Knives are being sharpened across the country from Matakana to Queenstown as New Zealand’s best chefs go head to head for the title of ‘Premier Master of Fine Cuisine’ in the second annual Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards.
The competition showcases the expertise and craft of the country’s talented chefs by creating memorable dining experiences with Silver Fern Farms’ premium red meat cuts.
Chefs created a dish using one of the finest Silver Fern Farms lamb, beef, venison or Silere alpine origin merino cuts. New Zealanders can dine out at participating restaurants and taste these dishes from 22 September to 31 October.
At the same time a team of qualified and experienced food experts, overseen by returning judging coordinator Kerry Tyack, will assess the chefs’ entries.
Silver Fern Farms general manager marketing, Sharon Angus says chefs and restaurants will be proudly promoting their competition dishes to diners over the next six weeks.
“We are delighted by the quality of entrants from right across New Zealand. We think foodies are about to enjoy some exceptional red meat dining experiences.”
Last year’s inaugural winner of the Premier Selection Awards, Mat McLean of Palate Restaurant in Hamilton, won the title with a dish centered around Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve beef eye-fillet and slow-cooked short-rib.
“Chefs are clearly catching on to the quality and consistency of our Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve beef. Over a third of the chefs are using it in their dish,” Angus says.
Angus believes this is partly due to the Silver Fern Farms’ Eating Quality System, which guarantees consistency, flavour and tenderness of their Premier Selection Reserve Beef range for restaurants.
Judging coordinator, Kerry Tyack, is keen to see what New Zealand’s top chefs can create: “The quality of entrants is again very high. Judges are eager to sample what New Zealand’s chefs can create with the best beef, lamb and venison cuts the country has to offer.”
Dishes will be judged on ‘what’s on the plate’; involving a number of criteria while ensuring the Silver Fern Farms or Silere cut chosen is the hero of the dish. Points will be awarded for presentation, preparation and cooking, taste and texture, and creativity.
Ten regional finalists will be selected from the five regions:
- Upper North Island
- Central North Island
- Lower North Island
- Upper South Island
- Lower South Island
Finalists will be announced on 10 November and will be re-judged to decide the ultimate winner who will receive their title in early February 2015 at a special event in Auckland.