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Auckland wild food winners announced

August 28, 2006

Auckland wild food winners announced

Wild venison and eel are the key ingredients of the winning Auckland region dishes in the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge.

The Imperial bar in the Viaduct and the Clevedon Hotel win the Informal and Formal Categories respectively in the annual competition which gives diners a Kiwi wild food experience.

The Imperial’s winning wild venison dish called I Deer You is matched with Monteith’s Celtic and takes out the informal award for bars and cafés.

Also serving wild venison, the Clevedon Hotel’s Stag and Saddle Bags is the second course in the formal category and is accompanied by Monteith’s Celtic as well. The first course, called Wai Kohua and containing smoked eel, is accompanied by Monteith’s Pilsner.

The Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge is voted by diners and enables them to experience wild cuisine, expertly matched with a craft brew at their local restaurant, café or bar. The Auckland winners now go forward to compete for the national title, to be announced at an awards dinner on October 11.

More than 160 restaurants entered the 2006 competition believed to be the only one of its kind anywhere in the world and now in its ninth year.

Entry criteria in 2006 have been widened to include both formal and informal dining occasions. Convenor of judges Kerry Tyack says the change extends the reach of the competition and makes it easier for pubs and first timers to enter.

“The aim of the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge is to educate chefs and diners about the unique taste experiences achieved by beer and food matching and to grow people’s understanding of how beer can accentuate and enhance food,” Mr Tyack says.

Monteith’s brand manager Phillipa Cameron says the beer is expertly matched.

“It’s a complete beer and food matching experience. Beer is an entirely credible match when it comes to complementing cuisine; in fact on some occasions it’s more appropriate to match food with beer, rather than wine,” Ms Cameron says.

“Monteith’s is a craft beer range with brews to suit even the wildest meal and occasion.”

The Auckland Region winners are:
 Informal category: The Imperial (Viaduct Harbour) with I Deer You comprising seared wild venison on Etheopian spices, tomato and brown lentil stew on feta and pumpkin slices in a filo pastry mask and matched with Monteith’s Celtic craft beer.
 Formal category: The Clevedon Hotel serving Wai Kohua, an eel broth with potted parawa rewena on the side matched with Monteith’s Pilsener; and, Stag and Saddle Bags comprising wild venison, oysters, Manuka cured bacon, kina, lime drizzle, peruperu, piko piko salad on watercress matched with Monteith’s Celtic.

New Zealand’s longest running beer and food matching / wild cuisine competition is competed for in eight regions over three weeks in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, and West Coast.

The Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge began on July 23 in the North Island and July 30 in the South Island. The Challenge concluded on Sunday 13 August in the North and the following Sunday 20 August in the South Island.

About the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge:

- Participants can either enter in the formal or informal category (formal entries must produce an entrée and main to be presented in a formal dining environment).

- The dish then needs to be matched to one of the Monteith’s family of six ‘Classic’ craft brews, including, Original Ale, Radler, Golden, Black, Celtic and Pilsner.

- Wild food can come from the sea, rivers or lake, the sky or the countryside.

- Each dish must comprise the best available wild food, defined as non-farm-raised produce reared under normal health and safety regulations.

- The winning restaurants from each region each win a prize package valued at $8,000. In addition, the national winner receives a prize package valued at $15,000.


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