|Not a member? Sign up now!|
New Zealand is set to be portrayed to tens of millions of US TV viewers as a land of adventure where you can ‘catch and cook’ all sorts of delectable wild game, freshwater fish and seafood.
American Aaron Carrotta, aka ‘Adventure Aaron,’ is behind the planned new show for which a pilot program us currently being filmed in New Zealand.
The cancer survivor-turned intrepid adventurer and TV host has become a social media phenomenon whose exploits are tweeted and shown on a website to millions of followers.
Aaron first visited Rotorua to film a TV series Alive! With Adventure Aaron which was launched after a “life-changing” event – being diagnosed with cancer in 2008. Aaron, who’d worked in banking and real estate, “re-prioritised,” and began a blog focused on living life to the fullest which then led on to the TV series.
He has returned to Rotorua to film a new 13-part series called Catch and Cook, with Adventure Aaron, in which local chefs will challenge him to go out and gather (or hunt or fish for) the main ingredients of a meal.
Aaron plans to start at the top of the North Island and work his way right down to the Deep South – home of muttonbirds and famed Bluff oysters.
“Each episode a celebrity chef will say, ‘I’ll show you how to make the meal of your life and give you the recipe. But you have to go and catch it (the ingredient)!
“ ‘Everyday Aaron’ has to do the grunt work – make the catch,” he adds.
Monday, August 22, Aaron took up the challenge from a local chef to shoot a black swan as the main course for a tasty wild game dish.
Eastern Region Fish & Game Officers hosted Aaron and his crew, organising the photo shoot and taking care of everything from permits and gun safety instruction to directing the hunt.
Fish & Game’s John Meikle, a game bird specialist and veteran hunter, ran the hunt at a wetland near Reporoa. Meikle describes the black swan as an underutilised game bird which is good to eat.
So, how was Aaron’s first taste of game bird hunting?
“Unbelievable,” was his reaction as they paddled back to the bank with their catch. “That was the coolest thing ever. Just like when I was a kid playing Nintendo game Duck Hunt… but it’s better – this is the way – only in New Zealand!”
Carrota praised Fish & Game for providing him with the opportunity to go on the hunt, and paid tribute to their professionalism and knowledge of game bird habitat and management. Since the show is based on catching game, “one of the first things we wanted to do from the outset was align ourselves with Fish & Game and tap into their expertise,” he says.
Fish & Game staff are continuing to assist the Catch and Cook crew filming more game bird hunting and trout fishing, for which the Rotorua region and New Zealand is internationally renowned.