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Congratulations to Cafe Polo and Mata Beer

Sun 13th Sep 2009 09:10PM by TMouse

Winners of the BrewNZ Beer and Chefs competition held at the end of August.

Cafe Polo Chef David Thurlow created a chargrilled squid with chorizo sausage, roast capsicum salad and harissa aioli and matched it with Mata Manuka.

Chef Thurlow explains "Mata Manuka has a crisp clear taste with a hint of honey. Its slight sweetness compliments the spices of this fresh exciting tasting salad and best brings out the flavours of the chargrilled squid."

Thurlow is an award winning chef having worked at Government House, Logan Brown and with the Savoy Group in London. He lives locally and passionately believes in good local produce prepared simply and with care. Thurlow owns Cafe Polo with Valentina Dias and together they focus on bringing you the best produce based on the principles of 'Slow Food' - supporting local suppliers, using free range meat and eggs and organic fair trade coffee - with great service to match.

Judges comments:

Victoria Wells, Editor, Dish Magazine: "It was a visually appealing dish, and the slight sweetness from the Manuka honey in the beer was a perfect complement to the heat and spice from the chorizo sausage and harissa aioli in the salad. The dressing didn’t dominate the dish, but the beer also helped freshen the palate between mouthfuls. It was clear a lot of thought had gone into this food and beer match – congratulations Café Polo!"

Paul Mercurio, Guest Judge: "Sometimes the match between and dish and a beer just works so flawlessly that it becomes a thing of magic. This is how I felt about Cafe Polo's Squid and Chorizo salad paired with Aotearoa Breweries Mata Manuka Ale. It worked seemlessly - the smoky character of the chorizo and grilled squid danced delightfully on the palate with the slight sweetness and richness from the manuka honey in the beer. The malt character with hints of toffee and lightly toasted notes balanced beautifully with the spicy-ness of the harissa aioli and the wonderful salty, fruity and meatiness of the chorizo. The flavour of the salad leaves and the clean fresh perfectly cooked squid were lifted up by the restrained bitterness in the beer leaving the palate clean and asking for more. It is a simple dish done with care, thought and great expertise. The matching of the Mata Manuka again showed thought, an understanding of ingredients and balance. Well done!"

Comment from MATA's Head Brewer, Tammy Viitkangas:
"Our MATA Manuka and MATA Artesian beers were both awarded with medals in one of the most demanding set of awards in recent times, and we are absolutely over the moon and ecstatic that Polo Cafe and our MATA Manuka have taken out this prestigious and FUN competition. The concept of beer and food matching has been under utilised and when matched well, beer will pair with food even better than with wine, it is fantastic to see the high quality and number of entries. David Thurlow's experience and creativity has definitely shown through in this beer and food matching challenge. "

See Cafe Polo on DineOut
Visit Mata Beer online

Don't forget you can be in the draw to win some Mata Beer of your own when you submit a review to DineOut!
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