Sixty-one of New Zealand’s top chefs from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island are set to show their skills with red meat as they vie for a prestigious award.
The Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards, now in their third year, challenge New Zealand’s best chefs to showcase their creativity and artistry with red meat in order to win five category awards, and the supreme award of Premier Master of Fine Cuisine.
Silver Fern Farms general manager marketing Sharon Angus says the awards give professional chefs “an avenue to create a memorable taste experience for diners while also being recognised for their creativity and skills.”
“We want to provide them with the finest ingredients so they can harness their creativity and innovation to produce extraordinary results for diners.”
Diners can sample the delicious creations – made from Silver Fern Farms premium red meat cuts of lamb, beef, venison or SILERE alpine origin merino – at participating restaurants from now until November 1.
All entrants will be assessed by a team of qualified and experienced food experts, overseen by judging coordinator Kerry Tyack in the following categories:
· Best beef dish
· Best lamb dish
· Best venison dish
· Best metro restaurant
· Best regional restaurant
. Supreme winner
Twelve finalists will be announced – with at least one from five regions of Upper North Island, Central North Island, Lower North Island, Upper South Island and Lower South Island – on November 20 with Tyack and co-judge Tony Adcock visiting all finalist restaurants prior to Christmas to re-judge the dishes.
Winners will be announced at an event in Auckland in February 2016.
Tyack says if the quality of the dishes in the first two years of the awards is anything to go by, the 2015 entries won’t disappoint.
“These are the best cuts of beef, lamb and venison being cooked by the best chefs, and the dishes they serve are going to be outstanding. The quality of entrants is again very high and the judges are keen to sample what the chefs have created.”
Past winners of the Premier Master of Fine Cuisine Scott Corbett, formerly of No. 8 Restaurant & Bar in Whitianga (2014), and Mat McLean of Palate Restaurant in Hamilton (2013) both say the response to the awards have changed their businesses significantly.
“The amount of people it brings into your restaurant is quite phenomenal,” Corbett says. “People came looking for us after hearing about the Premier Selection Awards and it had a prolonged effect, it was just that popular.”