Record numbers of New Zealand’s top chefs from all around the country are finessing their entry dishes as they compete for the title of ‘Premier Master of Fine Cuisine’ in the fourth annual Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards.
The nationwide competition showcases the talent and craft of 73 of the country’s best chefs, who were invited to create an original dish for their menu using Silver Fern Farms premium red meat cuts of lamb, beef or venison.
The winner of the Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards 2015 was Stuart Rogan, executive chef at Botswana Butchery Auckland. His winning dish of Reserve Beef Eye Fillet and Glazed short rib with parsley, mustard and horseradish crust, carrot puree, whipped garlic, asparagus and cep jus set the bar with its superb technique and stunning celebration of the art of meat preparation.
Diners can be part of this year’s competition by sampling the various creations at participating restaurants from 28 September to 6 November. At the same time a team of over 30 experienced food experts, overseen by returning judging coordinator Kerry Tyack, will assess the entries.
Silver Fern Farms General Manager Marketing Sharon Angus says this year there’s a noticeable strength in regional entries which is great for restaurant guests.
Award categories include best beef, best lamb and best venison dishes, plus best regional and best metropolitan – specific awards which provide an additional opportunity to acknowledge the chef’s top dishes.
Judging coordinator Kerry Tyack says it’s exciting to see so many chefs using venison for their entry dish. This reflects growing demand by diners for different flavour experiences; 22 of the chefs are choosing venison to highlight their skill and creativity, others are combining two or three cuts in their dishes.
Dishes will be judged on how well they ‘let the red meat be the hero’ and points will be awarded for presentation, preparation and cooking, taste and texture, and creativity.
Twelve finalists will be selected, with at least one from the following five regions:
- Upper North Island (Auckland and Northland)
- Central North Island (Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Central Plateau, Hawke’s Bay)
- Lower North Island (Taranaki, Wairarapa, Manawatu, Wellington)
- Upper South Island (Nelson, Marlborough, North Canterbury, Christchurch, Timaru)
- Lower South Island (Dunedin, Central Otago, Southland)
Finalists will be announced on 20 November with Kerry Tyack and co-judge Tony Adcock visiting all finalist restaurants prior to Christmas to re-judge the dishes. Winners will be announced in Auckland, February 2017, where the five category winners will be revealed and the supreme winner awarded the title of Premier Master of Fine Cuisine.
Participating chefs and restaurants can be found online at www.silverfernfarms.co.nz/for-our-chefs/premier-selection-awards