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Café competition comes to the boil

Café competition comes to the boil

It seems you don’t have to be in the ‘big smoke’ to be the best café in the country.

Cafés from Greymouth, Te Kuiti and Warkworth are among the top contenders in the race for the hotly contested title of NZ Café of the Year.

With more than 350 cafes involved in the nationwide competition, it is the small West Coast café Maggie’s Kitchen in Greymouth leading the competition, with the highest number of public votes, followed by Chocolate Brown (Warkworth), Urban Soul (Auckland), Bosco Café (Te Kuiti) and Paper Moon (Auckland).

Thousands of café lovers have voted in the inaugural competition which pits cafés from the length and breadth of the country against each other.

Iconic Kiwi brands Wattie’s and Kiwi Bacon, with the support of the Restaurant Association of NZ, are set to propel the winning New Zealand café to fame with a unique competition prize package.

The stakes are high – the winning café not only claims the title of NZ Café of the Year 2012, but also features on long-running prime time TV segment Food in a Minute.

Screening across two weeks, the Food in a Minute episodes are going to be filmed on-site at the café, and will showcase the award-winning beans and bacon dish, one of the entry criteria for entering.

Some heart-warming and mouth-watering recipes have been pouring in from café owners around the country ranging from Breakfast Tortillas to Spicy Bacon Bean Balls, Kiwi Brekky pies and Hangover Haystacks.

The NZ Café of the Year competition has New Zealanders voting for their favourite café, and more than 15,000 people have already done so. Public voting determines the 15 regional finalists, who then have their cafés judged on appearance, atmosphere, staff, meals and overall experience by an expert team of judges.

In addition, the winning café has its recipe emailed to the Food in a Minute database of more than 100,000 fans. The dish also features on recipe cards in-store at supermarkets. It also appears on the Food in a Minute and Café of the Year websites and Facebook pages.

“We’re just as excited as the café owners about this competition,” says Kristy Blackman, Kiwi Bacon senior marketing manager. “We’re proud to support an initiative that shines the spotlight on this vibrant and exciting industry.”

Café registrations are open until October 18 at, with public voting closing on October 28 and the overall winner announced in November.

The Food in a Minute segments featuring the winning dish are set to screen on TV1 and TV2 from 26 November.

For further information, go to


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