Palmerston North restaurant Aberdeen, and Auckland’s The Grove, have been judged the 2016 Plate of Origin Champions. Their winning Plate of Origin dish featured seared duck breast from Easterbrook Farms with a duck and peach crepinette, golden kumera, roasted shallot, peach puree and finished with duck jus.
The top class judges, Cuisine Magazine Editor Kelli Brett and UCOL Chef Tutor Mark Smith, loved the dish’s beautiful colours, contemporary presentation and its vibrant seasonal flavours. Brett said she enjoyed judging the competition but was especially blown away with the collaboration between the winning chefs, Craig Robinson and Josh Barlow.
“The sharing of techniques and knowledge, and the stretching to find alternatives for ingredients that might not have been readily available locally was great. It was also impressive to have Craig prep the crepinette in front of us showing the technique and his learning from the competition.”
Plate of Origin, run in association with Cuisine Magazine, Air New Zealand and Visa Wellington On a Plate, was hosted during the New Zealand Agri Investment Week as a way to engage the public on a national scale. Chef’s Choice and Brenda Wormgoor Photography also partnered the competition. A lot of the outstanding produce on display in the competition was used throughout the NZ Agri Investment Week at various high-level events, impressing people from around the world.
Director of New Zealand Agri Investment Week, Lance Bickford, believes the competition set a great tone for the Week. “It profiled premium value-added products and set the tone for the discussion during the Week. We needed to talk about the whole value chain, and not simply agriculture, and Plate of Origin allowed us to do that. It really captured the public’s imagination as well as food producers and the wider agri sector.”
Coming in as a close runner-up was Amayjen from Feilding partnered with Hopgood’s Restaurant, representing the Nelson-Tasman region. The pair’s dish featured Tasman Bay Snapper and Isla Capri Heritage Tomatoes, with the tomatoes being sourced fresh and sent to Feilding daily. A neck and neck competition, Nero’s from Palmerston North with Fredric’s from Taranaki followed tightly behind to take third. Proviner and Table 188 also took out a special award for innovation representing the Northland region.
A full feature is published in the May edition of Cuisine Magazine, out April 15th. Plans for a 2017 Plate of Origin are currently underway.