2017 Eat.Taste.Central Awards

The inaugural Eat.Taste.Central Central Otago Regional Menu came to a close on Sunday when participating venues gathered at Monteith’s in Alexandra to hear the judges’ decisions for the top dishes. The Eat.Taste.Central judges had been on a whirlwind Central Otago road trip over 36 hours, tasting 15 dishes across the three categories: pie, burger/sandwich and main meal.

The four-person judging panel consisted of Wellington on a Plate and Beervana event organiser Sarah Meikle, Eliot and Kate Morse from Morsel Honest Food Co, and Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan.

The hard task of analysing and discussing the dishes resulted in the awarding of four winners, and two highly commended results. The Burger & Sandwich category was awarded to the Chatto Creek Lamb Sliders from the Chatto Creek Tavern. The dish featured truly local Rockdale lamb, which was described as “from over the back fence” by tavern owner Lesley Middlemass. The lamb was dusted in a locally inspired dukkah served on a European bakery slider with slaw and grilled halloumi and matched with a Chatto Creek Riesling.

The Pie category was introduced by judge Sarah Meikle, who said “Pies are an area that Central Otago can truly hang its hat on. Three of the five finalists featured rabbit in their pies some even with bunny ears on top – showing connection to the regions association with rabbits.”

The judges awarded a Highly Commended to Chatto Creek Tavern’s Wabbit Pie. The overall award for best pie was given to Pitches Store in Ophir for their Rabbit and Ophir Thyme Pie. This pie showed perfect cooking of pastry, clear and strong flavours, and was beautifully presented and matched with a local Ferris Road Trail Ale.

The Eat.Taste.Central main meal section was diverse in flavourings with five dishes serving a range of lamb, goat and venison in various ways by the Chatto Creek Tavern, Armando’s Kitchen, Mt Difficulty Winery Restaurant, Ancient Briton Hotel and Paulina’s Restaurant.

The winning dish and overall Judges’ Supreme Award was given to the Provenance Lamb Shoulder from the Ancient Briton Hotel. The dish was locally sourced Provenance lamb shoulder slow cooked, served with grilled haloumi, caramelised shallots, roast yams, turnip and root vegetable medley and a sweet sherry jus. The lamb was matched with the new in-house Naseby Brewing Porter a smooth and quality beer that again left the judges desiring more. The judges were unanimous that the dish was the “best” lamb that they had ever tasted. As Adrian Hood and Jan from the Ancient Briton Hotel were unable to attend the prizegiving the award was accepted by David and Glenys Crutchley of Shortlands Station and Provenance Meats.

Central Otago Mayor and E.T.C Judge Tim Cadogan said “Eat.Taste.Central was a standout event from Tourism Central Otago that local restaurants, bars, cafes and the public got alongside brilliantly. It has showcased just how fantastic the dining experience is throughout the length and breadth of Central Otago. It provides a great focal point into the future for the creation of great dishes highlighting the produce and excellence of Central Otago.”

2017 Eat.Taste.Central People’s Choice Winners

The inaugural People’s Choice section of Eat.Taste.Central has finished and the winners are spread across the region from Alexandra, Cromwell, Chatto Creek and Oturehua.

The Eat.Taste.Central promotion was coordinated by Tourism Central Otago to highlight the diverse range of food and wine establishments, and quality of service available across the entire Central Otago district. Participating venues have offered unique Central Otago menu offerings across the three sections from 20 September – 23 October.

The People’s Choice Awards are based on number of online votes received combined with the scores given to each dish by voters.

