Food Glorious Food - Eat Taste Central Judges Award Best Tastes in Central Otago

Central Otago café and restaurant staff have baked, roasted, seared, brewed and fermented their way to offer 34 dishes and 32 matching beverages from all over Central Otago over the past four weeks and now the results are in.

This year’s supreme winner is the 48 Hour Braised Short Beef Rib at Olivers Restaurant in Clyde.

Convenor of Judges Michelle McHugh from MiNDFOOD Media said that the standard of the dishes that the panel judged over two days was incredibly high.

“There was an amazing variety of entries all using local ingredients. To see the connection between what you put on the plate and your local producers, and to hear the stories behind each dish was something special.

“It was also great to see the care and thought that has gone into matching the dishes with some of Central Otago’s stand-out wines, craft beers and locally made juices. The dishes and the matches would stand up to some pretty serious competition from restaurants across Australia and New Zealand,” she added.

The supreme dish was created by Olivers’ head chef James Waite and the beef rib was complement by a truffle mash, confit carrot, crispy shallots, beets & madeira jus.

Olivers’ owner David Ritchie said it was an honour to be recognised with the Eat.Taste.Central award.

“I suspect that lots of people don’t expect to find such good cuisine in what might appear to be such out-of-the-way places, but as anyone who has explored further in Central Otago knows, we boast some great food and beverage combinations in this part of the world. I’m very proud of our chef James and his team and Olivers’ reputation.” he said.

Olivers was not the only winner on the night. The judges presented Alexandra’s Courthouse Cafe with best ‘Burger and Sandwich’ for its Lamb Thyme Burger, Olivers 48 Hour Braised Beef Rib best ‘Main Meal’, Chatto Creek Tavern’s Wagu Beef and Porter Pie best Pie, and the Maniototo Café in Ranfurly won best Sweet & Dessert for their Raw Black Forest Cheesecake.

Last year’s supreme winner the Ancient Briton Hotel was also highly commended by the judges for ‘best match’ for a Rope Tied Denver Leg Venison matched with Wild Earth 2015 Pinot Noir. Scott Base vineyard received highly commended in the Burger & Sandwich category for ‘Bubbles & Brie’, and the Chatto Creek Tavern was highly commended for their Chatto Creek Braised Chevron.

By popular vote in the People’s Choice Awards, the Waipiata Country Hotel took out top honours by winning in three of the four categories with their ‘Maniototo Lamb Burger’ and the ‘Taste Maniototo Sharing Platter’. Their ‘Waipiata Rhubarb Cake’ placed first equal in the Sweet and Dessert category with ‘Ernestine Hayes’ Steamed Fruit Pudding’ from Hannah’s Kitchen @ Hayes Engineering. Alexandra’s Eat Humble Pie won the People’s Choice Pie Award for a Venison and Pinot Pie.

Waipiata Country Hotel’s General Manager Mark Button said the team were “really stoked” to have won awards in the People’s Choice competition.

“Country hotels play an important part in local communities and they give visitors a real taste of what Central Otago is all about.”

Judges Supreme Award - Olivers Restaurant, Clyde - 48hr Braised Short Beef Rib

Judges Main Meal Challenge - Olivers Restaurant, Clyde - 48hr Braised Short Beef Rib
    Highly Commended - Chatto Creek Tavern - Chatto Creek Braised Pressed Chevon

Judges Burger & Sandwich Challenge - Courthouse Café, Alexandra - Lamb Thyme Burger
    Highly Commended - Scott Base Vineyard - Bubbles & Brie

Judges Pie Challenge - Chatto Creek Tavern - Wagu Beef & Porter Pie

Judges Sweet & Dessert Challenge - Maniototo Cafe - Raw Black Forest Cheesecake
    Highly Commended - Courthouse Cafe - Pavlova with Berries

Judges Award for Best Beverage Match - Ancient Briton Hotel - Rope Tied Denver Leg Venison with 2015 Wild Earth Pinot Noir

Peoples Choice Finalists were: (winner in bold)

Burger & Sandwich Challenge
Waipiata Country Hotel - Maniototo Lamb Burger

Chatto Creek Tavern - Rockdale Spicy Lamb Burger
Courthouse Cafe - Lamb Thyme Burger
Scott Base Vineyard - Bubbles & Brie
Hannah's Kitchen @ Hayes - Llew Hayes' Workers Sandwich

Main Meal Challenge
Waipiata Country Hotel - Taste Maniototo Sharing Platter

Moorings Restaurant - Carnivore's Platter
Olivers Restaurant - 48hr Braised Short Beef Rib
Ancient Briton Hotel - Rope Tied Denver Leg Venison
Chatto Creek Tavern - Chatto Creek Braised Pressed Chevon
Carrick Restaurant – Bannockburn Gameboard
Paulina’s Restaurant - Beef, Mushroom, Tortellini & Truffle Sauce

Pie Challenge
Eat Humble Pie - Venison & Pinot Pie

Waipiata Country Hotel - Slow Cooked Steak & Cheese Pie
Moorings Restaurant - Flintstone Pie
Chatto Creek Tavern - Wagu Beef & Porter Pie
Hannah's Kitchen @ Hayes - Ernest Hayes Wild Venison Pie

Sweet & Dessert
Waipiata Country Hotel - Waipiata Rhubarb Cake (1st Equal)
Hannah's Kitchen @ Hayes - Ernestine Hayes' Steamed Fruit Pudding (1st Equal)

Courthouse Cafe - Pavlova with Berries
Chatto Creek Tavern - Strawberry Panna Cotta
Maniototo Cafe - Raw Black Forest Cheesecake
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