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Snail Ravioli Best In Auckland For Wild Food

NZ snail ravioli named best in Auckland for the Monteith’s Beer & Wild Food Challenge

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The Abbey winning dishes - 'Enzcargot' and 'Addictive Game.'

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The Abbey Head Chef Eugene Sokolovski with his winning entree.

News release
19 August 2008

NZ snail ravioli named best in Auckland for the Monteith’s Beer & Wild Food Challenge

Auckland restaurant The Abbey has won the Auckland region formal category in the 11th Monteith’s Beer & Wild Food challenge.

The Abbey served NZ snails with blue cheese ravioli for an entrée, followed by smoked pigeon and wild mushroom risotto. The dishes were complemented by Monteith’s New Zealand Lager and Monteith’s Pilsner respectively.

Crocodile cakes, confit possum, and ostrich legs are just some of the key ingredients of Auckland dishes in the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge. The long-established competition has encouraged Kiwi diners to sample some of nature’s best fare, expertly matched with a carefully crafted beer at their local restaurant, café or bar.

The Challenge – believed to be the only one of its kind anywhere in the world – is now into its 11th year with a staggering 120 restaurants applying to be involved nationwide.

The Auckland regional informal category was won by The Villager who amazed diners with The Bush-Pig Boil-Up – roasted pork and watercress sausage stew matched with Monteith’s Pilsner.

Monteith’s senior brand manager Malcolm Everts says: “The Monteith’s Beer & Wild Food Challenge is about celebrating some of our best food where the public would otherwise need to dive, catch or gather from the wild themselves. It’s a great platform for chefs to pioneer new taste experiences for their customers.”

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The Villager Head Chef Nathan Taka with his winning dish.

Convenor of judges Kerry Tyack was impressed by the expert matching of beer and food throughout the competition, plus the continuing innovation, skill & creativity it inspires.

“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,” Tyack says.

“When this Challenge started 11 years ago, New Zealanders had no idea how to match beer and food. Now, with more than a decade of effort from our top restaurants that mentality has begun to change and it is incredibly rewarding to see.”

Monteith’s has a wide beer range with brews to suit even the wildest meal and occasion.

The Auckland winner will compete for the national title to be announced at an awards dinner in Wellington on October 6.


Editors’ notes:

The Auckland winners are:

Formal Category: The Abbey. Dish 1 – Enzargot. NZ Snail & Kahurangi blue ravioli, spinach & sundried tomato puree with lemon walnut chutney. Matched with Monteith’s New Zealand Lager. Dish 2 – Addictive Game. Smoked pigeon with duck liver & wild mushroom risotto, ginger reduction & baby veg medley. Matched with Monteith’s Pilsner Beer

Informal Category:
The Villager. Bush-Pig Boil-Up. Roasted Wild pork & watercress sausage wallowing in smoked pork hock & baby winter vegetable broth with kumara sour-dough. Matched with Monteith’s Pilsner.

New Zealand’s longest running wild cuisine competition is held in 11 regions over three weeks in Auckland, Coromandel, Hamilton, Central Plateau, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Nelson/Marlborough and West Coast.

The Monteith’s Beer & Wild Food Challenge kicked off in the North Island on July 13 and finished on August 3 while the South Island start and finish dates are a week later respectively.

About the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge:

• Participants can either enter in the formal or informal category (formal entries must produce two dishes – a main and one other dish – to be presented in a formal dining environment).

• The dish has traditionally been matched to one of the Monteith’s family of six ‘Classic’ craft brews, including, Original Ale, Radler, Golden, Black, Celtic and Pilsner. But with Monteith’s New Zealand Lager winning best lager at the 2007 International Beer Challenge, the new brew has been introduced as an exciting new beer match option for 2008

• Wild’ describes food that comes from the sea, rivers or lake, the sky or the countryside (or the chef’s imagination)

• 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 $7,000. In addition, the national winner receives a prize package valued at $20,000.

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