Emerging Chef Earns Spot Alongside NZ’s Finest

Press Release – Monteith’s Wild Recipe Competition

Winner of first Monteith’s Wild Recipe Competition announced: A Manawatu woman has beaten nearly 100 other competitors in an inaugural home cook recipe competition, earning her a spot among the country’s leading chefs.Emerging Chef Earns Spot Alongside New Zealand’s Finest

Winner of first Monteith’s Wild Recipe Competition announced

A Manawatu woman has beaten nearly 100 other competitors in an inaugural home cook recipe competition, earning her a spot among the country’s leading chefs.

Linda Hammond of Bulls won over the judges of the first Monteith’s Wild Recipe Competition after submitting an entry on the beer brand’s website. Members of the public were asked to submit recipes using wild ingredients and match it with a Monteith’s beer variant.

Linda entered a Smoky Eel Mussel and Gurnard Risotto matched by Monteith’s Golden Lager which she felt paired well as the lager refreshes the taste buds, not overpowering them. The judges agreed with her assessment and her dish will now be cooked and enjoyed during the hotly contested national cook-off for the 2010 Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge on Monday 23rd August. The cook-off will determine the overall winner of the Challenge which is now into its 13th year and involves around 100 of the country’s leading chefs and restaurants.

Linda will also feature in a Dish magazine article and have the pleasure of attending the cook-off in Auckland and rubbing shoulders with the top five Challenge finalists who are due to be announced week commencing Monday 9th August. Linda says she’s delighted her dish topped the nation and is extremely excited about attending the cook-off.

“I was shocked to see I’d made it to the top three; I’d been reading all the other recipes on the site and thought the competition was of a really high standard so I didn’t expect to win.”

But on learning she had won, the Mum of three and grandma of two, was excited and happy. “I’ve always been interested in cooking” says Linda, “I was bought up on a farm and Mum was always a big cook – I used to love helping her in the kitchen.”

The manuka smoked eels used in Linda’s winning dish were courtesy of her husband and son who regularly go eeling and fishing. Cooking is a real passion for Linda who finds it rewarding to start with a mix of ingredients and turn them into something everyone loves to eat.

When asked what she was most looking forward to after winning the competition, Linda said it was definitely “the chance to watch the professional chefs in action” which is something she will get to do at the cook-off on Monday, 23 August long with either her husband or her youngest daughter – she’s yet to decide who will accompany her to Auckland!

Monteith’s marketing manager, Russell Browne, comments, “Congratulations to Linda and a big thank you to all those that entered our competition. The quality of innovative recipes submitted was very high, providing no doubt ample inspiration for those seeking to try their hand at the art of beer and wild food matching going forward.”

Runner up and highly recommended recipes:

All runner up and highly recommended recipes can be found on the Monteith’s site – www.monteiths.co.nz

Runners up are:

Beth Barnes from Blenheim with Mrs Macgregor’s Pie
Liz Watt from Auckland with Asian Pork Balls with Bok Choi

Highly recommended are:

Jonathan Mountfort, Wellington with Chilli Sesame, Beer Bread, Bacon and Eggs
Helen Turner, Oamaru with Creamy Rabbit Pie
Mandy Miller, Wellington with Wild Boar Sausages wrapped in Beer Pastry
Daniel Marsden, Invercargill with Hot Mushroom Sandwich
Darryl Patton, Auckland with Kiwi Osso Bucco
Justin Scheiling, Waiheke with Waiheke Pate De Lapin
Liz-Ann Bosmann, Auckland with Sizzling Venison, Ginger and Spring onion

For those keen to replicate Linda’s success at home, her winning wild recipe is as follows:

Smokey Eel Mussel and Gurnard Risotto


1 small onion finely chopped
500g Arborio rice
300 ml dry white wine
2 c light simmering fish stock
150 g unsalted butter
1 large lemon zest and juice
50ml double cream
5cm horseradish grated really finely
4tbsp chives finely chopped
100g smoked eel (no skin or bones cut into small pieces)
6 gurnard fillets no bones
12 smoked mussels (free of shells)
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt if needed


Using heavy Based pan melt butter and cook onion finely chopped until golden but not browned. Add rice stirring to coat in butter. Add the wine turn heat up and cook stirring until wine has reduced by two thirds. Slowly add hot stock about 150ml at a time stirring well at each addition cook until tender about 20mins you may need a little extra stock or hot water. In last 5 minutes add fish and eel and smoked mussels.

Lastly season to taste add the lemon zest and juice stir in well. Just before serving sprinkle with chives. Lastly whip the cream add the horseradish and serve alongside the risotto. Enjoy with a refreshing glass of Monteith’s Golden Lager.


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