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Clean sweep for Amayjen and Arbour!

The 2017 Plate of Origin competition has been taken out by Amayjen from Feilding and Arbour from Marlborough – they have taken a clean sweep after winning the People’s Choice competition as well.

Plate of Origin in association with FoodHQ and supported by Cuisine and Visa Wellington On a Plate, is a national food competition that highlights the finest New Zealand food offerings involving ten regions and twenty restaurants. The competition ensures all entered dishes feature two hero ingredients that represent the chosen region.

2017 marks the second year the competition has been run and was hosted across the wider Manawatu region as part of the New Zealand AgriFood Investment Week (13-18 March). Amayjen chef and owner, Andrew May says he and his wife Jenni and the entire team are over the moon with the win.

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Judging of Plate of Origin

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It was a jam-packed two days for Cuisine Magazine editor Kelli Brett and UCOL’s Head Chef Lecturer Mark Smith as they determined the 2016 Plate of Origin Champion.

Over the course of 48 hours, both judges went to each of the ten Manawatu restaurants and tried every Plate of Origin dish. From salmon, to duck, to goats’ cheese and even a secret recipe quince puree, the judges were treated to a wide range of New Zealand’s premium produce. Each tasting was pre-arranged so the chefs were able to prepare the dishes specifically for the judges. Continue Reading…

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The Ora King Experience

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A fish with some fabulous features makes Ora King salmon a perfect premium product to use in Plate of Origin. Although a reasonably new brand, Ora King has a long and fascinating tale to tell of how this fish variety has gained global recognition.

The top of the South Island is the hub for this kiwi culinary treasure and Arbour and Jimmy Cook’s have teamed up to feature it as a key ingredient in their Marlborough dish. With decades of research and trials, the Ora King salmon team have developed methods of farming their fish that best replicate the natural life cycles of salmon. King salmon eggs destined to produce Ora King salmon are nurtured in the crystal clear waters flowing from Te Waikoropupu Springs at the hatchery in Takaka. With an average of 14,000 litres of fresh water bubbling to the surface every second, the waters of this region have been verified as some of the clearest waters in the world, an ideal beginning to the life cycle for Ora King salmon.

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Roaring Raukumara

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Raukumara Red owner Adam Finlayson has a job of great responsibility – bringing a taste of the wild East Coast bush of the Raukumara ranges to the plates of restaurants all of over the country. Adam and the team at Raukumara Red have turned a passion and a hobby into a worthwhile business supplying wild venison.

The Raukumara Red Venison is a favourite at Bay of Plenty restaurant, Harbourside, where Head Chef Cam Ward will be highlighting it in his partnership with Dean Harris, Head Chef at La Patio, for their Plate of Origin dish. Cam ensures Raukumara Venison makes a regular appearance on the menu of Harbourside, saying “We use Raukumara Venison firstly for the quality and consistency of the product, and secondly for their holistic production methods which fits with our desire to use local producers wherever possible”.

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Merino Lamb – beyond the wool

A unique product with a very exclusive supply, Cardrona Merino lamb is bringing the pride of the high country in the south to Plate of Origin. Nosh and Bracken Restaurant will be using Cardrona Merino lamb as one of their hero Otago ingredients in their Plate of Origin dish and will be paired with Bracken Larder Quince Puree – a hard to beat combo.

Merino lamb is nothing like your regular chop. The sheep are grazed on the high country in the south, on a diet of mainly native grasses. The combination of a unique diet and the terrain the sheep are run on, results in a texture and composition of meat far different to what you’d expect from your average lamb.

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Cilantro Goat’s Cheese

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One of the hero ingredients in the Plate of Origin 2016 dish by Chim Choo Ree and The Strong Room is Cilantro Cheese, and although it’s a small business it sure stands tall with it’s unique design and taste. 

The brainchild of Jenny and Monica, Cilantro Cheese is the what happens when you combine two scientists and a gift of cheese making kit for Christmas! Specialising in goat and sheep’s milk cheeses, the duo were both working at AgResearch until seven years ago, when circumstances meant less time at work and more time getting out the cheese-making gift Jenny had received for Christmas.

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2016 Plate of Origin WINNER

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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. Continue Reading…