From fine dining to burgers, Central Otago chefs are continuing to prove there is nothing like a taste of the region.
Eat.Taste.Central, an annual celebration of the region’s wine, food, and beverage options, ran September 23 – October 24, with the winners announced at a special event at The Cloudy Bay Shed in Cromwell on Tuesday.
A three-person judging panel visited all the venues and tasted all 13 of the Regional Menu finalists during two days to select the winners in the four ‘‘dish’’ categories.
Judge Lillian McHugh, of event partner MiNDFOOD, said the flavours of Central Otago were captured in the dishes.
‘‘Each of the winning dishes is a stand-out and deserves to be recognised for its celebration of Central Otago’s world of flavour.’’
The inaugural Premium Plate Award went to Harry Bonning-Snook at The Cloudy Bay Shed for his Royalburn lamb tartare, which used local produce from every corner of the region and from each of the seasons to sing the Central Otago story.
E.T.C campaign manager Antz Longman said the annual event was a unique opportunity to showcase Central Otago while supporting local producers and growers.
The winners of the E.T.C Judges Awards for the regional menu:
Main meal: Pitches Store, Ophir — Provenance lamb loin
Burger and sandwich: Burger Afloat, Cromwell — Cardrona Baa burger
Pie: Carrick Winery & Restaurant, Bannockburn — rabbit pithivier
Premium Plate: The Cloudy Bay Shed, Cromwell — lamb tartare
The winners of the E.T.C Judges Awards for People and Businesses:
Front of house: Paula Moore, Buffalo’s American Food Co, Cromwell
Young talent: Ashleigh Cleland, Carrick Winery & Restaurant, Bannockburn
Chef / cook: Harry Bonning-Snook, The Cloudy Bay Shed, Cromwell
Highly commended: Susan Goodwin, Pitches Store, Ophir
Sustainability and innovation: Coffee & Burger Afloat, Cromwell