Red meat is set to star on menus of the country’s top restaurants over the next few months as chefs compete in the Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards.
The awards are in their fourth year and since conception there have been over 200 entries from New Zealand’s best chefs and restaurants into the competition. Silver Fern Farms General Manager Marketing Sharon Angus says the awards provide the opportunity for New Zealand’s top chefs to showcase their talent and craft using the best quality red meat.
“We are excited about the growth of the Premier Selection Awards over the past few years and the positive feedback we have had from chefs, who tell us they enjoy the opportunity to create a new dish using Silver Fern Farms cuts,” she says.
The new categories introduced in 2015 will be maintained this year and include:
Best Beef dish
Best Lamb dish
Best Venison dish
Best Metropolitan restaurant
Best Regional restaurant
The supreme winner will receive the title of Premier Master of Fine Cuisine.
“The awards give professional chefs an avenue to create a memorable taste experience for diners while also being recognised for their creativity and skills,” says Sharon Angus. “We want to provide them with the finest ingredients so they can harness their creativity and innovation to produce extraordinary results for diners.”
Silver Fern Farms has invited a select group of top chefs from across New Zealand to enter an original dish using cuts from Silver Fern Farms’ extensive range of beef, venison and lamb. Diners can sample these dishes on the menus at participating restaurants from 28 September to 6 November.
Dishes will be judged by a qualified judging panel lead by New Zealand’s renowned restaurant commentator Kerry Tyack. Twelve finalists will be selected to proceed to the finalist round of judging, where Kerry and Guest Judge Tony Adcock, a former restauranteur with a wealth of industry experience, will co-judge all finalist dishes. At least one finalist will be selected from the following regions:
Central North Island
Lower North Island
Upper South Island
Lower South Island
Last year’s winner of the Premier Master of Fine Cuisine was Stuart Rogan of Botswana Butchery in Auckland. Stuart has been delighted with the response from diners and the increase in customers who have tasted the winning dish.
“Aside from the personal and professional endorsement the award has been great motivation for the team at Botswana Butchery Auckland. We added the dish to our lunch as well as dinner menu and six months on from the award announcement it’s a popular as ever and is now a signature dish. We still get lots of people coming in and asking to try it!”
Judge Kerry Tyack described Rogan’s dish as ‘consistent and faultless’. “This dish set the bar with its superb technique and stunning celebration of the art of meat preparation”.
Sharon Angus says the awards also help Silver Fern Farms to understand the requirements chefs have for premium quality red meat cuts. “The Premier Selection Awards allow us to work alongside chefs. Past awards have taught us that product consistency is critical to chefs, and being able to deliver on this is important to us because we set ourselves high standards when it comes to suppling premium quality ingredients here in New Zealand as well as to international markets.”