'Geogastronomy Club' plan on menu

Fleur's Place owner Fleur Sullivan outside the Moeraki restaurant where thousands of dollars...
Fleur's Place owner Fleur Sullivan outside the Moeraki restaurant that will be a member of the steering group behind the 'Geogastronomy Club'. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
A forthcoming "Geogastronomy Club" proposal will outline what club members will need to commit to and what the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust can offer as benefits in return.

Waitaki District Council spokeswoman Lisa Heinz said a steering group would draft the proposal based on discussions at June "geogastronomy" workshops in Oamaru.

"The current mission is to tell our story through the sense of taste about how our land, soil, water and local artisanal creativity make Waitaki produce unique," she said.

"They [the steering group] want to create a unique, authentic brand that is based on the terrain of the area and the artisanal creativity of our people and that is representing the regional taste of Waitaki that will be recognised and known worldwide."

The steering group is made up of River-T Estate Wines, Vinbrux Bakery & Kaffehaus, Totara Estate, Fleurs Place, Oamaru Organics, Pen-y-bryn Lodge, Kakanui grower Jim O'Gorman and MOA Bakery, Cakery.

This month, the council officially endorsed the establishment of a Geopark in the Waitaki district, and the pursuit of Unesco Global Geopark status by the trust.

It also committed further council staff time and up to $190,000 to help the trust stick to its goal of reapplying for Unesco status in November, allowing for Unesco evaluators to visit the Waitaki in June 2020.

In April, the project was delayed 12 months after the trust withdrew its first application after a former global co-ordinator for the Global Geoparks Network, Prof Patrick McKeever, told the trust it was not ready to go ahead.

Unesco describes Global Geoparks as "single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development".

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