Top Matariki dish award winners revealed!
The winners of the Coastal Bay of Plenty’s inaugural Matariki Dish Challenge have been announced, with a five-piece set menu and a seafood pasta dish securing the top spots.
The team at The Trading Post – French Bistro, in Paengaroa, drew inspiration from the stars to create their Matariki Chefs Menu, which the judging panel selected as the 2022 Champion award winner. The menu featured sourdough bread, organic oysters, smoked eel, kumara and horopito gnocchi, and poached apple dessert, with each dish named after a star in the annual Matariki cluster.
The judges of the five-week Challenge were impressed with how each element in every dish in The
Trading Post’s entry served a purpose and was executed with precision.
“It was clear from the moment we arrived at the restaurant that they were taking things very seriously and were committed to producing something wonderful. The dish was well promoted throughout the restaurant, the staff were amazing and knew their stuff extraordinarily well, and the wines chosen to accompany the dish were right on point.”
The Trading Post owner and head chef, Jordan Baudeche, created the menu with his partner Nina. He says they researched the Matariki tradition and used local seasonal produce to “fuse indigenous flavours with French techniques.” Jordan also says the staff had a great time talking with diners about the dishes. “It really created conversations and brought people together.”
The judges weren’t the only ones that had a say though, with diners casting their votes for the 2022
People’s Choice Award, which went to Fife Lane and their Pāua Toterini Karengo dish (featuring pāua tortellini with oyster sauce, seaweed and watercress). The accolade comes hot on the heels of several awards at last month’s BOP Hospitality Awards.
Fife Lane owner Kat Dippie says that their Pāua Toterini Karengo dish was well received by diners.
“Guests were really engaged in the opportunity to try something different,” says Kat.