Top Five Results in the Eat.Taste.Central People’s Choice Awards are:

Eat.Taste.Central People's Choice - Pies
1st Thyme & Rabbit Pie – Hannah’s Café, Oturehua
2nd Wabbit Pie – Chatto Creek Tavern, Chatto Creek
3rd Rabbit & Ophir Thyme Pie – Pitches Store, Ophir
4th Lamb Shank Pie – Blacks Hotel, Ophir
5th Venison & Kumara Pie – Faigan’s Café, Millers Flat

Eat.Taste.Central People's Choice - Burger & Sandwich
1st = Chatto Creek Lamb Sliders @ Chatto Creek Tavern and the Monteith’s Lamb Burger @ Monteith’s Alexandra
3rd Black & Blue Burger @ Blacks Hotel, Ophir
4th Big Bike Burger @ Oturehua Hotel
5th Pulled Lamb & Apple Slaw Ciabatta @ Maniototo Café, Ranfurly

Eat.Taste.Central People's Choice Main Meals
1st Gnocchi con Sugo di Agnello alla – Central Otago style @ Armando’s Kitchen, Cromwell
2nd Provenance Lamb Shoulder @ Ancient Briton Hotel, Naseby
2nd Slow Cooked Shingle Creek Chevon @ Paulina’s Restaurant, Clyde
4th = Merino Lamb Rump @ Mt Difficulty Winery Restaurant, Bannockburn
4th = Red Tussock Back Strap of Wild Venison @ Chatto Creek Tavern
Planning
Otago Central Rail Trail
Discover New Zealand's Original Great Ride - The Otago Central Rail Trail is a relaxing 4-5 day ride through big sky landscapes and through historic townships. Read More

Roxburgh Gorge Trail
Explore New Zealand's Grand Canyon - The Roxburgh Gorge Trail is a unique one day experience. Described as 'Another World' this 34km trail includes a unique jet boat transfer. Read More

Clutha Gold Trail
A 73km journey of discovery through a tapestry of diverse landscapes from seductively rugged semi-arid dry lands through to lush green contoured farmlands that follow powerful Clutha Mata Au River. Read More

Mountain Bike Trails
Whether you’re looking for an adrenalin-pumping single track descent, a long backcountry journey, or a heli biking adventure then the Central Otago region has an experience to suit your style. Read More

Cycle a Great Ride
Central Otago boasts three of NZ's best trails. Otago Central Rail Trail - the original great ride; Roxburgh Gorge Trail - a unique one-day trail complete with jet boat ride; Clutha Gold Trail - a journey of discovery along the mighty Clutha Mata-au river. Read More

Cycling & Mountain Biking Trails
Central Otago boasts a diversity of cycling and mountain bike trails that beckon the cyclist to experience the freedom and the joy of getting off the beaten track. Read More

Clutha Gold Trail
The Clutha Gold Trail is one of the 'Great Rides' of the Nga Haerenga, New Zealand Cycle Trail. The trail is full of variety - from undulating to flat to meandering, there is a journey of discovery around every corner. Read More

Getting to Central Otago
The Central Otago region is located in the middle of the South Island of New Zealand. A scenic a 1hr drive from Queenstown International Airport and accessible via road from Dunedin & Christchurch airports. Read More

Roxburgh Gorge Trail
A spectacular one-day ride through truly iconic country between Alexandra and Roxburgh Dam along the Clutha Mata-au River is a trail worth exploring. Read More

Motorsport Mecca
Be amazed at Highlands in Cromwell. With a world class museum, range of on and off track activities and annual events there is something for everyone whether a car fanatic or not. Read More

Central Otago Wine
Indulge yourself in a premium Central Otago wine at one of the many wineries or cellar doors in the Cromwell and Alexandra basins – sensational! Read More
E.T.C - Main Meals
E.T.C - Main Meals Inspired by the Central Otago landscapes, flavours and people our restaurants and cafes have been challenged to create a uniquely Central main meal. Read More

E.T.C - Pies
E.T.C - Pies We’ve challenged local cafes and restaurants to create a unique pie that celebrates our flavours (and fills your belly). Read More

E.T.C - Burgers & Sandwichs
E.T.C - Burgers & Sandwichs Where in Central Otago has the best burger or sandwich that represents our regions character and flavours. Read More
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