Auckland’s Botswana Butchery has taken out the title of Premier Master of Fine Cuisine at the Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards, held in Auckland last Tuesday.
The popular restaurant also won awards for Best Beef Dish and Best Metropolitan Restaurant.
Executive Chef Stuart Rogan, who manages Botswana Butchery in Auckland and Queenstown as well as Auckland’s Harbourside Ocean Bar and Grill, impressed judges with his dish: Silver Fern Farms Reserve beef eye fillet, braised short rib with parsley, mustard and horseradish crust, carrot puree, asparagus, whipped garlic and cep jus. Head 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. The whipped garlic was the masterstroke that tied it all together. It was considered, colourful, carefully combined and ultimately satisfying,” he said.
Other Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards winners are: Palate Restaurant in Hamilton (the 2013 Premier Master of Fine Cuisine and a 2014 runner-up) and Salt on The Waterfront in New Plymouth for Best Lamb Dish (joint winners); Pravda Café in Wellington (a 2013 finalist) for Best Venison Dish; and Pitches Store in Ophir, Central Otago, for Best Regional.
Tyack said the entrants in the Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards continue to raise the bar, and selecting a winner from such a high caliber of entrants was challenging.
Silver Fern Farms general manager marketing, Sharon Angus, says she was surprised at the number of venison dishes in this year’s awards. “It’s been an especially popular choice, with 39% of all entrants using venison, and five of the twelve finalist dishes featuring this protein. This reflects the growing trend for chefs to use this versatile, lean and healthy red meat choice, which is a pattern we are also seeing filtering down to home cooks.” she said.
The Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards, now in their third year, celebrate the artistry and creativity of New Zealand’s top red meat chefs by inviting them to create an original dish using a Silver Fern Farms cut of lamb, beef, venison or SILERE alpine origin merino.
Sixty-two entrants from Kerikeri to Queenstown were narrowed down to twelve finalists, who were re-judged by Kerry Tyack and Tony Adcock, both well-respected critics in the food and beverage industry and experienced judges in national food competitions.
Diners can experience the finalist and winning dishes until the end of March 2016.
The full line up of winners and their dishes is:
Botswana Butchery, Auckland
Executive chef Stuart Rogan
Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve beef eye fillet, braised short rib with parsley, mustard and horseradish crust, carrot puree, asparagus, whipped garlic, cep jus
Palate Restaurant, Hamilton
Head chef/owner Mat McLean
Assiette of Silver Fern Farms lamb with broad beans, artichoke, peppers and olives
Salt on The Waterfront, New Plymouth
Head Chef Freddie Ponder
Herb crusted Silver Fern Farms lamb with smoked pepper and fennel
Pravda Café, Wellington
Sous Chef Johannes van Kekem
Smoked Silver Fern Farms Venison back strap, cured in gin and juniper with venison sweetbreads, on a celeriac, apple and walnut salad with a blood orange dressing
Pitches Store, Ophir
Head chef Daniel Hill
Smoked eye fillet of Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve Beef and green tea
Additional finalists and their dishes are:
Plume Restaurant, Matakana
Head chef Atesh Ram
Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve beef eye fillet, pomme-anna potato, venison filo agar, red onion marmalade, port wine jus
Wine Chambers, Auckland
Head chef Daniel Ellis
Silver Fern Farm Venison loin on wild mushroom risotto, truffle paste, baby spinach, pine nuts, parmesan
Mills Reef Restaurant, Tauranga
Head Chef Attila Kovacs
Silver Fern Farms lamb rump, dahl croquette, chilled cucumber & mint terrine, tamarind jus
Head Chef Gwen Harvie
Silver Fern Farms oven roasted venison on a warm puy lentil, heirloom tomato, truffle & rocket salad, thyme jus.
Wakatipu Grill at The Hilton, Queenstown
Sous chef Jaeyong Jang
SILERE alpine origin merino loin, smoked aubergine puree, gochujang glazed young vegetables, mint pea soil, quinoa crumbed house made labne, Madeira jus