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.
“After placing second last year, we were pushing to take the top spot. It’s a great feeling and winning the People’s Choice competition as well is the icing on the cake,” says Chef May.
This winning dish, created by Chef May and Arbour Head Chef and Owner, Bradley Hornby, represented the Marlborough region. The hero products the chef’s selected from sunny Marlborough included Premium Game’s wild fallow venison, black garlic, Sanford’s blue mussels, Taylor Pass honey and Marlborough Garlic’s ‘Garlic Noir’. Chef Hornby believes that Marlborough produce deserves to be recognised on a national scale and is glad this has been noticed during Plate of Origin.
“Arbour is surrounded by world class producers. They spend a lot of time in our restaurant, and we spend time out in their world. This makes our offering at Arbour quite personal to us and our community and our flavour distinctly Marlborough. We are extremely proud that Arbour and Amayjen were able to take Marlborough produce right through to the winning dish,” says Chef Hornby.
Judges, Kelli Brett (Cuisine) and Mark Smith (UCOL), said they found the task of choosing just one dish as the winner “agonising”. Ultimately though Amayjen and Arbour’s partnership won because of their “thoughtful and respectful dish that showcased an impressive mix of techniques.”