Premium quality red meat is set to star on menus throughout New Zealand as Silver Fern Farms celebrates the fifth anniversary of their annual Restaurant Awards. Founded in 2013 these Awards recognise the creativity and artistry of New Zealand’s top chefs showcasing their craft and expertise using Silver Fern Farms natural grass-fed, red meat.
The Awards feature exciting changes this year with two new categories. Judges will be on the search for a new Emerging Chef and the new Restaurant of the Year Award. Judging criteria is based on presenting the very best red meat dish, as well as the delicious and inspirational food experience restaurants provide for diners.
Chefs were invited to enter their unique dish using premium cuts of Silver Fern Farms beef, lamb or venison. The entries received reinforce that there is a growing demand amongst discerning diners for dishes that deliver on the expectation of untouched natural, authentic and delicious food.
Marketing Manager Food Service, Bernie de Bono says, “The awards give professional chefs an opportunity to create a memorable taste encounter for diners while also being recognised for their creativity and expertise. We want to provide them with the finest natural grass-fed red meat so they can express their craft and innovation to produce extraordinary results for diners.”
“We are excited about the growth of the awards, the excellent calibre of more than 60 entrants this year reflects the esteem that New Zealand chefs have for them,” says Bernie De Bono. “We know from working closely with them through the Restaurant Awards that product consistency is critical. Being able to deliver on this is important to us because we set ourselves high standards when it comes to supplying premium quality red meat here in New Zealand as well as in international markets.”
A change of season for the judging period, from October to March and April has encouraged chefs to showcase autumn produce as part of their premium quality red meat culinary creations.
Our judges will be out and about reviewing the 63 delectable dishes across the country to discover who will make the final cut. As well as excellent meat preparation they will be looking for inspired use of seasonal produce, demonstrating great technique and delivering on taste through the use of a combination of ingredients on the plate that complement the red meat hero dish.
De Bono says, “It’s also very rewarding to see the high number of chefs in the regions taking part. We have first time entries from restaurants in towns including Whangarei, Cambridge, Matamata and Putaruru in the North Island and Akaroa and Clyde in the South Island. The breadth and depth of entries this year reflects the very high quality of chefs throughout the whole country, not just in the main centres, allowing passionate foodies from across the country to experience inspirational food.”
Twelve finalists will be announced in early May and the head judges Catherine Bell and Geoff Scott will revisit each finalist restaurant and mark them against a set of strict criteria. At least one finalist will be selected from the following regions:
- Central North Island
- Lower North Island
- Upper South Island
- Lower South Island
Diners can taste the uniquely prepared Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards dishes, featuring Silver Fern Farms natural grass-fed, red meat, from menus at participating restaurants from Thursday 8 March to Monday 12 April.