Forage & Feast is a celebration of food, and our food is a celebration of our people.
Behind the local food, home-grown food, wild food and fresh food lie the unique stories of our people. Our mission is to share our local Central Otago food stories with our guests -be they local or from far away shores.
We showcase produce from land that has been cared for (kaitiakitanga) by generations of farmers. Early settlers to Wānaka (or Oanaka as it was known) have planted both their family roots and their crops here since the mid-1800s. Our unique Central Otago climate yields distinctive flavours, colours and textures in our food and wine.
The land shares the stage with innovation, entrepreneurialism and creativity. Wānaka growers and food artisans need to think differently to reap something beautiful from such a harsh and seasonal environment. From the farm or field to the plate, the tree or vine to the table, the whenua provides stunning culinary rewards in Wānaka.
Our local food stories are rich with flavour, but the characters bring the colour. The local food industry is mindful; one eye on global food issues encourages smart, home-grown practices. Focusing on sustainability, biodiversity and traceable food systems, and producing wholesome, organic, nourishing food is our collective passion.
Forage & Feast is about meeting, exploring, foraging and meeting. We bring people together to sample locally grown and produced food and award-winning Central Otago artisanal produce.
Forage & Feast aims to be a business with purpose, shining a light on our food and hospitality industry. A percentage of all profits are given back to the local community via key food programmes such as Food for Love and Community Networks’ Food Bank, as well as new initiatives to help our tamariki better understand the whenua and how to grow amazing local, fresh produce and turn it into something amazing.
At the heart of Forage and Feast is a love of food, people and storytelling.
Passionate Foodie and Storyteller and Director of Forage & Feast
Naomi is a master of bringing people to the table
Whether in her roles in leadership, strategic business and marketing, or quite literally gathering people for a meal, connecting people is her gift. Naomi Lindsay is the founder of Forage & Feast. She is a passionate foodie focused on bringing people together and telling the stories of our food producers, makers and growers.
The whakapapa of Forage & Feast is apple pies. Picking apples to make pies with her grandmother sparked the joy of hunting and gathering for mealtimes. Self-sufficient from a young age, Naomi was encouraged to make family meals, and to get creative with limited ingredients. Through cooking Naomi saw that food brought her family together and that the magic of meals lies in congregation. A love of food had begun.
University honed her creative cooking skills but travelling cultivated a culinary passion. Naomi tasted all corners of the planet, from Tokyo to Thailand, Mexico to South East Asia; she took a gastronomic tour around the globe. She attended cooking classes along the way, expanding her repertoire to include a Baharat blend, a love of cilantro and lime, and the secret to making a Thai Green Chicken Curry from scratch.
Settling in Central Otago, Naomi found herself in a treasure trove of cuisine. Discovering where food came from and how it was grown or prepared revealed stories of people, place and passion. Fuelled by Naomi’s curiosity and vibrancy, the seed for Forage & Feast was planted.
Inspired by working with, and meeting people through, Lake Wānaka Tourism, The Food Hui and Eat New Zealand, Naomi knew she had all the ingredients she needed, and in late 2020 Forage & Feast was cooked to perfection and ready to launch.