Best beef dish and restaurant in New Zealand named

The Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards, now in their third year, celebrate the artistry and creativity of New Zealand's top red meat chefs.

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A sumptuous Silver Fern Farms Reserve beef eye fillet, braised short rib with parsley, mustard and horseradish crust, carrot puree, asparagus, whipped garlic and cep ju  has turned Auckland’s Botswana Butchery into a premier master of fine cuisine.

The restaurant won the title as well as awards for best beef dish and best metropolitan restaurant at the annual Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards before an Auckland audience, which was then delighted to sample the winning beef dish.

Executive chef Stuart Rogan, who manages Botswana Butchery in Auckland and Queenstown as well as Auckland’s Harbourside Ocean Bar and Grill, impressed his audience but, more importantly, judges with that dish. Head judge Kerry Tyack described Mr Rogan’s dish as ‘consistent and faultless’.

“This dish set the bar with its superb technique and stunning celebration of the art of meat preparation. The whipped garlic was the masterstroke that tied it all together. It was considered, colourful, carefully combined and ultimately satisfying,” he said.

Other Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards winners are: Palate Restaurant in Hamilton (the 2013 Premier Master of Fine Cuisine and a 2014 runner-up) and Salt on The Waterfront in New Plymouth for Best Lamb Dish (joint winners); Pravda Café in Wellington (a 2013 finalist) for Best Venison Dish; and Pitches Store in Ophir, Central Otago, for Best Regional.

Silver Fern Farms general manager marketing, Sharon Angus, says she was surprised at the number of venison dishes in this year’s awards. “It’s been an especially popular choice, with 39% of all entrants using venison, and five of the 12 finalist dishes featuring this protein. This reflects the growing trend for chefs to use this versatile, lean and healthy red meat choice, which is a  pattern we are also seeing filtering down to home cooks.” she said.

The Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards, now in their third year, celebrate the artistry and creativity of New Zealand’s top red meat chefs by inviting them to create an original dish using a Silver Fern Farms cut of lamb, beef, venison or Silere alpine origin merino.

Sixty-two entrants from Kerikeri to Queenstown were narrowed down to 12 finalists, who were re-judged by Kerry Tyack and Tony Adcock, both well-respected critics in the food and beverage industry and experienced judges in national food competitions.

Diners can experience the finalist and winning dishes until the end of March 2016.

The winners and their dishes are:

Botswana Butchery, Auckland, Executive chef Stuart Rogan: Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve beef eye fillet, braised short rib with parsley, mustard and horseradish crust, carrot puree, asparagus, whipped garlic, cep jus

Palate Restaurant, Hamilton, Head chef/owner Mat McLean: Assiette of Silver Fern Farms lamb with broad beans, artichoke, peppers and olives

Salt on The Waterfront, New Plymouth, Head Chef Freddie Ponder, Herb crusted Silver Fern Farms lamb with smoked pepper and fennel

Pravda Café, Wellington, Sous Chef Johannes van Kekem, Smoked Silver Fern Farms Venison back strap, cured in gin and juniper with venison sweetbreads, on a celeriac, apple and walnut salad with a blood orange dressing

Pitches Store, Ophir, Head chef Daniel Hill, Smoked eye fillet of Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve Beef and green tea

The top award has been won previously by Molten Restaurant in Mt Eden, Auckland, Cable Bay Vineyard Restaurant, Waiheke Island and Plume Restaurant, Matakana.

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