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Wellington restaurant wins wild food challenge

EMBARGOED UNTIL 8.00pm MONDAY OCT 6

News release wild – 1
October 6, 2008

Wellington restaurant wins wild food challenge

The best beer and wild food in the country is to be had at the The General Practitioner in Wellington – and the restaurant’s winning entrée certainly has a sting to it.

The restaurant has won the national prize at the prestigious Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge in Wellington tonight (Oct. 6), successfully taking out the top honour against 10 other regional winners.

More than 120 restaurants from 11 regions were invited to enter the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge, now in its 11th year.

All dishes must be expertly matched to one of the Monteith’s family of six ‘Classic’ craft brews – Original Ale, Radler, Golden, Black, Celtic and Pilsner – or for the first time ever, the award-winning Monteith’s NZ Lager.

The General Practitioner head chef Andy Potts developed two wild dishes that won over both the general public and the judges. The two-plate entry included stinging nettle in dish one followed by a seafood arrangement in dish two.

Potted Pigeon with Nettle Butter combines skewered pigeon and giblets braised in wild stock & black beer, shredded and set in nettle butter, served with grilled black beer bread matched with Monteith’s Black.

Dish number two Bouillabaisse – Fish soup is Andy Potts’ interpretation of Marseilles fish soup. It incorporates conger eel, crayfish, crab, monkfish & John Dory matched with Monteith’s Golden.

Convenor of Judges Kerry Tyack says it’s fantastic to see so many restaurants taking part in the challenge, with each region delivering a high standard of competition.

“In all 11 regions entrants exhibited food at its finest and the ability to correctly match great beer with outstanding Kiwi cuisine shows how far New Zealand restaurants have come.

“The standard this year was truly exceptional with food equal to the high standards of top overseas restaurants. The General Practitioner was chosen for its fine food and adventurous beer matching. Above all else Andy Potts produced combinations where the beer enhanced the flavours of the food, and the food enhanced the flavours of the beer,” Mr Tyack says.

The Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge is New Zealand’s longest running beer and food matching/wild cuisine competition and is competed for nationwide for more than three weeks.

Monteith’s brand manager Natalie Dorn says: “New Zealanders have access to some of the finest ingredients in the world and having a competition that celebrates our natural surroundings is something we can all be proud of. The Challenge truly embraces the Kiwi lifestyle and that’s why we think it continues to be so successful.

“This year has been fantastic and we’re already planning the 2009 competition to be just as exciting, tasty, fresh and challenging!”


About the Monteith’s Beer & Food Challenge:

• There are 120 restaurants competing in the 2008 Challenge.
• Participants can choose to enter either the formal or informal category but cannot enter both. The formal category entrants must produce two courses plus beer matches in a formal dining environment. Informal category entrants must produce one dish plus beer match in an informal dining environment.
• There are 11 regional formal category winners, 11 regional informal category winners, 11 regional awards for ‘best spirit and service’, 11 regional winners for ‘best single beer and food match’, one best beer and food match for using Monteith’s NZ Lager and only one national winner. Only formal category entrants are eligible for the national award.
• The total prize pool for entrants is valued at approximately $120,000.


ENDS

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