Winner, Dish Local Flavours Award: Brie and Caramelised Onion Boule, matched with Ata Rangi 2013 Chardonnay. By Ruth Pretty Catering and Ata Rangi Vineyard.
Bread, cheese and chardonnay - a classic combination that proved difficult to beat. This deceptively simple little package of gooeyness won the Dish Local Flavours Award thanks to its originality, precise match with the wine offered and faultless seasoning. We loved the fact this was a filling vegetarian option bursting with flavours of roasted garlic (contrary to its name), thyme and creamy, nutty Whitestone Brie.
The sourdough containers began life as rolls handmade by Ruth and her team, which were hollowed, frozen, filled and baked. We would have loved to have seen a local cheese used in the dish, but overall this was the best dish of the day. Unique flavours and creamy textures worked stunningly well with the ripe, rich, citrus notes in the chardonnay
Runner Up: Soft Shell Tempura Crab Taco, with coriander, chilli, spring onion, mung beans, pickled ginger and wasabi caviar mayonnaise. Served with a Martinborough Vineyard Manu Riesling. By The Crab Shack and Martinborough Vineyard.
Chef Geoff Ngan of Wellington's The Crab Shack was seriously passionate about this dish when we interviewed him. He went into great detail about how this dish was constructed. He sourced the crabs from Thailand (we can't source them locally) and all his produce came from Al at Capital Produce.
This dish looked and smelled and (more importantly) tasted amazing! The tempura was perfectly crunchy-crisp, the crab moist and flavoursome, the super-zingy eastern flavours and pickled ginger elements worked incredibly well with the wine which was packed with sweet, citrus notes.
The wine was a perfect match and Yvonne immediately wanted to buy a bottle of Manu then go home and cook this dish for herself!
Slow-braised Manawatu Kahuterawa Beef Cheek and Escarpment Pinot Pie with Caramelised Onion Relish. Matched with Caramelised Onion Relish. By Escarpment and Hester Guy Catering.
Wharekaukau Farm Braised Lamb Pizza. WIth spiced pear, Mr Joe’s preserved lemon, roasted local walnuts, rocket, Kingsmeade Wairapa Jack cheese finished with roast garlic aioli. Matched with Te Kairanga Runholder Pinot Noir 2013. By Wharekaukau Country Estate and Te Kairanga Wines.
Slow braised venison and Syrah Pie matched with 2011 Dry River Syrah. By Dry River and Capitol and WBC.