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Eat, drink and go WILD

Eat, drink and go WILD

High Tide's wild
food game pie
2005 National Winner of the Monteith’s Beer & Wild Food Challenge, Game Pie from High Tide in Dunedin

News Release

July 21, 2006

Eat, drink and go WILD

Hello Sir, Madam, what will it be...… Kangaroo, Kiwi, Horse or the Huhu Grub Hummus?

Yes that’s right, New Zealand’s most popular beer and food matching competition, The Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge is back, providing diners with a uniquely Kiwi wild food experience.

The Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge allows diners to experience wild cuisine, expertly matched with a craft brew at their local restaurant, café or bar.

“Over 160 restaurants have entered in this year’s competition, which we believe is the only one of its kind anywhere in the world,” says Monteith’s brand manager Phillipa Cameron. “We Kiwi’s are an experimental bunch, we enjoy trying new things and experimenting with food and cooking, which is why the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food challenged has continued to grow. We’re into our 9th year this year and the number of entries has steadily grown, along with the variety of dishes on the menu. “

Some interesting items found on this year’s menu include: Cactus salad, Emu Salami, Pig Trotter and ear, Croc fillet, Kangaroo, a selection of snails and of course huhu grubs.

This year, the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge have extended the entry criteria to include both formal and informal dining occasions. “This change extends the reach of the competition and has made it easier for pubs and first timers to enter as they are only required to produce one wild dish, says Kerry Tyack convener of judges for The Challenge.

“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 peoples understanding of how beer can accentuate and enhance food,” says Tyack.

“All too often we hear about wine and food, but beer is an equally credible match when it comes to complementing cuisine, in fact in some occasions it’s more appropriate to match food with beer, rather than wine,” he says.

Eight regions participate in the nationwide competition, which runs for three weeks in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, and West Coast. Participants compete for their regional title and then the coveted National title.

Last year’s national winner, Mark Lane from High Tide in Dunedin will be returning to defend his title with a ‘Golden Bounty’ entrée and ‘Original Sin’ main course. Mark says, “We look forward to the competition every year, our chefs and customers both enjoy the opportunity to try something new. There is a great variety of good quality wild produce in New Zealand from our rivers, seas, farms and forests so it seemed a shame not to continue experimenting with it.

The Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge commences on July 23 in the North Island and July 30 in the South Island. Finishing 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 of the best available wild food, defined as non-farm-raised produce reared under normal health and safety regulations.

- The winning restaurant from each region stands to win a prize package valued at $8000. Then in addition to this, the over all national winner will receive a prize package valued at $15000.


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