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Wellington Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge Winners


June 20, 2002

Wellington Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge Winners Announced

Brava Restaurant in Courtney Place has been judged overall winner of the Wellington 2002 Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge at the annual awards function at Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club last night.

The Wellington restaurants taking away awards included the Novotel Capital Wellington for Best Individual Beer and Food match; Brava and the Backbencher Pub & Café were joint winners of the Best Spirit Award; Chow and The Grand for the Best Service Award; and Kopi Malaysian Restaurant & Espresso Cafe winner of the inaugural Consumer Choice Award of the annual Challenge.

Convenor of judges, Neil McInnes says Brava impressed the judges with its creativity, flair and consistent quality accompanied with excellent service.

“Brava demonstrated real commitment and a thorough understanding of what the Challenge is all about,” says Mr McInnes. “It scored highly across all sectors of the competition.”

Brava’s chefs created two dishes for the Challenge including an entree called “Another Legless Boar”, which consisted of wild pork shank terrine with grilled hunter's bread matched with Monteith’s Pilsner; and a main called “Thar Very Much”, which comprised of Thar braised in wild stock Monteith’s Celtic Beer & Ibarra Mexican chocolate with sauteed spaetzle and matched with Monteith’s Celtic beer.

The Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge is now in its fifth year and is recognised as a reputable competition nation wide. It celebrates the coming together of great cuisine and the quality beers of New Zealand’s most popular craft beer, Monteith’s.

Monteith’s brand manager, Lisa Dymand, says the calibre of dishes, service and beer and food matches in all six competing centres has been extremely high.

“This year the quality of entries and the amount of effort restaurants have put into the Challenge has been truly outstanding – the best yet,” Ms Dymand says.

“Feedback from the judges show all the chef’s involved have a strong grasp of food and beer matching, and the particular Monteith’s beer styles that bring out the best in various food flavours, “ she says.

To compete each restaurant must create a unique two-course meal utilising New Zealand’s finest wild foods and match each course with a glass of Monteith’s beer - Monteith’s Black Beer, Monteith’s Pilsner Beer; Monteith’s Celtic Beer; Monteith’s Original Ale; Monteith’s Golden Lager.

Criteria for entry into the Challenge includes the use of wild foods that are essentially non-farmed produce reared under normal health and safety regulations but excluding endangered species. Some of the most wild dishes in this year’s Challenge have included quail, pheasant, eel, and possum.

A complete list of the Wellington winners follows:
- Overall Winner : Brava Restaurant.
- Best Individual Beer and Food Match: Novotel Capital Wellington.
- Best Service: Chow and The Grand (Joint Winners)
- Best Spirit of the Challenge: Brava and The Backbencher Cafe and Bar (Joint Winners)
- Consumer Choice Award: Kopi Malaysian Restaurant & Espresso Café.

Brava receives a prize package valued at over $8,000. This includes cash, product, merchandise and a half-page editorial feature in Cuisine magazine.

The Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge continues in the remaining cities until the following dates:
- Auckland: June 22 (winners announced June 26)
- Hamilton/Tauranga: June 29 (winners announced July 2/3 respectively)
- Christchurch: July 6 (winner announced July 10)
- Dunedin: July 13 (winner announced July 17)


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