Who we are
‘The Maori Kitchen’ is the brainchild of Rewi Spraggon and Ganesh Raj.
Rewi is New Zealand’s most successful Hāngi Master and has spent his life cooking in the traditional Māori way. And Ganesh is the co-owner of the now iconic The Tasting Shed restaurant, which is set in the wine country region of Kumeu.
Rewi’s passion is to hold true to the ancient traditions of Hāngi cooking. He was taught by his father who was taught by his mum’s father and ancestors before — Hāngi Masters of the past. Some of the rocks he uses today have been in his family for generations and have fed thousands of people.
“When Manuhiri (visitors) come to New Zealand the biggest thing missing is Māori kai (food). Not only for our Manuhiri, but also for our own people of Aotearoa who are slowly losing their connection with the art of real Hāngi. We want to educate New Zealanders and visitors about traditional Māori cooking techniques, but more importantly, give Kiwis a sense of pride about our indigenous food, which is over a thousand years old.” says Rewi.
“It’s all about spreading the message of Mānaakitanga – which is the reciprocity of hospitality and respect for the environment and each other. We want people to see, smell, taste and feel our history, first hand,” continues Rewi.