Regional New Zealand goes head to head in Manawatu

Press Release – Agrifood NZ

Friday, 17 February

Regional New Zealand goes head to head in Manawatu

This Sunday, chefs from around New Zealand, including the 2016 New Zealand Chef of the Year, will attend the launch of the annual Plate of Origin competition at Wharerata.

Hosted in Palmerston North and Manawatu, ten local restaurants are partnered up with ten of the best restaurants from around the country. Each partnership creates one main dish, highlighting two key ingredients to represent their partner restaurant’s region. Plate of Origin, project managed by Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA), is part of the New Zealand AgriFood Investment Week programme (13-18 March).

All the participating chefs and sponsors will be hosted at a BBQ at Wharerata. The next day they will work in their partnerships at the local restaurants to finalise their dishes.

Judge Kelli Brett, Cuisine Magazine Editor, says competition between the chefs is intense.

“Add regional pride into the mix, and you’re on track to create the most beautiful dishes,” she says.

“The judges are looking forward to discussing dish choices and ingredients with the chefs. Going on what was delivered last year I’m expecting to be inspired.”

Marc Soper, the 2016 Chef of the Year, from Wharekauhau (participating restaurant) will be in attendance at the Plate of Origin launch. Mr Soper will return to the region as an Extraordinary Foods Special Presenter at the 2017 Sheep Milk NZ Conference, which is also part of the New Zealand AgriFood Investment Week Programme (13-18 March). Mr Soper is excited to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for innovative food products.

Nero’s Scott Kennedy has partnered with Wharekauhau and Mr Soper and is looking forward to the competition.

“It’s always going to be a tight competition, we have some great chefs and restaurants taking part again. We are obviously in it to win.”

The 2017 event is being supported by FoodHQ. Acting Programme Director Claire Massey says FoodHQ is the food and beverage industry’s gate-way to more than 2,200 scientists from eight internationally recognised research and innovation organisations.

“We’re proud to partner with Plate of Origin and New Zealand AgriFood Investment Week – together, we are working to showcase the best foods New Zealand has to offer and through that grow New Zealand food exports,” she says.

“It’s wonderful to see regional ingredients being used to create dishes that are world quality.”

Plate of Origin is supported by Cuisine and Visa Wellington On a Plate, alongside Wharerata, Duncan Winn Wine Trader, NZ Chef’s Association and Abel Cider.

CEDA Project Co-ordinator Kristi Atkins says Plate of Origin has influenced the theme of this year’s ASB Perspective 2025 (P2025), another key event in the New Zealand AgriFood Investment Week programme. The round table discussion will see eight accomplished women debating their views on “New Zealand 2025: Restaurant to the World?”

“Both events will discuss our country’s food identity in a global market and are focused on connecting people with food origins. The events aim to create awareness for consumers around where their food comes and the journey the hero ingredients have gone on to get to their plate.”

A keynote speaker at P2025 is Visa Wellington On a Plate CEO Sarah Meikle, who is also a supporter of ConversatioNZ – a collective of New Zealand chefs, producers, media, tourism and event operators to promote and champion New Zealand’s best food, drink and culinary tourism opportunities. P2025 will be live streamed to 7:30 am, Friday 17th March and can be followed on Twitter #NZAgInvest.,

2017 Plate of Origin partnerships:
Aberdeen on Broadway – Otago – Fleur’s Place
Amayjen the Restaurant – Marlborough – Arbour
Bethany’s – Bay of Plenty – Mount Bistro
Jimmy Cook’s Kiwi Kitchen – Canterbury – Chillingworth Road
La Patio – Nelson-Tasman – Harbour Light Bistro
Nero’s – Wellington – Wharekauhau
Nosh – Auckland – The Grove
Rendezvous – Taranaki – Table at Nice Hotel
Table 188 – Waikato – Victoria Street Bistro
The Fat Farmer – Hawke’s Bay – Bistromony

Alongside this, Wharerata will host a one-off event on Thursday 16th March showcasing Manawatu-Whanganui. The specially crafted five-course menu will highlight excellent produce from across the wider region.

Judging: The marking schedule will be split into four distinct sections; portioning and presentation, composition and taste, good use of featured product, and the chefs use of innovation and originality, with composition and taste making up half of the possible 100 points.


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