It's a meat-lover's dream; taste testing New Zealand's finest sirloin steaks for tenderness, aroma, juciness and flavour after they have been aged for three weeks and cooked for perfection. A panel of four expert judges were tasked with exactly that on Monday evening in the final stages of the Beef and Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin competition.
In its 13th year, the competition celebrates the dedication and hard work of New Zealand beef farmers. In the final stages of the event, the top 20 sirloin steaks out of 300 were tasted by BMX World Champion and Beef + Lamb Iron Maider, Sarah Walker; NZ Listener Food Columnist, Lauraine Jacobs; Executive Chef at Wharekaukau Estate and Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chef, Marc Soper and head Judge, Graham Hawkes.
Forbes and Angus Cameron took home the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin Grand Champion shield as well as $5000 in prize money in honour of their unanimously praised steak which was regarded as simply exceptional.
The evening also saw two other prestigious awards announced, with the title of Supreme Brand Champion going to Countdown North Island, and the Processor of the Grand Champion was Land Meat. Manawatu Beef Dish of the Year was awarded to Nero Restaurant in Palmerston North, as judged by close to 1,000 local diners over the past three weeks.