Over the course of nearly five decades, we’ve worked hard to cultivate a reputation for fine dining and elegant celebrations at Bon Appétit. However, every now and then we find it apropos to loosen our lederhosen and raise a beer stein to one of our favorite cultural celebrations: the German Oktoberfest!
Join us for Bon Appétit’s Oktoberfest Celebration from October 1 – October 31!
A tradition that began in Germany more than 200 years ago, Bon Appétit adopted this festival in 1977, a year after being open, and has celebrated with our Dunedin community ever since. Being part of an inclusive, multi-cultural City has led to strong local support of this month-long celebration.
The traditional Bavarian pretzel. Artfully shaped with its twisted arms and also available in the extra large Oktoberfest version.
An arrangement of Bavarian-style snacks like bacon, horseradish, cream cheese, Leberkaese, and more, which can be served at any time of the day. Best served on a rustic wooden board.
Fun in its most original sense, when you get to share time with friends and family and – at least for the moment – don’t have a care in the world.
When everything is just right: The mood is good, the people are nice – this is how things should always be.
Oans, Zwoa, Gsuffa
“One, two, bottoms up.” One of the most popular toasts in Bavaria, especially in the beer tents.
The solemn ritual of tapping a new barrel of beer, often announced by the ringing of a bell.
The liquid extracted from the mashing process during the brewing of beer or whisky. Wort contains the sugars, the most important being maltose and maltotriose, that will be fermented by the brewing yeast to produce alcohol.
Together with our guests, we seek to create a sense of gemütlichkeit (the German word for comfort). Our menu evokes a sense of relaxation through dishes like our Bavarian “Brotzeit” — a giant soft pretzel with meats, cheeses, and spreads — and our Oktoberfest Platter — layers of roast pork, smoked ham, and sausage on a bed of sauerkraut, paired with a parsley bread dumpling. The many strong, savory, and sometimes pungent aromas of German cuisine are tempered by our month-long dessert special: a Warm Apple Strudel with a pool of vanilla bean sauce and freshly whipped cream.
No tribute to the German Oktoberfest is complete without a variety of German beers, by which we mean authentic brews that are actually served east of Paris – no “German-style IPAs” here! Märzen was the original beer served at Oktoberfest, and the tradition continues with beers high in Wort extract. We’re proud to bring both bottled and draft beer from Germany all the way to Dunedin! We also have a 2018 Reisling from the Rhineland for fans of German wine.
I used to think that I disliked Oktoberfest beers... until I realized that I dislike the over-malted syrupy American "Oktoberfest" beers that leave you thirstier than you started. Actual German Märzen are quite nice and refreshing— Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Z 🍞🌹😼🤘🕺 (@BoboChimpan) September 18, 2021
While Bon Appétit is known for celebrating international cuisine, the Oktoberfest celebration holds a special place in the hearts of many team members. Chef Karl Riedl, co-owner of Bon Appétit, is a German expatriate; as are hostess Shaira and manager Sabine. For this group especially, Oktoberfest represents an opportunity to connect with the culture they had growing up.
“Since we can’t travel this year, it makes me so happy to have Oktoberfest here at Bon Appétit,” Shaira tells us. “We celebrate the culture at home with German foods and beer, but my kids have never been around an Oktoberfest celebration,” she explains, “I can’t wait for them to see other people celebrating the culture too. Food is a bridge that connects cultures and generations. We need that now more than ever.”
“I love the food,” says Sabine, “it just takes me right back home.” One of the most popular flavors in German food is mustard, which is made of mustard seeds grown in mustard seed fields. For Germans, these mustard seed fields are similar to the American pumpkin patch. “It’s more than just the taste of home cooking,” Sabine continues, “it’s all of the ingredients I grew up with.”
“Oktoberfest started with a royal wedding and celebrated the harvest early on,” explains Chef Karl, “but today, maybe 10% of the Wiesen (park greenspace) is dedicated to old Oktoberfest. 90% is drinking, eating, and music. People my age go from noon to 2 or 3 PM. Younger people are there all night.” The Wiesen is filled with beer tents, each holding thousands of partygoers clamoring to get to the band at center stage. While the musicians dress in traditional Bavarian outfits and play traditional instruments, “they’re playing songs like Sweet Caroline,” says Chef Karl. Oktoberfest has become a truly global celebration – one that invites guests from all over the world to join in on the fun.
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