21 May. 

Pop Up events are free-entry or non-ticketed events that offer a more flexible way for foodies to experience the festival. Opening weekend Pop Ups include the Doughnut Wagon in Upper Hutt, or; Castaway at Beach Babylon, which pays homage to one of Wellington’s hotspots from the 80s.  

The Festival also includes a competition for best dish. Dine Wellington is literally ‘Wellington on a Plate’, which sees chefs create unique dishes that celebrate the best of the region. For Cocktail Wellington the city’s best bartenders get creative all while vying for the top spot with public ratings determining the finalists. 

Visa Wellington On a Plate Head of programming Beth Brash says that there are still tickets to fantastic experiences with chefs from world-renowned eateries including Ireland’s Dr Jp McMahon at Logan Brown and India’s Prateek Sadhu at Chaat Street.

There’s plenty to explore including accessible events for people to pay as they feel, such as the Next Gen Cook off at Everybody Eats which showcases Wellington’s up and coming chef talent. 

“The Festival is about more than just food. Whether that’s immersing yourself in Jewish culture at Mosaic at Field & Green, delving into the past with Te Radar’s Crumbed Tongues and Tall Tales, exploring modern Māori kai with Kārena and Kasey Bird or having fun with friends at an event like Sex & Fast Food which includes a helping of burlesque,” Beth adds. 

Visit for more information. The May edition of the festival runs from 5 - 21 May, 2023.