Street Kai Festival to Celebrate Matariki

Try making chef Cameron Petley's Matariki recipes at home

Pork belly and watercress salad. Picture / David St George Photography

Cameron Petley wants to catch a pig for his family’s Matariki feast this year.

But if the laid-back Putaruru chef is out of luck hunting the wild game, “no worries” he says. “Fish 'n' chips it is”.

The MasterChef favourite and host of Cam’s Kai, has been busy planning an original Matariki menu not only for his family, but also for Auckland City's Matariki celebrations.

Matariki (the Maori New Year) is a time to celebrate culture and tradition, Cameron says.

“I always think back to when the hard mahi had to be done with filling up the paataka with the harvested crops, meat and fish ready for colder months. You'd learn to appreciate that effort and where your food came from.”

His signature twist on Kiwi classics, designed in collaboration with SkyCity chefs, will be dished up at multiple food stalls at the inner-city Te Korakora on Federal street kai festival on June 22, which will also feature art, dancing and music.

“The inspiration for my menu comes from my enjoyment of Maori fusion — taking Maori flavours and mixing them with different food cultures,” Cameron says.

“This is the way forward for Maori kai  taking something traditional and jazzing it up.”

His menu will feature native ingredients such as horopito and karengo, and will feature Asian and Italian influences. Each dish will be served on commercially compostable bamboo plates with compostable cutlery. 

• Federal St, Auckland Central, Thursday June 22 from 5-10pm, visit

Asian style with Maori twist, serves 10

600g pork belly
 cup dry sherry
2 Tbsp soy
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp horopito seasoning

For the slaw
¼ red cabbage (finely shredded)
1 carrot (julienne)
1 green apple (julienne)
¼ cup mint (finely shredded)
¼ cup coriander (finely chopped)
1 red chilli (finely chopped)

For the dressing
3 Tbsp sesame oil
4 Tbsp fish sauce
¼ cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup red and green micro cress (watercress)
½ cup roasted peanuts for garnish
½ cup fried shallots for garnish

1. Score the pork and pat dry. Heavily salt the skin.

2. Combine the sherry, soy, vinegar, honey and horopito and rub into the flesh.

3. Place into a roasting dish and roast on 180C for 1½ hours until crispy and tender. 

4. Into a bowl place cabbage, carrot, apple, mint, coriander and chilli.

5. Combine sesame oil, fish sauce, lemon juice and oil and whisk in a bowl. Drizzle over salad.

6. Slice pork and toss through or arrange on top of salad. Garnish with red and green micro cress peanuts and shallots.

Notes: The watercress element is the red and green micro cress garnish. You could add the larger watercress to the salad to add texture but check it’s not too woody.

Kumara arancini. Picture/ David St George Photography

Makes about 12 balls

1 cup Arborio
1 onion (finely diced)
4 garlic cloves (finely diced)
250ml white wine
3 cups stock
1 cup kumara puree
¼ cup parmesan
2 cups panko
100g manchego cheese (cubed)
2 eggs whisked
1 cup sweet chilli sauce
1 Tbsp horopito seasoning
Micro cress for garnish

Saute onions and garlic and add wine. Add rice and cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add stock and cook until evaporated, adding bit by bit until evaporated and rice is tender.

3. Add kumara and parmesan and combine season and chill. 

4. Once chilled, shape into balls and place a cube of manchego cheese into the centre

5. Dip in egg, then crumb with panko and chill until ready for deep-frying. 

6. Combine sweet chilli and horopito.

7. Deep fry arancini for 3-4 minutes until golden and hot through the middle.

Notes:  Not really an Italian combination with the sweet chilli but I think it works well with the kumara!

Serves 12

150g butter
300g sugar
450g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking soda
1½ baking powder
450ml milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

Butterscotch sauce
120g butter
250g brown sugar
300ml cream
Praline ingredients:
½ cup caster sugar
2 Tbsp water
½ cup dried karengo
500ml vanilla ice cream
Edible flours for garnish


For the pudding
1. Cream butter sugar and butter, add flour, baking powder, baking soda and mix.

2. Heat milk and add vanilla then add to flour and combine, add eggs one at a time until combined well and pour into a greased tin or individual cupcake tins.

3. Bake at 150C for 25 minutes or until cooked.

For the butterscotch sauce
1. Combine brown sugar, butter and cream and bring to the boil combine and set aside keep warm for the praline sugar and water into a pan leave for 5 or so minutes over low heat to dissolve. Then turn up the heat until it starts to turn golden.

2. Remove from the heat and cool a little, then place greaseproof paper on a tray.

3. Sprinkle out the karengo and pour sugar over the top. Let cool and smash into dust.

4. Serve the pudding with a scoop of vanilla icecream on top with drizzled with butter scotch and a sprinkling of praline garnish with edible flowers and fresh mint.  

Notes: I know it’s meant to be a steamed pudding but you can put the cake mix into ramekins and then into a water bath. I usually get the karengo from Farro Fresh. 


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