After assessing almost 70 entries from leading chefs around the country, our expert panel have chosen the 12 finalists for the Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards 2018.

The judges were looking for dishes that deliver on the expectation of authentic, inspirational and delicious food experiences, using Silver Fern Farms naturally raised, grass-fed red meat. The perfect balance of taste and texture of the red meat and the accompanying ingredients, as well as creativity and presentation of the dishes, separated the best chefs from the rest by the smallest of margins.
Head judges Geoff Scott and Catherine Bell say it was difficult to trim the entrants down to only 12 finalists.

“We are very excited by the positive feedback from the judging team. These highly qualified assessors reported delicious dishes and amazing feats of creativity. What’s more they noted an ever-increasing awareness from chefs of the value of cooking with premium quality red meat, something Silver Fern Farms consistently delivers. Without doubt, this year the competition has been more intense than ever. Choosing category winners and the supreme award-winner from such a talented line-up is going to be even more challenging.”

The judges were especially impressed by the number of outstanding entries in the new Emerging Chef category. The field has been narrowed down to two finalists, Patrick Pope-Moody, Apprentice Chef at Chameleon at the InterContinental and Alexis Vienot, Sous Chef at 180 degrees at the Copthorne, both in Wellington.
Marketing Manager Food Service, Bernie de Bono says she is delighted with the standard of entries this year.

“We are always excited to work with such talented culinary professionals, the Awards bring out the absolute best of their skills. The diversity in the dishes this year is outstanding yet again and chefs have risen to the challenge, creating extraordinary dishes and providing truly memorable experiences for diners.”
Diners can experience the 12 finalist dishes uniquely prepared for the Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards until the end of July 2018 from Waiheke Island to Dunedin.

Co-head judges Catherine Bell and Geoff Scott will visit all finalist restaurants during May. Both experts bring a wealth of experience in judging national food competitions and they look forward to applying their experienced palates to judging the finalist dishes.

Winners will be announced at an event in Auckland on 7 June 2018, where six category winners will be revealed and the Chef of the Year and Emerging Chef of the Year named.

The 12 finalists and their dishes are:

The Archive Bar & Bistro at Mudbrick, Waiheke Island
Logan Coath, Head Chef

White + Wong’s, Auckland
Ashish Bhatnagar, Head Chef

Palate Restaurant, Hamilton
Mat McLean, Head Chef

Victoria Street Bistro, Hamilton
Andrew Clarke, Chef de Cuisine

Mills Reef Winery, Tauranga
Anthony Lawler, Head Chef

Amayjen - The Restaurant, Feilding
Andrew May, Head Chef

Chameleon at the InterContinental, Wellington
Paul Limacher, Chef de Cuisine

Pravda Café and Grill, Wellington
William Hobby, Head Chef

Noble Rot Wine Bar, Wellington
Punit D’Souza, Head Chef

Hopgood’s, Nelson
Aaron Ballantyne, Head Chef

Olivers Victoria Store, Clyde
James Waite, Head Chef

Vault 21, Dunedin
Greg Piner, Executive Chef

The Emerging Chefs finalists are:

180 degrees at the Copthorne, Wellington
Alexis Vienot, Sous Chef

Chameleon at the InterContinental, Wellington
Patrick Pope-Moody, Apprentice Chef

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