New Zealand’s most tender and tasty steak has been announced at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin competition awards dinner, held in association with PGG Wrightson.
Tim & Kelly Brittain from Otorohanga have been awarded the 2017 Grand Champion title for their Angus steak, in the competition’s 15th year.
Being recognised as the country’s top beef producer is an achievement Tim and Kelly are extremely proud of.
“Each year our entries into this competition have stepped up a level and I am so proud that all our work and efforts can be celebrated. This outcome is a significant achievement and something that Kelly and I have been working towards,” says Tim.
The panel of judges, including renowned chefs, Ben Bayly, Gareth Stewart and Shaun Clouston completed two rounds of judging before the Brittains’ steak was deemed the county’s top from an initial line-up of 64 semi-finalists.
Chef judge, Shaun Clouston recognizes the way in which this competition shines light on the country’s beef farmers, acknowledging that the high quality of beef within the New Zealand food service is down to their fine-tuned farming activities.
“The paddock to plate link is one that New Zealanders are really interested in. It is important for us chefs to appreciate this and understand that an outstanding steak dish and dining experience starts well before the restaurant kitchen,” says Clouston.
Prior to the judging day, scientists at Carne technologies tested all 305 of the competition entries to determine the top 20% in each competition class to progress through to judging.
The two rounds of judging had the chefs assess each steak against a set of criteria such as aroma, tenderness, juiciness and taste. The first round of judging determined the medal placings in each class, results which were also announced at the awards dinner last night. From here the gold medal winning steaks in each class, excluding Lifestyle, were re-judged to decide the 2017 Grand Champion and the 2017 Brand winner.
The competition’s six Best of Breed classes were open to all New Zealand beef farmers and included classes for European, British Angus, British Hereford, British Other and Crossbreeds and a class for Lifestyle farmers. The Best of Brand competition included a class for retailers and a class for wholesalers and foodservice suppliers.
The 2017 Brand winner was also announced with Countdown taking home the title with their Countdown Angus brand and the Processor of the 2017 Grand Champion was Auckland Meat Processors/Wilson Hellaby.