Leah Panapa – the winner of 5k for the SPCA
Leah Panapa – the winner of 5k for the SPCA
Leah Panapa – the winner of 5k for the SPCA

The Royal New Zealand SPCA is $5,000 better off after the weekend thanks to radio personality Leah Panapa and Selaks NZ Roast Day. Panapa’s roast day recipe was voted the winner of the online celebrity cook competition attracting more than 32,500 votes and earning her chosen charity the windfall.

And to acknowledge the great effort of co-competitors Leigh Hart and Shane Cortese received $1,000 each for their charities*. Leah Panapa says she’s “stoked” about the win.

“A huge thanks to everyone who voted for me. Because of you all, the SPCA receives a huge and deserving boost. Well done to Leigh and Shane who both had wonderful charities and delicious roast recipes. Thanks to Selaks Wines who didn’t think my roast chicken with couscous was crazy and encouraged us to enjoy roast day with friends & family.”

According to Selaks NZ marketing director Nina Stojnic the fifth Selaks NZ Roast Day has been the most successful yet.

“We can’t say how many ovens were fired up for roast day; what we do know is the response from the public has been phenomenal. Close to 70,000 votes were cast in the celebrity cook competition and more than 11,300 e-cook books have been downloaded to date.

“Thank you to Nici Wickes our ambassador and to Kiwi roast fans – together we’ve given New Zealand’s favourite winter meal the celebration it deserves. We love presenting Selaks NZ Roast Day; see you in 2015,” Nina says.

During the campaign Selaks also conducted a number of polls on its website, some of the results of which make interesting reading. For example, who would have thought Brussels sprouts were so popular? The small cabbage is a 70:30 favourite with those who voted. Apparently we’re evenly split on carving with or against the grain but wine in the gravy is favoured by six out of 10.

Gravy all over is a national favourite – as opposed to on the side. Finally, the Kiwi #8 wire mentality is alive and well in the kitchen with eight out of 10 cook respondents saying they improvise when following a recipe. And if you’re stuck, you can still download the 2014 Selaks NZ Roast Day e-cook book from here.

* Leigh Hart’s chosen charity the Mangawhai Surf Life Saving Club receives $1,000 while Children’s Autism Foundation and the Breast Cancer Research Trust each receives $500 as Shane’s share of the prize.

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