Tuesday 17 June 2008

Gourmet Experience, New Signature Event for Winter Festival – Surprise Guest Artist

The most memorable nights out are always a combination of the best in food, wine, music and company. And the latest addition to the 2008 American Express Queenstown Winter Festival programme, the American Experience Gourmet Experience (Sunday 29 June), delivers everything a discerning epicurean could expect of a top night out.

Take a splash or two of Gibbston Valley wines, match with the best local produce from the deep South prepared by Queenstown's best known chefs, and garnish with a smattering of musical performance from internationally renowned performers. Macerate for several hours.

The Gourmet Experience is something new for the festival, and should appeal to foodies, says Ray Smith, American Express Head of Sponsorship and Business Partnerships.

"The evening promises to be very special on all fronts. Not only do we have the very best food, we have fabulous wine, and wonderful entertainment including an appearance by a very special (and secret) guest. We're excited about this new event - it has a wow factor and we hope it becomes a much-talked about fixture on the winter festival calendar."

The four course menu – with wine from Central Otago winery Gibbston Valley - commences with Milford Sound groper from Mark Sycamore of Blanket Bay, matched with Central Otago Riesling 2006; followed by Central Otago quail by Martin James from Wai Restaurant, paired with Central Otago Reserve Chardonnay 2007. Third on the bill of fare is wild Fiordland venison from Stephen Mills of Encore Cuisine, accompanied by Pinot Noir 2004. The sweet finale, spiced pears and brioche mille fueille by Andrea Glover of Prime Restaurant and Encore Cuisine, is paired with Late Harvest Riesling 2006.

Throughout the evening there will be cameo performances from a wide range of entertainers including a yet-to-be announced appearance by one of New Zealand's best known and loved voices, says Smith.

"We're not revealing the identity of the very special guest just yet. Like all good things, they come to those who wait."

For more information on the American Express Gourmet Experience (Sunday 29 June, Kawarau Falls Station Pavilion), visit

About American Express

The American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial services and network Services Company. Founded in 1850, it is a leaderin charge and credit cards, Travellers Cheques, travel, business services and international banking.

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