It’s a hell of a town and if you’ve not been to New York (or have visited once or twice but want to get to know it better), then this is a trip that’s seriously worth considering.
The team from NZ-based events company OneNineFive have designed a five-day tour of New York City – called Serving Up New York – focusing on food, wine and other cultural highlights from the city that really does never sleep.
I had a chat with OneNineFive directors Greg Norris and Carlene Staines about how the trip has come about and what guests can expect.
Why New York and why now?
GN: We were there in 2015 with a group of 24 guests and on our way to the UK for the semi’s and finals of the Rugby World Cup. That trip we called ‘a culinary expedition to the Rugby World Cup’ and we all the guests who joined us loved rugby, food and travel equally. We collaborated with NZ-based chef/restaurateur, Al Brown on that trip and through Al’s New York connections made a bunch of mates and friendships.
CS: Since the Rugby tour, we’ve been back to New York a few times to travel and further explore the city – and to work – and we’ve developed relationships with some like-minded, passionate locals, many of whom are brilliant chefs and hospitality professionals.
They get what we do, and we get what they do. We are very focused on the experience people have, who they have it with, and where they have it.
What can guests expect if they join you on Serving Up New York?
GN: Guests will receive what we affectionately call a ‘backstage pass’ to the city – and we mean it – and we anchor the itinerary around this.
Our lead contact in New York is Brad Farmarie and his team. Brad knows so many people in the industry there and also has very strong bonds with this side of the world having worked with a number of Kiwi chefs and opening another Saxon and Parole restaurant in Auckland this year which is really exciting.
CS: There are other awesome people in New York who have helped us develop ideas and will be working with us on the trip. This adds to the deep local-interaction that we crave when we go away.
You discover so much more from a place when you are alongside fun, authentic and caring people who love the place they call home. So in many ways, as well as designing a wonderfully paced itinerary, arranging the travel and coordinating it all, our key role in one of a facilitator – and connecting our guests with a slice of New York in a meaningful and authentic way.
New York is definitely high on the must-go radar for lots of people. It’s a long way from NZ and Australia, and with that comes expense. So, we are very motivated to make sure guests get an experience they can truly say was worth every cent.
The world is a big place, why New York?
GN: We adore New York city’s energy, pace and diversity and when you need time-out there is the most wonderful park smack in the middle of town. And, the food scene is extraordinary.
And, there are all the other iconic locations, and stuff you’ve grown up with but may have never seen; Yellow Taxis, the NY skyline, Central Park, subway trains and a bunch of fun, crazy stuff going on there, and you really should go at least once!
So, it’s great to be in a position with OneNineFive to be able to offer guests/clients an opportunity to get a bit of a ‘backstage pass’ to the city through our friends and associates there. It’s a fun and creative project putting it all together and come July 2018 we’ll all be ready to (over) deliver!
CS: And another bonus is that U2 is playing the night before we kick off with Serving Up New York – so for those Bono and The Edge fans, add an extra nights accommodation and go see one of the greatest bands in the world live in New Jersey!
To get more details on this adventure, click here.