Scott Corbett, Head Chef and owner at Whitianga’s No8 Restaurant and Bar has been crowned ‘2014 Premier Master of Fine Cuisine’ in the second annual Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards at an event held in Auckland last night.
Scott’s dish, Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve beef eye fillet with Parma ham, truffle mushrooms, spinach, potato pom-poms, red onion and blue cheese was described as “faultless” by the judges.
“This was a virtuoso performance showing how exceptional results can derive from unquestionable technical skill, an innate understanding of quality ingredients and their rightful place on a balanced plate,” says head judge Kerry Tyack
Tyack says Scott put together all elements of the dish perfectly. “Corbett delivered delicious simplicity. The cooking of the eye fillet was faultless; the use of the Parma ham as seasoning was inspired, the involvement of the classic and perfectly cooked potato pom-poms was playful and the delicate use of the truffle was impressively instinctive.”
Scott is no stranger to awards in his 28 years of restaurant experience. He has been a regular finalist in many competitions and was in the top 10 in last year’s inaugural 2013 Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards.
Commenting on his win Scott said; “This award is huge for the entire team. Our front of house staff are bubbling over with pride and the kitchen staff have a confidence and energy most businesses only dream of seeing. It is also testament to our choice of meat and our understanding of what works well with it.”
“I am proud that all the dishes we create use the freshest, highest quality ingredients we can find, sourced locally wherever possible. This dish has to work superbly to showcase for our guests the best of what New Zealand has to offer.”
Tyack commented that the standard of this year’s finalists was again exceptional, making the judging panel’s decision difficult. At the Awards presentation he singled out two finalists for special mention; with Bracu Restaurant’s Mikey Newlands and 2013 winner Mat McLean of Hamilton’s Palate Restaurant, awarded Highly Commended titles.
Silver Fern Farms General Manager Marketing Sharon Angus says Silver Fern Farms is committed to providing quality ingredients to chefs’ expectations. “We are working with them to create the best eating experiences they can. Scott’s finesse with our finest cuts of Silver Fern Farms red meat is outstanding, to be a finalist two years running and now a winner shows he has outstanding talent in the creation and delivery of a great red meat dish.”
Early in 2014 a selection of New Zealand’s best chefs were invited to enter the second annual Premier Selection Awards. The field of 69 restaurants that entered created a dish using one of the finest Silver Fern Farms lamb, beef, venison or SILERE alpine origin merino cuts.
The dishes featured on menus over six weeks in September and October 2014 for the judges and diners to put them to the test. Judges travelled from Matakana to Queenstown, tasting and scoring the dishes, looking for how well each chef crafted their dish. Key judging criteria included presentation, cooking, taste and innovation. The twelve finalists then featured the dishes on their menus for a second round of judging.
The awards have very quickly become one of the most prestigious restaurant competitions in New Zealand due to the quality of the restaurants involved, the robust judging criteria, and the exceptional overall quality of the dishes presented.