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New Zealand's Best Red Meat Chefs Announced


Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards 2015 Winners Announced


10 February 2016

Auckland’s Botswana Butchery has taken out the title of Premier Master of Fine Cuisine at the Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards, held in Auckland last night.

The popular restaurant also won awards for Best Beef Dish and Best Metropolitan Restaurant.

Executive Chef Stuart Rogan, who manages Botswana Butchery in Auckland and Queenstown as well as Auckland’s Harbourside Ocean Bar and Grill, impressed judges with his dish: Silver Fern Farms Reserve beef eye fillet, braised short rib with parsley, mustard and horseradish crust, carrot puree, asparagus, whipped garlic and cep jus. Head judge Kerry Tyack described Rogan’s dish as ‘consistent and faultless’.

“This dish set the bar with its superb technique and stunning celebration of the art of meat preparation. The whipped garlic was the masterstroke that tied it all together. It was considered, colourful, carefully combined and ultimately satisfying,” he said.

Other Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards winners are: Palate Restaurant in Hamilton (the 2013 Premier Master of Fine Cuisine and a 2014 runner-up) and Salt on The Waterfront in New Plymouth for Best Lamb Dish (joint winners); Pravda Café in Wellington (a 2013 finalist) for Best Venison Dish; and Pitches Store in Ophir, Central Otago, for Best Regional.

Tyack said the entrants in the Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards continue to raise the bar, and selecting a winner from such a high caliber of entrants was challenging.

Silver Fern Farms general manager marketing, Sharon Angus, says she was surprised at the number of venison dishes in this year’s awards. “It’s been an especially popular choice, with 39% of all entrants using venison, and five of the twelve finalist dishes featuring this protein. This reflects the growing trend for chefs to use this versatile, lean and healthy red meat choice, which is a pattern we are also seeing filtering down to home cooks.” she said.

The Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards, now in their third year, celebrate the artistry and creativity of New Zealand’s top red meat chefs by inviting them to create an original dish using a Silver Fern Farms cut of lamb, beef, venison or SILERE alpine origin merino.

Sixty-two entrants from Kerikeri to Queenstown were narrowed down to twelve finalists, who were re-judged by Kerry Tyack and Tony Adcock, both well-respected critics in the food and beverage industry and experienced judges in national food competitions.

Diners can experience the finalist and winning dishes until the end of March 2016.


Additional information:

The winners and their dishes are:

Botswana Butchery, Auckland

Executive chef Stuart Rogan

Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve beef eye fillet, braised short rib with parsley, mustard and horseradish crust, carrot puree, asparagus, whipped garlic, cep jus

Palate Restaurant, Hamilton

Head chef/owner Mat McLean

Assiette of Silver Fern Farms lamb with broad beans, artichoke, peppers and olives

Salt on The Waterfront, New Plymouth

Head Chef Freddie Ponder

Herb crusted Silver Fern Farms lamb with smoked pepper and fennel

Pravda Café, Wellington

Sous Chef Johannes van Kekem

Smoked Silver Fern Farms Venison back strap, cured in gin and juniper with venison sweetbreads, on a celeriac, apple and walnut salad with a blood orange dressing

Pitches Store, Ophir

Head chef Daniel Hill

Smoked eye fillet of Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve Beef and green tea

Additional finalists and their dishes are:

Plume Restaurant, Matakana

Head chef Atesh Ram

Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve beef eye fillet, pomme-anna potato, venison filo agar, red onion marmalade, port wine jus

Wine Chambers, Auckland

Head chef Daniel Ellis

Silver Fern Farm Venison loin on wild mushroom risotto, truffle paste, baby spinach, pine nuts, parmesan

Mills Reef Restaurant, Tauranga

Head Chef Attila Kovacs

Silver Fern Farms lamb rump, dahl croquette, chilled cucumber & mint terrine, tamarind jus

Carrick, Cromwell

Head Chef Gwen Harvie

Silver Fern Farms oven roasted venison on a warm puy lentil, heirloom tomato, truffle & rocket salad, thyme jus.

Wakatipu Grill at The Hilton, Queenstown

Sous chef Jaeyong Jang

SILERE alpine origin merino loin, smoked aubergine puree, gochujang glazed young vegetables, mint pea soil, quinoa crumbed house made labne, Madeira jus

Judging panel:

Kerry Tyack is judging coordinator of the Premier Selection Awards for a third year. Kerry has worked as an independent writer, critic and educator in the New Zealand food and drinks industry for a number of years. He is head judge of the Cuisine Good Food Awards, a judge for the NZ Beef & Lamb Awards, part of the panel that judges the annual NZ Café Awards and is also head judge of the NZ Sausage Competition.

Tony Adcock is one of this country’s most experienced restaurateurs. He was made a member of the NZ Restaurant Association Hall of Fame in 1996. (This award is reserved for those who have made an extensive and on-going commitment to New Zealand’s hospitality industry.) Tony is a regular judge of the Cuisine Good Food Awards and was on the panel for the 2014 Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards. Through his association with the NZ Restaurant Association he mentors restaurants within the hospitality industry on all aspects of running a successful business.

Premier Selection Awards finalists and winners:

Plume Restaurant, MatakanaCable Bay Vineyard Restaurant, Waiheke IslandMolten Restaurant, Auckland
Botswana Butchery, Auckland

(2015 Premier Master of Fine Cuisine, Best Beef Dish, Best Metro)

Bracu Restaurant, Auckland


O’Connell St Bistro, Auckland
Wine Chambers, AucklandPalate Restaurant, Hamilton


Palate Restaurant, Hamilton

(2013 Premier Master of Fine Cuisine)

Palate Restaurant, Hamilton

(Best Lamb Dish – joint winner)

Mount Bistro, TaurangaVictoria Street Bistro, Hamilton
Mills Reef Restaurant, TaurangaNo 8 Bar & Brasserie, Whitanga

(2014 Premier Master of Fine Cuisine)

Peppertree Restaurant, Coromandel
Salt on The Waterfront, New Plymouth

(Best Lamb Dish – joint winner)

Hippopotamus Restaurant at The Museum Art Hotel, WellingtonLogan Brown, Wellington
Pravda Café, Wellington

(Best Venison Dish)

Artisan Restaurant, WellingtonPravda Café, Wellington
Muse on Allen, WellingtonFreemans Dining Room, ChristchurchSaggio di Vino, Christchurch
Freemans Dining Room, ChristchurchChillingworth Road, ChristchurchGantleys Restaurant, Queenstown
Carrick, CromwellWakatipu Grill at The Hilton, QueenstownPier 24, Dunedin
Wakatipu Grill at The Hilton, QueenstownCarrick, Cromwell
Pitches Store, Ophir (Central Otago)

(Best Regional)

Two Chefs Bistro, Dunedin

For more information and the full list of finalists in the Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards (including dish photos and chef bios) please go to a dedicated hub for the awards at:

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