For Chez Derriere’s final project, Food Futures, the gallery functioned as an explorative art restaurant for two nights, where diners celebrated, discussed and imagined the future of food with a group of inspiring collaborators and artists.

Food Futures: Kai Māori saw journalist and food researcher Charlotte Muru-Lanning (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato Tainui, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei) design a menu informed by conversations with chef and wine-maker Matua Murupaenga (Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Kahu).

Exploring what kai Māori is and could be, the dinner featured produce from across Aotearoa, sourced from talented food businesses discovered during Charlotte’s research for The Spinoff’s weekly food newsletter The Boil Up. These included George Jackson’s rēwena pāraoa from Whanganui, kumu-kumu and tāmuru for the crudo (paired with rōpere and nasturtium) and smoked roe for the taramasalata from Marsic Bros in Glenn Innes. Wines from Matua and Imogen Weir’s (Ngāi Tahu) natural wine label Tawhiti and from Jannine Rickard’s Huntress Wines from the Wairarapa complemented the food.

Alongside steamed mussels, kawakawa butter, wātakirihi, potatoes with horopito, kawakawa and Kāpiti olive oil, Charlotte was excited to feature jelly. She shared her jelly pūrākau alongside Raro jelly, a trio of jellies cut into beautiful shapes inspired by Nigella Lawson, and Nigella’s vanilla panna cotta topped with chef Peter Gordon’s Niue-sourced honey.

There were nods to marae dining with instant coffee madeleines and a collaborative clean up at the end of the dinner. Charlotte custom designed raised platforms to create an extra level on the tables for sweet treats, a tradition she had heard her mother describe and seen in photos of other families’ Christmas table settings and inspired by an Ans Westra image from the 1970’s of a bountiful table setting at Charlotte’s Turangawaewae Marae.

Read about Food Futures: Kai Māori in The Boil Up, Charlotte Muru-Lanning's weekly food newsletter for The Spinoff here

A Food Futures resource list of how to get involved with our partners and collaborators can be found here

View the Food Futures: Kai Māori menu here

About the collaborators

Charlotte Muru-Lanning

Charlotte Muru-Lanning (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato Tainui, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei) is a Tāmaki Makaurau-based journalist and food researcher. She is a staff writer at The Spinoff and edits their weekly food newsletter The Boil Up. Charlotte is especially interested in how the food we eat (or don't eat) in our everyday lives links to identity, place, work and whakapapa. She is currently undertaking a Masters focused on Indigenous data sovereignty and kai Māori groups on Facebook at The University of Waikato Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato.

Matua Murupaenga

Matua Murupaenga (Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Kahu) is a Tāmaki Makaurau-based chef and winemaker. He’s worked at a number of local restaurants including Pici, Ooh-Fa and Roses Dining Room. Alongside his partner Imogen Weir (Ngāi Tahu) he has created Tawhiti, a Māori natural wine label.