Owner and chef of Nero, Scott Kennedy and chef Kate Fay of Cibo in Auckland, have been named the winners of this year’s national Plate of Origin competition.
The winning dish was announced in the latest edition of Cuisine Magazine, which will hit shop shelves this coming Monday (April 9).
Kennedy and Fay teamed up to create a mouth-watering dish featuring Kahuterawa Angus sirloin from Manawatu, flavours of Te Matuku oysters from Waiheke Island, crisp beef tendons, heirloom tomatoes and sticky beef bonbon.
“We wanted to ensure the winning dish not only reflected the hero ingredients and skills that the visiting chef brings to the table, but that it also remained true to the local restaurant and its core customers,” said Kelli Brett, Cuisine Magazine editor and one half of the judging panel.
“This year’s winning dish did all of this and more, being innovative and creative while also reflecting and respecting the philosophy and culture at the heart of Nero,” she said.
This is the third annual Plate of Origin competition, which is also judged by the Universal College of Learning chef-lecturer, Mark Smith. The competition is run by the Central Economic Development Agency as part of New Zealand AgriFood Week, in collaboration with Cuisine Magazine.
While Plate of Origin is hosted in Manawatu, the competition is designed to showcase the country’s top chefs, restaurants and finest produce, on a national stage. This is achieved by allocating each participating Manawatu restaurant a region in which they must find a partnering restaurant. This year, a key requirement was for each dish to feature a product that’s specifically produced or grown in each of the partnering regions.
“What excites us at Cuisine magazine most about Plate of Origin is the collaborative spirit that is the heart of this competition,” Brett said.
“Hearing stories from chefs and restaurant owners about the opportunity to learn from one another and develop lasting relationships that build a stronger New Zealand hospitality network is inspiring.”
For Scott Kennedy, who has a string of other accolades to his name, winning the competition is a highlight for Nero as well as Manawatu. Both Kennedy and Fay are also Beef + Lamb Platinum Ambassadors.
“We are really chuffed. It is a hard competition to win because of all the variables with ingredients and different chefs and to get a win is fantastic,” he said. “It is great for Nero to be showcased in a national magazine, as well as Manawatu.”
“Seeing the excitement generated by the dishes as they are presented at participating restaurants in Palmerston North and Feilding is a credit to the team at CEDA. It is an impressive concept,” said Kelli Brett.
The other three top scoring dishes and restaurants are featured in the Cuisine Magazine article.
Other participating restaurants in Palmerston North and their partners include:
Aberdeen and Palate, Waikato
Table 188 and Mount Bistro, Bay of Plenty
The Fat Farmer and Meat & Liquor, Taranaki
La Patio Cafe and White Swan, Wellington/ Wairarapa
Amayjen and Gatherings, Christchurch
Nosh and Bracken in Dunedin
Wharerata also held a one-off showcase dinner featuring Nelson-Tasman