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Who's NZ's wildest chef so far?

Fri 9th Jul 2010 06:19PM by CJD

(over) Two weeks into the 2010 Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge

It's been two weeks since voting for the 2010 Monteith's Beer and Wild Food Challenge opened and the online leader board is a hive of activity with representatives from the main centres making the top five.

First equal at the top of the leaderboard, which appears on the Monteith's website are The Watershed in Christchurch and the Monteith's Brewery Bar Kapiti Junction in Wellington.

Despite currently tying at first place, there is little else similar between the two entrants;

The Watershed's dish being: Venisontennial - Dead Boaring - Wattle make it Chocca Consisting of three courses: harakeke and rosemary crusted wild venison carpaccio, bitter toffee marinated wild pork belly on a nutmeg potato, mash and finished with a wattle seed chocolate torte all matched with Monteith's Black Beer.

Monteith's Brewery Bar Kapiti Junction's dish is: My Pig has Crabs A dish of Waikanae crab ravioli in a pernod beurre blanc sauce with a wild pork centrepiece matched with Monteith's Radler Bier.

In second place is Wanaka's Uncle Mike's BBQ and coming third is The Vespa Room in Christchurch.

Previous 2010 top ten competitor, Basalt Bar & Restaurant in Howick, Auckland is in fourthplace with Tauranga's The Porch Kitchen and Bar in fifth position.

The restaurants are judged by diners via text or by filling out a scorecard after enjoying the Monteith's dish on offer. For every vote cast, diners receive a complimentary Monteith's which can be redeemed when next visiting the participating outlet for which the vote was cast.

Monteith's marketing manager, Russell Browne, comments, "It's great to see that after only two weeks of voting we already have a restaurant in the top five from the major cities in New Zealand – it goes to show that Kiwis are adventurous with their food choices and willing to try something a bit different.

"It's a Challenge in more ways than one – with chefs challenged to come up with a wild dish using ingredients not ordinarily served at their restaurant and consumers challenged to be adventurous enough to give it a go. I never thought I would be eating quail on a wild mushroom cheesecake but that's exactly what I did when I had The Drake in Auckland's dish, "The Italian Goes Downunder" and I must say, it was delicious!"

There's still plenty of time to see your favourite dish make its way either onto or up the leaderboard; with voting closing on Sunday, 18 July.

Consumers have four weeks left to show their wild side by tasting as many Monteith's Beer and Wild Food dishes as they wish with 104 restaurants from Whangarei to Gore participating in the Challenge.

And if all the sampling of wild food dishes gets you inspired, be sure to enter the first ever Monteith's Wild Recipe Competition – all you have to do is create a wild dish, pair it with a Monteith's beer or cider and upload it to the Monteith's website,

The winner receives a trip for two to Auckland with dinner at last year's winning restaurant, The Abbey, and a spot at the Monteith's Beer and Wild Food Challenge cook-off where the top five professional Chefs battle it out to see who wins the 2010 title. Chef Mark Gregory will cook the winning consumer recipe during the cook-off.

For more information on restaurants competing either nationwide or within your region and for more information on the consumer Monteith's Wild Recipe Competition, please visit the Monteith's website

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