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Defiantly Definitively Dunedin!

Defiantly Definitively Dunedin!


In his first in a blog series for Dunedin Online, guest writer Toby Bennett waxes lyrical about his adopted hometown’s food scene.

Dunners is the country’s true citadel of culture, literature and learning with a vibrant, vivacious student population giving our city, colour, charm, character and a real buzz.

We’re one of only 28 places in the whole wide world awarded the accolade of being a UNESCO City of Literature...the only other down under to get the noble nod is Melbourne....we’re up there with heavy hitters like Prague, pretty impressive for somewhere with just 120,000 people.

Hey don’t forget the music you rightly shout....”The Clean” were the first act to come out of iconic Flying Nun records, starting that defiantly different “Dunedin Sound” (yep we’ve even got our own genre) with classy collectives like the Chills also strutting their stuff southern style.

Yeah we rock at alternative but we can do mainstream too right....what about arguably New Zealand’s most popular pop sensations Six60 selling out stadiums including our own (the southern hemisphere’s finest surely ).

The boys are famously named after their house number on a scarfie street where they lived while at Uni. Creativity fizzes and crackles through the air in Dunners, don’t take my word for it, this is what the band themselves say "That's where it all began. It was the beginning of everything. It was a place that meant so much to us."

We’ve got our own veritable vibe, vim, verve and vigour!

But we’ve been hearing for years Wellington’s boasts of being a foodie hipster haven....flash, brash and bit boring guys....but admittedly maybe Dunedin was a bit behind when it came to tasty treats but those days are well and truly gone!

Innovative, inventive, local and made with love our fabulous city is now teeming with brilliant bakers, brewers, food trucks, people making chocolate, ice cream, peanut butter (too many to mention) and perhaps best of all young entrepreneurs collaborating and cooperating to tease and tickle our tastebuds. We salute and thank you!

I was lucky like many others to have a granddad who was a proper good sort and many of his wise words have stuck with me ( yeah I can still close my eyes and hear his dulcet, slow but sure tones). One of my faves was “if you can make a difference, great, if not make something and if you can do both even better”.

Well that’s exactly what’s going on right now in New Zealand’s oldest city! Armed with a dream, lots of care and flair and the gutsy gumption to just give it a go, we’re celebrating and championing the creative cohorts making all our lives taste a little bit better!

Part of Dunedin’s charm and character is not shouting about how great it is. We all know we’ve got the best architectural gems in the land including the country’s most famous and photographed building. Add to that some seriously sensational street art adorning, embellishing, enhancing our already beautiful backdrop.

Yep surrounded by water rivalling Vancouver or Capetown for sensational seascapes yet you don’t hear us go on about it.

Aucklanders bang on about their beaches ... hey how about Tunnel beach, Sandfly bay, Doctor’s point, St Clair the list goes on and on.

I know I’ve already waxed lyrical about the stadium but we’ve also got one of the world’s most picturesque cricket pitches framed by glorious garrulous green, the finest farmer’s market, oh and the country’s most reliable surf right on our doorstep. Not too shabby for a small city!

Well maybe it is time we start bigging ourselves up just a tad ... so tune in for a series of odes to our great and good Dunedinites who are keeping it local, loving life and pleasing palates across town!

This blog series is all about tantalisingly, titillating terrific tipple and tucker, funky fresh flavours and the geniuses, gourmands making it happen.

First upon on the pleasure podium are our “Young guns doing dairy differently”... living local, loving local.

Cheers, Toby

Toby and his wife Debs are collectively "Catlins Kitchen" & "Catlins True Brew". They sell at the Otago Farmer's Market and love their city fix each week. Catlins True Brew is NZ's only rainwater eco craft beer, where they just let mother nature do her thing. They also sell homemade dips, pates, vegetable chips and pastry delights. Everything is made from scratch using goodies from their garden, foraged favourites and the best ingredients from Dunners and Otago.

Off the backburner

Off the backburner