Tastes of Central – The 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.
The People’s Choice winner in the Burger & Sandwich category is a tie between the Chatto Creek Lamb Sliders at the Chatto Creek Tavern and the Monteith’s Lamb Burger from Monteith’s Alexandra.
The largest category by number of dishes was the Main Meal Challenge with the Italian inspired ‘Gnocchi con sugo di agnello alla – Central Otago style’ from Armando’s Kitchen in the Cromwell Heritage Precinct taking out the top spot.
Pies were a favourite across the region with rabbit being a key ingredient in the three top offerings – the People’s Choice award in the Pie Challenge has been awarded to the Rabbit and Thyme Pie from Hannah’s Café located at the historic Hayes Engineering Homestead in Oturehua.
“This inaugural promotion has been incredibly well-received. We’ve had great feedback from the public through the voting process and our operators have indicated they’ve seen an increase in people coming out specifically to try their Eat.Taste.Central dishes,” said Campaign Manager Anthony Longman.
The top five dishes in each category of the People’s Choice Awards will now be served up to a judging panel this coming weekend to select the Overall Winners including best beverage match. Overall winners will be announced on Sunday 29 October.
The four-person guest judging panel features:
Sarah Meikle who is currently Chief Executive of the Wellington Culinary Events Trust. Within this role, Sarah is both the Festival Director of Visa Wellington On a Plate and Event Director of Beervana. Sarah is a passionate campaigner for telling New Zealand’s food story and advocating for the role that food plays in New Zealand’s culture.
Kate Morse and Eliot Thomas from Morsel, The Honest Food Co. Kate and Eliot have a combined experience of over 30 years working in restaurants, cafes and bars. From Auckland to London, the pair have developed a strong knowledge of wine, food and service within a thriving professional environment.
The fourth judge needs little introduction Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan joins the panel with a passion for food and wine, and a desire to taste as many pies as possible. A little known fact about Tim is that he previously owned and ran a small wine shop in Central Otago.
Top Five Results in the Eat.Taste.Central People’s Choice Awards
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
Burger & Sandwich
1st = Chatto Creek Lamb Sliders @ Chatto Creek Tavern
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
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