Pāmu Deer Milk  has won the Novel Food or Beverage Award for its ground breaking deer milk product at the Massey University New Zealand Food Awards held last week at SkyCity.

“The Food Awards are all about rewarding innovation, which makes this acknowledgement very meaningful to us,” says Pāmu Chief Executive, Steve Carden. “We spent over three years testing and trialling deer milk and have been incredibly pleased with the reception it has received amongst the restaurant industry. We knew it had broad appeal for desserts but have been really inspired by the range of savoury applications we’ve seen chefs across the country develop. Some chefs have even created deer-milk cocktails.”

This year’s New Zealand Food Awards considered sixty-seven products from over fifty companies and featured a panel of culinary judges including Bite magazine’s Ray McVinnie, chef Geoff Scott, World Kitchen television host and chef Nici Wickes, and New Zealand’s only certified cicerone (beer expert), Josh Scott.

Criteria for the Novel Food or Beverage Award focused on product innovation and meant that manufacturers had to demonstrate their achievements in this area. Pāmu deer milk epitomises this award – not only by creating new ways of farming and milking, but also by developing a product that has multiple applications and commercial appeal. Pāmu deer milk is a unique and luxurious ingredient that contributes a creamy texture to recipes of all kinds. It is exclusively available on the menus of some of the most renowned and acclaimed restaurants across the country, including Amisfield (Queenstown), Charley Noble (Wellington) and Cibo (Auckland).

“We’re adding value to the existing New Zealand agriculture infrastructure by championing a new way of farming. Deer milk is a perfect example of this,” continued Carden. “To make this product possible we had to develop brand new ways of farming, new milk systems and unique ways of processing the delicate deer milk.”

“This is why we think the future of New Zealand agriculture is really exciting – new super premium products from a totally new farm system that require lots of what NZ farmers do best – innovation,” Mr Carden concluded.