Washdyke cafe got off to a good start at South Canterbury’s first food festival

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PiqueNique Café cook Anna McDonald holds the cafe's coconut custard with strawberry compote and keto granola.

Venture Timaru/provided

PiqueNique Café cook Anna McDonald holds the cafe’s coconut custard with strawberry compote and keto granola.

The district’s annual Outstanding Food Festival got off to a flying start for a Washdyke cafe making its debut, while another participating business reported selling out on the first day.

Armed with baked coconut cream and a Japanese monkfish sandwich, the PiqueNique Café is hoping to get noticed at the South Canterbury Outstanding Food Festival (Scoff) 2022, with the owner saying his dishes have been already proven popular on day one.

While, in downtown Timaru, the Pasty Parlor sold out its first batches of its kornish pastry, its social media page says.

He reportedly has more to sell at the Timaru Craft Farmers Market on Saturdays at his stall in Canterbury Clanger, the post said.

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Cafe owner Robert Jacobs says the festival comes just in time for the company to introduce the internationally-inspired Japanese monkfish sandwich that will be part of its spring menu.

“We change our menu every three months. Most of the cafe’s dishes are influenced by international cuisine with a hint of kiwi,” Jacobs said.

“With the custard, we wanted to create a dish that would feed everyone keeping in mind the dietary restrictions some might have.”

PiqueNique Café owner Robert Jacobs said that

AIMAN AMERUL MUNER / Stuff

PiqueNique Café owner Robert Jacobs said “a good number” of his two Scoff dishes had already sold out on Friday.

Jacobs said “a good number” of the two Scoff dishes sold out on Friday and there were good reviews of the dishes.

“We had a lot of success with the dishes. I was in the kitchen, so I didn’t hear any comments myself, but the best I can say is that the plates were returned with no food,” he said.

PiqueNique is one of 55 restaurants and 20 producers from the Mackenzie, Waimate and Timaru districts registered for the festival, now in its third year, which runs until September 30.

The event was designed to “revive” the hospitality sector after the impacts of Covid-19 and promote the region’s economic drivers: agriculture and food production.

Scoff is about the flavor collaboration between restaurants and producers in creating a new menu using South Canterbury produce.

The 2022 festival has been extended for five days and also includes a produce market and a $2,000 prize for a loyal “thrasher.”

Sando with Japanese monkfish and sweet potato fries seasoned with togarashi from the PiqueNique Cafe.

Venture Timaru/provided

Sando with Japanese monkfish and sweet potato fries seasoned with togarashi from the PiqueNique Cafe.

Earlier this month Venture Timaru COO Di Hay said mockingbirds can get a loyalty card stamped when they visit a Scoff restaurant.

“When they have five stamps, they leave them at a participating restaurant and enter the grand prize draw which is worth just over $2,000,” Hay said.

“Also new this year is the Scoff Market, which is a showcase of our food producers at the Timaru Artisan Farmers Market on September 17.”

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