Organisers of Taste of Auckland announced the winner of the inaugural ‘Best in Taste’ awards at the festival’s opening event. Purveyors of simple and fresh Italian fare, Farina, earned first place with their “perfectly formatted” dish, Valoriani Oven Pork Saltimbocca with Italian spicy greens provolone cheese, and cipriani mustard dressing.
All ten restaurants exhibiting at Taste of Auckland were asked to submit a dish to be judged by an international panel. Judges of the first-ever Taste of Auckland ‘Best in Taste’ included Michelin-starred chef, Pascal Aussignac who has won Best in Taste at Taste of London three times, acclaimed Australian chef Philippa Sibley who has won the competition twice at Taste of Melbourne, and Simon Wilson, editor of Metro Magazine.
“Farina’s dish is a perfect dish for any Taste festival in the world – it’s easy to eat, perfectly seasoned, and has a lot of texture,” said Best in Taste judge, Pascal Aussignac. “The Saltimbocca has a sense of authenticity and represented the brand beautifully,” added fellow judge, Philippa Sibley.
Depot Raw Bar took out second place with their Virgin Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter, a dish which judges described as “small and perfectly formed”, and third place went to The Oyster Inn for their “well-balanced, flavoursome” Crayfish & Watercress Risotto.
The ‘Best in Taste’ dishes were:
Farina (winner) – Valoriani Oven Pork Saltimbocca with Italian spicy greens, provolone cheese, and cipriani mustard dressing
The Commons – Caramelised White Chocolate Ice Cream, Raspberries & Almonds
Lava Dining – Smoked Lamb Cutlet, burnt butter, mussaman, cashew nut puree
The Oyster Inn – Crayfish & Watercress Risotto
Cable Bay – Beef Short Rib, Butter Poached Crayfish, Wasabi, Asparagus & Samphire
Poderi Crisci – Costata di Manzo – Reserve marbled sirloin with aromatic potato fan, wilted Poderi Crisci garden greens, garlic cream and Poderi Crisci viburno jus
Depot Raw Bar – Virgin Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter
Bracu – Line Caught Yellow fin Tuna, Potato, Lemon and Chorizo Bolognese
Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill – Scallop, Sweet, Sour & Salty with Tamarind & Chorizo Caramel, Avocado, Crème Fraiche, Rice Puffs
iVillage – Kesari Jheenga, which is Saffron infused Tandoori Prawns with Ajwain, home-made Mixed Spices, sprinkled with Chat Masala